Retro Game Review: Gimmick!

Hey, Kaushik here. I recently had the opportunity to play a really excellent older game the other day, and I’m excited to share it with you all! The game is titled Gimmick!, and was only released in Japan (1992) and Scandinavia (1993) on the Famicom. It was later released on the Playstation in 2002, only in Japan. The game was produced by Sunsoft. To find a cart of this game is exceedingly rare and can run several hundred dollars. It’s hard to say that it’s worth the price, but if you find some way to play it, I strongly recommend you do. But that’s enough background, let’s get into the game proper~

Gimmick Box Art

Gimmick is a classic NES platforming type game, so if you’re familiar with Mario’s or Megaman’s NES iterations, you have a good idea of how Gimmick might play. You move left to right, and you can jump. What does Gimmick do a little bit differently then? You can fire stars. These stars take a little while to form, but you can throw them to take out enemies or even jump on them and take a little ride yourself. The star physics in this game are quite cool to play around with, and through the course of the game you are forced to incorporate many angles and types of shots in order to progress. Mechanically, the game is very sound.

Gimmick Gameplay

Just a little gameplay. No those enemies are not from Mario, what are you talking about?

The gameplay follows that of those simple NES platformers, of course, but one thing I appreciate about Gimmick is how fair it is. When I think of classic NES platformers, I think of Mario, Megaman, Ninja Gaiden, so on and so forth. These games by today’s standards would be fairly difficult. While Gimmick isn’t easy (my first play was about three hours), it offers you many lives, an easy continue function, and numerous checkpoints. The checkpoints become more scarce as you get farther in the game, which makes for a smart difficulty curve. There are 6 stages normally, and a special extra stage if you’re shooting for the best ending. Good luck, as it requires collecting all 6 hidden items and no game overs!

As it is just an NES platformer, the story is kind of bare bones. Still, it’s quite cute, especially if you shoot for the best ending! There is a an unnamed girl, who obtains a new toy. That toy is Yumetaro (the main character of the game!). She loves it more than her other toys, so they get jealous and kidnap her away to a toy zone, where you must travel to in order to save her. Are you a bad enough dude to save the girl?

Please save her!

Please save her!

My two favorite aspects of this game, though, are the graphics and music. As it was released in the latter part of NES’s lifespan, it’s got some excellent graphics for its time. The colors are sharp and there’s some great sprites and animations throughout the game. And the music, dear lord. It’s so good! Every tune in this game is great to listen to. The game even has a special sound chip so that they could shove more complex music into the game, and boy did they ever. Even if maybe you don’t play this game ever, try to listen to the music. It’s definitely worth it!


— Incredibly solid NES platformer

— Superb music

— Great graphics

— Fair difficulty


— Short game

— Incredibly rare, difficult to get a hold of

Rating: 5/5


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I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.


I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.

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