Wait, what? Treasure did a game based on a license? And McDonald’s? Really? For all their wild creativity, Treasure has made its share of games based on licensed property. This was the first, but they would eventually craft games based on Bleach, Astro Boy, Yu Yu Hakusho, and others. Surprisingly, it’s a quite competent platformer. It’s not too tough, which makes sense, given the audience, and it’s actually quite full of the zaniness that one would expect from Treasure.
You play as Ronald McDonald, naturally. And he can jump, throw magic, and use a kind of grappling hook or glove to ascend on hooks. Astute observers will note that this mechanic would come back into play in another, later Treasure platformer. There are shops with which one can purchase gems (and gem extensions), lives, continues, and other items, adding a small layer of depth to the game.
An interesting conceit is the boss battles. You can’t just wail on the bosses at the start. Instead, in an almost Galaga-esque fashion, you must allow them to steal one of your gems (which serve as your life), which makes them vulnerable to your magic for a limited period of time. It actually adds a touch more strategy to the game, even if it doesn’t make the game significantly harder.
There are a lot of slick graphical tricks that Treasure does with the hardware, which also certainly aligns itself with their usual modus operandi. It’s something that we will see from Treasure time and time again, generally pushing the hardware to its absolute limits with virtually no slowdown.
All in all, McDonald’s Treasure Land is an above-average platformer, and much more than one would expect from the license.
Article by Lee Hathcock
GameSpite Journal 12: Gunstar Heroes
7 thoughts on “GameSpite Journal 12: McDonald’s Treasure Land”
For one of the first games Treasure developed, McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure is a pretty good start for the company. While it’s by no means the best licensed game of the 16-bit days, it’s nice and colorful and competent and not too difficult and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Also, Treasure got that kids wanted a McDonald’s game where they could actually play as Ronald McDonald, instead of some random boys. Seriously, that’s like if there was a Sonic game where you played as the rich kid from the stupid butchered anime instead of Sonic. =/
I really dug this game; I should get my own copy. For all the attention spent on Mick and Mack, this is the best McDonald’s game, and pretty good at that.
Also, the “You play as Ronald McDonald, naturally” is kind of funny, given that out of the three console McDonald’s games I’m aware of, this is the only one in which you do play as Ronald.
McDonald’s seriously needs to reinvest in their characters, I could see a Lemmings or Raving Rabbids type game staring the Fry Guys, or a stealth game with Hamburglar (remember BK’s psychotic yet awesome Sneak King game?) a Mario Kart clone with all the characters or even an point & click mystery adventure. One way or another I would love anything staring The Grimace.
You know… I didn’t think of that when I wrote that line. You actually don’t play as Ronald in either M.C. Kids or Global Gladiators. Maybe being able to would have helped their popularity. M.C. Kids is a surprisingly good game. And I remember that Global Gladiators was hyped to heck and back by GameFan back in the day, but they did that for a _lot_ of games.
MetManMas: Ha, that’s a good way of putting it, though Mick and Mack didn’t bother me quite that much.
I think they might have been going off of the fact that Ronald was almost always hanging out with some kids in the commercials, and hey, when you’re that age and into McDonald’s, who wouldn’t want to be in that spot? Probably work better with a custom avatar or something, but given the era…
Chicago Frank: Yes! I’ve been saying for quite some time that I miss McDonaldland and the characters, and would love to see what they could do with them using today’s tech in a game or something. I mean, the Burger King 360 games were mildly amusing, but McDonald’s just feels perfect for games, like a fast food-based Mario land.
Much love for the Grimace (nothing can kill the Grimace) here, and re-elect Mayor McCheese!
Sarge: Really? I’d love to see how they hyped it. I’ve played the game, and it’s fun with some neat physics on the water guns, but… it’s not the greatest thing ever, either.
@LBD “Nytetrayn”: Yeah, I figured as much. Kids helping Ronald McDonald in a game definitely would’ve worked better if customizable avatars had been a thing back then. While never released outside Japan, Cocoron showed that it was possible to an extent in 8 bits.
If I could find a blasted scan, I’d post it. But Halverson seems to have some sort of embargo on digital distribution of the older magazines, with the threat of legal action. So… all I have to go on is my memory of the issue that’s back at my parents’ home. :P I seem to remember at least one of their review crew giving it over a 90.
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