Plok! (Super Nintendo) Retro Review
Platformers in the 90’s were being pumped out like there was no tomorrow.
With the success of good platformers, developers and publishers were rushing out to put forward their best variation of Sonic and Mario.
While it's true, there wasn't a plok nes game, you have a fantastic one for the big brother.
Sonic had the speed from the blast processing, and Super Mario world captured the hearts of a generation with the launch of the Super Nintendo.
But of course, for every Sonic and Mario you have countless platformers that were just trying to cash in on the craze.
So If I showed you this character, you’d be right to think the same for the red and yellow character playing the harmonica.
But Plok is at last, a real hero and it has to be. At least that’s what the manual says.
Table of Contents
Plok - Storyline
There’s not much to the story of the game, Plok wakes up one day to find out that his flag that was mounted on his house was stolen.
The last of the Fleaoladian warrior breed is Plok. His objective is to reclaim the flag that the nefarious robotic pirate Flea stole from his native Akrillic.
He then later returns the flag to find out that his island has been overrun by fleas and there’s eggs everywhere. He sets out to destroy the eggs and the queen.
Plok - Controls
Apart from moving left and right, Plok can slide down a hill by holding down. He can also walk while crouching.
Plok's main form of attack is when he launches his hands and feet. If he launches all four of his limbs he kind of hops around on his head which can be tricky to control.
Plok has a main jump as well as a spin jump that allows him to jump higher than he normally would.
Later in the game, you’ll pickup hornet nest pickups that allow you to press the x button to unleash a hornet that on an enemy.
Plok begins with platforming stages where you have to reach the end of each stage trying to find his flag on each of the flagpoles.
If you pick up a hundred of the shells, you’ll pick up an extra life. Apart from picking up an extra life, after each stage you end up lighting up one of the letters that spells Plok.
After you complete four stages, you’ll end up with an extra continue if you lose all your lives. The end of the stage that you picked up the last continue is where you’ll start from if you have to use the continue.
Once he finally finds his flag, the game breaks up into a series of exploration levels where you’re set out to hatch and destroy fleas in each level.
This adds an element of exploration to Plok as you’re set out to finish an objective
before locating the flag pole and completing the level.
One other really cool aspect is Plok has a dream about his grandfather finding his amulet that helps out with the fleas along the way.
You then get to play as Plok’s grandfather in like this 1920’s black and white silent film style. This actually goes an entire world and even features a boss battle.
Once you do get back the amulet you can mash the L and R button repeatedly, using up the shells to power up Plok’s amulet.
There are also areas Plok where you have to sacrifice your Limbs in order to access different areas. This introduces a puzzle element to Plok where you have to figure out the correct sequence of areas in order to progress through the stage.
As you sacrifice each of your limbs, you’ll have to find them on a hanger somewhere.
Now sometimes this will get tricky finding out where to go, luckily if you stand still, an arrow marker will appear on screen telling you the direction you need to head to in order to advance.
Plok - Game Mechanics
Occasionally as you find these present boxes scattered through some of the stages you’ll take on different forms such as
Ploky the boxer who shoots bigger limbs and has unlimited punching power.
Vigilante Plok who can shoot a constant stream of fire at enemies.
There’s also squire Plok who hunts down his enemies with his buckshot ammo.
There’s even another two pickups to find if you look hard enough, Cowbow Plok and Rocketplok.
Leading up to the final boss, you’ll get to use even more powerups in the form of vehicles.
One is a unicycle as you squirt water at enemies. One is an off-road vehicle that has a rocket launcher attached.
A jetpack that lets you shoot lasers and fly. This motorbike that has grenades equipped. A helicopter that allows you to fly and drop bombs.
A UFO that lets you fire the plasma cannon and even a slow moving tank.
Plok - Music
The Plok ost, especially the boss theme, is exceptional, given that it was created by only Tim Follin and Geoff Follin. Another standout track is the Plok Beach theme. You can listen to more greatness on this soundtrack here:
With diverse atmospheres, it's comparable to Super Mario World's ghost level.
Plok's soundtrack is phenomenal from start to finish, it's easily one of the best video game soundtracks.
The game's major drawback is the absence of a save file or password system, but warps are available if you shoot the magic fruit on trees three times. These can also be difficult to locate since the fruit is used as a health pickup.
Plok - Conclusion
Other than the lack of saves, Plok is an excellent platformer that belongs in anyone’s collection.
The thing about Plok is that it got such great reviews from beloved video game magazines at the time, I’m surprised it didn’t feature as a household name.
Apparently even Miyamoto thinks the same, and I quote:
“ Shigeru Miyamoto in 2019. He called Plok! the third-best platform game and expressed desire to make it the second-best above Sonic.”