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The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland: Sesame, Let Me Out Of Here!

Why on earth would you want to buy a Sesame Street game that’s clearly aimed towards kids? I can hear you thinking. Because there are surprisingly entertaining and excellent Muppet-alike games out there. Of course I’m talking about The Muppet CD-ROM: Muppets Inside—it even contains a DOOM map pack called The Kitchen Of Doom where you as the Swedish chef have to fight off angry vegetables:

YouTube video URKaT-EQ5P0

Elmo in Grouchland is everything Muppets Inside isn’t. It’s not funny, not pleasant to play through, has little variation (unless you count the amount of over-saturated color usage to convince you you’re really, really playing a Game Boy Color game here!), and no decent game length. For €6 on the second hand market, I kind of expected something like this, but couldn’t resist trying anyway. I accidentally came across this game for the first time in a retrospective video on Who Framed Roger Rabbit and thought huh, that looks cool. Yeah, that’s about it.

Remember these logos well. Avoid like the plague!
Remember these logos well. Avoid like the plague!

According to Mobygames, Bonsai Interactive also made Barbie Super Model for DOS, Genesis/MegaDrive and SNES. That explains it! There are two more Game Boy Color Elmo games: Elmo’s 123s and Elmo’s ABCs. After that, Mobygames' entries end, but their official website lists a few more obscure GBC games.

Grouchland itself fits neatly into the Elmo lineup: it’s extremely easy, extremely colorful, and extremely short. Like, ten minutes short. Each level requires about a minute of going from left to right (sometimes bottom or top, too!). Before you even properly begin exploring a level, it ends and you’re greeted with an intro screen for the next one. This is without a doubt the shortest GB game I ever played. There’s a hard difficulty option, and even that could not be called a challenge.

Woaah. Is Elmo on drugs? No, he's washing trashcans in the street!
Woaah. Is Elmo on drugs? No, he's washing trashcans in the street!

Bonsai clearly tried to make the graphics pop to appeal to a younger audience, and I must say it’s pleasant enough to the eye, especially compared to so many other shoddy jobs out there on the Color. That said, this is a shoddy job too, even as a gift for a six-year old. They’ll likely breeze through this even faster than me.

There are a few obstacles to avoid and a few hard to see diamond shapes to collect to increase your score, but overall, I had little sense of what was going on, except that Elmo lost his blanket, and we had to get after it. Turns out it tumbled into a sewer, traveled through “Grouchland”, and ultimately was left hanging on a helicopter? At least the jump mechanics aren’t as bad as in Tom and Jerry, but it doesn’t help that you barely need them.

The only other positive thing I can say about the game is that it’s cheap. If you want your kid to grow up in a nostalgic rush of the nineties with a Game Boy, please do not buy this game for them. If you’re looking for a simple and cheerful platformer, take a look at Kirby’s Dreamland instead.

Verdict: 1/5 —Bad.

Categorized under: 2D Platformer


I'm Jefklak, a high-level Retro Gamer, and I love the sight of experience points on old and forgotten hardware. I sometimes convince others to join in on the nostalgic grind. Read more about The Codex here.

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