NES AtoZ 88: Kickmaster, Kickle Cubicle, Kid Icarus, Kid Klown, Kid Kool & Kid Niki

Kickmaster – 1/1

TaitoAction Platformer1992

Weapons are for cowards. This man only needs his powerful legs to kick all of his enemies to death! The game features over ten different styles of kicking! Overall this game looks, sounds and plays well. Not much to complain about, if I had this game in my youth I probably would have really loved it. It has action-RPG style progression in how you unlock more moves which is always fun.

My favorite part is how a variety of powerups (and powerdowns) burst out of defeated enemies. You need to think fast about which ones you catch, balancing the desire to get as many as possible with avoiding the bad ones. Very innovative and it adds a little strategy in how and when you kill enemies.

Kickle Cubicle – 1/1

IremPuzzle1988

Took me a second to get the hang of what the gameplay is supposed to be. But it only took me 1 level to figure it out. I didn’t get a chance to play the game too deeply but I can already imagine many places they could take this concept. This would probably make an excellent mobile game (although I recommend they make it turn based in that case).

High quality production with great animation, graphics and sound. This is a top notch puzzle game for any generation.

Kid Icarus – 1/1

NintendoPlatformer1986

I love this game. I have many fond memories playing this game well into the night at my grandmother’s house when I was a kid. I also remember being stuck in the third maze-palace for my entire childhood… You would think at some point I would have the presence of mind to actually map it out. But I never did. instead of just wandered around getting turned into an eggplant listening to that nightmarish music look over and and over. But I kept coming back!

Kid Klown – 1/1

KemcoAction Platformer1992

Look at this box art… It’s horrible! Who would look at this game and go “yeah that seems like a game my kid would like.”

“In Night Mayor World?” What the hell is that?

Rumor has it this game was originally a Mickey Mouse game, but something went wrong and they had to fall back on this dogshit “plot” and concept. Not really sure why they didn’t just make a good story. Not a very good first impression.

But the gameplay is a different story. This game is actually very innovative and enjoyable. You throw balloons as your primary attack… But instead of just being regular projectiles, they actually bounce off surfaces, can be throw in different directions, and can be set down. Once a balloon is set down you can jump on it to get higher, or kick it. The graphics and gameplay are solid. I would call this a hidden gem.

Kid Kool – 0/1

Vic TokaiAction Platformer1988

Almost a reverse from Kid Klown, Kid Kool has pretty awesome box art but disgusting gameplay and graphics.

The biggest problem with this game is the way it handles momentum. Your character picks up so much speed so fast he becomes impossible to control in seconds. Add to that how bland and ugly the graphics are, and there just isn’t much to talk about… Except maybe the story.

The graphics during the cutscenes are actually pretty good, and the dialogue they share is hilarious. I especially like the part when Kid Kool dies, and his angel goes to the king and says “I guess I died.”

Kid Niki – 0/1

Data EastAction Platformer1986

I owned this game as a kid, and along with Kid Icarus, playing this is one of my earliest memories. I remember feeling like a real ninja master playing this. But revisiting it in modern days… It’s not a great game.

I found out it’s actual from the Yancha Maru series and it has many sequels which are much better! SO it’s nice to know Kid Niki lives on, and the team kept iterating on the formula. But this game is a pretty bland and basic platformer without much to keep it interesting. I will give it a +1 for controls, they are nice and tight so the game is certainly playable.

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