Retro-spective: Yo! Noid

Remember those games that you played when you were a kid that never quite seemed to get the limelight you thought they deserved? Our writer Kelso does, and it’s time to give them some attention.

Yo! Noid: NES, 1990

Buckle up kids, because we’re about to hop into the time machine back to 1990. When I was a kid, my mom got the family the NES, and because it was a spendy product, we ended up with a lot of the cheaper, more obscure games available for the system. In this series, I plan to wax nostalgic about these games and hopefully introduce some new people to them.

As many of us do, I have memories of going to Funcoland and choosing games as a kid, usually just based on the art because I was five years old and just wanted things to look cool. (For those of you who don’t know, Funcoland was a video game retailer based in Minnesota back in the 90s. It was eventually bought by Barnes & Noble, who owns GameStop.)

One of the games we ended up with was Yo! Noid. It was released in 1990 and was a port of Kamen no Ninja Hanamaru localized to the US in order to promote the Noid, who was the inexplicable mascot of Domino’s Pizza back in the ‘80s.

In the game, you played as Noid, a guy in a red bunny-eared suit who had major jumping skills as well as a yo-yo for a weapon. He battled enemies and used tools you could find in the game such as a skateboard and pogo stick with a large base called the Pizza Crusher.  You also could gather scrolls to gain magic points to use special moves. Because this was a Domino’s promotion, you encountered pizza-eating contests as boss battles.

My sister, who was not much into games, really, REALLY enjoyed this one. I watched her play it all the time, developing a skill at it that I could never match. To be honest, as much as I played this game, I never actually beat it. There was a skateboard level that I could not for the life of me get past. Despite that, it’s a game I remember very fondly, and when I find another person out in the world that knows about it, I am always delighted.

I’ve seen copies of this game at second-hand stores, so I know it’s still out there. If you see it and you happen to have an NES compatible system, I definitely recommend checking it out. And maybe grab yourself a pizza while you’re at it.

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About Kelso Rowland

Kelso Rowland is an artist, podcaster and long-time gamer who resides in the Twin Cities with her husband and three fur children. She watches too many horror films and has sold her soul to Bioware. You can find her on Twitter @kellyinacan.
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