SNES Reviews
SNES Sanctuary
Obscure SFC Hub
Planet SEGA Saturn
Magazine MADNESS
Retro Fire

Written: 10.9.06
Acquired: 9.2.06
Status: Cart only
Price: $9

Publisher: TakaraReleased: 10.22.92
Developer: TakaraScarcity: 3

Before TAKARA became well known in the US for releasing Neo Geo ports to the Super NES, they had two kiddie platformers on the Super Famicom. Though not must-have's, if you're looking to add to the ole library you certainly can do a lot worse than Syonen Ashibe or Miracle Girls

Ashibe is a cute platformer where you guide a teeth-rottingly adorable seal through many levels featuring classic themes such as forest, cave, haunted house, etc. He cannot hurt enemies, however, jumping over them is his only defense. Enemies range from humans
(little brat boys and girls) to animals (bats and polar/teddy bears to name a few)

Your goal is to locate 8 items in each level.  The item is connected to the level theme
(i.e. stars for ice world, squids for water etc.)

Once 8 are collected, head for the exit. If hit,
one apple (or whatever it may be) squirts away,
waiting to be reclaimed. The seal also whimpers
Eeeek! The only way to lose is to be squeezed
into submission by one of the bratty kids or if
the clock reaches 0. The animals cannot make
you game over, even if you have zero items
when they touch you. Remember, this was
aimed at small children

Some items are hidden, others are in the wide open. You can smash walls with your head to potentially reveal hidden items. Jump and head-butting are the only two buttons. The gameplay is very basic, as intended for 6-year-olds, but done rather well, all things considered

There are some cool set-pieces, like this giant hippo machine. It releases basketballs from its mouth. You must head-butt 'em back into the hippo's mouth. Doing this is much harder than it looks, especially if the timer is running down and the pressure mounts. Each good basket grants you an apple. The hippo machines hold 4 apples; the other 4 are scattered throughout the level

The main screen is this overhead map. Pick your level from here. Backtrack if you wish. Along the way, some folks provide information, others share a 16-character password and some even challenge you to mini-games. The boy is never actually used

The game has some nice details but nothing we haven't seen before.  Re-appearing
blocks, moving platforms, lightning outside the windows for the haunted house theme,
etc.  There's definitely a me-too feeling throughout the game but hey, if you can't get
enough of these games you'll be right at home.  Controlling a seal has its advantages,
for example, it can cling on edges which is quite cool

My favorite theme is the Ice World. I'm not sure
I've ever played a game where the ice stages were THIS slippery. The poor fella just slides around if you pick up any sort of momentum

It's awesome Ashibe also features the vaunted Northern Lights. I'm a sucker for great little details... though DoReMi's version looked better (Syo came out late '92, DoReMi early '96)


Not shabby, surprisingly solid even, yet nothing worth writing home about. The graphics are nice, simple, big and pleasant. The music isn't bad though it gets sugary sweet in spots to the point it's just annoying

A great choice for kids. Older gamers won't like it nearly as much, but you'd be surprised at how well it plays.

Overall, good enough for a 6-ish score