Total time played: 4 Hours
Short review: Take control of a Native American as you collect totems across several stages in the style of Mega Man.
Interesting links related to Whomp ‘Em
- Whomp ‘Em tool assisted speed run (11minutes 39seconds)
- Whomp ‘Em no death play through (25minutes 44seconds)
- Whomp ‘Em soundtrack
- Whomp ‘Em Video Review (The NES Backlog with Joe Walker)
- Whomp ‘Em Review (Nintendo Legend)
This is a game I picked up in college but never played. A friend recently requested I give it a shot on facebook and a couple of months later I did just that.
The game plays very similarly to my favorite series on the system, the Mega Man series. At the start of the game you play an intro stage to get a handle on the controls and then are given the choice of 6 stages. Each stage has a theme, fire, wind, water, forest, etc. and at the end of each stage you collect a totem which gives you a new ability. Unlike Mega Man you can change your weapon (totem) on the fly by pressing the start button. Also unlike Mega Man, until you reach the final stage of the game the totems do not really help out at all. What made the Mega Man series special is that each weapon had a specific use to make the game easier, I found that none of the weapons (totems) in Whomp ‘Em were even needed until the very end of the game.
Like Zelda 2, while jumping, your spear can be used as an upward thrust or a downward thrust to hit enemies above or below. The game also has very light RPG elements. While playing through your character collects shells, when enough are collected you earn an extra heart (hit point).
The controls are very responsive although i did find myself accidentally changing my weapons a lot. The game has some unique physics as well as your character controls differently depending on the type of surface he is on (cloud, leaf, water) and at one point you have to use your weapon to produce thrust to propel you through a weightless room.
But, with all the great aspects of the game there were also some issues. For one, the game is hard. You only get one life, if you die you start the level over (thank goodness for unlimited continues). Since I never really got the hang of using the weapons during the game by the time I got to the final stage I became clumsy and had to learn everything on the fly. Although each level had a unique design they layout of each was too similar, it is as if the same template was used and different enemies and backgrounds were inserted. Also, I was not a fan of the music, one level in particular about drove me insane, just listen to how horrible the music is.
The last level is insanely difficult and at least twice as long as any other level. I eventually was able to make it through to the final boss and died immediately only to start at the beginning of the stage. This time, when I got to the room right before the boss I moved left and right causing enemies to spawn over and over. I did this until I had full health and 3 energy refills.
Trial and error let me know that the snake weapon is the only weapon that did noticeable damage to the final boss. Unfortunately I also found out because the weapon was so strong it also did damage to me. But, after half a dozen attempts I was able to beat the game.
in 1984 I dressed as an Indian for Halloween. I can only assume the game designers used me and my costume as inspiration for the Soaring Eagle character in Whomp ‘Em.
Me on Halloween 1984 Soaring Eagle