Mighty Rabbit Studios’ Saturday Morning RPG has recently been released on Nintendo Switch, having originally released on iOS back in 2012. This episodic role-playing game is set in a world heavily inspired by Saturday morning TV and pop culture of the 1980s. With references to Transformers, Back to the Future, He-Man, and even Michael Jackson, the game offers an incredibly entertaining throwback and an experience where you can re-live your childhood memories.
Players step into the shoes of Marty, an average high school student who gains incredible power thanks to a magical ‘Trapper Keeper’ notebook given to him by The Wizard. Using everyday objects as weapons, Marty then begins his quest to defeat Commander Hood and save the world.
You start the game in a typical ‘80s living room, complete with wood panelled walls, VHS tapes, and an analog TV. Presented as ‘episodes’, each chapter has its own main quest as well as several side quests that have you dealing with high school clichés, like bullies, passing notes, finding dates, and getting to the bottom of mind control experiments which are strangely linked to cafeteria gruel. Marty’s notebook acts as the in-game menu where you can find quest lists and your inventory. As you play through the game you will find and unlock stickers and backgrounds to customise your notebook with. This grants you combat bonuses such as health, strength, defence, and speed boosts.
Above everything else, Saturday Morning RPG is about having fun and each episode provides plenty to be had. There are opportunities to explore each area, with EXP bonuses being granted for exploration, as well as collecting opportunities and additional combat; essentials for any RPG.
All combat in the game is turn based but instead of scrolling through on-screen menus, Saturday Morning has a very simple interface with only three options. A multiplier boost which strengthens your attacks, a magical attack that uses items collected though gameplay, and a normal physical attack. Once you make your choice you take part in a mini-game to execute your move, which determines how powerful the attack will be. Magical attacks are limited and can only be used a certain number of times per battle, so think carefully before committing to using one, and multiplier boosts are based on your power gage, which can be refilled by defending against enemy attacks and using your physical attack.
Saturday Morning RPG also offers two additional game modes: Endless and Arena. In Endless, you are faced with endless waves of enemies from a selected episode and in Arena you must face the game’s various bosses in battle.
The game has very simple graphics featuring 8-bit characters and pre-rendered backgrounds, further immersing you into the 1980s with a retro arcade game feel. The soundtrack is also fitting with the theme of the game, written and composed by Vince DiCola and Kenny Meriedeth who between them have worked on the likes of Transformers: The Movie (1986), Rocky IV (1995), and DuckTales (1987).
Although not very long, Saturday Morning RPG is a very fun and entertaining game to play. Since it was originally designed to be played on a phone it is the type of game that you can pick up at any time. It works remarkably well on the Nintendo Switch as a handheld game with the option to use touchscreen still available. Everything from the simple interface, story, characters, gameplay, music, and dialogue are engaging and add to the blast-from-the-past concept. If you’re looking for a fun, casual game to pass a few hours, or grew up watching ‘80s Saturday morning cartoons, Saturday Morning RPG is highly recommended.
Review Code provided to the author by Mighty Rabbit Studios.