Thursday, May 26, 2011

REVIEW: McKids (1991)

McKids. I love this game. It’s like the poor kid’s Mario. Basically it’s the McDonald’s universe mixed with the style and gameplay of Super Mario Bros 3. You’d think that’d be stupid and a bad thing…but it’s actually quite a bit of fun.

At least it was 20 years ago.

At the start of the game you get a choice…either you can play as the white kid or the black kid. (Or BOTH in two player mode) I always played the black kid. I don’t really remember why but if I had to guess it was that he looked so much cooler than the white kid.

You are not winning anyone over with that hat.

From there you go on a journey through MANY different levels in several different worlds of the McDonald’s characters. The goal here is to catch up with the Hamburgler because at the start of the game Ronald McDonald was doing some magic tricks for the McKids when he stole Ronald’s magic bag.

The only way to get it back is to go through each level and find a puzzle card. Once you have found a certain amount of cards in each world that McDonald’s character will allow you to pass onto the next world. This is pretty unique in that you don’t have a final boss to defeat in each world. It also makes it very challenging to the effect that…

…each level is full of crap to keep you from getting those cards. Some cards are positioned in ABSOLUTELY impossible locations. But these locations are easily accessible when you factor in one of many cool aspects of McKids. First…when you’re running on a platform and hit a cog wheel at the end of that platform your character will be turned upside down. So now up is down and down is up. (Gravity means NOTHING in this game) There’s also several annoyingly placed arrows that shoot you back to the beginning of the level if you so much as grace even ONE miniscule pixel upon them.

There is all of this AND a large selection of enemies in your way. And if I remember right you can’t even step on them. You have to throw blocks at them. But that’s ok because blocks are everywhere. This game is very block friendly. You also use blocks to help you on your quest…like blocks that help you achieve higher ground, etc.

The levels from beginning to end are: Ronald McDonald’s Playhouse, Birdie’s Treehouse, Grimace’s Loft, Professor’s Workshop, CosMc on the Moon, and finally the Volcano. I honestly never got past the Professor’s Workshop. I can’t even begin to calculate the amount of hours I spent trying.

McKids, even as stupid as it looks and sounds, is pretty freakin awesome. I love the fact that there’s interracial kids. I love the exploitation of McDonalds. And the gameplay isn’t half bad either! If you ever get a chance to play this…just do it. If you’re a fan of Mario, you’ll probably like this one just as much.

Plus, you'll totally want some French Fries when you're done.

I give McKids 3 out of 5 bits.


  1. Wow that is a total rip off of Mario 3 LOL

  2. I found it a bit tedious (SO MANY LEVELS), but between the slick design, innovative mechanics (reverse gravity is not something you get to see in many NES games!), etc., it's still an above-average 8-bit platformer, and certainly among the better license games!