The Retro Critic

Bart Simpson’s Escape From Camp Deadly

Happy Review a Bad Game Day, everyone!

After looking back at the one Simpsons game that truly poisoned many hours of my time back in the day and didn’t include innocent, doomed, soon-to-be-murdered mice, I thought it would be fitting to review another Simpsons game I recall being particularly irritating.

Alright, let’s talk Bart Simpson’s Escape From Camp Deadly for the original Nintendo Game Boy.

IronFist Burns

Proudly run by the self-proclaimed “Ironfist Burns” (Mr Burns with hair?), this Camp Deadly could certainly give Kamp Krusty a run for its money. I mean, look below the sign above: slavery exists there!

Why Homer and Marge sent their kids to camp AGAIN after the Kamp Krusty debacle is beyond me. Even if this game is set before, it doesn’t make any sense. But continuity is the least of this game’s problems.

Bart Simpson

So that’s what the game looks like: Bart is basically the size of trees and the background couldn’t even give us clouds, a sun or anything like that.

Bart checks out the notice board which reads:

Morning Activity

Seems a bit cruel but fair enough, this is camp after all…

Very quickly you’ll notice just how annoying those controls are: the jumping is extremely slow and your default weapon not only has a ridiculously short reach but it doesn’t get rid of your enemies, it just stops them very briefly.

Luckily, Lisa shows up with a boomerang and that fares much better.

Lisa Boomerang

As for your enemies, look at this guy:

Bart Enemy

You’ll see a lot of him throughout the game as every kid in this camp looks exactly like him. So not only is this camp big on slavery but it promotes senseless human cloning.

And we all know how badly THAT can backfire:


Seriously though, they couldn’t find a different design for these kids?

There are other characters in this game so why do these guys all look the same?

My guess: laziness.

This is a pretty lazy game, trust me. Just look at what happens when you shoot that boomerang at one of the kids:

Bart Attack

Not sure what you’re looking at?

Me neither.

I guess that boomerang comes with the ability to slash its victims’ limbs off.


Bart Kill

Either that or they purposely chose to include a glitch as an in-game “thing”.

Several times in the game, Bart enters the biggest mess tent in the universe where he battles those clone kids over and over using whatever he can find as weapons.

This includes tofu burgers:

Tofu Burgers

Liver pizza:

Pizza Knife Bart



Broccoli Knife

Now that’s silly in itself.

Vegetables and pizza as weapons?

Very silly indeed.

But in the picture above and the one above that, if you look carefully, you’ll be able to make out a knife being thrown at Bart. Yes, a knife. Now, if I was Bart and someone was literally throwing sharp objects at me I would either run out and tell the nearest camp counsellor, who do exist in this game, by the way, as shown very clearly in the image below:

Bart Others


I apologize for the game’s crappiness, let me take you through what you’re actually looking at:

(from left to right)

Glitchy Nelson > Bart’s boomerang > a camp counselor with his head cut off because there was CLEARLY no more space left on the screen (except for all that unused space below) > Bart with his mouth inexplicably lodged into the counselor’s armpit.

Long story short: broccolis vs knives = stupid.

Then again I guess they taste just as good as each other…

Besides, if those kids can use apples against you:

Apple Bart

You should be able to use edible things against them too.

Anyway, other enemies you face include bees:

Bart Bees

Good luck avoiding those, by the way…


Bart Hornet

Silly-named treehouse residents:

Slipshod Sammy

Radioactive spiders:

Bart SpiderGiant vampire fish:

Bart Log Fish

And numerous other ridiculous things.

Look at Bart’s face, isn’t he riveted by this whole game?

Honestly, say what you will about Bart vs. The Space Mutants, at least it’s not THIS!

No matter how wimpy the enemies you face get, they’re still a pain to beat because of how slow and tedious those controls are. Also, those sunglasses-wearing clones are relentless: they just keep appearing and respawning repeatedly making it really difficult to even stop and figure out what you’re meant to do.

Every so often, Lisa shows up and gives you a costume to put on which helps you for like 10 seconds until it magically disappears.

Bart Radioactive Suit

Lisa Football

Helpful but hardly unique.

Besides, if the game had been a straight-up Kid Chameleon ripoff where Bart was just running around putting on different costumes giving him unique abilities, sure it would have been a shameless copycat but it would have been fun! I could have gone for that.

I guess The Simpsons have better things to do than to rip off other games!

Road Rage Simpsons


Never mind.

Because what you can actually do in this game is so limited, bosses are actually pretty easy to beat. Just make sure you avoid falling apples, get close enough to them and use that darn boomerang. Believe it or not, the game itself runs out of ideas near the end.

After a promising change of pace where you’re told to climb Mt. Deadly:

Mt Deadly

You end up back in the sewers where you get rid of the only working lightbulb and fight what I think was meant to be Burns in complete darkness:

Dark Sewers Fight


This gives Bart the idea to rid the camp of all its power with the help of a conveniently placed doomsday machine:

Bart Machine

The whole family is finally reunited and they all live happily ever after until, of course, they decide to send their children to yet another camp of death.

Simpsons Ending

Wait… is-is that a squirrel?

Squirrel Simpson?

Urgh, never mind…

To sum things up: Bart Simpson’s Escape From Camp Deadly is a tedious piece of Simpsons-themed 8-bit non-tertainment. Awful controls, ugly visuals, lazy programming, senseless plot… it’s just not good. Now I know that I should probably just judge the game based on the Game Boy’s capabilities but even as that it’s pretty bad. The music alone is a complete turn off: you get a butchered version of Danny Elfman’s classic theme played on a loop until the very end where it is weirdly replaced by some other incomprehensible tune. Oh, and you’re also treated to endless “Eat My Shorts!” condemnations whenever you take a hit.

I guess I should be happy there’s a voice in an old Game Boy game, that’s pretty innovative I guess…


Game’s still bad.

8-bit Bart should just go and jump off a cliff at this point.

Bart Springfield

D’oh! well…