The Sega Genesis changed the gaming world by bringing the phrases “16-bits” and “blast processing” out into the open. It was the first real challenge Nintendo faced in its video game dominance and it has a variety of classic games that are still talked of in hushed tones.
However, there are also a wide range of unknown games that lurk on the edges of cult fandom. The following are some of the quirkiest of them all and are well worth a play.
Wani Wani World
This little known game was created by Kaneko in 1991. Who is Kaneko? A Japanese-based game developer who tried to make in-roads into the Genesis in the early 90s.
One of their biggest successes at the time was a game called “The Berlin Wall.” This arcade machine was a simple shooter with huge end-of-world bosses and a variety of cool power ups.
When ported to the Sega Genesis, the game was essentially the same, except it now had the title “Wani Wani World” and featured a cute crocodile as the main character. With bright graphics, a nice up-beat soundtrack, and old-school game play, it wasn’t turning many heads at the time. Now, it’s a bit of nostalgic fun.
The Genesis was always awash with great role-playing games, including the Phantasy Star series. However, one game that never really made much of an impact was “Fatal Labyrinth.”
Based less on hardcore role-playing and more on dungeon crawling, it came and went without making a major impact. It’s graphics were a little simple and the game play, while fun, wasn’t extremely diverse.
However, it was actually a surprisingly deep game. You explored 30 different levels, each of which was randomly generated. This created a new play-through each time you booted it up, quite similar to the procedural-generated games that are currently popular.
It was also pretty funny: dying from eating too much while screaming “I’m stuffed!” always puts a smile on my face.
Also known as “Devilish,” this game probably looked pretty old-fashioned in the early 90s. Who wanted to play ball-and-bat games after “Pong” or “Arkanoid”? Not many people, it seems, as this little gem has practically disappeared from the gaming world’s consciousness.
Which is a shame: this game has a few unique tweaks that make it a unique entry in the paddle genre.
First of all, it comes with two paddles instead of one: the first goes left and right while the other goes up and down. This wild control scheme is a challenge to master, but intuitive once you’ve played a few rounds.
It also has a shockingly horrific atmosphere with a lot of horror elements, such as killer trees and other monsters, lurking about the game area.
This side-scrolling shooter had a hard time breaking out from some rather stiff competition. While it seems somewhat bland and unmemorable at first, it does have a few cool things going for it.
For example, it features really interesting graphics and art, with a variety of biological enemies that look strange and which are definitely memorable.
The game also runs very fast and features a tough onslaught of bullets and enemies. Think of this game as an early entry in the “bullet hell” genre, and you’ve got an idea of the challenge here.
It’s also surprisingly dark and atmospheric, with brooding music, dark lighting, and a variety of other little touches that make it worth a try.
Other Games To Consider
The list of great, but known, Sega Genesis games is nearly endless. How about “Landstalker,” an action role-playing game that mirrored Zelda with its game play and substance? Or the silly “cops and robbers” action of the arcade hit “Bonanza Bros”?
Or even the dark and brooding (and insanely hard) world of “Chakan: The Forever Man,” where you play a dual-sword wielding immortal fighting to end his own life? Whatever genre you love, the Sega Genesis has a game you’ve never heard of that you need to play.