Japanese Family Computer box art
|Release date(s)||Family Computer
JP January 31, 1992
JP November 21, 2002
Gimmick! (ギミック! Gimikku!?), known as Mr. Gimmick in Scandinavia, is a 1992 platforming video game developed and published by Sunsoft for the Family Computer. The game was released in Japan on January 31, 1992 and in Scandinavia on May 5, 1993.
The July 1992 edition of Electronic Gaming Monthly announced that the game would be released in the U.S. in the second half of 1992, but it never was. The only distributor that imported the English translation was Swedish Bergsala, which sold it to the Scandinavian market. The game did not sell well. Its rarity has made it one of the most sought after Nintendo Entertainment System games ever made.
The player controls Yumetarō, who uses a star that spawns above the horn on his head to defeat enemies found in the game. The star doubles as a functional utility, as Yumetarō can ride his creation and use it to reach otherwise inaccessible areas.
Yumetarō must make his way through six stages and six bosses to complete the game. Once the player completes the six stages, it is revealed that the girl is still missing and the game restarts from the beginning. To truly complete the game, Yumetarō must find a hidden area in each stage where a magic item resides. If he can obtain each stage's magic item without losing all his lives (i.e. no continues allowed), a secret stage will appear in which an extra boss must be beaten. Only after these conditions are met is the game completed in full, with an animation sequence showing Yumetarō rescuing the girl and leading her back to the real world.
In the introduction animation, a young girl receives a doll named Yumetarō (ゆめたろー?) for a birthday present. She quickly favors the new doll over her previous five toys, who feel abandoned and unloved. While she is sleeping, they suddenly come to life and kidnap her, taking her to another dimension. Yumetarō, as the protagonist, must track down his new owner and retrieve her from the toys' world.
Gimmick! uses a variation of Sunsoft's FME-7 memory management controller known as "SUNSOFT 5B", which, in addition to the functionality provided by the stock FME-7, features a Yamaha YM2149 PSG audio chip to provide three additional channels for music and sound. The sound channels are only available on the Japanese Famicom version; the European version of the game has the music scaled back to use the standard five sound channels on the NES.
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Upon its release, Gimmick! was given mostly mixed reception. Swedish gaming magazine Nintendomagasinet gave the game 6 out of 10. However, many years after its release, it has been given very positive reviews by many retro gaming enthusiasts and reviewers, noting the game's star mechanic and difficulty.