Is there anything akin to video game rentals today? GameFly kind of looks similar, but I haven’t looked into it. Back in the days of the NES and Super NES, my family frequently rented games from the grocery store or the drugstore, which is how we were introduced to both some awesome ones and some total clunkers. I’ve covered a lot of these games before, some briefly and others in much more detail, but I don’t think I’ve ever really said anything about Kickle Cubicle.
Released in 1990, it was an action puzzle game with a cutesy setting, much akin to The Adventures of Lolo, which I can’t recall ever having played or seen played. I did appreciate the cameo of Lolo and Lala in one of the Kirby games, though.
There’s also a similarity to Bubble Bobble, not so much in gameplay as in cute mascot characters with elemental powers going on a rescue mission. The hero of the game, Kickle, is a little snowman-type person with the ability to create ice blocks and freeze enemies into ice, then to kick that ice around. The puzzle aspect comes in with the various rocks, springs, and other obstacles on the boards.
While there generally isn’t much of a plot to games like these, there is one in the instruction booklet, although I don’t think that came with the rental copy. It was covered in some detail in Nintendo Power around that time. Basically, Kickle’s home of Fantasy Land was frozen by an evil wizard and invaded by his monstrous minions. Apparently Kickle is the only resident of Fantasy Land not affected by the wizard’s spell, although I don’t think it’s ever clear why. Did a wintry spell not affect him because he was already a snowman, or were his icy powers an unintentional result of the evil spell? The hero has to battle his way through four themed stages: Garden Land, Fruit Land, Cake Land, and Toy Land. At the end of each land is a boss who is usually, if not always, a larger version of a common enemy.
There’s a chicken named Koke, a clown called Piro, the turtle Kapan, and finally the Wizard King himself.
After defeating each boss, you rescue a princess, because nobody wanted to mess with the old classics.
The final princess is Mira, the daughter of King Tois. You also occasionally encounter other citizens of the four lands, including people made of vegetables, fruit, candy, and toys. It’s a pretty typical cute fairyland for kids, I suppose.
Apparently the Japanese title for the game was Meikyūjima, which basically means “Maze Island.” I don’t know what the original name for the main character was.
Picture by SiriusBlack4Ever