is one of those video game
s that tries to establish a new marketable mascot character. Released for the Super NES
released by Tradewest
in 1993, the game follows the main character, Plok: little yellow and red guy made of gloves, boots, a cap, and a jacket. Because he was made of clothes
, his limbs were detachable and he could fling them at the baddies. Most of the time the limbs would return to him, but other times Plok had to retrieve them from acoat hanger. Once he recovered his Grandpappy's amulet
he could jump up and become a buzzsaw
, slicing through his enemies.
And who were Plok's enemies? The fleas. The Flea Queen plans to use Plok's island as a breeding ground for new fleas, so one morning she arranges for the Bobbins Brothers to distract Plok by stealing one of his many flags that fly over the island. When Plok went to recover it, the queen layed her many many eggs all over the island. When Plok returned with his missing flag, he found the eggs everywhere and vowed to destroy each and every last flea and take back his home.
All in all, Plok is a challenging game. Easy Mode only lets you play a handful of levels and stops before the end. Normal Mode lets you explore every level. There are limited continues. You earn one for every four levels you complete. After that, it's Game Over. The game itself is a side-scrolling platformer with some vertical elements. The majority of the game takes place on Plok's multicolored beach island, but there are segements that take place in the Flea Queen's lair and in the distant past where the player takes control of Grandpappy Plok (the game even shifts to grey-and-white, complete with flickering image at times, for this segment to imitate an old time flavor). There are several warp zones in the game which, if found, induce a race to the finish before time runs out. If Plok makes it, he warps ahead. If not, he goes back to the level he came from. These warp races require our hero to navigate an obstacle course while riding a unicycle, jetpack, dune buggy, or some other vehicle.
The only power-ups available are seashells and packages. The seashells power the buzzsaw jump mentioned earlier or 100 of them can be collected for a 1-up. The packages each contain a costume that lets Plok use a special power temporarily. Examples of these costumes include hunter, fireman, napalm tank, and boxer. The costume gimmick was to be Plok's marketable ability, much as how Kirby inhales his enemies or how Mario jumps around.
Plok is one of the best Super NES games you've never played. You'll almost certainly find it in the bargain bin of the used game shop seeing as how Tradewest manufactured a metric ton of Plok game paks and hardly any of them sold. In fact, when it was first released I expected to have to hunt for it and instead found it on clearance discount; $49.95 marked down to $10. If for some reason you can't find the game then the ROM is floating around on the Internet for play in emulators, but I strongly recommend finding the actual game pak and playing it the way it was meant to be played: no Game Genie, no save states, just straight Plok action.