Original Release: December 1991
Platform: Super Nintendo (SNES)
Hoo boy, this one is a doozy. So my brother had a Super Nintendo when I was growing up, and by proxy I had access to the games he had. Final Fight, Kirby Super Star, Chrono Trigger, so many wonderful games that still hold up today. But there was one outlier among all of them that sticks with me to this day. That game? Home Alone.
This isn’t the only game titled “Home Alone” by the way. There’s one on NES, Genesis, PC, even the PS2 (that one only got released in Europe though, and that was in 2006) that…yeah. I don’t have it myself, but you can look it up with little issue.
Anyway, the SNES version is…inoffensive. It’s four levels long and has you playing as Kevin and roaming around the house collecting valuables like emerald rings,
toys like helicopters, trains, RC cars, and robots,
All the while avoiding burglars like Oddjob from Goldeneye 007 (or Goldfinger, take your pick),
A one Mister Bocce Whiffle,
This game is weird. You can take three hits before losing a life, regained by collecting cookies, and you gain extra lives by collecting eight slices of pizza or collecting a whole pizza. My personal favorite is the one in the third level that you find in a toilet.
You can defend yourself, but typically it’s better to just maneuver around or over most of the burglars. You can jump over Oddjob, duck under Mister Hat’s hat throws, and completely ignore Bocce. Marv will walk into traps, and Harry only shows up in three spots throughout the game. If you choose to stand up to them, you start with a water gun that can only stun the burglars for a few moments, accompanied by perhaps my favorite pain sound in any game.
That’s right, it’s basically someone saying “oof.” The KO sound is even better because it sounds like someone being disgusted with something they just ate. Sadly, I don’t have a video of that, but again, you can probably find it if you look around.
And that’s it, really. The game is super short at only four levels, taking about twenty minutes if you know what you’re doing. You find valuables and lock them away in the vault in the basement, avoid the burglars, and avoid the bats, spiders, ghosts, and rats in the basement. It’s not horrible, but it’s not amazing either. Sort of a middling game more than anything with a lot of weird things about it.
That said, I’ve been trying to learn the speedrun and my personal best time (or PB for short) is 14 minutes and 32 seconds. Why would I do this? Hard to say. Maybe Home Alone just has some nostalgic charm for me, despite my knowing that it’s not a particularly good game. Maybe it reminds me of when all I had to worry about was going to school and doing my homework. You know, simpler times.
I guess if I had to say anything positive about Home Alone, it would be that the game is actually really sturdy. The only glitch I’ve come across during all of the times I’ve played it was one that caused the brick to fail to spawn in the third basement, and that’s the only way you have to deal with the bosses in basements 2-4.
So if I had to recommend or reject this game, I’d say check it out if you have access to a SNES or Retron and can find it cheap at a retro game store near you, but otherwise you’re not missing too much. There are definitely other games out there that do what it does much better. In fact, I think the Genesis version is vastly superior if any of the videos I’ve watched are telling the truth.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to improving my PB.