So here we are with the first of what I hope is many Game Boy Logs, where every addition to the original Game Boy’s library I make is documented and reviewed.
This log is for Kid Dracula, developed by Konami. This game was bought as part of a set along with three others, all Famicom games, one of which was the first in the two-part Kid Dracula series; Akumajo Special: Boku Dracula-kun, all of the games were cartridge only, if details like that interest you like they do me. I paid £28 for the lot so we can split that four ways and say that Kid Dracula cost me a grand total £7, and at the risk of spoiling the review I can tell you that the game is worth every penny.
Kid Dracula is a platformer where Kid Dracula (you) has to make his way through enemies, traps and hazards as well as comedic bosses to make it to Garamoth, the bad guy and Kid Dracula’s sworn enemy. Garamoth has turned most of Kid Dracula’s minion’s against him (those would be the many of the enemies you fight) but Kid Dracula has a host of spells at his disposal to help him, if only he hadn’t forgotten all but two of them, what a rascal Kid Dracula is.
You start the game with the normal attack spell, a fireball that can be charged to a larger more powerful version by holding down the B button. The second spell you start with is ‘bat’ which lets you turn into a bat to fly around for a short time when the B button is held. You’ll gain more spells throughout the game including a wide-spread homing shot that’s very useful against large crowds of weaker enemies and an umbrella that blocks projectiles. You have access to the spells you’ve unlocked all the time and can select the appropriate one by cycling through them with the select button. All that describes Kid Dracula’s gameplay pretty much to a T, you make your way through levels, jumping on platforms, dispatching enemies with your various spells then fighting that level’s boss at the end. That is until you reach the bonus games in between levels. Every time you defeat an enemy with a charged attack they drop a coin for you to collect, and these can be used to play one of four mini-games or roulette to earn more coins. The mini-games are a way for you to earn extra lives as well as offering a nice touch of variety between levels, they’re simple fun.
Presentation in Kid Dracula is very nice, the sprites are big and clear and everything sports a very cutesy aesthetic, the developers even manages to make one boss that looks very familiar into a cute version. Music is simple and fits in well with the rest of the game and the story scenes have enough humour in them to keep them entertaining. Kid Dracula is challenging but short and offerers little reason to come back to it beyond it’s gameplay, the good news is that’s reason enough to come back. Kid Dracula does what the best Game Boy games do, it’s simple fun that’s also charming. If you take it for what it is and don’t expect Red Dead Redemption 2 (and if you’re the kind of person who collects and plays old Game Boy games than you wouldn’t be so silly as to expect that anyway), then Kid Dracula offers some good, old fashioned light-hearted fun, something that you can come back to every once in a while when you feel like just taking it easy.
It’s a great game, and I give Kid Dracula 8 out of 10