YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


16-Bit Gamers Can Still Get Some Cute Kicks

Fewer companies offer Super Nintendo carts, but three Titus Software titles show they remain clever if sometimes cloying.


As company after company turns its back on 16-bit gamers, it's nice to know at least a few places like Chatsworth-based Titus Software are still churning out Super Nintendo carts.

And while a recent batch of Titus titles offers neither the dazzle nor the speed of 32-bit games, all provide some strong play and pretty good choices in a rapidly shrinking pool.

Prehistorik Man is a standard side scroller that follows the adventures of a grunting caveman named Sam in search of food and bones to save his tribe from starvation.

In addition to the standard jump-hit combos offered in most side scrollers, Sam has a secret weapon that about busted my gut the first time I used it: the Super Shout, a sort of primal scream that provides some vicarious stress relief.

Sam himself is a nicely drawn character that moves well through some good-looking environments. Action varies enough from level to level to keep the game interesting. Sam even hang glides.

My one beef with Prehistorik Man is minor. The game is obviously designed for younger players, but some of the language is inappropriate for kids. I'm no prude, but an otherwise cute game is tainted by strong language that is simply out of place.

"Darn" would have been far more appropriate in a game like this.


That said, however, I found myself using the stronger variation of the word repeatedly on another Titus title, The Brainies. A deceptively simple puzzler, The Brainies is at once addictive and frustrating.

The point is to move the blobby Brainies onto their color-coded sleeping pads before time runs out. The first few levels are a snap, but it gets exponentially tougher after that.

This is puzzle solving at its most furious. The game allows little time to think through a solution, so only those whose brains work at a fairly fast clock speed have a chance at getting very far.

Weaker that both The Brainies and Prehistorik Man, but still fairly fun, was Ardy Lightfoot, another side scroller that delivers some varied play and nice detailing.

I found it a little weird, though.

Ardy's goal is to collect the seven pieces of the rainbow scattered around Prismland. With him is this friendly little blob named Pec, who, unfortunately, looks exactly like the bad guys.

Kids might like it, but it was too much sweetness and light for me.

Staff writer Aaron Curtiss reviews video games every Thursday. To comment on a column or to suggest games for review, send letters to The Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth, CA 91311. Or send e-mail to

Los Angeles Times Articles