Devil World (Virtual Console NES)
An oddball Nintendo title that only appeared in Japan and Europe due to an apparent concern for American sensibilities over the word “devil” being in the title and imagery of crosses and bibles. It’s a bit silly really and Americans should feel left out since it’s a pretty nice game. An entry in the sadly neglected “maze game” genre, it features a toad-like dragon who’s trying to eat all the dots Pac-Man style whilst evading the minions of the titular Devil. There’s a couple of twists in that the dragon can only eat the dots after grabbing one of the crosses located on the screen. Whilst holding the cross he can also spit fireballs at the devil’s minions and turn them into fried eggs for a limited time during which they can be eaten for bonus points.
The devil can be seen at the top of the screen directing the movement of the playfield bounding box that can squish players between parts of the maze as it drifts about. After clearing the maze of dots there’s a bonus round where the player is trying to grab four bibles from the four corners of the screen and stick them into the sides of a central box which then banishes the devil. There are no crosses so you just need to avoid enemies (and getting squished by the maze walls as the playfield boundary shifts). It’s a nice little game that you might not have paid £50 for when it was first released, but on the Virtual Console it’s worth a punt for less than a fiver. No sign of this coming to North America though, sorry!
Ice Climber (Virtual Console NES)
This is a port of an arcade game from Nintendo that I honestly cannot recall ever laying eyes on. It’s sort of like Crazy Climber meets Roc ‘n’ Rope: you control a guy in a snow suit who’s trying to get to the top of a mountain of ice and you have a hammer to knock back enemies. Rather than climbing windows you bust out holes in the platform above which you can then jump through. There are abominable snowmen who will fill these in if you’re not quick about it and birds that divebomb you. Between game levels are bonus rounds where you’re trying to collect as much fruit and veg as possible (as in real life they’re sitting on moving ice platforms) before falling or after reaching the top.
Great simple fun; good for a quick play now and then. You can input your name after getting a high score and thanks to the Virtual Console state save you can actually have a go at beating it if you don’t use the “Reset Game” option in the home menu.