Aero the Acro-Bat
|Aero the Acro-Bat|
Aero the Acro-Bat cover art (North American version)
|Developer(s)||Iguana Entertainment (Gen, SNES)
Atomic Planet Entertainment (GBA)
|Publisher(s)||Sunsoft (GEN, SNES)
Metro 3D/Zoo Digital (GBA)
Aero the Acro-Bat is a Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo game created by David Siller (of Maximo: Ghosts to Glory fame), developed by the now defunct Iguana Entertainment, and published by Sunsoft on October 1993.
Inspired in part by the "mascots with attitude" trend that was common following the introduction of Sonic the Hedgehog, it featured a red bat named Aero, who works and lives in a circus. He must defend the circus from an evil ex-clown called Edgar Ektor, who used to work in the same circus and wants it shut down forever. Aero must also deal with the sidekick Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel.
The levels are played in typical 2D platforming, but in order to clear levels, the player must accomplish certain tasks so that the exit warp can be revealed. Those tasks include passing through hoops, step on platforms until they disappear, ride roller coasters, etc. There are 4 worlds with 5 levels in each one, and the levels are large, many of them containing awkwardly positioned spikes that kill instantly.
Aero can attack enemies by shooting limited stars or by doing an aerial diagonal drill attack at his target (when he is in the air).
The SNES version used the Aero title song as level 1-1, but the Genesis version used the Saber Dance song as level 1-1 instead (which it shares with level 2-2). The SNES version also featured a level intro song which the Genesis version lacks entirely. However, the Genesis version features some music that the SNES version lacks, such as the level 4-3 theme.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Genesis version a 7.6 out of 10. They criticized the absence of the exceptionally good music of the Super NES version, but held it to still be an excellent game with its large, challenging levels.
Aero the Acro-Bat was awarded Best New Character of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly.
During the 16-bit era, Aero had a fair share of fame. Sunsoft used him as a mascot during the 16-bit console days. After the 16-bit decline, he disappeared and was forgotten until 2002, when Metro 3D decided to port this game for the Game Boy Advance, with a battery back-up (which the original versions lacked).
The Super Nintendo version of the game was on the Wii's Virtual Console in the PAL region on July 23, 2010 and in North America on July 26, 2010. Its sequel, Aero the Acro-Bat 2, was released for the Virtual Console on September 20, 2010.