Eat up, kids! It’s good for you!
PLAYERS: 1-2 alternating
PUBLISHER: Virgin Interactive
DEVELOPER: Virgin Interactive
RELEASE DATE: February 1992
Contrary to the title of the game, the kid protagonists are not emcees. They do not spit fat rhymes or drop hot beats, but they do eat a lot of ice-cold fries and red-hot meats. These M.C. kids are so enraptured with McDonalds food that Ronald McDonald hires them to find his Magic Bag, stolen by none other than the Hamburglar. The structure of McDonaldLand bears a striking resemblance to the world structure of Super Mario Bros. 3, to the point where toadstool-esque platforms protrude from the ground for you to stand on; I suppose Ronald’s architects were in touch with Bowser’s on that one. For you to progress, you have to acquire a certain number of cards in each world. Levels are fairly linear, but large enough to warrant repeat play sessions, find hidden bonus stages and what not. There are floating ‘M’s around each stage and if you collect a hundred, you’re rewarded with an extra life. It’s your typical 8-bit platformer, obviously inspired by Mario, but greased and salted with mild McDonald’s references and an exploratory flavor all its own. It’s much, much better than one would think. I was ready to stick a fork in M.C. Kids and call it good, but the levels are fun to play and there’s a surprising amount of challenge for a supposed kids game. If you like McDonalds food, you’ll enjoy M.C. Kids. If you don’t like McDonalds food, don’t worry: M.C. Kids doesn’t try to cram itself down your throat and pretend your stomach can digest it.