Puss in Boots Pero’s Great Adventure is a short obscure little NES game. Based on popular Japanese film series The Wonderful World of Puss in Boots by Toei Animation, the game is a simple sidescroller that takes you around the world from the Old West, to London and along the way you shoot, bomb, and boomerang your way past everything from robotic frogs, some sort of winged wolf creature in a bath tub thing, and even a UFO. Gameplay wise there’s nothing complicated about it, you move from one side of the screen to the other hoping your unusually generous for a NES game life bar lets you kill everything before they kill you.

Lets get two important things out-of-the-way. This is both an incredibly strange game and an unjustifiably short one. How short? It can literally be beaten in around 15 minutes. The difficulty jumps from beating up an unconscious man easy, to that same man waking up stabbing you in the stomach before collapsing again. It has decent shooting mechanics, but stiff platforming in the final levels combined with an absurdly unfair final boss fight would seem to render any enjoyment from this game impossible.

But again, it is such a strange game that you want to keep playing just to see what happens next. As you travel you’ll operate a car, boat, a sub, a biplane, and even a hot air balloon with no context given. All the while moving through a series of colorful distinct worlds with a listenable if unmemorable soundtrack. You’ll fight a few bosses who have a nice cartoonish design with a giant blue demon being a particularly memorable encounter. Even the regular enemies have distinct details with the most noteworthy being a trio of cats that pursue you throughout the entire game.

This trio is made up of a short cat that charges at you, a cat with an eye patch who will always attempt to ambush you and even flee if you catch him in the act, while the third… charges you like the short cat but his eye patch is on the other eye. Even as you grow annoyed at having to shoot them for the tenth time that level, their persistence and distinct design almost makes them endearing. Or maybe that was just my mind trying to establish story and character in a game seemingly full of random absurdity where EVERYTHING (lightning bolts, evil bouncing balls, an eagle that poops on you) wants to kill you. So while it’s far from being a good game, its memorable enough and mercifully short enough to warrant a play through just for the sheer insanity contained within.

3/5