Native Americans are one group that has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to video games. Sure, they have been featured, poorly, in titles such as Custer’s Revenge (Atari 2600) and plenty of western games over the years. The problem is, all of those appearances were “off” about the heritage of Native Americans. Now, we can add Whomp ‘Em to that long list as it doesn’t go out of its way to correct those misconceptions. It gets weirder when you realize that Whomp ‘Em originally starred a Chinese character and followed Chinese culture. Not sure why Jaleco dropped that motif for the, very light, Native American trappings they changed to. Still, a fun game awaits, just don’t expect to learn anything about tribes and the like.
Whomp ‘Em is a 2D side scrolling action platforming title that is obviously styled after Mega Man and Super Mario Bros. The challenges within lean more towards that classic Mega Man feel. You have a lifebar and various ways to replenish it and keep backups on hand. Your main weapon is a spear that you can use similarly to Scrooge McDuck in Ducktales. You can even perform a downward stab while jumping.
I was not aware of this when I originally wrote up Whomp ‘Em but apparently it is a re-skinned title that Wonderboy in Monster Land was based on. Wonderboy in Monster Land was a title that we saw in the USA on the Sega Master System.
The first stage in Whomp ‘Em is required playing, after you beat it though you are free to pick your next level. This is where it really feels like Mega Man- if you find one level is too tough, go attempt a different one. Upon beating each level you will gain a new weapon, similar to Mega Man, and can attempt other stages- hopefully stronger.
Whomp ‘Em has not seen a digital re-release on newer platforms so you are going to have to grab the original on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Ebay (affiliate link) is a good option for old NES games.