Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 72% (based on 18 ratings)
Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 13 ratings with 2 reviews)
OK, if you grew up sometime during the 1970s – mid 1990s, then you are probably familiar with the fictitious McDonald land.
The main characters that inhibited this magical land, were portrayed by actors in a series of television commercials designed to get kids to eat more fast food.
The ongoing plot, if you can call it that, never really got more complex then the Hamburglar trying to do something vaguely nefarious, only to be easily stopped by Ronald McDonald and his friends.
Artistic or ethical burdens aside, the commercials were successful in getting kids and young adults in the developed nations to eat more fast food.
In fact, the commercials were successful enough to warrant the interest of a major video game developer. In the early 1990s, Virgin Interactive obtained the rights to bring McDonald land into the 8-bit and 16-bit video game world.
I have already reviewed the 16-bit Sega Genesis ("Mega Drive" if you grew up outside of America) version, so now let us look at this yummy 8-bit treat.
“M.C. Kids” features two young -- racially diverse -- characters exploring several HUGE worlds in an effort to catch up with the Hamburglar who has stolen Ronald McDonald's magic bag. It is nice to see a small effort being made in favor of diversity, when you consider the fact that amount of racial, ethnic and gender stereotyping that often took place in 8-bit and 16-bit era video games.
Each McDonald land world is ruled – fairly I would hope – by one of the familiar McDonald land characters who will gladly tell you which way the Hamburglar went, if you help them find some magical puzzle cards.
The storyline makes perfect sense – when you consider the original source material – and the game features top-notch 8-bit graphics and music.
To advanced from one world to the next, you (by yourself or with a friend) have to explore and conquer the levels contained within each world.
The “Super Mario Bros 3” (or even "Star Tropics:") structure of the worlds in “M.C. Kids” works superbly. Not only does this give the player some choice in what levels to complete, but much of the replay value in this game comes from being able to go back to a completed world for further exploration.
Each level does have a fair share of platforming-based secrets, obstacles, and minor minions. Most of the minions in the game be dealt with, by hitting them with square blocks that are scattered throughout each level.
Beyond collecting extra lives and looking for those magical cards, the game features small McDonald “Golden Arches” scattered throughout the worlds. Collecting these items gives you extra points and, if you collect enough of them, unlock secret bonus levels.
Both playable characters can walk, jump, duck and pick up blocks to throw with responsive ease. The early levels are pretty easy to complete – although you will want to replay them in order to unlock all the secrets – but the level of difficulty does gradually increase, so do not expect this game to be a 8-bit cakewalk.
It is safe to say that “M.C. Kids” is probably one of the best 8-bit video games based on a popular (in this case fast food) franchise.
Heck, I would even go as far to say that it is probably one of the best and most creative games ever released for the 8-bit Nintendo.
Sadly, when this game was initially released it was not a huge commercial success.
This is regretful because it is a really superb platforming game for the 8-bit Nintendo. However, it does have a few noticeable flaws that are worth commenting on.
The game is noticeable short on character power-ups. For all that is great and wonderful about the design of the game, you cannot but help feel like getting a certain number of the golden arches or the magical cards should somehow make your character faster, stronger or able to jump higher.
Your character's weapon is limited to picking up a square block and throwing it at an enemy. I am not entirely sure what sort of upgrade would work in this case, but their are certainly times, in the later worlds, where a wished I had something like the super soaker-type guns used in the Sega Genesis McDonald land game.
Last, but not least, the closest thing to a boss in this game would be the magic bag at the very end.
I hope I am not giving away any surprises here, but once you finally catch up with the Hamburglar, he informs you that the magic bag has got a mind of its own.
Yes, I understand that the McDonald television commercials did really not have many "bad guys", which would have required the game developers to create some, but, much like the issue with character and weapons upgrades, having some good bosses in the game would have made this game even greater.
The Bottom Line
"M.C. Kids" is a classic, platforming 8-bit video game, which was all but ignored when it was initially released. Thankfully, the game has since become more appreciated. If you get the opportunity to play this game, take full advantage of it. You will be glad that you did!
NES · by ETJB (428) · 2014
This game is awesome. Great gameplay, and its actually kinda hard at some parts. I even liked it more than the first two Mario games.
The game looks like it is designed for younger kids, and its way to hard for them. Of course, the graphics aren't superb, but its NES, what do you expect?
The Bottom Line
A great game that was overlooked by many because of the McDonald's label. Pick up this game if you can find it and check it out, you'll be surprised at how good it is.
NES · by mbekk23 (2) · 2004