Genre: Arcade, Platform
Publisher: Data East
Total time played: 1.5 Hours
Short review: A fast paced platformer featuring a shirtless overweight man who shoots fireballs at breakneck speed.
Interesting links related to Karnov
- Karnov Arcade Gameplay
- Tool Assisted Speedrun (8 minutes 58 seconds)
- Karnov review by RetroSnow
In 1997 my mom had a co-worker named Charlie who sold me some mint condition complete in box NES games for $2.00 each. I bought everything he had which included all 3 Castlevania games, Contra, Trojan, Double Dragon, and Karnov. It was like Christmas morning.
At the time I was playing Final Fantasy VII so I never really gave any of the games a chance. I had 2 TVs set up in my basement, I played FFVII on one and my friend Nathan played Karnov on the other. Although I never played the game for more than a few minutes the song has been permanently ingrained in my head as I watched Nathan play the game over and over until he beat it.
When I decided to play Karnov last night I thought I would have a rough time with it but I was surprised that the difficulty was just about perfect. As you progress through the game you earn items such as bombs, jumping shoes, ladders, wings, and shields that make the game easier. When you die and continue all of your items remain. As I progressed through the game I found myself stuck for 30 minutes on stage 5. I needed the ladder to get a powerup for my fireball to defeat the level boss but the level doesn’t have a ladder. I tried over and over to complete the level without getting the powerup but ended up just resetting the game. Within a short 15 minutes I was back to stage 5 with the ladder and was able to finally complete the level.
The controls of the game are very responsive even though the jumping mechanic takes a while to get the hang of as it has a very floaty feel to it. The game features virtually no slow down no matter how many enemies are on screen and there seemed to be no limit to the speed at which Karnov shoots fireballs. The faster you push the B button the faster he shoots fireballs.
The enemies are pretty varied and unique throughout each stage even though the bosses tend to repeat. The game consists of 9 levels in which no 2 look alike. The levels are fairly short meaning you never have time to get bored. For me the T-Rex boss that I fought on 2 or 3 stages was the hardest in the entire game. After roughly 90 minutes of playing the game I finally beat the last boss (a very easy dragon) and was presented with one of the worst ending screens of any game ever…