#658 – The Three Stooges

There’s a little wise guy in all of us.
Calling all chowdah-heads!
“Mutton for brains, the both of ya!”

PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous

PUBLISHER: Activision

DEVELOPER: Beam Software

GENRE: Minigame

RELEASE DATE: October 1989

The Three Stooges is a basket of strange nyuks: a handful of minigames/events starring the Stooges that limits their antics, while staying true to the spirit of their films. In the game, Larry, Curly, and Moe are trying to raise five thousand dollars in thirty days to save an orphanage. Every day you look at the “Stoogeville Job Market” a.k.a. a rectangular bar of pictures at the top of the screen, and select a minigame using a hand that’s constantly moving around the bar. There are four main minigames based on the Stooges’ shorts: a cracker-eating contest (eat the crackers before the oysters do, ya chowderhead!), a pie-throwing contest (slam wealthy dowagers faces with pie), a red-cross collecting venture (move through the hospital collecting crosses and avoiding the enfeebled), and a “boxing” match (whereby you grab a radio playing ‘Pop Goes the Weasel,’ race it back to Curly, and don’t actually box anyone). Other events include Three Stooges trivia questions, random money piles, mousetraps. The latter is the only way to actually lose a life. After four fingers/lives have been lost, it’s game over, the bank owns the orphanage, and there’s no more “Whoop-whoop-whoop”s for anybody.

There’s only one event in Three Stooges where you play as Moe and hit the Stooges. The more you hit the Stooges successfully, the slower the minigame-selecting hand will go. That’s your only reward for a slap well done, and the only time where the game allows the Stooges to engage in the behavior many remember them for. Despite the appalling lack of violence, The Three Stooges does a fine job with its minigame structure (thank God it wasn’t another horrendous Beam Software platformer). It’s short and somewhat lacking in content, but then, so are the Stooges films. Know what you’re getting into with these knuckleheads and you’ll soitenly enjoy it.


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7 replies on “#658 – The Three Stooges”

Never saw the movie. Wouldn&#039t doubt that the NES game was based on one of their shorts, but I can&#039t say for sure.

Not that I was alive during the hey of the Stooges but I believe from reading another review of this game that the mini-games are based on classic episodes/shorts. I know pies in aristocrats faces was in just about every Three Stooges thing ever made but the boxing game was directly based on an episode as well as the oyster soup game. Anyway, nice work as always.

Josh is right: each mini-game is based on a specific episode, and even features heavily digitized graphics and vocal samples from the show. The vocal samples are better than normal for Nintendo.

I&#039m glad I&#039m not the only person who appreciated this game. My friends and I used to play it constantly. We&#039d each play a specific mini game: my half nephew dusty was very good at the cracker eating contest (once you&#039re down to one cracker, you get 1 dollar per cracker and 10 dollars per bowl, or whatever it was, and he could get that one cracker nearly endlessly), while I was the king of the pie toss.

Others were best at the slapping game or the hospital racing thing. i tended to be pretty solid at the boxing game, as I memorized the layout of the map quite well.

Not a perfect game, but for what it was, it worked reasonably well. The controls were the sticking point, but once you mastered them, you could have hours of fun with this.

I suppose it would have helped to visit Wikipedia before I wrote this review. Thanks gents.

And I&#039m ashamed too. I grew up watching the Stooges. I should know this!

This game gets crapped on a lot but it was surprisingly fun especially given how bad a licensed game like this could have been.

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