8-bit Memory Lane

Blogging the NES' library one game at a time.

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Yo! Noid
205432-yo__noid_largeThe Noid was Domino Pizza’s mascot for a while. He was a red imp that lived to smoosh the top of your pizza box into the pizza and to make sure the whole thing got to you cold. I always found the Noid commercials kinda funny, but then I’ve always had a soft spot for claymation, and I was six.

Yo! Noid gets held up a lot as one of the worst, if not the worst, licensed game published for the NES. I’m not going to pretend it’s a hidden classic and that the haters have got it all wrong. There are loads of things wrong with the game. But I’ve played worse. I’ve played worse on the NES, and I’ve played worse on modern systems. Again, it’s not a hidden gem, but I would argue that with two simple tweaks the game would be a hell of a lot more palatable.

1.) Get rid of one-hit kills.

Everything else about the game is acceptable. The graphics are okay, the sound is okay, the level design is uninspired but okay, and the control is, well, the control’s actually pretty good. But it’s those damn one-hit kills that stop the game dead in its tracks.

2.) Check points.

Those one-hit kills will send you all the way back to the beginning of the level. Not fun.

“But Josh,” you say, “that’s what you say about every game.” Yeah, I do. Because damn near every game on the NES needed someone to take one last critical look at it and go, “But is it fun? Would it be more fun if we added a health meter?” Let me put it another way: would Mega Man have done as well if it had no health bar?

“Oh come on. Mega Man was designed around the idea of a health bar!”Yo! Noid 201207261317440

The thing is, so many other games were, too, they just didn’t know it! They were in the quarter-muncher mode. And yes, some genres, particularly shooters, are more fun with one-hit kills, but most aren’t.


Yo! Noid. Give it a try. It’s tough but not as bad as they say.

Time played: Hours. (I rented this game a lot as a kid for some reason.)
How was it?: Better than I remembered, but not without its flaws.
Will you play it again?: Yes.


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