They're loose! Step aside hedgehogs, earth worms and donkeys to make room for Joey and the Monsters in Arcade America, the wackiest platform game in the country. Grunt, jump and belly bump your way across the country stopping at ten challenging game locations to retrieve Joey's mischievous pet monsters before they destroy America. If you succeed - Bonus - Joey and the Monsters perform a blowout Rock 'n Roll concert at Woodstock especially for you! Excellent!
Help Joey capture Bobby Broadway while dodging hurling puke and fighting tough bouncer dudes in Las Vegas. Track the Roadkill through waterfalls and caves while being attacked by donkeys at the Grand Canyon. Crawl through mud fields chased by monster trucks to capture Plant and the elusive Alfalfa Laxative. Stop the power hungry Rotunda Splat in Washington D.C. by jumping on bouncing checks and riding rockets through the Pentagon. And more!
Help Joey and the Monsters make their gig at Woodstock! You'll have to figure out the way there. See ya!
~ from the back of the box
7th Level's single screen puzzle-platformer is perhaps one of the most anarchic games in existence, or at the very least of 1996. You play as Joey, a propeller-capped slob of a boy with a voice artist channelling the vocal cords of Police Academy's Bobcat Goldthwait (it's not him though). He has a number of pet monsters who have got loose throughout America. So, off you go on a whistlestop tour of the U.S. of A. leaving a trail of destruction behind you. All in the name of performing a gig at Woodstock.
The levels are single-screen affairs with a number of interactive sprites. It may appear that the goal is to get to the exit, but that's not entirely the case. In order to capture the stage's monster, you have to find a particular object like a hammer or a pickaxe. You do this by activating certain tasks within the level or entering hidden areas. For example, if you set a skeleton free from its coffin in the Alcatraz stage, a pulsating purple portal will appear. Some lead to a simple bonus room where you can stock up on projectiles or lives, but others have an unspecified objective that will need figuring out.
There are a number of actions at your disposal to get you there. You can interact with the environment using the Shift key, which is not just important to solve some puzzles but also to pull the chain at the exit to complete the level. You can also jump (C), shoot (Z) and belly bump (X). The last attack is the last resort if you've no more projectiles, but is also the better option if your enemy's at close range.
Before each stage, there's a racing mini-game which is the worst aspect of the otherwise entertaining package. You drive along a three-way highway towards the next destination (read: level) dodging a variety of obstacles and picking up power-ups along the way. The best way to look at this is as another means to enlarge your stock of bullets. The road is contained within the bottom left of the map screen with a pathetically short draw distance that's obscured by the large sprite of the player. You don't play these segments, you endure them.
The overall package is much better than these sections. Joey controls rather well for a platform character with a large number of animations, though he won't come close to dethroning the likes of Mario. It's actually quite an easy game too, with most of the trouble coming from collecting the monsters. You can still continue to the end without grabbing them, though you'd get the worst ending if you do. If you fancy a humourous platformer that mildly tickles the brain cells more than your twitch reflexes, then Arcade America will be a satisfying couple of hours.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to get the game working on modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 102 Mb. Install Size: 168 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Arcade America is © 7th Level
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me