1991s Bart vs The World for the Nintendo Entertainment System was a staple in my childhood, but is it as good as I remember it being?
When you think of American cartoon shows, chances are one show jumps into your mind first — The Simpsons. Since 1989 television’s longest-running animated series has delighted and entertained people all over the world. In the early 1990s, The Simpsons, especially Bart Simpson, could be found everywhere. Including your video game consoles.
Bart vs. The World
Bart vs. The World came out at a particularly crucial part of The Simpson’s existence. Bart mania was high, and this was the fourth video game released in under a year for the series. With so many games coming out at once, it was inevitable that the games wouldn’t be the best.
In comparison to the other Bart-specific titles — Bart vs. the Space Mutants, Bart’s House of Weirdness, and Bart Simpson’s Escape from Camp Deadly, Bart vs. The World was a slight improvement on the others.
But that slight significance wasn’t huge. Bart vs. The World is the same game as Bart vs. The Space Mutants — just with a different title and different levels. In fact, there was only a 7 month time period between the two games.
Yet I find myself drawn to it some 21 years later. My cartridge and console thankfully still work. This side-scrolling platform game seems easy enough at first. There are four worlds in this game; Hollywood, China, Egypt, and the North Pole.
Yet each world contains several levels a single player needs to get through. This game ran me about 50 minutes to complete — a feat I was frankly unable to do when this game first came out (in my defense, I was 6 and got frustrated with it).
So how does it hold up? To be frank, not well. The premise for the game itself is fine; Bart wins a scavenger hunt that will take him around the world thanks to the Krusty The Clown Show. Yet the scavenger hunt has been rigged by Mr. Smithers in an effort to rid the world of the Simpsons. This has been an underlying plot of the show, so it’s only natural it would end up in a video game.
The game, frankly, sucks. It’s still unforgivingly difficult, the graphics are a strain on the eyes, and the game does drag on. While I can forgive a lot due to the time period this game was released, its other side-scrolling counterparts still hold up to this day. But despite all of that, this game does have some after-market value!
In January of 2022, a WATA sealed 9.8 was sold for $8400. Prior to that, a WATA 9.4 sold for $3000 in April of 2021. Lower grades don’t seem to fare as well. In January of 2022, a WATA 5.0 went for $384. If you’re looking to invest in this game, your best bet is to find a copy that grades above a 9.0. Will prices continue to trend up? Only time will tell. This is a risky bet, and it’s anyone’s guess if it will pay off.