I remember reading one of those popular game magazines from back in the 90s, there was an add that spanned numerous pages. It was of a finger pulling on a piece of snot from a disgusting nose. The tag line at the end of the four page spread was – “A Pick and Flick Adventure.” Boogerman was a game that had tons of hype around it because it was going to be “totally nasty.” My brother and I ended up renting it back on the SNES, and got through most of the game. At the time, I wasn’t totally sold on it and remember feeling quite disappointed. This past Christmas, my brother surprised me with this game on the Genesis, so I figured why not revisit it?
In terms of story, its a bit elaborate but sets up an appropriate backdrop for the game. The game stars an eccentric millionaire names Snotty Ragsdale. A scientist named Dr. Stinkbaum is trying to save the world by creating a machine that can get rid of the worlds garbage. Snotty decides that he needs to investigate because he is not sure how a machine like that could work. He ends up breaking into the science lab to check it out and breaks it by accident! As the machines breaks, a portal opens and giant hand comes out of it and steals the core part of the device. Snotty quickly changes into his Boogerman suit and dives into the portal to get it back, which transports him to Dimension X-Crement. The game starts soon after.
As mentioned, this game is a 2D platformer. You control Boogerman and run, jump, and fart your way through levels – generally from left to right although occasionally from bottom to top. Controls are fairly responsible, although Boogerman can only take a few hits, so its actually a bit difficult with some of the more challenging, large enemies.
There are many strange enemies that need to be destroyed, and for that, Boogerman has an extensive arsenal of disgusting abilities. Besides jumping on heads, he can also throw snot at enemies, burp on them, or let a giant fart rip (see below for images)! There is limited supply of each though – he has booth a “snot” and “gas” meter. I rarely ran out though, as the items used to replenish them are fairly plentiful. I liked this because while you cannot span all the moves, they can be used fairly regularly when needed (and look hilarious when doing so).
The moves can also be powered up. Boogerman can pick up milk which allows him to exchange his boogers for milk-ladened loogies which launch across the screen. He can also pick up spicy peppers which allow him to rocket himself into the sky with his farts. Both are quite funny to watch, but only last until you get hit!
While levels are fairly large, each of them felt similar to one another. The colours pallets and assets for each world are reused repeatedly within each world which also made it feel like I was playing the game’s levels over and over. All I would do is run, jump, attack enemies, and find the occasional hidden toilet – rinse, repeat. I was let down by the level design.
The game does do an okay job of motivating the player to explore the levels (by placing plungers all snot all over the place, and which can be used to get 1-ups at the end of the stage), but there are so many of them in each level, it’s not worth looking for them all! If you miss even one, you don’t get a 1-up and there is no other rewards! I found the frustrating as 1-ups are really hard to come by, but too tedious to get! I would have rather you get a 1-up every 20 plungers, so exploring is continuously rewarded, even if spread out over numerous levels.
In terms of the graphics, the game looks fantastic, and the artists really nailed the animation of Boogerman and all the enemies. It really helps the game to be fun despite the simplistic and repetitive nature of the level design. I played a lot of this game, and it was a large part because it looked so good. Boogerman’s prance makes me smile each time I see it!
The soundtrack on the other hand is a very mixed bag. They all sounded dirty, which I guess is what they should have been going for, but still wasn’t fun to listen too. The sound effects did a better job of capturing the disgusting nature of the game with lots of bodily sounds being captured at a fair 16-bit quality.
Overall, Boogerman is a fun 2D platformer. While the stages are a bit boring, the gameplay is good and the animation and graphics are fantastic, and more than make up for the lack lustre level design. Overall, I give this game a 7/10.
Final Score: 7/10