Home Alone. Sega of America (1992) Sega Genesis

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In the immortal words of Noddy Holder IT’S CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSMMMAAAAAAASSSSSSS, and what better way to treat our dedicated readers to a game I woke up on Christmas day in 1992 to play?

Well, technically I woke up to Lego, but a mate got this game for Christmas and after building all my Lego I eventually went round to his to play on his Megadrive. In all honesty I didn’t “get” the game at the grand age of 8 but playing it as a grizzled veteran with an internet guide to figure out what the hell is going on, I have finally beaten Home Alone.

Gameplay

I’m not sure how to describe this… It is a top down Micro Machines-like on the overworld with terrible bounce physics. Kevin rides his sled, crasing into snowmen to get the hidden goodies used to craft weapons, and chasing the Wet Bandits van from house to house.

Wooo top down semi racer!

When you enter a house for the first time you’re given the blueprints of the house, here you lay traps like the toy cars, blowtorches and ice in a substandard and vaguely pointless strategy overview. There are no paint cans and traps can’t be combined, so you can’t make the Wet Bandits fall down stairs and you can’t set up anything remotely elaborate. These traps are either single use like the blowtorch and useless, or long lasting like the tar, which is equally useless.

Once the traps are set the gameplay switches to standard 2d platforming perspective. Here you run around the house avoiding your traps, picking up items and shooting Marv and Harry with terrible home crafted weapons that do almost zero damagE.

If Marv or Harry catch you they hang you on a hook, except they then leave you. You have no lives or health bar, so you can actually win by having them spam catch you.

To be honest, this is pretty pointless

A better craft system than Dead Island

This isn’t exactly hard, but the crafting system is better than Dead Island’s, that isn’t to say it is good though. However, it is quirky and “humorous”; find a bow, some pepper, and rubber bands and you’ll craft a pepper bazooka which will make the bandits vomit, and cause them pain.

Other items are equally daft, like the ball mortar that turns the bandits into gumballs temporarily. None of the weapons make sense, but they are a’ll a little early 90s videogame logic.

On “beginner” difficulty when you find all the component parts for a weapon the craft menu will auto create it for you. But on Expert you’ll need to trial and error the somewhat bizzaro logic to craft a weapon. Additionally, a lot of materials are not available in Easy.

Crafty McCrafty

Difficulty/Aim of the Game

It took me 25 years to figure out what to do but your aim is to stop the Wet Bandits burglarizing the 5 homes on your street, if they loot a house fully they’ll flood it. But if you beat them off *hur hur* they’ll move onto the next house. On Beginner difficulty you have 20 minutes before the Po-Po turn up, on Expert you get 40 minutes. Since it takes the Wet Bandits around 25 minutes to rob everything this means on Easy you cant really lose and on hard they go back to houses you have previously defended. And yes, this gets really boring really quickly.

Hooky…

The traps you set in a house are next to useless so what happens is you run around the overworld as items do not respawns in houses grinding out weapons to be able to fight back.  A major problem is the RNG spawns can be frustrating. As for example, on one playthrough zero “wire” spawned this meant I couldn’t craft 50% of the weapons. I have roughly 40 different components to make weapons and due to these combinations I was unable to craft anything. This leads to you have to keep running to the overworld to grind snowmen (they drop shit) and hope the Wet Douchetards don’t make progress ransacking, which they inevitably do.

Survive the full time and you win, getting a grade and score based on how well you did.

Wet Bandits look like the Wet Bandits

Conclusion

Surprisingly Home Alone isn’t terrible. I always thought it was, but then the gameplay never made sense to me. Now that it does I see thaf Home Alone is perfectly functional, and you can have a bit of fun with it.

That said, Home Alone is limited. The easy mode is too basic in that most weapons are locked and Expert is boring. Yes there is a 40 minute time limit but with load and menu screens this is easily 60-80 minutes and once you know what you’re doing there is zero challenge.

Merry Christmas you filthy animals.

Play it once, it normally comes with any Genesis bundle but don’t expect too much. It is perfectly functional,just not “good”.

Pros: Music is actually pretty good. Sprites look like their characters (except Kevin)

Cons: Kevin looks wrong, next to zero reasons to replay once you know what you’re doing. No wife murdering snow shoveller

69%

Back in the Day:

Home Alone didn’t score especially well getting mid 60s scores.

Also available on: NES (1991), SNES (1992), GameBoy (1991) and Amiga (1991)

 

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