In this weekly column, we’ll be selecting inexpensive, discarded titles from still playable consoles for your perusal. They may be games you’ve heard of and remember playing, or they may be games that have flown completely off of your radar. Just know that we love them and they’re available on the cheap. That’s a bonafide win/win situation.

If you have any favorite titles that you consider hidden gems, let us know in the comments below and we might feature your pick in the weekly column.

Adventure Island
Platform: NES, Virtual Console
Original Release: 1988

I’m kicking it way old school this week. Way-way old school would have been an Atari classic. Instead, I’ve settled on one of my favorite Nintendo Entertainment System games that’s currently available for the Wii‘s Virtual Console. Odds are, older gamers probably remember Adventure Island. You may not have owned it, but you likely had a friend that did.

That friend probably always described it the same way: “This game, man, it’s this shirtless kid on a skateboard that kills snakes firing smaller snakes out of their faces. It’s nuts!”

It is nuts. Adventure Island has the weirdest collection of enemies, the oddest rescue premise, the greatest music and the most diverse set of environments I can remember from gaming back in the day. Is it the best game you’ll ever play? No, not at all. It has it’s flaws.

But, quite honestly, if you’re looking to sink your teeth into a fun, old school platformer with classic game design at its core, Adventure Island is a fantastic place to head. There was a new entry for the Wii recently, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the glory of the original. Will anything ever?…


Be sure to check out our ever-growing list of Hidden Gems.