Title : Conan: The Mysteries of Time
Publisher : Mindscape
Developer : System 3
Genre : Action
Players : 1 Player
Release Date : 1991
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $15-$20
Conan...the ADVENTURER!!! Conan..warrior without feaaaaaaaar!! There are two things that come to mind when I think of Conan the Barbarian. One, is the Conan animated TV show back in the late 80's early 90's I believe, and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Unfortunately, this game never really stuck with me as something that I'd like to associate Conan with. Sure the box art is pretty epic with that lightning bolt striking his shield, but his sword looks a tad short, or maybe it's just the awkward perspective. Perhaps...JUST PERHAPS, it's the way the game looks on the back of the box.
This was 1991, right? The games for the NES were supposed to at least look pretty decent during this time period, right!? I'm not going crazy when I say these images are borderline atari graphics, right!?!?!?!
My frustration is already mounting, and I haven't even begun to review the game yet. But seriously, how can you go wrong with a game about Conan the Barbarian!? You've got a practically unstoppable warrior battling mythological creatures! It's adventure platforming gold! Not to mention all the sex this guy had after he was done defeating other-worldy demi-gods. Sex + Bloody violence = video game epic-ness.
Well, not in this case. Only Arnold could save us from this monstrosity.
Picture everything you loved about Prince of Persia, and now throw it all out the window. I hate to make the comparison to that game, but it really is a bad rendition of it. This of course came out a few years after Prince of Persia, but the gameplay and animation is quite similar. Similar....I don't even want to use that word, because to lump CONAN into the same group as Prince of Persia..ugh..what an injustice. If you're trying to copy Prince of Persia, at least do a good job of it....
Fine, it just looks like it. I'll say that. That's about as close as we are going to get.
The game starts off with some lovely upbeat, semi-fantastical music that doesn't even portray the world of Conan at all. When I think Conan, I think of dark, bloody, violent music. Not an upbeat medieval jig. But, hey this game has an attitude of ANYTHING GOES.
And anything does go...unfortunately anything and everything goes completely wrong.
Story? Who the hell knows, you are just thrown into the game and you're stuck in some damn cave fighting monsters. Who needs a story!? You're a damn barbarian. Go kill stuff. *sniff* I want a story :(
There's not even a rescue a princess gimmick in this game. COME ON, PEOPLE. What are you trying to pull with this crap!?
Be prepared to kill a lot of skeletons and spider..scorpion..things...and green bat gargyole hybrids..because that's all you're doing in this game for oh, around 2 hours. And if you THINK that you'll be given a sword right off the bat to kill these baddies, you've got another thing coming to you. Everyone knows that Conan was known for kicking foes in the nards. Wolfman's got nards, right? Bonus points to those of you who get that movie reference.
Besides kicking things, you'll also be awkwardly jumping through platforms. Yeah, you see what normally looks like a solid piece of ground, is typically not. Don't be so surprised if you drop through the ground and die for no particular reason. I mean, that makes perfect sense.
Add that to the fact that you can barely see Conan anyway. Sure he's not that small, but he's still REALLLLY small.Small and orangey-red...in fact most of the color palette in this game is two colors per level. I guess they couldn't add many colors on the screen at one time. Oh, the variety!
Let's sum up, shall we?
Graphics? Absolute garbage. Probably one of the worst games I had ever seen on the NES, especially for a game coming out in 1991. The color scheme is puke, and the actual design of the characters and background felt like it was done in five minutes.
Sound? I already mentioned the music, but the sound is just as bad. I love bleeps and bloops.
Gameplay? Kicking..and sometimes using a sword...and jumping to your death. SOUNDS LIKE FUN? No..it's not.
In conclusion, I was disappointed with Conan. Can't you tell? Now I need to go rinse my mouth out of this horrid taste by watching some Arnold Conan glory. Need to get away from this uninspired crap.