Early on in the amazing lifespan of television's The Simpsons, Konami produced a beat-'em'up arcade game featuring gruff Homer, nagging Marge, proud underachiever Bart, and brainy Lisa as playable characters in their quest to rescue the kidnapped Maggie from the evil Smithers. While the game hasn't aged so well as the show evolved over the years, it's a fondly remembered classic from a bygone era. It also goes to some strange places. Sideshow Bob appears in the background as an ally, Mr. Burns fights the family with a battle mech, and Moe's Tavern is located cemetery-adjacent. While Electronic Arts produced a new Simpsons brawler for iOS several years ago, the actual classic arcade game has been missing in action for decades save for Commodore 64 and PC ports. Now Game Informer reports that the game may be headed back to modern consoles as a downloadable release. Here's the news:
The Australian Classification Board recently rated The Simpson’s Arcade Game as PG, meaning it contains mild violence. Previously, I had always heard that the Simpsons game hadn’t been ported to modern consoles, because the voice actor royalties had been restructure since the game’s original release so that re-releasing the game now would cost more in royalty payments than it was worth. Maybe Konami has finally found a work around for this problem, or maybe this is just an evil dirty trick by the Australian government.
However the game is returning, I'm just glad to see it back. Sure, it's horribly dated and no longer matches what The Simpsons has become, but it's still a charming mindless button-masher with some fun references to the series and neat animation. The game was a standard at the arcades of my youth, and a few months ago my girlfriend and I stumbled on it at a run-down free play arcade (not that arcade) where we worked our way through a few stages despite the left direction of each joystick not functioning properly. Even after all these years, it's still enjoyable. Seeing it updated for a modern release is a perfect way to reintroduce it to old fans and debut it to a new generation.