From Journey to Silius developer Sunsoft, is Ufouria (1991) the only game in the world where the protagonist wears… a bobble hat? We’d like to think so!
That’s a shame really, as that’s our favourite type of hat (apart from the Reni hat). And good cause to celebrate this NES platformer from back in the day.
Bobble Hat Platforming Action in Ufouria
Part of an extensive series in Japan called Hebereke, some titles have made it out in North America and Europe.
These were called Ufouria: The Saga in the west.
Clearly influenced by Nintendo’s Metroid (1986), a landmark platforming title, Sunsoft’s romp along took ideas liberally from that.
However, graphically the game clearly steals a lot more influence from Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988). From the western version of the game, anyway.
In fact, it’s kind of a blatant rip-off. Although it is a very good looking NES game, we have to say, maxing out the console’s limited potential. Look at it!
There’s a plot here, too. Although that’s different depending on the country you’re in. So, we’re focussing on the Japanese release.
You take control of a penguin type thing called Hebe, who’s on the hunt for his colleagues called Ō-Chan, Sukezaemon and Jennifer.
That lot fell into time and space due to a war rupturing the fabric of reality. And the general goal is to get them and defeat an evil alien called Unyohn.
The result of that is the standard platforming entertainment, where you free-roam, collect items, jump on enemies, kill bosses, and get power-ups.
It’s quite innovative, too! Despite nabbing things openly from Nintendo’s game, Sunsoft did at least try some unique things wrapped around those influences.
And alongside those creative efforts, plus the great visuals, those a lovely NES soundtrack that’s music to any retro gamer’s ears. Very Mega Man II…
Despite these efforts, the game was received with mixed reviews in the early 190s. Famitsu magazine in Japan, for example, only handed over 26/40.
The general consensus from the rest of the gaming press was “middling”.
However, since then retrospective reviews have been much kinder to the game. Nintendo Life, for example, handed it 8/10.
In Japan, the game also found its way onto mobile phones in 2003.
Plus, it got a re-release on the PlayStation with Journey to Silius in 2002. More recently, it made it to Nintendo’s Virtual Console in 2010 on the Wii in Japan and North America. Plus, the 3DS and Wii U in 2013 and 2014, respectfully.
Hopefully, it’ll turn up on the Nintendo Switch at some point soon. As it’s a nifty little thing that deserves a bit of extra credit than it got in 1991.