Released in 1993 for the Super NES by Acclaim, Bart's Nightmare follows the adventures of Bart Simpson as he tries to recover his missing homework from a variety of horrible nightmares. You see, young Bart fell asleep while doing his homework and dreamed that his completed assignment blew away. In his dream Bart must collect eight pages of missing homework. If he fails to do so, he fails class. If he succeeds, then somehow his homework becomes complete in the real world.

The game opens in the main hub level, Windy World. This level is a street in Springfield upon which a number of hazards (including kissing grannies and bouncing Jebediah Springfield heads) come after our hero. While wandering around the street eventually Bart will come across a page of homework. Jumping on it drops Bart in front of two doors. Pick a door to enter one of several unique levels.

  • Bartzilla - Bart becomes a Godzilla knock-off and must trample the city without being shot by the military too many times. Beating this level results in our hero being shrunk and then he must climb a building and face off against Homer Kong. Two pages of homework can be won here.
  • Indiana Bart in the Temple of Maggie - Bart becomes Indiana Jones and must maneuver among colored blocks that drop into lava after being stepped on enough times. Our hero must figure out the pattern to proceed to the homework idol without tripping Maggie's pacifiers. Two pages of homework can be earned here.
  • Microbart - Bart becomes microscopic and must touch Smilin' Joe Fission enough times to free his homework from the atomic barrier. In the spirit of Dig Dug, Bart must use his air pump to inflate the deadly bacteria until they pop. One page of homework can be won here.
  • Itchy and Scratchy and Bart - Bart is dropped into the middle of an Itchy & Scratchy cartoon where he must defend himself against the deadly cat and mouse team as well as other hazards. Two pieces of homework can be won here.
  • Bartman - Bart becomes his alter-ego, Bartman, and flies over Springfield in order to recover one page of homework from the evil Mr. Burns.
Controls vary in each level, so it takes patience and quick-learning skills to adapt to the game. The graphics are a major step up from previous Simpsons games such as Bart vs the Space Mutants and the game uses digitized audio clips from early episodes of the show. One drawback is that some levels do not feature life meters, meaning that the player does not know they are about to lose until they actually do. Speaking of life meters, in the Windy World Bart can only take so many hits before he wakes up (thus ending the game). By catching Zs with bubble gum Bart can extend his life meter.

The ending of the game is basically the same no matter if you win or lose. The Simpson family gathers around the refridgerator where we see Bart's graded homework on display. Depending on how many pages you recovered, you'll see a better grade. Recovering all pages is an A+, zero pages is an F, and other amounts result in grades in between. The final score is also displayed on this screen. In the grand scheme of things, however, the points don't matter.

This game sold quite well upon release due to its use of The Simpsons characters, however it has not aged very well. Copies of the game are readily available at used game stores and online auctions, but frankly you're better off passing on this one despite Bart Simpson's starring role.

Playing the game

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