Karnov is one of those odd games that I used to like a lot as a kid, even though most people didn’t play it or look twice at it.
It’s a simple side scrolling action game with pretty bad mechanics and awful menu layouts but it was also pretty ambitious in its use of items and the amount of items within the game.
I always looked beyond the flaws though, as I was captivated by the aesthetic of the game, between its visual allure and the interesting mythological world it takes place in.
The music in this is also pretty damn rad and it has held up quite well for a late ’80s 8-bit game.
I still find myself playing through the entire game every couple of years and I still enjoy it.
I kind of wish that this was a hit because sequels would’ve been cool and they could’ve refined some of the issues this game had.
Plus, for those who might not realize it, Karnov, the character, also appeared as the first level boss in Bad Dudes. He also had minor appearances in a few other games. Maybe Data East had plans to turn him into their brand’s Mario.
Pairs well with: other side scrolling fantasy action games for NES.