The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare

released on Oct 12, 1992

Bart has to stay up late and write a paper for class tomorrow. For once, he is determined to get a good mark. However, very quickly, he falls asleep. Nightmare after nightmare haunt his subconscious, and it is up to you to get over each one, so that Bart will eventually wake up. From such dreams as being in an episode of Itchy & Scratchy to swimming through his own bloodstream, this platformer offers a nice challenge through its many diverse levels.


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Have you ever looked back into your past and felt that sometimes you've felt some sort of mystic wonder towards the strangest things? Even towards things that may well have just never in any way deserved that honor in the first place? Yeah, it's kind of a silly and mostly embarrassing feeling coming back to this for me. It's mostly because of a video on it I watched when I was a whole lot younger, but for a good while this was a game that I held in some sort of strange regard. Well, I've held that feeling for quite some time until one of my friends came along during their interest in all sorts of games from the 16-bit generation, and came out of with with an experience that caused them tout this as one of the worst games they've ever played. Gotta say, that rude awakening their words brought almost instantly shifted my feelings on this into morbid curiosity. I mean, I've never even seen a single episode of The Simpsons before. Why did this give me a sense of wonder anyways? Just what the actual hell was this game that I took an interest towards as a child?

The only real way to find out was to actually play the damn thing, I guess. And I'm pretty lucky to have kept my knowledge on this game from watching that fabled video so long ago, because if you don't have any sort of knowledge on what to do or any guide to go by then boy oh boy you are in for one HELL of a nightmare, as the title itself promises you. Immediately upon starting, you're cast into the game's main "hub" sort of area; the street stage. No indications, no instructions, out into the deep end with you to figure out just what the hell to do and what the hell is going on before you get killed by everything going on all at once. You better get used to this place, too, as you're going to be here very often, and for a long while. The main thing you're supposed to do here is search out for one of the pages you've lost. Jumping onto one of them will send you into one of the many assortments of frustratingly designed minigames you need to complete in order to retrieve the page from them, and in turn, progress through the game. The real kicker about this is that there isn't any sort of interval as to where or when they show up, and it's basically all up to luck as to when the game will relent and let you forward. You could spend numerous minutes just wandering about in the street stage doing fuck all because the game doesn't seem keen on letting you into another minigame even if you've been struggling here for like 20 goddamn minutes. Plus, you have a complete mess of things going on that you have to attempt to avoid in your desperation as well, and good luck with that with a stiff control scheme like this. Your main life source (the Z's at the top of the screen) in the minigames is, for some reason, your health here. Depending on how spiteful the game is feeling at the moment, your Z's could end up getting very easily whittled away through how much you have to endure. The weird spinning heads rapidly spawn and can very easily swarm you and prevent means over or around them. You could get caught by a fairy Lisa or a puddle of mud and be left incredibly vulnerable. The bus could run you down as you're trying to maneuver to the other side of the street. Hell, a whole TROVE of things can be obscured by the trees in the foreground, essentially periodically blinding you if you're on the lower side. I'm trying to get the the next minigame, goddammit! Why do I have to deal with all of this?! I could even try to replenish my Z's by using my bubblegum to send them towards my bar, but ooooh watch out! You gotta do that in the middle of the screen, or else the extra Z you just got that you used a scarce item on will just flat out miss the Z bar and go past. Literally everything just hates you here, I suppose.

Don't get your hopes up if you reach one of the minigames, though. The main events of the game are all really terrible in their own ways. You only get a choice between two of them, I guess, so pick your poison when you get the chance. The purple door is definitely the most tolerable one, since it's the easiest. You're swimming around in a sort of microscopic area and getting rid of amoeba-like creatures as you try to run into some atom person several times. I believe the only real threat here is the guys who throw the grenades so there isn't much to worry about.

The blue door however, is where the minigames I talk about start to shift into uncomfortable and unfair territory. Here you're flying around some very hostile skies armed with only a slingshot. Your slow movement and the fact that you can only shoot forwards should send you some bad signs already. Whole assaults of missiles and paper airplanes show the issues with your control scheme as you could just be unable to shoot anything out of the way or even avoid them. This is a whole lot more apparent on the bosses though, as they frequently move out of your range and send out projectiles that you can't feasibly avoid due to how damn slow you are. Special mention to the blimp boss due to their projectiles being nigh impossible to dodge and deal damage equal to HALF OF YOUR HEALTH. And it's very fun how that's the only boss that appears TWICE. Really appreciate having the boss that can quickly melt through your lives be the only once with multiple encounters. This minigame could've had potential if your movement wasn't so sluggish or it was built around the direction of your shots, but I dunno what I'm doing asking for this out of Bart's Nightmare of all things.

The next three doors all have two rounds each with one page for each respective round, so get ready. The yellow door sends you directly into an episode of the in universe cartoon, Itchy and Scratchy. I'm not quite sure how you progress here but my best guess is to keep taking out as many enemies as you can. Camping around some corner with the hammer is the most tolerable way to handle the enemies, as wandering around anywhere else makes you susceptible to numerous things being flung at you. The projectile weapons, however, are extremely unwieldly due to the hit detection on them being very awkwardly small. You could miss what you're trying to hit several times and get instantly killed by a vacuum cleaner due to how specific the hitbox on them is. Oh yeah, anything fire or explosion related instantly kills you for some reason. Fun! Sure is easy to avoid that happening when you're desperately slipping around the place.

The green door is where this nightmare starts to get mean. Here you become a kaiju and begin to rampage through a city while military forces are assaulting you at every angle. Practically every button on the controller has an attack for all sorts of different angles, it's very confusing and disorienting. For example, helicopters require you to shoot a fireball straight forward. Tanks require you to shoot a laser diagonally towards the ground. Jets require you to shoot a laser straight forward, don't get this confused with a fireball straight forward since those apparently don't reach the jets in particular. All of the other angles you can attack in don't hit anything that can threaten you so it's easier to focus on those 3. Well, it would be easier to focus on those 3 if anything coming in for an attack will fire out something almost immediately after coming in your range, seriously the margin for error for the tank especially is disgustingly small. Doesn't help that your health is pretty much invisible here as well. The second round of this minigame has you climbing up a building in a much smaller form, and it's a bit more tolerable but not by much. Hooray, it's another minigame with awful controls! The main issue with this one now is that every input you make is unbelievably delayed. You barely have any time to react to anything being thrown at you or you just can't even do anything in time at all. If your in the middle of a movement animation, you're stuck like that until it finishes. This makes for numerous aggravating situations where you get smacked down over and over by things out of your control.

And finally we have the orange door, and it's unfortunately the most convoluted of them all. Your invading a temple and need to jump around stone platforms to reach the end. What you desperately need to know here is that you need to avoid platforms low enough that they emit flames, but this is never explained in any sort of way so thanks I guess. Even when knowing this you can still get a very annoying roadblock in the form of all 4 platforms forward being at the lowest point. There's a whole gimmick that goes on here about platforms rising and falling as you step on them but that's just an annoying goose chase jumping around until you get the way forward to rise. This minigame you have to do twice with no real difference, so I hope you find out what to do quickly.

All you really have to do is finish all of those minigames. The game just ends after you do all of them since you basically get all of your pages back after doing so. I dunno, man. It's just a confusing and frustrating mess. It's a bit embarrassing to look back and think that I found some charm in this. I guess there is some in regards to the whole dream-like theming but it's not much, really. At least a session of finally playing the thing is a way to make that ill-directed mystique all come crumbling away.

I didn't even get an A for all of that effort.


É bem melhor assistir o desenho, já que o jogo é chato e muito repetitivo, basta caminhar até achar umas folhas, sem contar que o visual é feio e a música é chata.


On paper, this could have been a fun game but in execution it's super janky and bad. Really the most memorable thing about this game is that one time Doug Walker played it and got shit for being bad at a bad game.


Jogo é terrivelmente mal feito, e isso é o que dava ênfase a dificuldade abismal do game, além da história ser terrível, a nota só não é menor pelo fato da nostalgia, sério mesmo que os diretores do game pensaram em fazer o bart dormir e sua imaginação ir atrás das folhas? E o pior , o comando é terrível e os minigames não tem pé nem cabeça, cada coisa kkk