In our Change The Channel series, we explore the history of video games that are based on TV shows, one game at a time. This week, Shaun Eddleston takes a look at 1993’s The Ren & Stimpy Show: Veediots! for the Super Nintendo…
The Ren & Stimpy Show was one of the staple cartoons of my childhood. Its mix of slapstick humour, puerile gross-out tactics and often terrifying surrealism set it apart from the rest of the pack of original Nicktoons lineup, and it is still hilarious to watch today.
The show was also a massive success in the early 90’s, so it was only inevitable that it would receive a video game tie-in (five of them, to be exact!). Part 7 of our ongoing Change The Channel series takes a look at Nintendo’s exclusive title for the SNES, Veediots!.
According to the game’s manual, Veediots! sees Ren and Stimpy trying to make a break for it, escape the confines of cartoons and bust out into the real world of fresh air and pizza delivery. In order to do this, players must guide the hapless cat and dog duo through four episodes of the show.
The first level is based on the episode “The Boy Who Cried Rat!“, and sees Stimpy take on the role of a mouse catcher, while Ren disguises himself as a mouse, all in order to scam a few dollars out of unsuspecting homeowners.
The aim of the level is to reach the end with as many dollar pickups as possible, while avoiding mousetraps (and the mouse catcher himself) before the time runs out. The clunkiness of the controls that are evident throughout the game begin straight away, as jumping from platform to platform with any sort of accuracy is sketchy at times. Encountering mouse catcher Stimpy many times throughout the stage is easily dealt with though, as Ren’s slap attack temporarily thwarts Stimpy, and hiding behind curtains that are dotted around at the top of the stage is also effective in confusing him.
After ending up in Stimpy’s huge mouth, the boss of the level is the Tooth Beaver, a callback to another episode that haunts me to this day (he lives inside your mouth and likes to chew on the nerve endings in your teeth, “the tastiest part of your body”). It gets good points for the reference, but the difficulty arising from the awkward controls does mar the experience slightly.
The second level of Veediots! is based on “In The Army“, which sees Ren trying to overcome obstacles and enemies as he makes an escape attempt from army life.
The level sees Ren make his way through the traps and personnel of the army boot camp, along with some dangerous artillery that’s been left lying around and a number of angry bees and insects that only serve to stop Ren’s progress.
After fighting your way through a series of caves, you come face to face with the furious drill sergeant, who bombards you with a seemingly unending stream of falling projectiles. The cave section here is incredibly tricky, and relies on players knowing exactly where everything is situated in order to escape. This isn’t helped by the introduction of bats and paratroopers as enemies either. After conquering this second part of the level, the boss is incredibly underwhelming and easy (by comparison). Oh well, at least Powdered Toast Man and Mr. Horse make cameo appearances.
Level three in Veediots! sees players take control of inventor Stimpy in “Stimpy’s Invention“, where the lovably dumb cat has invented a piece of headwear that will be able to permanently subdue Ren’s constant fits of violence and rage.
While Ren’s attack comprises of a slap, Stimpy’s attack is licking. This attack doesn’t matter too much for this part of the game as the level is more puzzle-based, and requires Stimpy to reach the end of each section before the now-shortened timer runs out. These sections are undeniably rock solid in terms of difficulty, and often veer into “completely unfair” territory. The various items that are scattered throughout Stimpy’s laboratory need to be used effectively and quickly in order to get through the level and, as tricky as it is, offers a nice changeup from the simple platforming found in Ren’s stages. There’s no boss for this level as such, just a requirement to get the “happy helmet” onto Ren’s head.
HAPPY HAPPY! JOY JOY!
Veediots!‘ final level, based on the episode “Marooned“, sees space cadet Stimpy lost in a strange, alien world. Players must help guide him off the planet and to safety.
“Marooned” begins with the duo being eaten by a strange three-eyed alien, and players must maneuver a falling Stimpy down the alien’s food pipe, avoiding obstacles and enemies along the way. After landing, Stimpy must proceed through the guts of the alien through a series of Metroid-like areas. The penultimate section of the level sees the floor and ceiling constantly switching over again and again. This forces players to stay focused on their surroundings, otherwise the spikes that protrude from the walls will end a run quickly, and the ever-looming threat of a gruesome booger alien is always there as well.
It’s not an easy level, or even an easy game, so it will put off casual players, but is more than enough of a challenge for gamers that are looking for a challenge.
Upon completion of each stage, Veediots! rewards players in the most typically Ren & Stimpy way possible; an exclusive variant of Log™, ranging from visible log and log for girls to Sergeant Log of the Yukon. A pretty fitting (and suitably daft) way to end a run in a game that is so heavily based on real episodes of the cartoon show.
Overall, Veediots! is not a perfect game. While the graphics and music are pretty good at recreating the look and feel of The Ren & Stimpy Show, the clunky controls and lack of any passwords or savepoints throughout the levels make it an absolute nightmare to play at times. The fact that the game is so faithful to the show and includes many of the characters that fans have come to love over the years redeems it slightly, making Veediots! worth a look all the same.
It’s doubtful that it will convert people who didn’t particularly like the show, but for Ren & Stimpy fans, Veediots! is better than bad; it’s good!
Have you played The Ren & Stimpy Show: Veediots? What is your favourite episode from the show? Let us know in the comments below, or send a tweet our way!