top of page

Battle Toads. The Toughest Retro Game Ever?

Video games are not meant to be easy. If they were too easy to complete, the challenge would be knocked right out of them. But as retro gamers have found, some are just too simple and short-lived and that’s just annoying. However, back in the swirly mists of time a few games came out that were genuinely fiendish. Retro games have always been looked on with affection, but the game we are looking at today is probably going to cause a few fans to scratch their heads a little, or even turn red with anger. Why was Battle Toads so difficult? It just was. The company that made this retro game, Rare, were obviously committed to driving people insane.

Each of the battle toads in the game, were pretty much based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This didn’t bother Rare though and interestingly no one came after them to sue. Instead, you had toads that were meant for battle, and had disgusting names to show that they were pretty ‘street’. Pimple and Rash, for example, are just two of the daredevil characters.

Real special moves

Perhaps one of the most noticeable things about Battle Toads was the presence of their special moves. These were still quite rare in games at the time. Smash Hits included an ability to effectively grow a massive fist and use this to dominate enemies. As a side scroller, it was unique in this respect. But as a retro game, we should remember that this was still pretty ground-breaking stuff. Having a weapon that could take out an entire screen of baddies and also at the same time look pretty awesome, that wasn't the done thing back then.

There were plenty of other things about this game that were exciting too. For example the game actually included racing stages. Retro gamers would be right to get excited about this, because other games of a similar ilk, such as Double Dragon, didn't have this particular feature. It is obviously a difficult aspect, and one of the reasons why so many people became frustrated with the game. But as long as your reflexes were up to the job, it added an extra level of challenge.

The reason why the game is so fiendishly difficult was the chances you had to complete it. You only ever had three continues to complete the game. But that might not seem so bad until you look a little deeper and see what that actually meant. There was no chance to input a password and therefore save your progress. This means that unless you finished the game in one try, you didn't ever finish the game. The three chances were all you ever had. Add to that the issue of damage to your fellow player and things got even worse.

You had to play with another player (essentially). And that was a problem. Because you were capable of hurting the other player with your moves too. See why it was difficult now? As a retro game, it is probably the toughest.

About the author

Zeeshan Mallick

Co-Founder of

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
No tags yet.
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page