Tis the season, everyone! The season for giving. The season of joy. The season to game. With Christmas only a few short weeks away, let’s start off December with a game based on one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, Home Alone. I can’t even count how many times I watched Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York as a kid. Macauley Culkin was a hero to people my age. Every kid wants the opportunity to be home alone, but Culkin (as the precocious Kevin McCallister) got to do this while kicking the butts of two burglars on Christmas Eve. Then he did it again in New York!

The Game Boy version of Home Alone actually gets the idea of the movie down pretty well, except for one glaring issue: nothing about the game has anything to do with Christmas! Talk about a sad face! 🙁 You play as Kevin, who once again has to protect his home from Marv and Harry, the Wet Bandits. The game is actually set up to take place after the first movie, with the bandits returning to the house after they get out of jail to get their revenge and steal everything from Kevin’s house that isn’t nailed down.

HomeAlonescreen

As Kevin, you’ll have to navigate your house through four levels collecting various valuables and depositing them in the safe in your basement, all while avoiding Marv, Harry, and some other unsightly fellows. The cool part is that even with the Game Boy’s limited visual capabilities and power, it captures the feel of the movies really well in terms of what Kevin can do. He can shoot slingshots at enemies to stun them, he can lure foes onto jacks and other sharp objects, and he can even set off traps that will knock bad guys out.

Once you collect enough items hidden throughout the level you’ll have to go to the basement, fight a boss, and deposit your haul into the safe. The game even pulls Kevin’s fear of the furnace from the movie by making it the final boss of the game… a nice touch if I do say so myself.

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While it definitely gets the idea of protecting your house through fun, somewhat Looney Tunes-styled scenarios, Home Alone on the Game Boy never feels like anything more than an average game. The visuals are perfect…ly okay. The gameplay can get repetitive, though the game attempts to hide this by changing up the visual themes of each level (one level has you collecting jewelry in the main wing of Kevin’s house, another has you collecting toys in rooms patrolled by giant toy soldiers, etc). And the music, while recreating the theme from the movie pretty well, definitely plays a bit too much. In the end, it’s nice to see that the developers tried to stay so faithful to the movie, but the game just never really takes off. It’s decent. Nothing more. Maybe they should’ve added more Christmas…

Well let me spice up this piece with a little more holiday cheer. How about we take Carol of the Bells and turn it into a ridiculous song about Home Alone? Sounds good! Let’s do this. Here’s the backing instrumental if you want to join in.

Kevin’s alone,
Home, all alone.
It’s Christmas time.
Parents are blind.
Forgot their son,
Vacation’s done.
Now he must fight,
Bandits all night

Ding, Dong, Ding, Dong,
Smash, Crash, Bang, Bong,
Bad guys are down
Onto next round.
Men versus boy,
Oh what a joy,
How’d he do that?
Down they go. Splat!

Thieves stand no chance,
Red-handed hands.
Police arrive,
Just, just in time.
Parents come home,
No more alone.
Kev saved the day,
Christmas is saved,

Merry, merry, merry, merry, Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry, Christmas

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