Welcome to “Never Forget”, a retrospective feature of games the industry pretends never existed. Spotlighting the “Let’s figure out what these damn kids want” era of game developing, we’ll take a nostalgic look back at when gaming wasn’t such serious business.
Soda pop, sunglasses, and the word cool. There is no better combination to describe the typical Nineties Kid, a fact known all too well by the execs at 7-Up. Hoping to bring more popularity to their strange anthropomorphic red circle, 7-Up licensed out their mascot to game developers. And what do you suppose they did with such a gaming-irrelevant brand?
It was 1993 – they made a platformer, of course!
Players control Spot, the red spot in the 7-Up logo, in a generic side-scroller where the goal is to complete the enemy-filled stage before the time runs out. Spot can throw carbonated bubbles to kill his foes – which include crabs, frogs, and Stuart Little – all the while collecting plain (that is to say, comparatively uncool) red spots scattered throughout the stage. If players collect enough spots, they can go to a bonus stage to win a free continue by collecting various letters which, combined, spell the word Virgin – another typical Nineties Kid trait.
For its time, the graphics and animations were actually quite well-done, which is no surprise since the developer was 16-bit-genius Virgin Interactive, previously responsible for the amazing Genesis Disney’s Aladdin game. They also made the violence-free SNES version, but who cares about that? It’s not cool. It’s not all that, nor is it the bomb.
But the one thing that is definitely an all-that-cool-bomb is Cool Spot’s stage design. Just take a look at the boxart’s description:
Shoot the curl, get loco on a runaway train, and whip through a stomach-dropping rollercoaster ride in a carbonated quest to chill out your foes!
I… don’t know what any of that means. Never change, Nineties.
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