Jelly! It’s wibbly. It’s wobbly. Clearly, these are the prerequisites for the ideal SNES platformer game in 1995.
And that’s why we got this weird thing from the now defunct American developer Probe Software (really bad name, guys). Hurray!
Jelly Boy on the SNES
Okay, so this launched on the Nintendo Switch SNES catalogue recently and we were able to play it extensively for the first time.
We vaguely remember the title back in 1995, but never did play it. Something about it seemed a little off.
It’s one of those retro games where it’s very easy to get stuck on the first level. And, no doubt, that likely caused many gamers to abandon the title in frustration.
Seriously, there’s a bit in the below gameplay clip at 2:28 there you need to duck.
But the down button on the D-pad doesn’t make you duck. That drove us mad for a bit until we figured out pressing B mucks you duck (by turning you into a duck).
Goddamn hilarious, Probe Software, but even at 36 that bit was baffling enough to make us nearly call it a day on the game after a handful of minutes.
Anyway, you star as Jelly Boy who’s a jelly baby sweet. His mission is to find items within a factory to find whoever is in charge.
That’s about it for the plot. If you read our site a lot, you’ll know we’re not big fans on protracted (i.e. tedious) game intro sections with endless bad video game voice acting.
Well, Jelly Boy gives you the total opposite—no story.
There’s nothing, you just start the game and begin controlling the character. We had to look up online that the plot is, but that’s pretty vague as well.
As you may be able to tell from our tone, we’re not 100% on this title. It arrived late in the SNES’ life with the Nintendo 64 on the horizon for 1996.
Meanwhile, Nintendo launched the masterpiece Yoshi’s Island as a SNES swansong.
But as a platformer it does have its merits. The level design is inventive, the game is lively, and Jelly Boy’s shapeshifting capabilities are quite good fun.
Get certain pickups and you can, for example, become a skateboarding dude, a hammer, or a balloon.
Although that concept is also obviously nicked from Nintendo’s Kirby series.
Reviews from the time for Jelly Boy were decent, with the UK’s legendary CVG mag handing over 73%. The reviewer compared it to Mr. Blobby in game far. Blobby, blobby, blobby!
And that’s exactly the type of game it is. There’s a wow factor title that’d grab your attention, but it doesn’t deliver much in the way of outstanding quality.
Instead, it’s like a warm jelly baby left out in the sun so it’s gone all mushy. Fine to eat, but you also kind of regret it later.
Jelly Boy’s Game Boy Port
Yes! Probe Software also released a Game Boy version! We’ve not played this one, but one YouTuber reviewing it hated the thing.
To be fair, the graphics look good for Nintendo’s handheld and the soundtrack works better on it as well. On the SNES it’s twee and irritating, but more punchy in black and white!
Back in the day, the expectation with SNES-Game Boy ports was always the game would never be as good as the Super Nintendo version.
The technological drop off ensured that.
But Jelly Boy seems to have plumbed dodgy depths to deliver something that pretty much everyone has forgotten about.
We should note, a Mega Drive version was also planned for Sega’s 16-bit console. However, that got cancelled.
And other than the two outings on Nintendo devices the concept promptly died a death… until July 2021 when added back to the SNES catalogue on the Switch. Blobby, blobby, blobby!