Monster in My Pocket was one of those “collectible” toy lines that sprouted up during the 80’s and 90’s… small, rubbery figurines that sold for cheap and could be traded among friends like baseball cards. The line consisted of various monsters and mythological creatures of all kinds, from Mummies and Werewolves to Griffins and Ganesha. Alongside M.U.S.C.L.E., Monster in My Pocket was probably the most successful of the bunch, spawning various tie-ins such as a comic book an animated special. And before long, there was a video game, too.
Released in 1991 on the NES, the game was made by none other than Konami. Yes, Konami, of Castlevania and Metal Gear fame. So already, we’re off to a good start.
The game can be played with a second player, but either way you get to pick your character. You can choose between the Vampire and the Monster. Now, if you’ve read my previous articles you know I’ve got a weakness for Frankensteins, so I’ll give you one guess who I picked.
So the story begins with the Vampire and Monster watching television, before the broadcast is interrupted by the evil Warlock. As you can see, he’s sent out his henchmen. That’s really the gist of the plot… he’s pretty much just trying to fuck with our heroes. Well, alright then.
And the game begins. Monster in My Pocket is a side-scrolling platformer with beat-em-up elements… B attacks, and A jumps. You can do a double jump, too. The gameplay is simple, but it works. Your goal is to make it to the end of the stage, fighting off enemies along the way. Fortunately, unlike many similar games of the time, there is no time limit.
At the end of each stage, you fight a boss. In this case, the boss is… I have no idea what the boss is. Hold on, let me look it up.
Okay, so it’s Spring-Heeled Jack. Sure, I can go with that. Certainly jumps around enough for that to be the case. Anyway, he’s pretty easy. Just dodge his knives and keep punching him, and eventually he’ll fall.
Next up is the kitchen. Apparently someone left the stove on, so watch out for that. In addition to the more domestic hazards, there’s considerably more enemies this time around… from egg-dropping dragons to axe-throwing goblins, you better watch your ass. Also, I discovered that you can pick up and throw certain objects, such as keys, though I didn’t find much use for it.
So the boss of this stage is a GODDAMN FREEZER YETI. He’s harder than Jack… not only can he run across the stage, hitting you if you’re not careful, but he can also freeze you in place, leaving you open for attack. Keep on your toes, though, and he won’t be too much trouble.
Next, you find yourself on a street, dodging golf balls as well as annoying flying enemies. Eventually, you’ll fall down a sewer, where you’ll face even more enemies… namely, little imp-looking guys that spawn from a pipe. They spawn fast, so you better get the hell out of there. Eventually, you reach the boss.
AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH JESUS CHRIST WHAT IS IT
So apparently this terrifying thing is the Kraken. He’s actually fairly easy… avoid his tentacles, then jump in and punch him a few times. Rinse and repeat. He can take quite a beating, but eventually, he’ll die and you can move on.
The next level is a construction site, and also where the game gets frustrating. There’s some tricky platforming here, not to mention plenty of annoying enemies that can knock you to your doom. I lost all my continues here, and had to give up.
I do rather enjoy the game. It’s definitely got that Konami quality, and it’s quite fun to play, especially given it’s status as a licensed game. Overall, I’d recommend it. I’m sure I’ll take another stab at it some day… maybe I’ll even do a video playthrough. But for now, I’m putting this Monster back in my pocket.