"Still wondering why it's Bonk's revenge when he was the winner in the first game."
After the folks in charge of things in Turbografx-16 Land realized they had a legitimate mascot with lovable neanderthal Bonk, who'd just starred in the high-quality platformer Bonk's Adventure, it was inevitable he'd be seeing action in a sequel. And so, two years later in 1991, Bonk's Revenge was bestowed upon the world…or at least the tiny percentage of the world's population possessing the third wheel of that era of gaming.
And for the most part, the second verse was much the same as the first. Like the original, Bonk's Revenge is a solid game that never quite reaches the heights discovered by those featuring Mario and Sonic, much like how the TG-16 never was blessed with the same popularity possessed by the Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis.
Don't be mistaken by that last paragraph -- I'm not dismissing this game as mediocre or anything like that. There's no shame in taking third place behind Mario and Sonic, as their games were among the highest of the high points of that time and could be considered synonymous with excellence. Bonk may not be breathing the rarified air of their level, but he's still able to look down upon the vast majority of gaming mascots, sneering in contempt at their slovenly ways.
While Bonk had dispatched the evil King Drool in the original game, that dinosaur apparently did his share of pre-demise fornication, as Bonk's Revenge concerns the efforts of King Drool III to get revenge on behalf of his predecessor. You'll control Bonk through a number of worlds, each containing three or four levels before culminating in a boss fight. As one might expect in a game of this sort, those worlds contain a number of challenges ranging from icy floors to fiery pits. You'll travel under and through a giant ship at one point and then find yourself running past volcanos, hoping that you can avoid the bursts of lava being belched from them.
As you'd expect from a notable platformer mascot, Bonk is a pretty easy guy to control. A fellow with an oversized head, his main attack is to bash foes with that cranium -- an attack that becomes all the more devastating if performed as the finale of a jump. By eating the hunks of meat offered as power-ups, he'll gain other abilities such as temporary invincibility or being able to spit fireballs. Unlike Mario and Sonic, he has an actual life bar. Upon starting a game, he'll have three hearts that get depleted upon taking damage from enemies or environmental hazards and can be replenished by eating the fruit found amongst the cornucopia of point-bestowing food items strewn throughout the game. Those three hearts can potentially be increased to as many as eight, provided you either can find the handful of blue hearts that are well-hidden in various nooks and crannies, or by collecting enough smiley-face icons to purchase a trip on one of the superior models of train used to transport Bonk from one world to the next after defeating a boss.
Community review by overdrive (October 25, 2019)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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