The first Goonies game for the Japanese Nintendo Entertainment System, simply titled Goonies, was a simple yet playable affair. It didn’t break any ground in the world of 8bit platforming action, but wasn’t a slap in the face to the genre either. For whatever reason it never saw a North American release, which is odd considering the success of the film. A little while after the release of the first Goonies game, Goonies 2 hit the shelves in Japan for the NES (or Famicon as purists like to point out) and was later released in North America, also under the title Goonies 2. This lead people to believe that there was a second Goonies film in production which wasn’t the case.
Goonies 2 has a plot which is original, but is still kind of a re-hash of the first film. In the game, the Fratelli family has kidnapped the Goonies along with a couple of mermaids and you the player, who controls the character Mikey, must rescue them all. I’m not really sure what the mermaids are doing in the game, I don’t remember any from the first film, but I guess a streak of originality isn’t a bad thing.
The game plays a lot like the first; there is a lot of jumping about, fending off enemies with a sling shot and navigating maze-like levels. However, unlike the first game there are doors sprinkled throughout the levels. Opening these doors changes the game’s perspective from side-on 3rd person to a first person view. Some of the doors lead to rooms with items, some lead to other parts of the level, some reveal a senior citizen in a white robe who gives seemingly useless advice and a few of the doors lead to nothing at all. The other characters from the Goonies film can also be found behind these doors and it is the object of the game to find them all.
I actually enjoyed the first game better than the second, as it had much more of a “pick-up-and-play” feel to it. The second game isn’t awful, but I find messing about with doors to be kind of a pain in the ass. I would still recommend this game to anyone who hasn’t played it yet, particularly fans of both retro games and The Goonies.