The Retro Critic


This week, I’m not just reviewing a retro game.

I’m reviewing the Gods themselves!

First released on the Amiga, Gods was then ported to various consoles including the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. The game, developed by The Bitmap Brothers, is a supernatural epic in which a hero (basically Hercules) attempts to retake the citadel of the gods from four baddies. The promise being that, should he succeed, he would be made into a god himself.

On the Genesis, we get a cool Batman & Robin-style suiting-up montage showing just how muscly and tough Mr Hercules is:

Gods Belt

Gods Sword

Gods Helmet

Hercules Gods

Doesn’t get any more badass than this.

The straight-forward, ambitious title of the game suggests something big, something serious. A vast scale at least, perhaps even bloody battles and strategic Civilization-style warmongering?

Monster Gods

Or hunchbacked dinosaurs, whatever.

That was my second guess.

I would definitely not call the game all that serious seeing as Hercules fights all kinds of absurd-looking beasts and the whole thing’s rather over-the-top (without being gratuitously gory, surprisingly). That said, the game aims to give you an action-packed challenge and it delivers just that.

You start off with smaller weapons:

Knife Gods

Then, if you play your cards right, you can soon find yourself throwing about 10 billion things at your enemies in a cloud of spears, magic and who knows what else:

Weapon Gods

Like, how and where am I even carrying all this arsenal?!

Do my thighs have pockets?

Although it’s tons of fun to just shoot at everything non-stop and run through the levels as if you were playing a side-scrolling space shooter, the game rewards you for patience and helps you if you’re struggling so it’s worth taking your time and being cautious rather than blasting your way mindlessly.

There are many bonuses to pick up during the game and they award you various perks from health to invincibility:

Invincible Gods To birds:

Bird Friend Gods

Yup, birds.

Just go with it.

There are also plenty of treasures to pick up including an unlikely item to say the least:

The Mask Gods


Your eyes do not deceive you: you can pick up THE mask in this game!

I guess, in a weird way, The Mask was a god or, rather the actual mask belonged to Loki, the god of mischief which, in turn, gave Jim Carrey god-like powers. Now, I’m not saying I want you guys to go out and write fan fiction in which The Avengers, The Mask and the game Gods crossover.

But do it.

One of the main reasons why you should try this game out is the sheer satisfaction you get from shooting hundreds of spears at break-neck speed to every ghoul and monster that stands in your way. It’s a little reminiscent of Wolfchild in that respect.

Bosses-wise you’ve got four main ones to worry about but seeing as the first one is stupidly easy to beat, really it’s only three you need to focus on. The first guy is this big Sentinel-like warrior and, though he may look intimidating, all you need to do is bypass him and shoot at him from behind his back and he’ll never be able to even turn around.

First Boss Gods

Oh come on, don’t act like you don’t appreciate a good rubbish boss once in a while.

After a tough level, there’s nothing more soothing than a boss you can beat super-easily. It’s lame and affects the overall game if that’s the case with every boss but every so often it’s a blessing.

Then you’re faced with a dragon because games gotta have dragons:

Dragon Boss Gods

There’s a big dude you riddle with spears later on:

Third Boss Gods

And, finally, you come face to face with the final boss and, like many final bosses before it, it turns out to be:

End Boss Gods

Another “Big Giant Head”.

To be fair, this one’s got a neck and only two-thirds of a head technically.

It is big and giant, though.

It’s not an easy boss to beat seeing as all kinds of demonic crap flies out of its head and its mouth at random times but, by this point, it should be challenging so you’ll just have to prove your worth and throw everything you’ve got at this terrifying creature.

After making it out of the temple, you’re given some glorious victory imagery:

Victory Gods

Ending Gods

And the gods live up to their bargain:

Among The Gods

Life Gods

Which leads to you turning into the Silver Surfer and spinning-off into your own ridiculously difficult and irritating NES game.

The graphics in Gods are pretty cool, the animation on the characters and the backgrounds are all as polished as you’d expect from a very solid Genesis or SNES platformer. Even the music and sound effects are spot-on making Gods a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the eyes and the ears. In fact, John Foxx (from the bands Tiger Lily and Ultravox) was behind the music in the game (and the music in Speedball 2) so that explains the electro-liciousness of it all.

I do highly recommend Gods: it’s epic, it’s tough, it’s a lot of fun.

Hero Pose Gods

It’s also smokin’ I guess…