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Big Nose the Caveman – NES

Big Nose the Caveman – NES

caverartPlatform: Nintendo Entertainment SystemJnes Emulator

Developer: Camerica

Publisher: Codemasters

Release Date (NA): 1991

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 6 out of 10

Reviewed by Dovahkyle

It’s been a while since I’ve played a platformer that was hard, fun, and entertaining all at once. Big Nose the Caveman is as funny looking as it sounds. If you had to depend on beating down dinosaurs with a club, and collecting/trading bones for dinner, you may be funny looking too. Honestly not sure how that relates, but more on that later. I’ve been looking for a gem like this for ages and I couldn’t be happier that I found it on the NES, as it is one of my favorite consoles of all time (second only to the SNES). If you’re actually reading this, then you might just be as much of a retro junkie as I am. So I thank you for relying on the NB for your retro gaming review needs, and on that, here…we…go.


I’m hungry just watching this guy chase down food…

The notorious cave we've heard so much about

The notorious cave we’ve heard so much about

The caveman known as Big Nose steps out of his cave on a prehistoric morning, just like any other I assume, but something is different today. It must be a Monday. Just then a pterodactyl flies over the fresh-out-of-hibernation neanderthal, and Big Nose thinks to himself (in a stereotypical comic strip bubble), “that looks just like my dinner, except it has wings,” (I’m paraphrasing, he actually doesn’t talk, English not being invented and all that). You see where this is going right? He must traverse the islands beating up miniature dinosaurs and collecting bones (which can be traded for all kinds of goods) to find his dinner, which has flown away from him. The majority of gameplay is platforming, with just the right amount of club smashing and berry (or rock?) throwing fun. The side scrolling levels are filled with bottomless pits, and if ol’ Big Nose falls into one, you will see him flying to heaven, harping away on his…er…harp. Did I mention there are tiny dinosaurs? OK, so the game isn’t filled with the most extravagant scenery and enemies, strewn about like your favorite Super Mario title, but it is fun, and it is definitely challenging. By challenging I mean get the Game Genie codes for this one.


Is there more?

I'd say we're in the pre-Jurrasic period by the bone structures presented here

I’d say we’re in the pre-Jurrasic period by the bone structures presented here

For story, please see above paragraph. This caveman is a furious beast of a Jurassic man, and a perfect example of why humans would have never survived such a time. That’s just my opinion you say? Well I hate to break it to you, but if you’re reading this, then my opinion means more to you than you think it does. If you’re this far down, then you not only value my opinion, but you almost respect it; more on my ego later. Big Nose and I have an almost scary resemblance, just look at any picture of me, and you will notice we have a striking similarity when it comes to nose structure. I take this as a compliment, as this large nosed man of prehistory is clearly the epitome of man. Story you say? I wasn’t kidding when I said read the above paragraph.


There’s two buttons, what else do you want to know?

Forgive my cynicism today. As interesting as this game was to play, it is about as interesting to write about as that canker sore on the roof of my mouth that I just can’t stop tonguing. This is an NES game; if you have any idea what website you’re currently on then you already know, if you don’t, I suggest you put down the Redbull and go to sleep man! Look how late it is! I won’t pretend you don’t already know that there are only two action buttons and a directional pad. Beyond the physical aspect of the NES controller, the game handles nicely. The running speed of the sprite is fast and satisfying. The game also allows for smooth jumps, mid-air change of directions, and quick club response time. I especially like the rock throwing, as ol’ Big Nose can perform this action from the air. Don’t let those dwarf dinosaurs fool you, some of them are fast, and the bosses are pretty resilient.  Pack a few extra rocks.


Do you smell that? Yea, it’s the music…

Yay! You cheated your way through the first level, go you!

Yay! You cheated your way through the first level, go you!

The tropical islands are as colorful as can be expected if you’re talking about a bitmap. Yes, this entire game looks like it was drawn on MS Paint. I wasn’t impressed nor was I disappointed. The color scheme wasn’t really worth a slot in my memory card of a brain, but it was acceptable for the style of gameplay (this isn’t Call of Duty people, calm down). I will tell you the music is enough to make a sane man jump. It’s so bad, if I were Frogger, I would be seeking out truck tires. It’s so terrible, if I were Bowser, I would return the princess and stomp on my own head. It’s so annoying, if I were allergic to cats, I’d get one. I may have lost you on that last one. Either way, you get the picture.


Man this game sucks dude. (Two weeks later…) Hey, check this out, let’s try it…

Is it supposed to be ironic that my dinner is holding my scoreboard?

Is it supposed to be ironic that my dinner is holding my scoreboard?

Like all great (and terrible) retro games, you’re less likely to remember all these oldies than you are to play it, forget you played it, and then accidentally play it again. Because of articles like these, I will have this gem burned into my mind for ages to come. Maybe you will be more fortunate. I say, if you like platformers, and you enjoy a good challenge, pop it in and give it a try. If you die a lot, totally suck at it, and/or completely hate it, what can I say, get a Game Genie or move on with life. There are many other diamonds in the rough, just waiting for the paleontologist/inner child in us to find it.

*Note:  All screenshots were captured with the screenshot function of the Jnes Emulator (F3).

Gameplay: 8

Story: 2

Controls: 9

Graphics/Sound: 6

Replayability: 5

Overall: 6

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon


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