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Home Improvement | SNES | Absolute Entertainment | 1994
Sitcoms can't work as videogames unless handled very carefully. And the Home Improvement videogame was not handled very carefully.
These shows are popular because of the dialogue and character dynamics, so the only game genres that can really provide them a proper home are RPGs and point and click adventures. Obviously the last thing you’d want to do would be to take the lead character out of his natural environment and stick him in say, a platformer. That would divorce him from all of the relationships and conventions that give his personality scope for humour, as well as being bastard hard to impliment coherently.
Can anyone guess what happened with the Home Improvement game? Oh, all of you.
Thus we have a game which loses all the character-based comedy of the IP that spawned it - Bar some forced and deeply unfunny pre-level dialogue of the 'probably written by an eight-year old' variety - and replaces it with the shooting of dinosaurs with a nail gun. Don’t expect that to be as cool as it sounds though. Tim’s just platforming his way through a jungle TV set trying to find his lost power tools, and he has to fight dinosaurs because despite it being a TV set, the dinosaurs are all real and they’re trying to kill him. No, that makes no sense, you’re absolutely right. It’s a classic example of shoe-horning a game onto a license that didn’t suit one and it fails on every level. And did anyone really like Home Improvement enough to spend $40 on a game based on it anyway?
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