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Inspector Gadget – SNES

Inspector Gadget – SNES

Inspector_Gadget_CoverPlatform: Super Nintendo

Developer: AIM

Publisher: Hudson Soft

Release Date (NA): December 1993

Genre: Platformer

Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed By ZB

Go-Go Gadget Review!

Okay answer me honestly: how many times have you strolled down your local game store’s SNES aisle skimming the modest titles on display and completely overlooked Inspector Gadget? Why wouldn’t you? Who would expect anything a notch above mediocre from a video game based on an early-80s cartoon?

Or perhaps, like me, you are a fan of Inspector Gadget but have doubted the developer’s abilities to properly do the cartoon justice. So often what we get is disappointment from game adaptations of TV shows, movies, and other popular characters. As a rule I pretty much write off anything inspired by a property that has at one point or another graced a television/movie screen.

But wait…

What’s this?


Hudson Soft?

Now I’ve got to give this a shot.

That’s right! Hudson Soft. The beloved publisher of such classics as Bomberman, Adventure Island, and my personal favorite, Bonk’s Adventure.

Hudson Soft. How bad could it possibly be?


It’s good. Real good.

Now I’m not saying this because I’m a fan of Inspector Gadget. I love the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, however, I know the game is complete shite.

But no, this game is really good. I mean, how do you make a video game based on a detective who is rife with robotic gadgets fun? Actually, it should be a no-brainer. And that’s exactly why this game is excellent.


Don’t you just love that 16-bit butt crack?  It’s attention to detail like that that makes this game look so nice!

To start, it looks good; our beloved Inspector is rendered nicely in 16-bits. While it’s not the most stunning example of the Super Nintendo’s capabilities it gets the job done, staying faithful to the look of the cartoon. And being a somewhat earlier game in the SNES lifespan, it holds up pretty well.

So with a character like Inspector Gadget, what exactly would you want to see while playing his game? Why gadgets of course! And as you’d expect, a manageable arsenal of tricks are at your disposal, with all of his most signature abilities included. These are presented through your main attacks and your hat weapons.


Just as it should be. That M.A.D. Agent doesn’t stand a chance!

All of his iconic telescoping extremities are used in the form of a ranged melee attack. His jumps are spring loaded and his punches are extended. What happens when you jump AND punch? Go-Go Gadget neck! And what about his crouch attack? Spring-loaded kicks, baby! What’s that? There’s something flying over his head? Well the hand that lives inside his hat dons a boxing glove for just such an occasion. The critical moves Inspector Gadget packs in the show are well-represented in video game form, just as you would expect from a topflight adaptation. And of course you can collect power-ups to increase the range of his standard attack.

His hat weapons are limited by the number of “hat” icons you gather – however, the trusty hand that pops out of his head is inexhaustible, proving very useful whenever you have to cross a large gap by way of conveniently hanging rings. But let’s say you have to traverse a wide pit and that option is not available to you. You guessed it – the propeller power-up is in stock for such an occasion, allowing you to waft safely across any chasm. No, you can’t fly. That much is disappointing, but for an action platformer you don’t really want to fly, do you? The Mario games pull it off well, but given that the propeller isn’t a power-up that can be lost, not to mention the overall design of the levels, I think they made the most sensible choice.


With his propeller hat, Gadget glides safely and gracefully to his destination


Use the lamp to illuminate your path, or toss it at enemies. It doubles as a weapon

Other hat weapons include plungers that provide a boost up high platforms, arrows, upward helicopter projectiles, bombs, mini-Gadget attack drones, a lamp, and a mysterious question mark item that I will not spoil for you. The variety in all these different powers will give you a bit of a Mega Man experience in gameplay. But even more importantly, you’ll really feel like you’re the good Inspector.gfs_47094_2_8

Often times in life we are given a gift that is also inherently a curse. Such is the case with Inspector Gadget. Those hat power-ups that we all love so much can curb the difficulty a bit if used advantageously. One such ability is the propeller, which can zip you right to the end of earlier stages. And the upward helicopter projectile makes some boss fights incredibly easy.

Inspector Gadget isn’t a particularly long game, so I wouldn’t advise attempting the easy way out. With that said, it’s fairly challenging on its own so you should get enough play out of it. I myself have beaten it with save states on an emulator but have yet to finish a run on my actual cart of the game. So there’s a good balance in terms of difficulty.

Oddly enough the health system is based on that of Ghosts ’n Goblins in that you lose your clothing when you’re first hit and dead the second hit. This kind of makes sense if you’re a knight and your armor is keeping you safe from harm’s way, but a trench coat? Really? That makes no sense and automatically deducts half a point from the final score.

(Yes, I’m serious. Do you really want to run around half the time as a naked Gadget?)


I didn’t think so.

So let’s move on to the sound portion of the show. Every enemy in this game cries the same “Ow,” which sounds suspiciously like Inspector Gadget himself. It’s kind of weird. But not a big deal.

The music is solid. While the show’s opening theme is not present, the tracks set the game’s tone well, combining the lighthearted goofiness of the title protagonist with a sleuth-like urgency. Some tracks are decent, some are very enjoyable, such as the beginning stage and the Amazon Jungle (you’ll notice several themes will be variants of the first level music). Although I’m sure we all want to hear that signature “doo doo doo doo doo ‘Inspector Gadget,’” what the game gives us instead is a reasonable substitute. And really, that is all one could ask for considering how bad some other game adaptations get it when it comes to music.

This is the quintessential Inspector Gadget video game. It gives you everything you’d want from a game based on the 80’s cartoon hero. The look and powers are all true to the source material, all the important characters are represented, the cutscenes are reminiscent of the bumbling antics between Chief Quimby and Inspector Gadget, and you even get to see DR. CLAW! What more could you possibly want?


Just like in the cartoon, the crumpled document explodes right in Chief Quimby’s face, who is hiding underneath the kitchen table

While making a fun action/platform game out of Inspector Gadget may have raised a few skeptical eyebrows, Hudson Soft delivers something that should satisfy both fans of the show and fans of platformers.


Written by ZB


Since the tender age of four, I have been playing video games to occupy my free time. Raised on Nintendo and Sega Genesis, I have an extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for the classics. Also an avid collector, I have accrued such consoles as the Atari Jaguar, Super Famicom, Odyssey 2, Sega Nomad, just to name a few.

Got any questions, comments, concerns, or threats? Feel free to email me at I am happy to hear your feedback!


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  1. No you wouldn’t, but it’s an awesome game. I actually discovered it via emulator back in the day and ever since I started collecting again I was always keeping my eyes peeled for it. I’ve had a copy now for about a year or two? And it’s not too expensive either, so now’s a good time to grab one if you find it at a local game store, or even eBay.

  2. Hmm. That’s actually really funny. No one would ever suspect the possibility that this game would be good.


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