Here’s a weird one from Japanese developer Data East—now defunct. Released in 1994, we hadn’t heard of it until Nintendo added it to the Nintendo Switch‘s SNES library. Here we go!
Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics
Yeah, so 20 games launched with the Switch’s SNES platform. There are established classics such as Super Metroid in there. And this.
Even for SNES fans, this one drew out a sort of, “Wuh?” Thanks, Nintendo, for the SNES catalogue, but was such an obscure oddity better than a masterpiece?
But then there are about 721 SNES games from the console’s run—you can’t know all of them, eh?
Anyway, we Joe & Mac 2 and the first thing we noticed is how surreal the intro is.
Unconvincing dinosaur noises run amok in this Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics.
It was released shortly after Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993), so we presume it was to cash in on the dinosaur craze of the time.
And to be fair, it’s really not that bad. Great? Not at all. But adequate enough to keep us plodding on with a sense of determination.
There are interesting visual flourishes, as well as a few clever (for the time) uses of the environment. You can manipulate rope swings using Joe’s body weight etc. Back in 1994 that was impressive stuff.
As you can see, it’s lively and chirpy. Colourful graphics and an upbeat soundtrack and all that. Fairly generic stuff for that era of gaming.
The plot involves a caveman called Gork. He’s nabbed some stuff from the chief of Kali Village. Zomg, what is everyone going to do?
Well, you have to go out there, defeat the Neanderthals, and win back the seven rainbow stones across six levels. Yep, only six of the bloody things!
But the highlight is the array of dinosaur bosses, which Data East clearly put a lot of effort into creating. Even if they all have the same “Rawr!” sound effect.
Anyway, what to make of this one? It’s a throwaway SNES game from 1994 suddenly thrust back into the limelight thanks to Nintendo and its Switch library.
Why did the Japanese multinational company pick this one over the 720 over SNES games out there?
No idea! But we do love returning to forgotten old games and seeing what they’re all about.
Joe & Mac 2 is far from a classic, but it’s still a part of the SNES’ vast and impressive history all the same. And that’s why we just had to gawk at it.