Menace Beach (NES)

Menace Beach Box Art

Menace Beach

System: NES

Release Date: 1990

Developer: Color Dreams

Publisher: Color Dreams

Genre: Action

Color Dreams is back once again with Menace Beach. You are Scooter, skater nerd, and your girlfriend, Bunny, has been kidnapped by Demon Dan. Yes, red and winged. Now it’s up to you to skate, punch, jump, and spin your way through 12 levels to save her.

There are a ton of different enemies and they all want to kill you. Your life is measured in hearts and different attacks remove different amounts of health. The A Button is your jump and if you press it in the air you defy gravity and stay up just a little longer. This becomes a necessary skill to have mastered by the later levels. The B Button is your attack. If you’re on the ground, you throw a punch. If you’re in the air, you throw a spinkick. You also have the ability to pick up thrown weapons, such as bottles and bombs.

The enemies are all pretty goofy. Many of them will stop the screen until you kill them. As long as you bum rush the ninjas, Elvis impersonators, and tough guys, they’re pretty easy. The sumo wrestler is not an easy kill and requires a well-placed bomb. Fish will clamp on to you and make it difficult to jump. Sewer lurkers will throw weapons that you can pick up and use. Occasionally, you’ll need a balloon to keep yourself in the air.

The sewers are full of obstacles like springs and flickers. These things will knock you back if you’re not careful. A late level has a series of flickers that knock you back to start over again. There are also light switches which blackout the level if they’re touched. Between many levels, you see Bunny, tied up and chained to a table, her clothes slowly rotting away to underwear. She berates you demanding you save her more quickly.

The worst obstacle is in the game is on the level 11 pier. You come to a point with an incredibly long gap that you can’t jump across. You can’t stay in the air with jumps long enough. I finally realized that if you keep tapping the button quickly enough you won’t die when you reach the bottom of the screen. When you get to what is the end of the stage, then you can stop and you respawn past the huge gap. Hope you have an extra life! The final boss is the Demon himself. It took me a moment to realize landing on the ground drops a stalactite. You need to use these to hit the demon without taking the hit yourself. Once you finish him, your malt shop date with your sweetie is finally realized.

Graphics: 2.5

The graphics are decent enough. I wouldn’t give any awards, but better than nothing!

Sound: 1.0

Music is super low and sounds aren’t particularly good.

Gameplay: 2.5

The game surprisingly works. I usually don’t want to give Color Dreams credit, but it works.

Difficulty: 2.0

You don’t get any continues, so you’ll be playing over and over when you get to the cheap parts.

Fun Factor: 2.5

I had more fun than I thought I would based on the simplicity of the game.

Overall Grade: 2.1

Menace Beach earns a C. Color me surprised that this Color Dreams game is decent enough to give a shot.

Menace Beach Video Review on YouTube