Misadventures abound in Bandai’s 8-bit take on the beloved 60s TV show, Gilligan’s Island.
DEVELOPER: Human Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: July 1990
I’m not exactly sure what convinced Bandai, a Japanese developer, to publish a game based on an American TV show that had been cancelled for twenty-plus years at the time of the game’s release. Do the Japanese have a fondness for silly 60s television? That’s a real question, and if anyone knows the answer, leave me a comment. Regardless of the source material, though, the real measure of a game is its gameplay, kind of like the measure of a man is the length and depth of his chest hair. So how does our boy Gilligan fare? Let’s just say he and Justin Bieber are gunning for that first sprout of manliness.
You begin the game as the Skipper, with Gilligan tagging along behind you. Gilligan is controlled by a horrendous AI who constantly goes out of its way to make your life miserable. He loves to fall down holes, fall off bridges, get stuck in quicksand, etc, etc, etc. In that way, I suppose, he’s similar to the Gilligan in the show: he exists to make the Skipper’s life miserable, providing comic relief for the audience. But imagine how the Skipper feels. In the show, the Skipper wants to drown Gilligan in a vat of acid. In this game, the Skipper’s feelings are your feelings. Nothing would please you more than to leave Gilligan for the monkeys and snakes that litter the landscape. Actual controls for the Skipper aren’t too bad. The graphics and music are atrocious, though. Your characters lack any sort of facial features, and the music is akin to Ronnie James Dio coming back from the dead and whispering sweet nothings in your ear; painful and Satanic.
I kid… sort of. The game is horrible, just like the show. Let’s leave it at that.
Latest posts by Dylan Cornelius (see all)
- By Request – New Ghostbusters II - April 4, 2014
- The 86 Worst NES Games – Part 4 - April 1, 2014
- The 86 Worst NES Games – Part 3 - March 29, 2014
7 replies on “#019 – The Adventures of Gilligan’s Island”
While the show was canceled, it was in syndication for over 30 years, being played on tv every day. It was still a popular tv show up into the 90s. Hope that explains why they made the game.
I understand your points, but the NES was considered a child’s system. What child wanted to play a Gilligan’s Island game?
It was mainly children who were watching the show. I remember it used to be on tv when I got home from school. It was still a pretty popular show with kids at that point in time. I know it sounds amazing. That show literally played on tv every single day for almost 30 years. Looking back, it amazes me even.
I can vouch for this. I can remember being in 4th grade or so in the early 90s, and ‘Gilligan’ and ‘The Brady Bunch’ were on in syndication on one of the major network affiliates. I watched both of them fairly regularly because from 4 to 5, what else was on for a 4th grader at the time? Soap Operas, Opera, Sally Jessie Raphael? I became a Gilligan/Brady fan by default.
*Oprah not Opera. Oh, it’s late.
I used to watch Gilligan’s Island all the time. Never played the game until I tried it on an emulator. Good thing….I think if I had spent money on this back in the day, I would have literally lost my mind.
hahaha when i was a kid i had a Nintendo Power subscription and some of these really crappy games had article about them, and even as a kid of say 8 or 9 years old i thought “why?”