Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle

Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle
Company: Coleco
Model #:
Todd Marshall, Robin McDaniel, and Henry Will (Wickstead Design)
Year: 1982
The first game in the Smurfs series


Created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo (Pierre Culliford) in 1958, the Smurfs are little blue creatures (said to be three apples high) who live in the Smurf village hidden deep in a forest.  The Smurfs main enemy throughout the series is a failed sorcerer by the name of Garamel.  Usually Gargamel's goal was to find the Smurf village so he capture every last Smurf in order to make a potion that turns lead into gold.  Sometimes however Gargamel's motive for finding the Smurfs was so he could eat them (how many would you have to eat to make a meal?) or just to destroy them out of sheer hatred.  Gargamel was a complicated man...


Regardless of his motives, in Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle (henceforth to be known as RIGC) Gargamel has captured Smurfette and hidden her away in his Castle (more of a hovel to be honest, but lets not nitpick) and it's up to you, Generic Smurf, to rescue her.  The journey to Gargamel's castle won't be easy though as you must travel through several screens full of hostile enemies such as hawks, spiders, and fences (evil fences...) in order to make it the castle and rescue what can only assume is every Smurfs true love (did I mention there's only one female Smurf who isn't a child?).

The controls in Smurf: RIGC are pretty straight forward.  Your Smurf can move left and right with the joystick and jump by pressing up (the fire button oddly has no function).  Your Smurf can also do a super jump by pressing up twice in a row.  This super jump is usually what is needed to cross the various obstacles your will encounter while the single jump is good for avoiding enemies.  Learning which kind of jump to do and when is the secret to getting anywhere in Smurf.  Your Smurf must also deal with a pesky energy timer which can become quite a problem at the higher difficulty levels where progress is slowed by fast moving enemies which must be constantly avoided.

You start the game out in Smurf Village where you must jump over stationary fences and swooping hawks in order to proceed.  After the village you will come to a river with snakes to avoid (these snakes can cross the river just fine so watch out), then it's onto the mountain (which looks like a series of steps) with more hawks to contend with.  After the mountains your Smurf will have to trek through some caves filled with spiders until he comes across yet another series of rivers.  Eventually your Smurf will reach Gargamel's castle where he must dodge bats while jumping on chairs and tables to rescue Smurfette.  After reaching Smurfette the game will start over at a higher difficulty.

Smurf: RIGC is a fun little action game that was marketed towards children but was probably played more by older kids and adults as the game can be quite tough for kids even at the lower levels.  While people are probably most familiar with the visually impressive Colecovision port, the Atari 2600 port is actually pretty nice for the hardware it's running on.  Even the slightly off key version of Shaker Melody (Simple Gifts) that plays throughout the game is kind of endearing.  Unfortunately RIGC would be the first and only action game in the Smurfs series.  All other Smurf games would be educational or non-game in nature.  It's unknown why Coleco didn't do another action game, but the other games in the series were not as successful.

Version Cart Text Description
Mid-Level WIP


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