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Mr. Gimmick is Sunsoft's latest NES title. You play the part of Mr. Gimmick, a green blob with special magical gifts. His main weapon is a mystical star that forms over his head to seek out enemies. Collect bottles that give Mr. Gimmick new powers like fireballs, invincibility, and powerful bombs. The five levels are beautifully detailed with pastel colors while the bosses will present quite a challenge to Mr. Gimmick.
Steve: Here's a game with a cool theme that could have been explored in a hundred different ways. Instead it's a repetitive attempt at the action genre with difficult that is obviously geared to the wee sprites. Kids games don't have to be completely lacking, however, and more time could made this one a winner. 5
Ed: OK, so it looks cutesy and seems like a great game for a 7 year old, but wait. Instead, you get a very challenging game that requires a great deal of technique. It starts off easy, but that is only practice. Get farther into the game and you'll have quite a challenge. Definitely a sleeper. Give this one a try! 8
Martin: Mr. Gimmick has a few cool options to the game play and the cute theme will attract younger players. I can't get excited about moving a little booger around the screen though. The graphics are OK and the sounds are decent but other that that [sic] the game play is very simple and needs more variety. Not bad, but not great. 5
Sushi-X: Mr. Gimmick is one of those games that the kiddies can relate to. The levels are nicely detailed for a NES game but with only five levels the variety just isn't there. The music is kind of catchy but wears this after a while. The game plays rather well however. The score would have been higher if it wasn't so easy. 4
Okay, you have to understand that most of the above is factually incorrect. Gimmick! is not only a brilliant game (if you can't wait for the article, then watch this excellent annotated longplay), but it's also ridiculously difficult. Like, up to the levels of Ninja Gaiden and Battletoads difficult. Three out of the four reviewers clearly didn't play the game for any length of time, if at all, only to dismiss it as "kid" stuff because it looks bright and cutesy. There are also six levels (seven if you count the hidden final stage, which requires incredible skill to get to) so they seemed to have based their review off an incorrect fact sheet of some kind.
This attitude was sadly rather common in the magazine, which at the time was very dismissive to 8-bit games in favor of flashier 16-bit titles. (The forgettable Super Bowling for the SNES in the same issue got a 7, 8, 8 and 7, for context.) You also have to remember that this same magazine actually gave numerical scores to each system in their yearly buyer's guide, which is possibly the biggest thing you could do to troll readers back them. Of course, there was no internet to complain, although that was one of the specific reasons why myself (or, rather, my father, since I was ten years old) subscribed to Video Games and Computer Entertainment over EGM.