The Simpsons

aka: The Simpsons Arcade Game
Moby ID: 2111
DOS Specs
See Also

Description official description

Waylon Smithers has just stolen a diamond from Springfield Jewelers for Mr. Burns. While trying to make a getaway, he crashes into Homer, which knocks the diamond out of his hand. Maggie catches it in her mouth, prompting Smithers to grab her and run off. The Simpsons decide to go after him, but Mr. Burns has tons of henchmen, who want to prevent the family getting their daughter back.

The Simpsons is basically a side-scrolling beat-em-up featuring the characters from The Simpsons TV show. The player can choose to play as each of the four Simpson characters. Homer, who punches and kicks; Marge, who swings her vacuum cleaner; Bart, who wields his skateboard; and Lisa, who uses a jump rope as a whip. Other weapons such as hammers and bowling balls are also available to use. The game's levels are Downtown Springfield, Krustyland, Springfield Discount Cemetery, Moe's Tavern, Springfield Gorge, Dreamland, the Channel 6 studio, and the Power Plant. Each level ends with a boss whose speed and strength will increase after taking a certain amount of damage. End level bosses are the wrestler Professor Werner von Brawn, a hot air balloon shaped like Krusty the Clown, a pair of bouncers, a drunk at Moe's Tavern, a henchman in a bear suit, an imaginary, gigantic bowling ball, and a martial arts sensei dressed like a kabuki actor. There's also the showdown finale against Smithers and Mr. Burns in a robotic outfit.

Between levels, the player can compete against the other characters in two mini-games to be first to complete a task (inflating a ballon and waking up their character).

Groups +



See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (DOS version)

19 People



Average score: 77% (based on 11 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 58 ratings with 4 reviews)

Another failure for PC conversions of arcade hits

The Good
Remember those days when the 2D sidescrolling beat em-ups were king of the arcades? Every videogame maker worth a damn had at least one title that fitted the description, and the same went for every marketable series, comic or motion picture out to make a quick buck. If you didn't have a Final Fight clone that beared your name then you were nothing. So you had the TMNT, The Punisher, X-Men, Batman, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, Robo Army, King of the Dragons, etc. etc. and of course: "The Simpsons: The Arcade Game" made by one of the two leading companies in the market: Konami (the other one being obviously Capcom).

Well, what can you say in favor of this particular licensed cash-in? Well for starters it features mostly recognizable Simpsons characters and landmarks for you to play in, and the gameplay and graphics are cartoony and cute enough to make you forget about the fact that a a bald, greasy old man can grab a little girl like Lisa from behind and hold her while a guy in a suit punchs her in the stomach.

Gameplay is brain-dead simple, and consists mainly of you hitting color-variating versions of the same two or three guys around as you try to hunt down Mr. Smithers and rescue Maggie. Through 9 or so stages at the end of which you have to face an obligatory boss fight against a unique enemy. Everything by the rules and entertaining as usual.

The game is challenging and offers a nice diversion if you have nothing better around to play with... Well, I guess that's as far as we go here.

The Bad
Well, it's an early 90's PC conversion of an arcade game... so if you were betting on it to suck ass then you just hit the jackpot! Completely redrawn (and badly redrawn) sprites, god-awful sound that replaces all the digitized samples and clear sfx that the original had, missing stages (or parts from stages), missing enemies, missing backgrounds, unbalanced gameplay (Marge was powerful but slow on the original, now she's both super strong AND super fast), missing moves (the original had a series of team-up moves with each pair of characters as well as other gimmicks... gone here too). The list just goes on and on...

Quite simply it's a lackluster port made to cash in quickly on the PC-using Simpsons fanbase.

The Bottom Line
Yet another botched port of what was originally an averagely entertaining arcade romp. This is why PCs got that fame that they were uncapable of handling action or arcade games. Want some good advice? Get yourself the original ROM, fire it up with MAME and enjoy the Simpsons in their original glory. The DOS version is merely an oddity that would appeal to collectors and isn't worth a dime.

DOS · by Zovni (10502) · 2003

What I Can Remember - 90s Arcade & The Simpsons (Arcade, 1991)

The Good
It's The Simpsons family! What COULDN'T a kid in the 90s like about it. Luckily, a street brawler game makes total sense allowing for a large cast of characters and fun props/weapons double functioning as throwback references to the show.

The game included what felt like a ton of content from the show, and really made me feel like I was in Springfield enmeshed in the town-wide fight. I also remember the arcade boxes having really awesome sound bites from the characters which really sold the appeal to kids like myself at the time.

The Bad
Well, it sometimes was hogged by a bunch of kids who didn't like sharing but I can't quite blame that on the game as much as the arcade's management, haha.

The game felt shallow, and I don't recall ever getting particularly far or ever played quite as long as some other classics from the time.

I do wish there were a larger variety of weapons to find and pick up, but who doesn't want more, more, more! out of their games and entertainment.

I don't recall the story or plot being meaningful whatsoever. Again though, wasn't that super commonplace for the time? In any case, it could have benefited from something more fulfilling.

The Bottom Line
The Simpsons was an arcade game released back in the early '90s to pretty huge acclaim by general audiences/gamers. I still get filled with excitement when I see these today in 2020. Many great times as a kid running between boxes with neighborhood kids and various Simpsons arcade titles were always popular. While this isn't my all-time favorite, it does rank quite high.

A 4-player co-op brawl takes place on the streets of Springfield in this Simpson's themed beat-em-up brawler arcade classic. Playing as Marge swinging around that vacuum and beating up local thugs is probably my most memorable moment in the game. Just all out Simpson's streetlight with all your favorite stars from the show.

I haven't been to an arcade in years, but this is definitely still a game I'd seek out to play.

Arcade · by WONDERなパン (12175) · 2020

Just doesn't live up to the standards of the arcade version

The Good
Well, you've seen the hit TV show, you brought the figurines, now play the video game. Konami brought us Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, now they've brought us The Simpsons. In downtown Springfield, a jewel heist involving Homer and Smithers goes wrong when Homer bumps into him while Smithers is carrying one of the diamond. It flies in the air and lands in Maggie's mouth. As a result, Maggie is kidnapped by Smithers, and it's up to the Simpsons to rescue her.

As the player, you can choose to rescue Maggie as Marge, Homer, Bart, or Lisa, but since The Simpsons supports two players, you can only play with one other person (the arcade version has 4-player support). Each character has their own weapon. For example, Marge uses her vacuum cleaner to knock down enemies, Lisa uses her skipping rope, Bart the skateboard, and Homer only his fists). I personally play Marge, since her vacuum cleaner can pack a mean punch. Furthermore, they have their own quotes, which you can read if you stand there doing nothing for five seconds. Marge, for instance, will say "How's my hair?" and Bart says "Who are hell are you?"

There are eight stages in The Simpsons, and involves you chasing Smithers around the place. In order, these stages include:

1. Downtown Springfield
2. Krustyland
3. Springfield Discount Cemetery
4. Moe's Tavern
5. Springfield Butte
6. Dreamland
7. Channel 6 
8. Nuclear Power Plant

You have to knock down people that get in your way stage after stage after stage, and fight the end-of-stage boss. While knocking down enemies, you can also pick things up and throw it at them, and more often than not, they will go down in just one shot. For example, in stage one, you can pick up bus stop signs and letter boxes and throw them mostly at enemies with blue suits. Rather than using your default weapon, you can also get weapons along the way like hammers and slingshots, either lying on the ground or from someone else offering it to you.

You start each new game with three lives and there is a meter right next to the number of lives to tell you how much energy you've got. If you get hit by an enemy, your energy is reduced, and once the energy meter is depleted, you'll lose one of your life. The only way that you can get an extra life is by winning two bonus stages. In the bonus stages, you compete with three other CPU players, and the first bonus stage has you blowing up a balloon so hard that it is bigger than the rest of the balloons. The second has you hit yourself on the face as many times as you can.

As with the energy meter, you can restore it to its fullest if you manage to pick up a piece of fruit or a bowl of rice. It is recommended that The Simpsons is played with another person. That way, you won't get sore fingers if you're going to handle more than one enemy.

The Bad
The Simpsons is only available for MS-DOS, and I'm afraid that it is not quite as good as the arcade version. First, all of the music sounds terrible in the game. The music was done in MID format, and it could have been better if it was in Sound Blaster and used the WAV format. The only music I liked is the music while you're entering your name in the high scores. The sound effects are also crap, and not the best that they could be.

Second, the graphics are not as great as the arcade version, as they were done in EGA. Third, I mentioned that the MS-DOS vesion has support for only two players, while the arcade version has support for four. It would sure be nice if you played the game with three other players instead.

Finally, some locations that were present in the arcade version are not present in the MS-DOS version. As far as I know, for example, after you've beaten stage three in the arcade version, you ride in this elevator while you fight enemies. This is not present, and it means that the MS-DOS version is much shorter than the arcade version.

The Bottom Line
A poor conversion with features lacking here and there, this game isn't even close to the original, and gamers who have already played the arcade version may not be as pleased at what the MS-DOS version has to offer. If you don't want to be disappointed, you might as well play the arcade version through this magnificent emulator. *

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2003

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


Character design

The Simpsons appeared in a series of shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show from 1987 to 1989. In these shorts, their designs gradually changed from crudely drawn to having a lot more polish. On both the back cover and the character profiles in this game, it is obvious that the five characters are based on the shorts that aired during the 1989 season of The Tracey Ullman Show. Since then, their designs have improved even more throughout the course of the half-hour The Simpsons show.

Characters peculiarities

  • Bart wears a blue shirt in the game, which is also the case on various T-shirts and merchandising items. He does not wear a blue shirt on the TV show however.
  • The bow in Maggie's hair switches between blue and pink during the game.
  • Barney's hair colour is yellow, the same colour as his skin. He appeared this way on a few early episodes of The Simpsons and has since been drawn with brown hair instead.
  • Smithers has a dark color-scheme for his hair and skin. This is not an accident, but based on a single episode of The Simpsons, Homer's Oddysey in which he appears like this but has since been given lighter skin and darker hair. He is also a lot more villainous here than he has ever been on the show.


At the time of this game's initial release, the show was in its infancy, with only two production seasons from which to borrow situations and plot elements. This explains, among other differences, why Lisa does not mind eating meat to restore health, and why Sideshow Bob acts as an ally, rather than an adversary, to the playable characters.


The rabbit-like characters often seen in the game are Binky (the two-eared rabbit) and Bongo (the one-eared one), two of the characters from Matt Groening's Life In Hell, a newspaper comic strip.

Information also contributed by Fangusu and WildKard.

Related Games

Scene It?: The Simpsons
Released 2009 on DVD Player
The Simpsons Game
Released 2007 on Nintendo DS
The Simpsons: Tapped Out
Released 2012 on iPhone, iPad, Android
Bart Simpsons Cupcake Crisis
Released 1990 on Dedicated handheld
The Simpsons Game
Released 2007 on PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PSP...
The Simpsons: Minutes to Meltdown
Released 2007 on J2ME
The Simpsons Cartoon Studio
Released 1996 on Windows, Windows 3.x, Macintosh
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Released 2003 on PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows
Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition - The Simpsons Skin Pack
Released 2015 on PS Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4...

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Luiz Pacheco.

PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 added by Sciere. Commodore 64 added by Scott G. Arcade added by j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】.

Additional contributors: Satoshi Kunsai, Katakis | カタキス, Cantillon, Fangusu, Patrick Bregger.

Game added August 11th, 2000. Last modified October 22nd, 2023.