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The Three Stooges

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The Three Stooges
A-stooge.jpeg
A-stoogenes.jpeg
A-stoogeps1.jpeg
A-stoogegba.jpeg
Curly: "Hey fellas, we're on this wiki!"
Moe: "Shut up you nitwit!" [pokes eyes]
Curly: "Ooh!"
Protagonist(s): Moe, Larry, Curly
Genre(s): Adventure
Platform(s): Amiga
Apple IIGS
Commodore 64
NES
Game Boy Advance
PlayStation
MS-DOS
Windows
Macintosh
Game Boy Color (cancelled)
Release: 1987
NES: 1989
Apple IIGS: 1990
Game Boy Advance, Playstation: 2002
Game Boy Color: 2000 (cancelled)
Developer(s): Incredible Technologies
Beam Software (NES)
Crawfish Interactive (Game Boy Advance)
Flying Tiger (PlayStation)
Publisher(s): Cinemaware (Amiga, Apple IIGS, Commodore 64, Windows, Macintosh)
Activision (NES)
Metro3D, Inc. (Game Boy Advance, PlayStation)
Country: United States
Series: The Three Stooges
"What kind of knuckleheads programmed it like this?! Was this game actually MADE by the Three Stooges?!"
The Angry Video Game Nerd

The Three Stooges is a video game originally released in 1987 based on the franchise of the same name. It was developed by Incredible Technologies and published by Cinemaware.

Plot

The Three Stooges decide to help a struggling orphanage raise money in 30 in-game days before an evil banker seizes it.

Why It Gets Poked in the Eyes

  1. Much like Thomas and Friends: A Day at the Races, the game is basically a group of terrible minigames in one.
  2. You can't freely choose the minigames, you have to time a button press to land Moe's hand on a panel as it randomly moves across the board. You could end up playing the same minigames for the entire game. Even worse is as the game progresses, the speed of Moe's hand gets faster (although it can be slowed down if you play the slapping minigame).
    • You also only have 10 seconds to press the button or else Moe's hand will land on a mousetrap.
  3. The plot is rather depressing for a Three Stooges game, as it's about the Stooges raising money to save Ma's orphanage.
  4. False Advertising: The back of the NES box art claims there are 10 minigames in the game, but 5 of the minigames are just cutscenes.
    • One of the "minigames" is just the Stooges finding free money on the floor, and another is the evil banker taunting them with a letter.
    • The GBA/PS1 remake adds two more minigames, the grocery store and the pizza restaurant, but those are just lazy reskins of the hospital and pie fight minigames respectively.
  5. If Moe's hand lands on a mousetrap four times, the game is immediately over.
    • As shown in the James and Mike Mondays video, you could possibly end up landing on the mousetrap four times in a row, meaning the game would end without you doing anything.
  6. Subpar graphics in the earlier versions, with the oysters in the NES version looking like, according to the AVGN, "dogs' hairy assholes".
  7. In the cracker-eating minigame, you have to move Curly's hand to pick up crackers with the spoon before they're eaten by oysters. However, the hand moves too slow and regardless if you manage to get the crackers, Curly will make an annoying noise.
  8. The trivia minigame has confusing controls; to choose A, you hold left on the D-pad while pressing A or B; to choose B, you hold up/down on the D-pad while pressing the button and to choose C, you hold right while pressing the button. Why couldn't it have just been a selection screen?
  9. The slapping minigame doesn't give you any money but as mentioned before in WISGPITE#2, it slows down the speed of Moe's hand. In the minigame, you play as Moe pummeling the other two Stooges as usual, but its too slow-paced and you can only perform 6 moves.
  10. The boxing minigame is by far the worst minigame: its based on the Stooge short Punch Drunks. In that short, Moe is a struggling boxing manager who puts Curly into the ring after he discovers he goes into a frenzy whenever he hears the tune Pop Goes The Weasel. He also persuades Larry, a violinist, to play the tune at the boxing match. However, the violin breaks during the match, forcing Larry to go look for a radio. But the game never tells you any of this. Instead it simply gives you an image of Larry holding the broken violin.
    • You don't actually play as Curly in the boxing match, but instead as Larry, who must race across the streets to get a radio before the match ends. The camera moves too fast and coupled with the poor graphics that makes it hard to distinguish obstacle from background, you'll end up slamming into everything. There are also two screens at the top: one of them is Curly in the boxing match and another is Moe holding the time limit, but both are too distracting and only add to the frustration.
    • The ending is also inaccurate to the short, as in that short, the radio starts telling a children's story, forcing Larry to find something else. He ends up driving a politician's campaign truck that is playing the tune and crashes through the arena, enabling Curly to win the match. In the game, the radio simply plays without failure and Curly wins the match.
  11. Despite being more technologically advanced than the Amiga, Apple IIGS, Commodore 64, MS-DOS and NES, the GBA and PlayStation versions lack the digital voices and use speech bubbles instead.
  12. The Commodore 64 version has long loading times.
  13. Much like the 1985 movie Stoogemania, the game was obviously made to cash-in on the Three Stooges' resurgence in popularity in the 1980s following the 1983 release of "The Curly Shuffle" by the band Jump 'N The Saddle.
  14. In the same line as Santa Claus Saves the Earth, Shrek: Treasure Hunt and the FIFA games of 2002-2005, it's a very bad idea release a game for Playstation in 2002

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The hilarious title screen, which initially pretends to be a different game (Ghostbusters 2 for NES, Defender of the Crown for other versions) when Curly, Larry and Moe arrive with Larry saying that it looks like a kids game (in the NES version, Curly first says "Hey fellas! We're in the wrong game!"), only for Moe to call them idiots (imbeciles in NES) and does the iconic slap.
  2. The NES version has voice samples, and they sound pretty good for a NES game.
  3. The minigames are based on various Stooge films:
    • The oyster/cracker-eating minigame is based on the short Dutiful but Dumb.
    • The boxing minigame is based on the popular Stooge short Punch Drunks.
  4. The trivia minigame, despite the controls, is the best minigame in the game.
  5. The hospital/grocery store and the pie/pizza fight minigames are also good.
  6. The boxing minigame is less frustrating in the later versions, as the graphics are clearer, making it way easier to not slam into everything.
  7. The game features soundbites of the Stooges and multiple endings depending on how much money you gathered, which were new and revolutionary for its time.
    • In the bad ending, the banker seizes the orphanage.
    • The normal ending, the orphanage is saved and renovated.
    • In the best ending, the Stooges marry Ma's daughters.
  8. It's slightly better than most movie-based games such as the ones published by LJN and at least stayed faithful to the source material unlike The Robonic Stooges.

Reception

AVGN Enraged.jpg "What were they thinking?"
The Shit Scale
Games that are debatably bad High level of shit contamination The very high category The severe zone Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Major code red
👆
This game/console belongs to the "High Level of Shit Contamination" category of the AVGN's Shit Scale.

The game has been criticised for its repetitive gameplay and low replay value, although it was praised for its digital audio and for adapting some of the Stooges films. The Angry Video Game Nerd, a big fan of the Three Stooges himself, said the game "lost all its charm immediately after the title screen" and heavily criticised the cracker, trivia and especially the boxing minigames.

Videos

Trivia

  • The "evil banker" in the box art is modeled after Ted Healy, as a reference to his relationship with the Three Stooges in real life.
  • The game has been remastered twice with the PS1/GBA version and the Windows/Macintosh version.

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