Nintendo Flashback: Friday the 13th








BootHammer Video Game Reviews goes back in time to look at Friday the 13th for the NES. It is an action-adventure video game published by LJN for the Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. It is an adaptation of the Friday the 13th franchise.

It was released in North America exclusively in February on 1989, as part of LJN’s focus on creating video games based on licenses. It is considered by some as one of the worst games of all time, with Pack-in-Video’s development skills often characterized as poor. Both Nintendo Power and Game Informer regard it as one of the worst games of all time.

Players control one of six camp counselors (each with varying levels of speed and jumping ability) in a side-scrolling perspective. The counselors start with an arcing rock attack. The goal is to find and defeat Jason three times. Along the paths, players will find cabins, a lake, caves and wooded areas with all but the cabins having enemies such as zombies, crows, and wolves attacking the player.

Friday the 13th NES









A timed alarm appears at certain intervals, requiring players to find Jason before he kills one or more children or another counselor. Using the map, players must navigate their way to Jason’s location or switch to the counselor being attacked and defeat him. If they do not make it there in time, Jason will kill the counselors or some of the children.

Players can also battle Jason’s mother who is in a hidden locked room in the cave. She is represented as a Medusa-like floating head that swoops down to attack the player. Navigating in the woods or cave can be confusing as they are set up to purposely disorient the player. They hide several locked rooms/cabins. If all counselors or children die, the game is over.

Friday the 13th NES









The game truly is a nightmare and not in the entertaining sense. LJN was notorious for releasing absolute trash so it comes as no surprise. I’m a huge fan of the movies but I would have to advise strongly against picking this game up even for major horror fans. One of funniest remarks regarding the game comes from Writer Christopher Grant. He commented that the game was more terrible than the deaths of the campers in the first Friday the 13th film, calling it “craptacular”. ┬áNow that is bad…


Written by: Dan Adcock

Avid gamer who enjoys the older nostalgic titles as much as the newest AAA releases. Remakes from the classic 8 and 16 bit era are some my absolute favorite titles. I also enjoy experiencing new IP's on each and every platform, especially when the creators give the game an artistic look and unique presentation never seen before. I've been lucky enough to start out gaming on the NES. Since this rebirth of the industry, I have witnessed the evolution of gaming, both in its incredible growth in overall popularity and as an entertainment medium juggernaut. With the next generation of gaming upon us, there simply hasn't been a better time to be a gamer and I can't wait to experience all that it has to offer.


Dropping the hammer on games, gadgets and gear since 2011