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An American Tail: Fievel's Gold Rush

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An American Tail: Fievel's Gold Rush is a platform game that was first released in Europe on March 1, 2002 for the Game Boy Advance, then in North America on May 2, 2003. It was developed by Hokus-Pokus and published by Conspiracy Entertainment. It is, to date, the final officially licensed product in the An American Tail franchise.

Gameplay

Fievel Mousekewitz heads back west in An American Tail: Fievel's Gold Rush. Based on the animated series from Universal Studios, the game has players controlling Fievel as he travels through 18 levels and six worlds, including "New York City" and "Gold Dust Gulch," to piece together Cat Malone's treasure map. The game acts as a kind of sequel to the An American Tail: Fievel Goes West Super Nintendo game , though Fievel starts out in New York City, strangely. Conspiracy Entertainment has the game aimed at a "young audience who loved the films and direct-to-video sequels."

Fievel will swing on rope, attack with his ten-gallon hat, ride riverboats, and jump the train to find Wylie Burp's gold.The game is a traditional side-scrolling platformer, players will start out with four hearts for life points, and three lives. Fievel can attack his enemies with his enchanted hat, or by jumping on their heads. If the hat is lost it will eventually reappear on Fievel's head. Fievel is guided through the game by a yellow hand that points in different directions; though sometimes following it literally can do more harm than good.

Plot

The game kicks off with Pierre the pigeon bringing a message to Fievel, who is now living in New York again. Fievel's old friend Wylie Burp moved further west after the events of the Super Nintendo game to go prospecting for gold. He finally found a gold mine just outside Gold Dust Gulch, but was captured by Cat Malone and his gang. To prevent them from finding the location of the mine he tore a treasure map into four pieces and sent them across the country by way of pigeon, with one piece going to Fievel. He also sent Fievel an enchanted hat that comes back to him when he throws it, like a boomerang. Thus Fievel leaves on an adventure.

Traveling through New York, Fievel must first avoid evil mice who run at him or throw barrels at him, along with two-legged green shelled creatures. Fievel jumps through a construction zone, window sills and down water spouts to get to the end of the level. At the end when he reaches the roof he is confronted by a cat from Malone's gang. Fievel knocks the cat off the roof using a chicken-shaped weather vane, and after this the cat agrees to leave Fievel alone, and tells him that he must next travel through the sewers.

In the sewers Fievel must contend with rats hiding in trash cans, acidic green sewage, and steam coming from pipes as he navigates through the tunnels. The boss is a big rat who wants to make sure Fievel doesn't pass through. He is defeated by Fievel pulling chains to make green sewage spill all over him. He will get mad and throw things at Fievel, but once getting drenched with sludge a few times, he gives up. He then gives Fievel another piece of Wylie's map, which tells Fievel to take the train to Crystal River.

Fievel's trip aboard the train is not easy. Here Fievel is hounded by tiny bulldogs (that are barely bigger than he is, weirdly) which after being defeated regenerate the moment they are off screen and attack, and little flies that swarm around him and though they don't hurt him, they nudge him around and get in the way of his jumps so that he falls and has to do huge sections of the level all over again. Fievel must climb crates, swing on chains and cow's tails, and jump on chicken heads to reach the goal. As mentioned however, wrong moves can send Fievel falling back down to the beginning of the level. In subsequent levels Fievel has to walk against the wind, making the jumps more difficult. The boss is a larger bulldog, who is the conductor of the train. He won't let Fievel off the train to get to Crystal River, so Fievel must pull the lever on his own by swinging on chains and defeating the dog when fire rains down on him.

Once in Crystal River, Fievel boards a steamboat.

Reception

The game received mediocre reviews from critics. jeuxvideo.com stated, in French, that "It takes a real pleasure to play in an environment so worked. The levels are quite varied and different to want to continue. The characters are very fine and loyal to the cartoon. The animation is very fluid. You will never be hampered by a slowdown and this regardless of the number of enemies displayed[...] particular attention was brought to the soundtrack. It is really very good quality and quite adapted to crossed levels. But there also are somewhat regretted the lack of diversity in the music". Though the publication pointed out that the game will only appeal to younger players, and of the short length of the game

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