I can’t speak to how he was received in his home country, but in North America Bonk–“PC Genjin” to the Japanese–will forever be remembered as the character that ended up with the bronze medal in the great gaming mascot wars of the 1990s.
That’s too bad, because Bonk had a lot going for him: He was cute, knew how to use his head (bad pun, I know) and never buckled under pressure–even when that pressure was applied by big, green (or pink) dinosaurs.
Regardless of his selling power (or lack thereof), Bonk’s first foray into the land of 16-bit platformers is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Sure, Bonk’s Adventure doesn’t offer the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog or the depth of Super Mario World, but it’s fun and fairly unique nonetheless.
How so? Well, Bonk saunters through various B.C.-inspired landscapes while bashing enemies–mostly the aforementioned dinosaurs and such–with his big noggin. Regarding the latter, Bonk can headbutt his foes or jump into the air and dive bomb them. Another of his signature moves is to leap into the air and spin wildly–which effectively enables him fly or float across chasms and gaps.
Aside from than all of that, er, bonking, though, Bonk’s Adventure plays a lot like an old-school, Super Mario-esque platformer. It sounds a lot like one, too, with music and sound effects that, while a bit on the “blip” and “bloop” side of the spectrum, ably get the job done.
Now, some will say that this game’s sequel, Bonk’s Revenge (aka PC Genjin 2), bests its predecessor in every way. I can’t say I disagree with such critics, but I also can’t (quite) say that I enjoy playing that title more than I do this one. As long as you own both, though, it doesn’t much matter which one is better, does it?