The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle has to rank among the worst NES games for its utter monotony and repetition. Sure, there are a handful of more broken NES titles, but perhaps none that match Crazy Castle’s lack of variety.
In Crazy Castle, players take control of iconic Looney Tune Bugs Bunny. Each level is a simple chamber within a castle, where Bugs must avoid enemies and navigate doorways to find every carrot on a stage. And that’s basically it.
Bugs Bunny can’t jump, so really your only real input is using the d-pad to move Bugs around. But words really can’t do justice to how poorly Bugs controls. He slides wildly all over the place, putting one foot on a stairway means Bugs will automatically continue along the stair’s path, and sometimes pressing directions on the d-pad seems unresponsive. It’s a mess to control.
One thing that really through me off with the controls are the doorways. Doors that lead upwards have a visible staircase behind them, while doors that go downward do not. Basic video game instincts would have you think you need to press up on the d-pad to go through any doorway. But you’d be wrong. You have to press down in order to use the downwards doors. I suppose it makes sense to some degree, but it goes against a basic rule that pretty much any decent video game would abide by.
Honestly, there’s not much else to say about the game, other then you’re likely to run into more than a few inescapable enemies, as they track Bugs’ movements and many of the stage layouts work against the player. You can find boxing gloves or invisible ink to defeat the enemies, but more often than not you’ll find yourself unfairly trapped by Sylvesters and Yosemite Sams (and, of course, by bad game design).
This is a game that you have figured out by the end of the first stage, and it continues for seventy-nine more without changing things up (except for some different environments and music, but the graphics and sound are ugly and bland all the same). There’s just nothing to the game, and then it continues to do the same thing over and over again to the point of madness (I guess that’s why it’s called “Crazy Castle”).
Perhaps most baffling of all is that this game managed to spawn a small army of sequels over the years on various platforms (it even made it to the Game Boy Advance, if you can believe it). I don’t even know how you could stretch this concept that far. It’s just so mind-numbing and bland.