Game of the Month July, 2004:

System: NES Developer: Data East
Karnov for the NES is a port of an arcade game about a circus strongman turned treasure hunter who stomps around and breathes fire. Karnov wants to reclaim the treasures of Babylon from the evil dragon, Ryu, and he'll stomp through various time periods and settings to achieve his goal. Okay, technically speaking, the story is a mess and makes little sense, and the ending is one of the worst in history, but Karnov's gameplay is fun, challenging, and furious. Karnov is fat, but his game is rather phat!

It's Godzilla!

Even evil game bosses need to walk their pets once in awhile. Karnov's main method of defeating his enemies is by shooting fireballs at them. You can power up to shoot two or three fireballs at a time. Karnov also has the ability to jump really far, but the annoying side effect of not being able to move at all as he's falling. The stages in Karnov are usually short and not too tough. Some require the use of a special item, such as a helmet that lets you breathe underwater or wings to fly through a sky stage. These items, like other special weapons, are revealed by shooting in the right spot on the screen. It might take a few tries to find them, but nothing is too well-hidden.

The bosses of Karnov are a bit more difficult than the stages. Some of them fire so many bullets, that it's nearly impossible to dodge all of them. Something as big and slow-moving as Karnov doesn't really dodge too well. These bosses also tend to be slowly closing in on you, so your only hope is to either kill them quickly, or have the special jump shoes that let you leap farther. With the shoes, you can jump over them if they get too close. The final boss is a lot more difficult than the entire rest of the game combined.

Hallejuah! It's raining men!

Karnov certainly isn't the greatest NES sidescroller around, but it's one worth grabbing if you're into collecting, or just want something a little challenging, but not insanely difficult. I'll just warn you that the ending is terrible, but the game itself is okay.

Karnov Links

  • My Karnov Review - A complete review of this fantastic game.


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