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.
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.
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”. Now that is bad…