Bart vs. The Space Mutants was released in 1991 for the NES, and was the first Licensed Game based off The Simpsons for that system. It was developed by Imagineering, and also ported to the Sega Master System, Game Gear, Sega Genesis, Amiga and numerous computers.
The game revolves around Bart attempting to foil the space mutant's plan to power their world conquering machine by collecting random objects.
Followed by The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World later the same year.
This game provides examples of:
- Amusement Park: The third level.
- Bag of Spilling: Bart leaves behind all of the tools he picks up after he completes a level. Sure, maybe the red spray paint might not be useful later on, but those cherry bombs and bottle rockets probably would have been.
- Boss Remix: Sort of — the three boss themes are simply parts of the main theme repeated over and over. It gets really annoying after a while.
- Cassandra Truth: According to the manual, the reason Bart has to collect letters to get assistance in the Boss Battles is because he's trying to get evidence to subvert this. Averted in the last level, where the other Simpsons are helping from the beginning.
- Collection Sidequest: The evidence.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Rather than the standard "A to jump, B to run / attack" style that most NES games use, this game has A use items and B controls both running and jumping. Performing a running jump involves a combination of both A and B in a fashion that is entirely unintuitive.
- Depth Perplexion: In certain places, you can stand on the horizon or "walk" along a river by jumping on the background. The game is highly inconsistent with this, even within the same screen. note
- Doomsday Device: The machine that the aliens are looking to power, although they don't reveal what it does unless Bart loses in the final level. It mass produces robotic Homer duplicates.
- Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: More or less lampshaded in the game. The aliens have a machine that can run on anything, but never think to fuel it with something already in abundance; instead they choose purple objects, or hats, and never think to look in more than one place for each item.
- Easter Egg: By firing a rocket at the "E" in the Kwik-E-Mart's sign, you get both an extra life and the game's Sound Test! Unfortunately, it only plays sound effects.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Including shoes and walking shopping bags.
- Graceful Loser: The aliens prove to be this in the ending.
- Idiot Ball: Some of Bart's methods of removing objects from the level are circumspect at best, yet they still work. One example is dropping towels off of a clothesline to cover up some purple toys in the first level — the aliens never think to just pick up the towels.
- Invincibility Power-Up: Jebediah Springfield's head, which is quite rare.
- Mini-Boss: The alien man in the second level.
- Nintendo Hard: Bart can only take two hits before dying, and for the most part he has absolutely no way to actually fight the enemies.
- Pass Through the Rings: Near the end of the second level.
- Power-Up Mount: Inverted — the second time you see the Recurring Boss, he rides a giant shoe.
- Recurring Boss: Again, the alien man in the second level.
- Rushmore Refacement: Complete the game, and the space mutants add Bart's face to honor their Worthy Opponent.
- Shout-Out: Bart's x-ray glasses are generally considered a reference to They Live.
- Sliding Scale of Collectible Tracking: This game uses "It's Here Somewhere."
- Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: The second level has giant shoes which act as these.
- Some Dexterity Required: The controls in this game is dreadful. Bart cannot and will not execute a proper running jump. As a consequence, simple platform sections and obstacles become nightmarishly difficult to overcome.
- Sound Test: See Easter Egg.
- Spelling Bonus: You can spell the names of other Simpsons characters to get their assistance with each boss.
- Summon Magic: You can summon Grandpa to give you coins with a whistle... Providing you stand one exact spot in the first level. Otherwise you'll just summon a dog to attack you.
- Using a donut in the last level summons Homer to act as a Smart Bomb.
- Symbol Swearing: In the cutscene before the third level.
- Tactical Suicide Boss: The second boss drops suitcases, which you need to jump on in order to damage.
- Temporary Platform: The lollipops in the shopping mall are always visible, but whether they can support Bart or not depends on their orientation.
- "Test Your Strength" Game: In the Krustyland level, there is a strength test game located next to the high dive act. Since merely jumping on the platform that sends the weight up won't help it reach the bell, Bart has to climb to the top of the high dive and jump off there to provide enough force. When Bart does ring the bell, he wins three coins and the disembodied head of Jebediah Springfield.
- Springfield Is The Center Of The Universe: A maximum of six people are working to stop the aliens (being generous and including Grandpa), and all of them in a single relatively isolated area. The aliens never think to simply move on to somewhere else or expand their search radius because it's a Simpsons game, you gotta attack Springfield.
- Totally Radical: The box.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: It's almost impossible to clear the Museum without losing a life due to a section with very slow disappearing reappearing platforms that eats about 300 seconds off the timer.
- Would Hurt a Child: Enemies have no issues with attacking and hurting Bart.