Harley’s Humongous Adventure

This is an ugly game.
This is an ugly game.

This game is about Harley, a scientist, who has fallen victim to a malfunction of his own shrinking machine.   I know this because I looked it up on Wikipedia, since the storyline of the game does not present itself in the game.  This is a reminder of an era where you were legitimately expected to read the manual, and nobody put tutorials in their games.

As you can deduce, Harley’s adventure is very specifically not humongous; it is in fact very small, taking place entirely in his own house.  The adventure consists of finding the pieces of your shrink ray scattered throughout the house, because apparently the machine also exploded.

It was at this point that I began to suspect that Harley is not actually a very good scientist.

The tutorial level was very fun; I could leap pretty high, use a jetpack to fly around, and best of all I could hurl nails like giant throwing lances to impale the nasty bees, flies and vicious ant men who plagued me.

When I played the first level, though, I quickly realized that the game does not allow you to turn around in mid air, and the flying enemies hover above you and slightly behind, so that every time you try to jump and shoot them, you are aimed the wrong way.  It is, in fact, fucking impossible to hit them unless you contort Harley into a pretzel as he desperately engages in defensive acrobatics so you can hit that damn fly before he pukes on you.  Six times.  It’s harder than it sounds.

Wiki claims that the recurring boss is a cruel rat who, upon being defeated, loses a limb each time; and each time you face him, he has replaced the lost limb with a household item.  This sounds hilarious and a little brilliant, but I could not sadly force myself to endure more panicked fly-killing in order to confront the rat boss.

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