Quality Control – Goof Troop

Goof Troop Box Art

Goof Troop Box ArtCapcom’s 16-bit Disney licensed games are widely regarded as being among the best platformers in the 16-bit console generation. However, of the successful titles, like Mickey Mousecapade, that they released, lurking in their shadow was a little game called Goof Troop, which has remained fairly obscure to this day. The reasons for the title’s obscurity are two-fold.

  1. It was based on a show that was only broadcast on cable (Goof Troop aired only on the Disney Channel).
  2. While all the other Disney licensed games were platformers, Goof Troop was a top-down puzzle game.

In the game you play as Goofy or his son, Max in either a single or two-player mode. After Goofy’s neighbor Pete and his son, PJ are kidnapped by pirates while on a group fishing fishing trip, Goofy and Max must navigate a series of maze and puzzle-like levels to rescue them.

The game plays in, what is, essentially, a Sokeban style game. The player or players navigate a series of rooms and solve various puzzles to get to the next room. The puzzles may involve using an item (or items) from a previous room, defeating by throwing items or pushing blocks on top of them, or hitting switches by pushing blocks, throwing items or stepping on buttons, or any combination of the above.

The game has very minimal scrolling, with each room taking up a whole screen, and connected by North, South, East and West doors, ala Legend of Zelda and Startropics. However, the rooms and enemies are very well drawn, and the game generally looks fine. The music in the game is fair. It’s not memorable and there aren’t enough distinct audio cues to make it worth keeping on instead of listening to something else.

Screen Shot of one of the bosses
Most of the game's difficulty comes from boss fights.

Also, the game is incredibly short, taking 2 hours to defeat on an emulator with minimal use of save states. On a physical cartridge on a system in would take longer, but would still be easily beatable in a weekend, if not slightly longer. This is primarily due to the lack of levels – the game has about 5 levels, each shorter than a world in, say, Adventures of Lolo. The puzzles also aren’t very hard, with the most difficult puzzles only taking about a minute of thought. The main difficulty in the game comes from boss fights and the rare rooms where you have to defeat enemies before they can push blocks into a position where the room becomes unsolvable (which occurs once).

All in all, this is a decent game. By no means is it a game which I would scour eBay for. However, if I came across it at a independent game store that sells older used games, or at a thrift store or swap meet (or as part of a lot of games on eBay), I would definitely pick it up.

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