Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Home Alone was the movie which boosted Macaulay Culkin to international stardom — it certainly has a lot to answer for! The game of the video of the film first hit Mega Drive, then the Game Gear (as reviewed in last issue's G-FORCE supplement). Now it's finally on our favourite console. Kevin's parents have gone on their hols and accidently (ha!) left him behind. Little does he know that two burglars plan to rob the entire neighbourhood — and his house is first on their agenda.
In case you haven't twigged yet, you take the place of the little brat and have to stop the hoods from nicking the neighbourhood's possessions.
On each level, you collect a certain amount of valuables from homes and gardens. You only need one to complete the first few levels, but the number increases as the game continues.
On your way, goodies such as hamburgers and cakes give bonus points. Later levels involve various household implements which are combined to make weapons. These don't inflict unspeakable damage on your assailants but stall them for a few seconds.
Be careful not to run out of time — you haven't got a lot of it! — but above all, avoid the burglars. If you're caught, you lose one of just three lives, and there aren't many continues. However, three skill levels (Easy, Normal and Hard) should please both novices and expert gamesplayers.
If you collect all the valuables, put them in a safe and keep the burglars at bay long enough, the police arrive and drag the villains away. But if they throttle your scrawny little neck or time runs out before you bag all the goodies, your parents may as well not come home.
After playing Home Alone on the Mega Drive and Game Gear, I dreaded Kevin's MS adventures. Fortunately, I was in for a treat. Home Alone may appear naff but hold yer horses, folks, there's more to it than meets the eye.
Like his movie star alter ego, Kevin's a swine to control at times — even simple actions such as walking up stairs are awkward to pull off— but Home Alone scores high in the lastability stakes.
I admit it's frustrating at first but it gets tougher and more complex every time a level's completed. With three difficulty settings and very few continues, you'll be hard-pressed to finish it.
Visually, Home Alone’s well presented. There are loads of in-jokes to spot, such as Sonic The Hedgehog and the Sega logo in the background, and Kevin, armed with a handy BB gun (what the heck does 'BB' mean?) (ball bearig —Man Ed), is instantly recognisable. The still pics from the movie are great, showing burglars Harry and Marv beaming as they nail Kevin to the wall ('Do it!' screams every sane person on the planet).
Overall, not an essential purchase but worth borrowing if you can.
At first glance, Home Alone looks brilliant. The graphics in the introduction sequences look just like the characters from the film and the main sprite's crisp and clear as he makes his way through loads of colourful rooms in various houses. The main theme's catchy and effects are pretty cool. Now, I'm afraid, comes the slagging off...
For the first few levels, gameplay's dreadfully basic. All you have to do is grab the valuables and bung them in the safe before time runs out, which can become incredibly boring. But if you stick with it till about the eighth level, you get the chance to pick up weapons and bash your assailants.
My other gripe concerns the controls. Although there's only jump and walk, I found it difficult to walk up stairs, and if you jump incorrectly, you drop down a floor. This is a real pain when you've so little time to complete the level.
Although samey levels and pernickety controls got on my goat at first, Home Alone’s a pretty jazzy cart when you get the hang of it Not a bad effort.
‘Tis a shame the gameplay’s poor – the graphics are brilliant and the sound’s nothing to be scoffed at