Great Old Gaming Gems – Act Raiser

This was a bit of a lost game on the SNES, they created a sequel but I don’t believe it ever managed to get the recognition it deserved on the console. Personally I’m a big fan of it and absolutely love the way that it blends different styles of gameplay together.

Act Raiser really is very much a jack of all trades game. It mixes platforming, development of areas and building structures in a very sim-city fashion, acting as a god and being worshipped by your adoring population and using magic abilities to improve the lives of your worshippers.

The fun of Act Raiser is that it combines so many elements into a fun and workable game. With so many different things to do, a lot of games could become clunky or just fail at one element to really bring the game quality down. Act Raiser manages to make all the elements in it both simple, fun and well blended meaning that no one element of the game stands out as being particularly good or bad and is just generally a lot of fun to play.


When you play as a god, how you look after your worshippers determines how well you can develop your character when you descend to earth and smite the monsters plaguing them. Treat them well and try to improve their lives as best as you can and you will find them giving you offerings which improve your stats or give you special weapons to use in combat, treat them badly and you may find yourself dying all the time as you will be at a significant disadvantage.

The only problem I’ve ever had with Act Raiser and even this is part of its charm is that throughout the game you enjoy a lot of different elements, some slightly harder or easier than others but none so hard you want to throw your control pad at the screen… until you get to the final boss.

The final boss of each area is pretty tough but nothing you can’t handle as your skills develop and you gain more health and special weapons but they level up with you so at the top of your ability, the second to last boss is still pretty damn tough to beat and can cause you to drop to pretty low health before you can beat them. The final boss of the game takes every single boss and you have to fight them one after the other without any chance of healing and only being able to use your special weapons once maybe twice. As such the final boss is rock solid and beating them all is an achievement to be proud of.

Even without that though, the rest of the game is highly enjoyable and immeasurably fun. I recommend It if you ever get a chance to play though unless you really like torturing yourself, you may want to end the game before the last boss.