Review: Devil World (NES)

A devilish Pac-Man clone from Miyamoto

Devil World is one of extremely few Nintendo titles that was released in Europe, but not the US. Most likely this was due to Nintendo of America's strict rule not to feature any "religious" factors in games, and seeing as the game includes a devil, that just wouldn't slide with them. It's actually a pretty fun (If mindless) game, though.

Take one look at the screens and you can see Shigeru Miyamoto was most likely inspired by Pac-Man when designing this game. The premise is pretty simple - A little green dragon called Tamagon has to "attack the Devil's World" by grabbing crosses scattered around the stage and using them to pick up pellets. The Devil will send minions after Tamagon which kill you on touch, but if you're carrying a cross, pressing B will allow you to shoot fire which temporarily dispatches the creatures (They will respawn after a while).

The crosses will only last a number of seconds, but there's an infinite supply lying around. The minions aren't the only thing making your life more difficult though - At the top of the screen you can see the Devil himself busting out some dance moves, which will cause the screen to move left, right, up or down. The direction he points in is actually the direction the screen moves away from, so for example, if he points right, the screen will slowly shift left.

If you're not careful with the screen movement, you will get squished between walls, so stay on the move! Enemies cannot get squished, and unlike you, they can go off the edge of the screen and reappear at the other side. If you didn't notice yet, the stage "loops", so, for example, if part of the stage scrolls off the left side of the screen, it will reappear at the right side.

After collecting all the pellets, you will go to a second "round", which has the same layout as the previous one. In this one, there will be 4 holy books floating in the corners of the screen (They move together with the screen, they are not in fixed spots) which you have to pick up and bring to the center of the stage, in order to insert them into a cube. Like the crosses, the books can shoot fire, but there's only four of them, so be careful not to get killed by enemies before you can grab one.

After inserting all four books, the Devil is defeated and you play a bonus round with, again, the same layout, where there are 6 books floating around to grab for bonus points. If you grab them all, run out of time, or get squished, the round is over. As the Devil has been momentarily defeated, there are arrows on the floor which represent the Devil's moves - Walk over them to make the screen move.

After the bonus round, you will go to the second stage. This will have a slightly different layout from the previous one, with less paths to take. The Devil will also change directions more often, and crosses will last shorter. After going through all three rounds of this stage, you will go to the third stage, which again is tougher in all aforementioned ways. One of the basic minions will also be replaced by a mini-Devil that cannot die - Shooting him will only cause him to turn around.

After this third stage, the stages repeat (Although they will be called stage 4, 5 and 6), but from now on, certain stages/rounds will have three enemies instead of two, in addition to all the previous things that kept getting harder. Another new enemy is introduced later on - It's a little red horned creature which basically acts the same as the mini-Devils, except it'll actively go after you instead of sort of mindlessly wandering around.

After the ninth stage, there will be no more gameplay changes. Everything will be at its hardest, with top speed direction switching, three enemies (One of each type) and crosses that last a very short time. This will go on until you lose all your lives, or just get bored and quit, really.


All in all, while Devil World seems like a Pac-Man clone, it's actually very different. Dare we say, it is even better fun than Pac-Man. Well worth a look if you enjoy this type of game.

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