#047 – Back to the Future

LJN destroys yet another beloved franchise.
Nothing but lies.
The glass those men are carrying is in the future.



DEVELOPER: Beam Software

GENRE: Action

RELEASE DATE: September 1989

Times are hard, guys. We’re in the middle of a recession; gas prices keep going up; and the best way businesses can think to further technology… is through cellphones. Yep, this is not the future we had all hoped for when we were kids, but hey! At least we can all have a little escapism with the power of Back to the Future for the NES! But wait… clock collecting in a suburban nightmare, while avoiding befuddled insects and  thick-necked strongmen? Malt shops in the 1980’s? Ack! What kind of horrible alternate reality is this?

LJN and Beam Software did everything in their power to destroy whatever goodness “Back to the Future” contained. This game doesn’t make any sense, and that’s all folks. You play as Marty and you collect clocks. Make it through about four stages of clock-collecting madness and you enter a “bonus” round where you throw malts at Biff and Other Biff and Biff Again. If you lose a “bonus” round, you have to start at the previous stage. Unlike any other bonus round in any game ever, where if you “die” within it, you move on to the next stage, Beam asked themselves, “You know what would make this game even more terrible? Bonus rounds where you CAN’T advance!” Cue businessmen laughter, cigar smoke, and Satan collecting some contracts. I did not make it past the bonus stage, and I tried, oh Lord, I tried. It becomes painful repeating the same bland level over and over again before making it to the malt shop, only to have Biff Cubed throw you into the malt-shop door. I might reconsider if the levels prior to the malt shop were enjoyable. Much like Paperboy, the screen is constantly moving and you have to avoid the retarded throng of people that delight in throwing themselves at you, Master of Clocks: Future Destroyer Extraordinaire.

When I was young, I dreamed of cruising around in a Delorean through time. I dreamed of bringing my mom and my dad together so that they would have me in the future. I dreamed of hanging out with a crazy mad scientist; a man that, despite his madness, would become my best friend. Instead I received hundreds and hundreds of clocks. Spare yourself this trip to the clock store.

Grade: F

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7 replies on “#047 – Back to the Future”

I’m sorry, but this review (while hilarious) is way off the mark. if you didn’t like this game, it has to be because you just weren’t very good at it. get on the skateboard and zip through the levels while dodging projectiles, collecting clocks, shooting bees and thugs, and jumping benches and tell me it’s not fun. i expect a rewrite of this review only after you’ve made it to the school dance (where marty shreds out a face melting guitar solo). maybe you’re not ready for this one, but you’re kids are gonna love it.

You’re in the minority, friend. I’m all for replaying games to give them another shot, but Back to the Future is universally hailed as a bad game for a reason. I’m glad you enjoyed it, but even if I were to re-review the game, I think the ‘F’ rating would stand.

F is a great rating. F is short for Fair Rating on Dylan’s part. Most games made by LJN for the NES were crap. I hate to think what the sequel would have looked like had LJN been involved. I can only imagine Marty battling tampon dispensers while radioactive locusts try to suck out his eyeballs. This was another crap game Nintendo endorsed. Oh, and Richard, nice quote from the movie.

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