Blog ♥ My ten most influential NES games: #3 Hello Kitty World

This is the third in a series of posts about NES games. As I described in an earlier post, I've decided to share my highly subjective, personal top-ten list of NES games based on how influential they were to me, one at a time and in no particular order. Hello Kitty World easily snags the #3 spot on my top-ten NES list.

Hello Kitty world gameplay

Do you know the classic NES game Balloon Fight? There was a cute sequel for the Game Boy called Balloon Kid. The game features Alice, a girl armed with balloons who can float over and around various obstacles that would pop her balloons. When on a platform, Alice can inflate a new balloon—via rapid button mashing—to replace one that's been popped. And then she's off to float on by to the end of the level.

Cover art: Balloon Kid

The Balloon Kid soundtrack was created by music legend Hip Tanaka, responsible for the soundtracks of Kid Icarus, Metroid, Earthbound, Dr. Mario, and other Nintendo classics. Balloon Kid was released in the US (1990) and Europe (1991) but not Japan—unusual considering that it was a first-party Nintendo game. No fair, right?!

Fortunately, Balloon Kid did get a release of sorts in Japan. In 1992, the game was reskinned and ported to the Famicom. The result? Hello Kitty World.

Hello Kitty World bonus level

It's a shame that Hello Kitty World wasn't released in the US. After all, the game is a first-party NES game featuring Hello-Freaking-Kitty!

Hello Kitty World grabbed my attention as a teenager because it was challenging yet cute, made with superstar talent and built on superstar IP yet obscure (at least in the US). Hello Kitty World has a mosaic of qualities not often found together in one NES game. It was really THE game that had me thinking about alternative timelines in video game history. What if this game had shipped with the NES console instead of Super Mario Bros.? How would video game history be different today?

Hello Kitty World title screen

Hello Kitty World is the game I used to source most of the graphics for Hello Kitty Land, my 2002-2003 Super Mario Bros. ROM hack. This hack functions as another way of asking that alternative-history question. What if...?

Hello Kitty Land

Hello Kitty World, with its cute graphics, fun gameplay, and amazing soundtrack, has a super-special place in my heart.

Posted December 11 at 12:12 AM while watching an infomercial.