Little Samson is a fantasy platform game developed by Takeru and published by Taito in 1992 exclusively for the NES. After its release in Japan and the USA, it also arrived in Europe in 1993.
Taito is undoubtedly more famous for its legendary arcade games, but in the 1990s, it also ventured into creating titles for the 8-bit Nintendo console. In this case, we have a platformer with fairly standard mechanics, featuring gameplay not too dissimilar from Capcom's classic Mega Man. However, Taito's style shines through with its colorful arcade-style graphics, which, at least in part considering the hardware difference, evoke memories of the wonderful Bubble Bobble.
Graphics aren't the only strong point of this platformer, which, perhaps inspired by other Nintendo titles, offers a unique feature: the ability to switch between characters as needed. In addition to the main hero, you have three other characters. All of them have been cursed and become monsters. The first is Kikira, a princess transformed into a dragon, and you can utilize both her claws and the ability to breathe fire. The second is golem (quite similar to the Thing from the Fantastic Four), who is slow but very strong and immune to spikes, which is helpful in various situations. The last character is K.O., a magician turned into a mouse. Thanks to his small size, he can squeeze through tight passages. He can also jump and move faster, leaving bombs as his weapon.
As you can imagine, the most exciting aspect of the game is using the proper character, depending on the situation. Character switching can occur at any time. Each of them has its different hit points, which can make it useful to change characters even to avoid losing a life. The differences in hit points, weapons, immunities, and unique abilities make the gameplay engaging and distinct from the typical run-and-gun games.
With precise controls and perfect animations, it's clear that this is a game worth trying at least once. If it had been less linear and had made better use of the presence of multiple characters, perhaps with RPG-style character development, we might be looking at a masterpiece. However, let's not forget that we're talking about an 8-bit game; it already exceeds the standard. Enjoy!