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The Simpsons Arcade Game

The Simpsons Arcade Game Cabinet leftsideThe Simpsons Arcade Game is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up video game developed and published by Konami for arcades.  Based on the television animated series The Simpsons, the game was released in North American arcades on March 4, 1991 midway through the second season of the television show.

Released in arcades only under the title “The Simpsons” the game was rebranded as “The Simpsons Arcade Game” when it was ported to the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS later in the year.   This was done to both inform customers that the game was a port of the Arcade game and to distinguish it from other Simpsons games on the market as well as in development.

The arcade cabinet was designed to allow up to four players to control members of the Simpson family, as they fight various enemies in order to rescue Maggie who was kidnapped by Smithers.  Two different arcade cabinet models were produced, one allowing up to two simultaneous players with the ability to freely choose a character and the other allowing up to four players with a dedicated position on the cabinet’s control panel for each character.

The game begins with the Simpsons walking down the street in downtown Springfield while there is a burglary in progress at a jewelry store.  Smithers runs out of the jewelry shop colliding with the Simpsons.  The diamond that Smithers had just stolen for Mr. Burns flies through the air and lands in Maggie’s mouth who begins sucking on it like a pacifier.  Smithers wanting to quickly escape with the diamond decides to kidnap Maggie as the rest of the Simpsons chase after him in an attempt to rescue Maggie.

Novotrade (C64, DOS)
LicenseThe Simpsons
License OwnerWalt Disney Studios
Media TypeCabinet
ReleaseNA: March 4, 1991
JP: August 11, 1991
Genre(s)Beat ’em up
RatingPre-Dates ESRB
Rereleased Platform(s)Ports
Commodore 64 – 1991
MS-DOS – 1991
Xbox Live Arcade – 2012
PlayStation Network – 2012

The Simpsons Arcade Game - 4 PlayersPlayers have the ability to select one of the members of the Simpsons, Bart, Homer, Marge or Lisa to begin the chase to rescue Maggie.  Each character has a distinctive attack style, Homer punches and kicks, Marge swings a vacuum cleaner, Bart wields a skateboard and Lisa uses a skipping rope to attack enemies.  Players progress through the city of Springfield fighting off hordes of enemies hired by Mr. Burns in order to reach the Nuclear Power Plant.  The pursuit takes place across eight stages, each of which ends with a boss battle.  In the final stage The Simpsons must first defeat Smithers before fighting Mr. Burns equipped in a battle suit to rescue Maggie.

The game was universally seen as one of the best arcade beat ‘em up games of the time and is still one of if not the best game based on The Simpsons franchise.  The game has received a high-definition port by Backbone Entertainment for the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in February 2012.

Game Screenshots:

The History of The Simpsons Arcade Game


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Profile PlaceholderKengo NakamuraSupervisor
Graphic Design
Yasushi TakanoYasushi TakanoMain Character Design
Norio HanzawaNorio HanzawaComposer
Matt GroeningMatt GroeningCreated by
Dan CastellanetaDan CastellanetaVoice Actor (Homer)
Julie KavnerJulie KavnerVoice Actor (Marge)
Nancy CartwrightNancy CartwrightVoice Actor (Bart)
Yeardley SmithYeardley SmithVoice Actor (Lisa)
Profile PlaceholderAkira SuzukiMain Program
Profile PlaceholderHirotaka IshikawaSoftware Design
Profile PlaceholderK. NakajimaCharacter Design
Profile PlaceholderNoriyuki YokokiCharacter Design
Profile PlaceholderHideaki ShikamaSound Program & Effect
Profile PlaceholderHiroshi MatsuuraHardware Design
Profile PlaceholderNaoki SatōPackage Design
Profile PlaceholderKyoko KamiyaPackage Design
Hiroshi IuchiHiroshi IuchiSpecial Guest
Profile PlaceholderMuneharu SamejimaSpecial Guest
Profile PlaceholderMasahiro InoueSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderA. NaritaSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderHideto ImaiSpecial Thanks
Profile PlaceholderS. KidoManagement




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