As a child of the 80s, I grew up watching classic Saturday morning cartoons such as Masters of the Universe, Transformers, G.I. J.O.E. and more. Those were the days when cartoons were not afraid to be marketing tools for their respective toy lines. Today’s cartoons just don’t have the same flare and camp that I grew to love. Fortunately, I am not the only one that pines for days long past. Saturday Morning RPG by Mighty Rabbit Studios helps me to relive those glory days in a sleek retro styled RPG.
SMRPG opens up in a dream sequence in which the main character Marty’s girlfriend is kidnapped by Commander Hood, the leader of the Cobra spoof military organization. Marty attempts to prevent the kidnapping but is quickly outmatched. Upon realizing his inability to fight, the Wizard, a shorts, Hawaiian shirt, and Power Glove wearing being, appears and gives Marty a notebook of power. The Notebook, which resembles the 80s and 90s student staple Trapper Keeper, grants Marty the power to use everyday objects such as laser discs, pencils, toys and scratch-n-sniff stickers to fight off Commander Hood’s minions.
This first episode of the game, further episodes are unlocked after paying for it, takes place in a spoof of the Masters of the universe world. You fight Skeliboar riding atop his pink chihuahua Taco and several other He-man spoofed characters. This episode also contains several side quests. In one, you help Gurgletail capture a bunch of Jurks so that Gurgletail can eat them. Another tasks you with stopping pirated material from being downloaded to various computers. Overall, this first episode will take you roughly 1-2 hours to complete if you take your time. But don’t let that fool you, there is a lot of enjoyment packed within.
The majority of gameplay is confined to the game’s battle system. The Notebook provides several customizations that will alter how you approach battles. The first customization is the cover picture. These interchangeable covers alter stats such as strength and defense. This is a static change that benefits you until you change it. The next is a set of five scratch-n-sniff stickers that you place on the cover. Each sticker alters a stat of either Marty or the enemy and has a rarity and a scratch difficulty attribute. These stickers are used at the beginning of battle by rubbing the Ouya’s touch pad to create a scratching effect. The more difficult a sticker is to scratch, the faster you have to rub the pad. The final customization is in the five items you carry into battle. These are your weapons and support items. Each item has a different strength and often a mini game to use.
In battle you have the options to charge up your next attack by using batteries. There are three types of charges here. One requires you to repeatedly tap the O button. Another is just a quick small power up. The final is a meter based power up. Each of these use some of your magic power to create a more devastating attack on your next turn. In order to resupply your magic power, you can successively defend an enemy attack by pressing the O button at the right time, or you can simply punch the enemy without the aid of a weapon. Speaking of which, the majority of your fighting will take place using the various everyday objects you find throughout the game. Each item has a limited number of uses per battle and cause varying degrees of damage and status effects. So plan carefully or you may find yourself punching your way out of a battle.
If you are looking for a game with a deep story or complex gameplay, this might not be for you. It’s stories are based on the same kind of campy and outlandish plots of many 80s cartoons. Its battle system, while overall fun, is simple and your strategy will be much the same from battle to battle. The customizable aspects are a great addition but change little about the game play aside from the animations and damage done.
Overall, the game is a lot of fun for both fans of RPGs and 80s cartoon shows. The developers behind it have a great sense of humor and an eye for detail. You will not go wrong with downloading this game and buying the full version.
What you get for free: The full first episode.
What you unlock for paying: The entire game, including access to new episodes.
Cost to unlock the game: $5.99