Welcome once again to #FridayRetro. Go ahead with our tour of the arcades and, on this occasion, talk about another cooperative game, which will be very well set in the time of the caves. Be talking about Joe & Mac.

Known in other regions as Caveman Ninja, Joe & Mac present the classic story of endangered ladies who must be rescued by heroes. One night, a group of ruffians kidnap a group of women, grab their hair and drag them away. It’s that simple. Joe and Mac must venture into different scenarios riddled with enemies to reach a final boss and rescue one of the damsels.

Because of the way in which we are progressing, we can think that it is a combination of Contra and Adventure Island. The prehistoric jungle setting and music combine very well to immerse yourself in the experience and recall the adventures of Master Higgins, with levels of both horizontal and vertical advancement that resemble some of the Konami classic. Another interesting point and that also connect it with the Hudson Soft adventure is that the energy bar wears out over time, so you must consume food if you do not want to be holy or, in this case, caveman, go to heaven.

Having to break many faces to advance

How can cavemen defend themselves?

Start with some very austere stone hammers, but there are different types of weapons: boomerangs, spearheads, fireballs and stone wheels, which are my favorites. To be able to say that it is the equivalent of the boomerang cross in Castlevania or the S against. In addition to the variety of weapons, the way of attacking has a peculiarity: if you press and hold the attack button, the character begins to rotate his arm at high speed. When you release the button, deliver a powerful hit with a giant version of the weapon you have at the moment. Unfortunately this feature has not been included in the SNES version, in addition to not being such a good port, the truth.

More than one way to take

When defeating a boss, sometimes being able to choose between 2 paths, very much in the style of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. In the end, have the possibility to choose 3 destinations in which there are small variants in the end, which makes Joe & Mac one of the first titles with multiple endings.

Joe & Mac obviously have been in the long list of titles that parade through the pharmacy that you have spoken about in previous texts; it is more, there to have known and played it for the first time. Remember that regularly attending a friend who is much older than me, about 25 or 30 years old, who always plays Joe & Mac. For a long time trying to finish it with a coin, but simply not being able to and, really, not judging because it is not a simple game. We make friends and talk a little despite the age difference, but what we remember most about him is that one day he will come with a lot of determination and tell me: today finish Joe & Mac, cost what it will cost. Not remembering exactly how much money to spend, but keeping word: ending Joe & Mac and me being a gossip all the time because I also want to know the end of the adventure.

2 cavemen be better than 1

Joe & Mac be a multiplayer and really enjoy yourself in this mode. Perhaps you are asking: why not play with your chavorruco friend? The answer would be yes, but he said that he wanted to finish the game alone, so my participation was limited to watching him play, which would also have been fun. Not remembering whether to finish it on my own or to do it with a friend, but what is very clear is that playing it with someone makes it much more fun and adds a special challenge, as usually happens with other titles for 2 simultaneous players like Final Fight or Bad Dudes. It has always been very rewarding for me to stand next to someone else and play a cooperative game. Competing also has its charm, but likes the idea of ​​teamwork more.

We reinvent the wheel

Other versions exist

As already said, the SNES port leaves a lot to be desired, but there are other installments that will do more honor to its arcade counterpart. Perhaps the closest to be the Sega Genesis. Among other things, in this case it does retain the ability to charge attacks. As a curious fact, in arcades a sequel called Joe & Mac Returns appears, in which the game mechanics change completely and resemble Tumblepop or Snow Bros. Although feel like a rip-off, it is a fun title. Everything that looks like Snow Bros. is welcome to me.

Be different but be fun

Joe & Mac are part of the long list of arcade games that stand out for their game mechanics, setting and challenge. If you have the opportunity to play it, I recommend that you not do it alone, since the experience will be greatly enriched by the multiplayer. Facing the dangers of the jungle in company will always be better.

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