LJN Made a Good Game, The Punisher

The Punisher is a rail shooter. It is similar to some arcade games like the Terminator 2 game. I would have said Area 51, Virtua Cop, or House of the Dead, but in this game, the screen constantly scrolls to the right.

I think this is one of the better games that uses the Marvel license. It was published by LJN and is similar to The Punisher game on the NES. However, this one makes some improvements over the console game.

I really enjoyed playing this game! A rail shooter isn’t something that you would think of being on a Game Boy. Surprisingly, the developers made it work quite well.  

TLDR: The Punisher is a surprisingly good game from a much-maligned publisher.


In the game, you play Frank Castle, the comic book character The Punisher. You travel around to different locations and fight crime by murdering people. Those people were bad, so you can shoot them and face no consequences. It’s okay, in any case.

You end up fighting some of The Punisher’s villains, and occasionally Spider-Man shows up to tell you what is happening. I have no idea why, but it let LJN advertise that Spider-Man is in the game.

That is basically the story. You don’t need much more than this, but it would have been nice if more had been included in the game. I kept thinking about how The Punisher arcade game had a better story.  


This is an on-rails shooter or a rail shooter. In most of these games, you move through the game automatically, stopping only to fight enemies. This game uses a different style that works better for games that don’t have a light gun.

In The Punisher, the screen scrolls to the right, and enemies randomly pop up. You also have civilians on the screen as well. If you shoot one of the civilians, you will lose some health. This is also a staple of rail shooters.

You can shoot and destroy almost anything. By doing this, you can find different power-ups. These include weapons, grenades, and health items.

It is amusing that no one in these locations runs from you. I get that the enemies won’t, but the innocent people don’t. This makes me wonder if they have done something terrible, and The Punisher doesn’t think that their crimes have reached the thresh hold of death.    


For the most part, the game looks okay. This is the weakest part of The Punisher. There are two problems with the visuals. The size of the Game Boy’s screen and the lack of color.

The screen can get too busy with both enemies and civilians on it. At first, I had a little trouble separating the civilians from the enemies. They looked the same. I don’t remember having this issue with the NES port.

I think the game would have been better by not having the civilians or limiting their number. The graphics weren’t good enough to distinguish the two clearly.

This is one case where being in black and white was a problem. Having the NES game to compare it with didn’t help, as that version had good graphics. They weren’t anything special, but they were a big step up from the Game Boy game.

The Game Boy version looks good initially, but it doesn’t hold up as well as the NES version. The visuals in this game are the only thing that I don’t like about it.

8/10. The gameplay is better than the NES version. However, the Game Boy game’s visuals hold this version back. It is a good game but has some flaws that affect the overall gameplay.


  • Solid gameplay
  • Good controls
  • Easy-to-follow story


  • Graphics can cause confusion
  • Too many civilians
  • Screen can get overly crowded


I really liked this game! Rail shooters are some of my favorite games, and I’m willing to forgive some of the concessions made to bring this to the Game Boy. I do have to compare this to the NES version, however.

The NES game looks better, but the Game Boy game has better controls. Overall, I think the Game Boy game is the better game. It still has some faults. However, over time you can get used to them.

The Punisher is an interesting comic to make into a video game. Nintendo usually censored things to make them less violent, they manage to do this in The Punisher, but you’re still shooting everything that moves! It is a great Game Boy game and one of the better games published by LJN.

Published by Paul Werkema

Hi! I'm here to share my hobbies with all of you. I love video games and books, so I write about the books that cover video games or are novels about video games.

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