Different developers have taken a stab at the Gremlins license of the years and there are titles based on the two 1980s films spanning from the Atari 2600 all the way to the Nintendo Wii, but it's the two games based on 1989's Gremlins 2: The New Batch developed by Sunsoft that have largely stood the test of time. Released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Game Boy, the two different adventures follow the plot of the film closely while also exploring their own unique angles. Hardcore Gaming 101 takes us through the Clamp Centre for a final showdown with Mohawk and points out the faithfulness to the films. For instance, consider the weapons available in the Game Boy version:
Some effort has been made to keep the game faithful to its source material, like its NES counterpart, although here it all feels much more contrived. The radio weapon is clearly based on the Gizmo dance scene near the beginning of the film and the toolbox is much like the one Billy hides Gizmo in. To use such objects from the film as weapons makes little sense compared to the choices in the NES game, almost as if they willingly avoided using the same ones just to be different. The levels appear to be loosely based on scenes from the movie such as the television studios and the lab, however they all end up looking and playing almost exactly the same. You have to give them credit for including some Gremlin characters who were missing from the NES version though, namely the Female Gremlin and the Brain Gremlin (who only appears on the game over screen). The bonus rounds where you tap buttons to make Gizmo hit a punching bag, much like when he's toughening himself up to stand up to the Gremlins in the movie, is a nice touch too.
I rented the NES version a few times back in the old days, but it's the Game Boy version that I eagerly bought at a young age and vowed to complete. I never actually did thanks to its brutal difficulty level and unfair level designs. The game only covers four stages, but I typically ended up stuck at the boss of the second level. Ah, that horrible Bat Gremlin and his undodgeable attacks. Where's a cement mixer and Murray Futterman when you need him? I'm still waiting for the amazing Gremlins game that I know someone out there is capable of producing. I'd love to see Telltale Games take a crack at the license with a proper adventure game. I bet Zen Studios could create a great pinball table based on the films. How about if BioWare took a shot at it with an RPG? Just imagine the possibilities.