Army Men

Moby ID: 75347
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Description

Army Men for Game Boy Color is the first handheld entry in the series. It is an adaptation of the first entry for PCs, with several of the original's levels being adapted for simpler gameplay.

Players control green plastic soldier Sarge in combat against the tan army. The game consists of 27 missions spread out over 2 campaigns (Desert and Arctic, two out of the original game's three), each made up of three maps with four to five missions per map. While the maps are rough approximations of the original game's, all mission objectives are completely different. A boot camp mode that explains the controls is also available.

Mission objectives vary, but usually require Sarge to destroy a number of enemy soldiers or a specific target like a jeep, tank or building. The action is seen from a top-down perspective, with Sarge being able to crouch and roll to evade enemies, as well as use various weapons to destroy them, including rifles with unlimited ammunition and heavier ones like bazookas, grenades or flamethrowers, with limited ammo. It is also possible to enter vehicles like jeeps and tanks. The more complex elements of the original game like a squad to command or air strikes to call in have not made it to the GBC version.

Level progress is stored via passwords and the game has Sarge commenting on situations like weapon pickups through voice samples.

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Credits (Game Boy Color version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 67% (based on 7 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 9 ratings with 1 reviews)

A mildly amusing romp with those little plastic men you probably melted on the kitchen stove.

The Good
Ahh....army men. What boy didn't have these things growing up ? I had hundreds ! But at a dollar a bag, it's not hard to accumulate that many.

Story-

This is the Game Boy Color version of Army Men. In it you play Sarge. As, you guessed it !, a Sargent in the Green army. You're tasked with infiltrating the evil Tan forces territory and taking out buildings, picking up technology, scientist, or obliterating everything in sight. Mostly obliterating everything in sight. The story is simplistic, but amusing. It centers around finding the Tan super weapon, and stopping the Tan dictator's army from invading the Green country. It plays out like a WWII propaganda film in the cutscenes. But most of the story comes at the beginning of the levels with text. It's still fun finding out what come next though.

Graphics-

The best looking graphics are the digitized cutscenes in the game. Some are taken from Army Men 3D, but they still work here. They're also some of the highest color cutscenes on the Game Boy Color I've seen. As for the rest of the game, it's a bit mixed. The action takes place from a overhead, semi-isometric perspective. This would provide ample opportunity to make fairly detailed graphics, but sadly this isn't the case. The graphics are slightly grainy, but it's still very easy to tell everything apart. All the crates containing the different ammo in the game are marked with letters, so you always know what you're picking up. The explosions are actually pretty good. Nice rich color and high resolution. The animation on the other hand is another mixed bag. Sarge has obviously been rotoscoped, but he moves pretty slow. It's neat to see him move, but the enemy soldiers are a almost pain to watch. But sometimes when you shoot them, they fly into a million little pieces ! Or melt with the flamethrower. And if you stand far enough away, sometimes you can see them patrolling the area. The maps, and the menus all look good and were well thought out. A overall, good to average graphics style.

Sound-

What a treat ! I turned this on, played boot camp, and nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard "Grenades ! These'll come in handy !". It's also fun hearing Tan soldiers scream when you run them over with a tank or jeep. It's a fairly rare thing when a GBC game has digitized sound, but few that I know of, other than Bionic Commando, have speech ! And the lines are actually fun to listen to. It's gives a extra dimension of depth to a game that would normally have been mediocre. It gives Sarge some personality. "A mortar ! Hm hm hm." That line in particular is the most humorous. And for being a GBC game it's remarkably clear. The GBC is supposed to be a little less powerful than the NES, but any NES game with digitized sound sounded awful. Granted, you can hear the electronic ring in it through head phones, or a GBA speaker. But it still sounds awesome. Aside from speech, all the other sounds are digitized. The gun, grenades, explosions, everything ! And it all sounds like what it's supposed to. The only thing disappointing is the music. I'll get to that in the bad section. Overall superb sound !

Controls-

"A" fires you'r weapon, "B" switches weapons,select brings up the menu, and start can drop a weapon if you need to. There are actually so few good things to say about the controls, other than they're tight and responsive. So expect a tirade about them below.

Gameplay-

The most important aspect of any game is if it's fun to play. Army Men provides a mildly fun adventure through the world of plastic men and real combat. The boot camp introduces you to most of the weapons in the game you'll be using. The levels are spread out over the desert and Alpine theaters of the Green versus Tan war. The desert, predictably, is BORING. The Alpine theater is where the best levels take place. Most of the missions are VERY simple, and rarely require a lot of thought. Seek out, destroy. You have a variety of weapons at your disposal though. And there are even two levels where you get to drive jeeps and tanks. The driving controls were that sames as Sarge's, but more responsive and faster. But other than those few missions with vehicles, and building destruction, about all you'll do is kill Tan soldiers. Over and over and over and over again. FOR 28 LEVELS. But the combat is never boring. You'll usually be surrounded, but never overwhelmed. But considering that this game is about army men, and on the GBC, it's more than likely this game was aimed at a younger audience. I suspect the six year old boys still fascinated with the little plastic guys that are on the game's box. But it can still prove to be a good time killer for older gamers.

Tech Specs-

The only thing to really say here is that this game uses a password system. I don't really like the password system. Read below why.

The Bad
Graphics-

For the most part the graphics were OK, but the animation was pretty stiff. I know that Sarge was rotoscoped, but the Prince in Prince of Persia moved faster than Sarge does ! And the tan soldiers are very unimpressive. They're stiff, and and usually just stand around until you get there.

Sound-

You'll be wowed by the music that plays at the title screen, but not the music that plays during the game. It's simple marching drum beat that's been digitized. You like drums ? I hope so, because that track you hear in the first level plays in the second level. And the third. And the fourth. And all the way to the end of the 28 levels. It's a good thing you can turn it off. Not that it matters, because when any other sound effect comes up, the music is cancelled out. I have never seen such laziness in sound design in my life !

Control-

The straw that broke the camel's back. You have two choices of control options. One where a arrow on the D-pad always takes you up, down left or right. And the other that lets you move relative to your position in the game with the D-pad. Facing up ? Press up. Facing down ? Press down. Now this wouldn't be such a problem if it weren't for two things. Control setup "A" is far to loose and setup "B" is far to stiff. But control setup "B" is preferable to "A" because it's more predictable. "A" swings wayyyyy to much. And can cost you in a hot combat zone. While on "B", it's murder trying to line Sarge up for a shot, especially a diagonal shot. EERRGG !

Gameplay-

This problem stems from the slow animation. There are only a couple of these instances, but they can ruin a whole mission some times. If you're caught in the sights of a Tan grenade thrower, RUN ! Oh wait, YOU CAN'T ! Because sarge is soooo slow, if you get hit by a grenade, it results in a huge amount of health lost, or instant death. This becomes particularly infuriating when you can't even see the grenade thrower, making for some very cheap hits. And to make this even worse, grenade throwers are usually in a thick zone of riflemen. So if you loose some health, you better have some backup somewhere, or it's game over. And why can you only carry three of ANYTHING at a time ? This makes little sense. And why are there only TWO levels with vehicles ? I play all the way till the end to barely get to use my jeep and tank to run over Tan soldiers ? What a rip !

Tech Specs-

Even though password feature is imaginatively done (tanks, grenades, and jeeps as symbols) and the levels were fairly short, this game desperately needed a battery. There are simply too many levels to use a password for. I could see ten, even twelve levels using a password, but TWENTY-EIGHT LEVELS SPREAD OVER TWO AREAS is simply not good enough ! Shame on you 3DO.

The Bottom Line
Army Men provides a mildly amusing romp in the world of the plastic toys most small boys have memories about. But this game was more aimed at those still playing with those little plastic men. It's worth picking up if you want to hear your GBC talk, or you want something for the youngsters. But I really don't recommend this for other than those two reasons. Unless you're a Amy Men fan. In which case you might want to get some help for that.

Game Boy Color · by GAMEBOY COLOR! (1990) · 2015

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Game added by Terok Nor.

Game added October 20, 2015. Last modified October 16, 2023.