Guess the Game Commercial: Eat These Shorts

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HINT: Best played with yellow hands…

STOP SCROLLING: In Guess the Game Commercial, we invite you to guess which game is being advertised based solely on a single out-of-context screen grab. The video below will feature the commercial and generally a short sizzle of our own making with the game in question. Scroll no further than the video below unless you’re stumped and ready to spoil the answer for yourself…

Scroll down for the answer

… keep going…

ANSWER:

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Bart Vs. The Space Mutants | NES, 1991
The Simpsons Game | Mulit, 2007

This edition of Guess the Game Commercial may very well be the easiest to get. Not only is incredibly hard to pull a screengrab from them that doesn’t outright scream The Simpsons, we’ve had a shitload of Springfield-related content all week, starting off with an entire episode of Laser Time all about the TV shows The Simpsons inspired. So with TEN SIMPSONS GAMES finally streamified, we thought we’d take a look back to the TV spots that pimped them to the unsuspecting public.

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To start, I’ve always wondered who directed these commercials, because between vidjagames, Butterfinger, and a shitload of foreign food you’ve never heard of, The Simpsons are no stranger to to starring in crass/charming advertisements if the price is right. That said, if you’re an animation nerd, you know how hard, expensive, and time consuming cartoonification used to be. And one of the Simpsons DVD’s reveals that Brad Bird was forced to direct the music video for “Do The Bartman” so cheaply, and on such short notice, it nearly killed him. Gotta wonder who had the task of making this commercial possible, because I can assure you it’s all from scratch and not from any particular episode. And yes, part of me gets all giggly thinking about the director of The Iron Giant and Incredibles being the poor schlub forced to market this NES garbage to the unwitting masses. That’s Bart vs. The Space Mutants, The Simpsons first console game courtesy of Acclaim, in case that wasn’t obvious.

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Skinner Clones!

I also thought it’d be kinda interesting to bookend The Simpsons’ first console game with what I’m willing to bet is it’s last, 2007’s The Simpsons Game. There’s no denying it: The days of going to a store and buying a game starring your favorite animated characters are all but over. And all the more tragic once you’ve seen the phenomenal job the writers, animators and voice actors did with the game in between the mostly dreadful platforming. Seriously, you could easily mistake the game’s interstitial for an episode show, if they weren’t actually of a slightly higher quality than what was airing Sunday nights on Fox at that time.

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This game is awful BTW

 But for me, someone who’s been alive for about as long as The Simpsons have, it’s far more interesting to point out the evolution the show had gone through in the 16+ years between both games. The Simpsons became immediately popular for a lot of reasons. It was naughty, honest, fast, and much more clever than the TGIF swill holding sway over networks. But I have to credit The Simpsons’ success with Bart Simpson. Even if you weren’t exactly the same age as Bart when the show premiered (which I was) he was unlike any you cartoon kid on television and he was very much the lightning rod for the early controversy the show attracted.

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If we must remember The Simpsons Game, let it be with this screenshot

My dad thought the show was funny, and so did I, but I thought Bart was AWESOME! Like, Poochy awesome. It took me years to truly get many of the jokes in the first few seasons, but the disrespect for authority, hatred of school, and backyard shenanigans were received loud and clear. Can’t imagine I was alone, nor that somebody behind the show wasn’t all too aware of that. Case and Point: The first three Simpsons console games star only Bart, and even feature his name prominently in the title. Now look at The Simpsons Game’s box art:

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Not Seen: The PC cover, which is also different! 

Ahhhh, 2007… you were a different beast. The Simpsons Game was released on SEVEN DIFFERENT PLATFORMS, and each SKU received its own exclusive box art. And not one of them gave Bart centerstage. He’s not even on the PS3 cover! As the show long ago evolved to focus more on Homer, it’s almost unimaginable to consider a Simpsons game starring Bart exclusively, and it hasn’t happened since the 16-bit days. Even the movie poster featured Homer solo. The writers have been open about the fact that as they grew older, it was just easier to relate to/come up with Homer stories. And on that note, I’ll leave you with something jarring that only just occurred to me. When The Simpsons started, I was Bart’s age exactly. Today I’m almost Homer’s age. Sleep tight!

guess-the-game-commercial-do-you-have-it-laser-timePreviously in Guess the Game Commercial
DO-DO-DO-DO YOU HAVE IT?!

4 thoughts on “Guess the Game Commercial: Eat These Shorts

  1. That first commercial, and thinking back on all the early shameless Simpsons advertising I’ve now seen on Lasertime, but was never exposed to in Europe, makes me wonder…did Simpsons mania hit the world BEFORE the show actually got good? Because all those ads scream Season 1 to me.

    1. Yes! The Simpsons success was swift and immediate. To say Simpsons 1 was “rough” applies mostly to the animation (stupid Rugrats people!) The tone, and an absolutely absurd stable of characters, was almost entirely there from the get go.

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