The third and final Bonk
game for the Turbografx-16
console, 1993's Bonk's Big Adventure
once again finds the evil King Drool
causing trouble in Bonk
's world, and our caveman
hero has to save the day. His royal evilness has stolen half of the moon and hidden it away under the sea once again, so Bonk
must travel through a series of levels consisting of mountains, ice, fire, and all the usual video game level stereotypes.
Developed by Turbo Technologies, Inc., this game gives Bonk all his old moves from his previous games, Bonk's Adventure and Bonk's Revenge, which is to say that he retains his headbutt and craving for meat. Bonk never was one for a wide away of powers and abilities. However, he has picked up something new: the abilitiy to change size by eating magic candy. Red candy shrinks Bonk to tiny size so he can journey into narrow tunnels, while blue candy causes Bonk to become a giant that is, uh, basically just a large target for enemies. While the whole "size change" idea is a valid one (after all, it works for Mario), there really isn't any reason to take a candy. The secret tunnels for tiny Bonk usually don't contain anything special or provide a shortcut, while giant Bonk is difficult to control and collides with enemies easily. Taking a hit from a baddie restores Bonk to normal size. Bonk also loves to eat meat and doing so will make his headbutts cause more damage. The meat's effects wear off after a few seconds or if damaged, whichever comes first. It is possible to use meat power when tiny or huge. One more new feature introduced to the Bonk world in this game is the 2-player mode in which a second player can control a second Bonk.
The smiley faces are also back, and this time around they are used to access bonus levels at the end of a boss round. It takes 16 smileys to access one of eight bonus rooms, but the only thing these bonuses provide is more points. There's no meat or 1-ups to be found in these bonus areas.
Perhaps Bonk's Big Adventure's strongest feature is that it explains why the Turbografx-16 failed in the end: failure to innovate. After all, by the time Mario reached his third adventure he was completely redrawn, had a wide variety of power-ups to call upon, and massive levels to explore. Likewise, Sonic the Hedgehog's third adventure gave him a new nemesis, new levels, and new surprises. Bonk's third outing gives him... magic candy. It takes originality to stay on top in the video game industry, and Bonk just didn't have it. Your best bet to find this game is at online auctions and the ROM is playable on the right emulator if you know where to find it.
Playing the game