Sega throughout the 16-Bit era, and many would argue the 8-Bit era too, was constantly trying to find a mascot. They did this by throwing just about every game that was well put together and had a cool hook to it out to gamers. The problem with this method of mascot hunting was, not many of those cool games got a sequel as Sega was already onto the next game. Kid Chameleon was one of those sequel-less titles we saw on the Sega Genesis. It also has a birthday today.
One of the biggest draws of Kid Chameleon is the sheer number of levels. Over 100 of them. In a side scrolling, 2D action platformer. On cartridge. This was stuff that CD gaming was promising us yet Sega was giving it to us on cartridge (they were hit and miss with their marketing). Along with that plethora of levels Kid Chameleon packed a ton of masks that carry different powers. With each mask the kid finds comes a set of powers.
Some masks give Kid Chameleon offensive powers such as busting through rock walls. Other masks give him passive powers such as climbing walls. This variety is what a lot of reviewers back in the day (Electronic Gaming Monthly and Gamefan particularly) were impressed with. Fans of various genres of movies may recognize a few masks that turn Kid Chameleon into familiar faces- pay attention folks. Lots of fan service in this title.
Kid Chameleon is generally remembered as a fun title. One of the programmers, Steve Woita, has kept himself busy in modern gaming with various projects.