In Silver Surfer, the player controls the Marvel Comics comic book hero Silver Surfer through various levels that alternate between a side-scrolling and an overhead perspective.
Each stage is divided into sections. At the end of each section, a mini-boss appears, and the Silver Surfer must shoot the main enemy while many other enemies attack as well. These are the only times where the screen stops scrolling forward. The third and final section contains a super-villain from the comic book series who will take more hits to defeat. The villains featured in the game are Reptyl, Mephisto, Possessor, Fire Lord, and Dorrek VII, the Skrull Emperor.
After the first set of levels is complete, Galactus appears and sends Silver Surfer on a final mission into the Magik Domain to collect a Cosmic Device from a villain whose identity is less than clear. Despite previous claims, the final boss is actually a giant purple being with a handgun that does not appear to have been in the comics, although the image near the boss's health bar suggests that the main antagonist is X-Men villain Mister Sinister. Once Silver Surfer defeats him, the rest of the Cosmic Device is his, and he tells Galactus that no one must have access to the "Cosmic Device" and hides it for safe keeping so it may not fall into the wrong hands.
The game has a password feature that allows a number of upgrades, such as invincibility. The game has cut-scenes between the levels to move the story line ahead, and allows the player to pick the levels in any order, similar to the Mega Man games. The game also features two additional 'quests', the first of which is unlocked by entering a password given to the player upon completing the "Magik Domain" mission.
Why it Sucks
- Extremely unforgiving difficulty that's unforgiving for all the wrong reasons.
- No checkpoints in any of the levels.
- Everything kills the Silver Surfer in one hit, including just touching walls/floors/barricades. You would think that since he has the Power Cosmic energy which gives him superhuman endurance and having silver skin would allow him to take some damage without dying, but no, he dies in one hit.
- Virtually every enemy is a bullet sponge, moves extremely fast and has an erratic movement pattern.
- Silver Surfer's hitbox is way too big, especially in the overhead levels where he can be killed if anything touches his board.
- Almost every overhead level restricts the Silver Surfer to cramped narrow passageways, making it more difficult than needed to avoid enemies and projectiles.
- No autofire option unless you use a turbo controller.
- Has almost nothing to do with any of the Marvel comics and does no justice to the character by making him so weak.
- Even when fully powered-up your bullets do hardly any damage and the "option" power-up you get from picking up enough power-ups is cumbersome to use (you need to tap B to change the direction it fires in) and is only really useful for killing enemies that appear behind you in the side-scrolling levels.
- In the overhead view, it's almost impossible to tell which obstacles you can pass through easily and which ones you can't and enemy bullets often blend into the background.
- Nausea/epilepsy-inducing water graphics in one of the overhead levels and a flash blindness-inducing game over screen.
- You can't even turn around due to the moving screen.
- It has surprisingly good music as with most games on the NES.