The Retro Critic


Last one, I promise.

So I don’t currently own a Nintendo 64 which means that unfortunately I can’t suffer through the infamous nightmare that is Superman 64 for you guys. That said, I have found the next best (read: worst) thing!

Superman on the original Game Boy!

Once again based on the Animated Series, which were actually pretty decent (despite what the games based on them might suggest), this Superman may not be quite as bad as Superman 64 in that you’re actually playing as the character in a side-scrolling adventure and you’re never made to…

Superman 64… well, you know.


Superman on Game Boy is impressively awful.

Actually, on some levels, it’s actually worse than Superman 64.  At least in the latter you could tell you were playing as Superman. And really, that’s the most basic thing I ask for in a Superman game.

Well, that and a title…

Yes, the picture you’re seeing at the top of this review IS what this game calls a title card, amazingly.

Check out what Kal-El looks like on the Game Boy:

Superman Character

I like how shiny they made him, it’s like he’s wearing one of Jor-El’s old shiny Super-suits.

If you get hit while you’re flying, somehow the game makes your character look even less detailed:

Superman ShinyCorrect me if I’m wrong but this looks far more like that stingray from Finding Nemo than it does Superman, right?

The game feels like a cheap and clunky conversion from a slightly better game but is probably just a lazy, rushed mess from Titus, the same people who brought you… Superman 64.

I should have known there was something weird about this game from looking at the cover:

Superman Game Boy

Not a big fan of this whole Superman nazi salute, to be honest.

Not a big fan at all.

So yeah, in short: the game looks terrible. Even by Game Boy standards this is embarrassing. I mean, if you’re going to make a Game Boy game, or a Game Boy conversion of, say, an NES game, you need to be creative and tackle it differently than if you were making a 16/32-bit console game. It’s just not the same thing so you have to approach it in a unique way.

You’re going around the city punching bad guys who look like…

Enemy Superman


They shoot bullets at you which you can punch back at them since, after all, punching is your only attack.

You can fly, obviously, but flying is a nightmare. You push A to fly but you need to keep your finger on the button if you want to keep flying, which means that in order to punch with the other button you need to either punch and fall over and over or put the console flat on a table and play it like a keyboard.

The controls are so awful, I almost feel bad for complaining about the controls in that Sega Master System game Superman: The Man Of Steel! Compared to this Game Boy abomination, those controls were honestly fine.

So having Superman fly through rings is pretty stupid but you know what else is stupid?

Shadow WalkersGetting Superman to collect keys!!!

Like it’s Gauntlet II or something :S

What’s the point of super-strength if you can’t even open doors? Besides, a good blast of eye-lasers usually takes care of locks pretty well, doesn’t it? Apparently not. Every level sees you look for a bunch of keys which are sometimes located right at the end of the level.

Pointless, you say?

I agree.

Remember when Superman wasn’t either collecting keys, flying through rings, spying on his ex or reducing Metropolis to rubble?

Or even picking up sky diamonds?

Superman Diamond

It’s funny all the stuff you can find in the sky these days…

One of the levels gives you the opportunity to practice your ability to work the awkward controls by flying past a barrage of electric beams:

Superman Rays

As you can tell: I’m doing really well.

If only there was an obvious ON/OFF switch for these things…

On Switch SupermanOh, they appear later on in the level?


At this point, I should mention the music.

What a shock: it’s horrendous!

Some of the worst 8-bit music I’ve ever heard, the score for this game is frankly irritating and, needless to say, not even close to John Williams’ classic theme.

But what did I expect from a game that can’t even spell “fortress”?

Forteress SupermanWhen you die in this game, this message pops up:

Fight Superman

So apparently Superman has not only lost the ability to use half of his powers but spends his time collecting keys and precious floating gems and quits whenever he gets bored with a fight.

And just when you think you’re about to finally fight a cool-looking boss:

Superman Boss

It turns out you just keep punching him over and over and that’s it. He’s gone.

To sum up: here you have yet another example of how NOT to make a Superman game. There are great games on the Game Boy but this isn’t one of them. This is the Superman 64 of that particular console. Messy controls, ugly graphics, silly ideas, awkward gameplay…

It’s, in a word, Superbad.

Sorry to end this Superman month on such a downer but hey, at least we can all move on now and leave the Man Of Steel to think about what he’s done to us.

He should also start rebuilding Metropolis.

Just sayin’…

Superman Game Over

Oh, also the game was made in 1997.