August 28, 2020
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A playthrough of Natsume’s 1992 arcade-style action puzzle game for the Super Nintendo, Spanky’s Quest.

Despite having one of the hilariously awkward and suggestive names in the SNES library, Spanky’s Quest has little to do with spanking. Spanky himself might be a monkey, and he might defeat his foes by releasing some sort of substance from his body that can produce fully formed “abstractions” of monkey business, but this is not a game about masturbation. You merely manipulate your monkey in the appropriate ways until the desired end result is reached. Clearly there are no legitimate parallels to be drawn here.

Ahem. Now, with that out of the way…

Spanky’s Quest is a thoroughly charming arcade style action-puzzle game that is structured similarly to games like Bubble Bobble and Snow Brothers. The fifty stages are generally no larger than a couple of screens, and the main goal of each of them is to collect enough keys to unlock the stage’s exit door.

At the end of each world there is a battle against a (usually extremely odd) boss character, and each stage is filled with a large variety of lesser “minions.” Spanky is not defenseless against these creatures though – he can launch bubbles that provide him weapons. If he pops the bubble immediately, a single baseball will fall out and kill any enemy it comes in contact with. If more firepower is needed, Spanky can bounce the bubble off of his head to change his attack: at two bounces, a popped bubble releases a chain of soccer balls that will wipe out anything in their path. At three, a group of volleyballs appear that will circle outward from the spot where the bubble was popped. And finally, the fourth bounce will allow Spanky to release a group of basketballs that shoot in a wide-shot pattern, allowing him to kill massive groups of bad guys all at once.

The different attacks provide some fun strategy to game with how they force you to consider enemy formations in order to choose the weapon best suited for the job, and the stage layouts lend themselves well to the styles of attacks you get to make use of. It might sound a bit convoluted, but it’s very simple in practice, and it lends just enough depth to keep the game feeling fresh across multiple playthroughs.

The game looks great with its large, expressive character sprites and its pastel-infused,1980s California vibe. It’s all warm, friendly, and cute, like you would expect from a well-illustrated children’s book. The stellar soundtrack was done by Kyouhei Sada, who you might know from his work on games like Contra, The Adventures of Bayou Billy, and Abadox, and though the style here is a departure from his usual work, it’s just as good as any of his work for Konami on the NES.

And finally, the gameplay strikes that same fine balance between action and puzzles that made the Bubble Bobble series so successful – it’s easy to pick up and play, but it has an addictive quality that will keep you coming back to chase high scores long after you’ve seen the ending.

It’s quirky and nostalgic, and it’s still just as playable today as it was twenty-eight years ago. You might not get to spank your monkey here, but even without an Adults-only rating, Spanky is a monkey that’ll you’ll thoroughly enjoy spending your time with.
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No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. gamer 2.0 Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    I remember when I was young and my older brother was still alive. This was his favorite game. I remember him passing all the levels all the way to the witch, I don't remember that black bird but I do remember him passing the game. It's nice to reminisce.😁👍

    Reply
  2. JARJAR323 Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    U know if u throw the bubble to the key 🔑 they key will follow uu right ????

    Reply
  3. Соɾу ℛ. Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Wtf are you doing?! Yellow is the best, GTFO that Orange sheet.

    Reply
  4. Bruno Pereira Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    I borrowed this game from a friend of mine when I was 13. At first I was a little disappointed but then, after a while, I found the game fun to play. The songs are cool too. I never beat the game though.

    Reply
  5. Leandro Cavalcante Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    This game have such interesting mechanics. I would like to see a indie game based on it, with more fluid animation, but with the same tropical feellings.

    Even better: a metroidvania

    Reply
  6. RODTUBE BR Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Esse jogo é muito loko mano um dos meus preferidos da infancia!!!

    Reply
  7. Adam Jensen Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Reliving the childhood 🙂

    Reply
  8. Doc Quote Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    This game is a CLASSIC,Im having the best nostalgia trip watching this.This and zombies ate my neighbors were my favorite snes games

    Reply
  9. The Gaming Pal Wolfang Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    This game is a freaking gem man, so awesome, yet so simple

    Reply
  10. J Ren Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Loved this game as a kid. Wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel come out for it on the switch.

    Reply
  11. Bruno Campestrini Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    the soundtrack looks much better than the game

    Reply
  12. Tails the Green Ninja Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Ummm, yeah.

    Wait? Wha…………………

    Reply
  13. Ronaldo Agudelo Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    This is not a game about masterbation

    Reply
  14. Lotus Petal Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    So let me get this straight: a cute little monkey is minding his own business and taking a little trek through the forest, when suddenly a temple falls on him and some evil sorceresses trap him inside, and also cause the food he was carrying in his backpack to come alive and try to kill him? Talk about having a bad day!
    Anyway, this game looks too adorable and the gameplay reminds me a bit of Bubble Bobble and Pang. I'm actually interested in playing this. Thanks for another great video!

    Reply
  15. Dorelaxen Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    I always wanted to rent this, but could never bring myself to bring it up to the register to do so…

    Reply
  16. The Real Sean W. Stewart Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Oh my god, I just rediscovered this little nugget of arcade fun from my childhood a few months ago! Spanky the Monkey and his bubbles turning into basketballs attacks against his fruit adversaries is so charming, I am glad I remembered the name of this cool slice of quirkiness, I forgot it for the longest time, it’s been ages! The soundtrack deserves special mention though, the music’s just so freaking catchy and energetic, it’s one of my favorite SNES soundtracks. I guarantee, even though this isn’t a hentai game, you’ll still be spanking YOUR monkey at how fun and clever and challenging these levels of action can be! ^^ 💕

    Reply
  17. yusakug Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Never played this. I just remember the ads having a weird endorsement from Archie Comics, with a "Recommended by Jughead" quote in the corner of the ad. I have no idea what this meant, and still don't. To the best of my knowledge, Jughead was not a video game critic back in the day, but never read the comics, so could be wrong for all I know.

    Reply
  18. boru25 Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    The music is amazing. This is one of the best Snes soundtracks I've ever heard.

    Reply
  19. CapnLexCrunch Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    I checked out this game a few years ago for its killer soundtrack
    I wasn't expecting the game to be as boss as it is though

    Reply
  20. Moltenomnivore 5 Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    I loved this game as a kid 😂

    Reply
  21. MFields2178 Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Just out of curiosity, is your goal to play every video game ever existed on your channel?

    Reply
  22. MFields2178 Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    I love the music in this game that I used it in one of my YouTube videos. I played this as a kid and I never thought spanking the monkey. Ah, the innocence of youth.

    Reply
  23. krystalfan Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    i remember seeing ads for this game and spindizzy world in some old archie comics

    Reply
  24. Roberth Anthony Martinez Rivero Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Such a good ass Jazz OST. The GB OST doesn't even compare. Good game once you figure out how the ball mechanic works.

    Reply
  25. moviemetalhead Posted on June 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    One of Natsume's underrated gems. Such great music.

    Reply
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