The Retro Critic

Bucky O’Hare

Time to go back to some good old retro NES nostalgia, methinks.

Remember the cartoon series Bucky O’Hare?

Green hare in space? Friends with a duck and a robotic eye?

Hates intergalactic toads?

Bucky Group

Yeah well Bucky got his own game on the NES back in 1992 and, to the risk of shocking you, it was actually surprisingly really good. So much so that it does really deserve a little more attention.

Hence me writing this review and you reading it.

The game is a typical 2D side-scroller where you play as Bucky as you go to different worlds trying to save your friends who are being held prisoner in weird places.

Air Marshal Bucky O HareNever trust a hat-wearing toad.

That’s what I took away from this game in terms of morals, anyway.

The cool thing is that you do get to play as all the other good guy characters once you rescue them. Each of them, of course, has their own unique ability which comes in handy at different times. Similarly to how the character-switching worked in that Wizard Of Oz SNES game except good. You can charge these special moves easily by keeping an eye on your power bar and making sure it’s high enough to activate them.

Bucky can hop higher, Blinky can sort of fly, Deadeye can grab onto walls like Knuckles, stuff like that.

Bucky Hop

You pick the planet you want to go to first and, therefore, get to choose which of your friends you care about the most.

Stage Select

I mean, let’s be honest: who’s gonna go save (or “free”) Willy first?

It’s all about the eye or the duck.

The game is instantly addictive in that it looks pretty good, it’s a lot of fun to play and, on top of that, it boasts cool, energetic music and sound effects throughout. I never knew that shooting toads could be this epic and this entertaining.

Bucky O'Hare Shooting

Speaking of toads: these guys really have it all.

Man are they proud of their toad heritage!

They’ve got fighter jets made in their image:

Toad Copter

Kermit shields:

Willy Flying Level


Bucky Toad Ships

Big giant green balls of death:

Big Green Ball 2

And even automatons:

Bucky Power Charge

It’s a colourful, good-looking game and a fast-paced one at that!

Do not be fooled: this may be based on a rather surreal, even rather silly cartoon but it is a challenging game nonetheless. Parts of it are actually pretty darn difficult and will require a lot of patience, a lot of trial and error and a lot of fast reflexes.

Whether you’re dodging burning magma:

Jenny Magma

Flying, going up and down and shooting toads at the same time:

Jenny Flying Level

Or battling giant metal snakes:

Blinky Snake

You’ll find that there’s very little time to relax and take things easy when playing this game. It demands your full attention and, in return, it offers pure relentless 8-bit entertainment with animals in space-suits doing all sorts of goofy things all over the universe.

The creative and varied level design ensures, also, that you’re never bored and that the game never gets too repetitive. In fact, even the plot develops as you’re playing the game!

First, it’s all about that rescue mission:

Bucky Toad Armada

Then, Bucky and co. are tricked once again and everyone has to find a way to escape some toad-shaped mothership:

Toad Trap 2

Finally, the goal is to take down that Toad Air Marshal once and for all:

Bucky vs Toad

You do get bosses to fight every once in a while and even they are not too repetitive, each of them does bring something new and interesting to the table like giant cannons, aliens or big Raiders Of The Lost Ark-style dirt balls:

Bucky Boss 1 BallOverall, Bucky O’Hare is a very fun game and you can tell that Konami set out to make something solid and well put-together, not rushing into a LJN-like lazy mess of an adaptation. This really is what a Bucky O’Hare game should have been and was, I can’t imagine how they could have really  improved on what they did with it, frankly.

Couple of minor grammar mistakes aside…

Proudly Flys Bucky

This is an underrated game for the NES that deserves much more attention.

One thing I will say, though: these toads really like sending mixed messages to their enemies. Perhaps that’s their main battle technique but I just find it frustrating.

One second they wear lipstick and wanna kiss ya:

Face TV

The next they hate your guts.

I Hate You

Make your minds up, toads!

Anyway, if you find this one, do give it a try, it’s well worth it. Don’t underestimate it, however, it’s tougher than you think.

Let's Croak Toads!Yeah!

Let’s croak t…


Isn’t that like a racist slur within the animal space kingdom?

Bucky O’Hare might be enjoying this toad war a little too much, I think.

Ending Bucky O'Hare

You’re… welcome?

Oh, also do make sure you read our very own Nintendo Legend’s review of game!

It’s toadally worth it :)