Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge is a 2003 platform game by Rare for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance (GBA). It is the third installment in the Banjo-Kazooie series and takes place between the events of the Nintendo 64 (N64) games Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. In Grunty's Revenge, the evil witch Gruntilda travels back in time to prevent the events of Banjo-Kazooie from happening, and the bear Banjo and his bird friend Kazooie set out to stop her. Grunty's Revenge retains the focus on collecting items and most of the other game mechanics from its predecessors, but is presented in 2D rather than 3D. Aside from the main game, players can also access minigames such as fishing and target shooting.
Rare began to plan Grunty's Revenge in August 1999. At this time, it was titled Grunty's Curse and was planned for release on the Game Boy Color, and featured a different plot. Rare was working on the game's sprites when production halted in late 1999, but it was revived after Nintendo released the GBA. Nintendo rival Microsoft's purchase of Rare in 2002 did not affect their plans to develop the game; Microsoft negotiated a deal with THQ to publish Grunty's Revenge alongside Rare's other GBA projects. The game was released for the GBA in September 2003 and a port for mobile phones was released in June 2005. Grunty's Revenge received average reviews; although its visual style and gameplay were praised and favourably compared to those of the N64 games, its low difficulty and story were criticised.
Like its Nintendo 64 (N64) predecessors Banjo-Kazooie (1998) and Banjo-Tooie (2000), Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge is an adventure platformer with a strong emphasis on collecting items. The player must control the player characters, the bear Banjo and his bird friend Kazooie, through several levels. The story takes place between the events of the N64 Banjo games and employs time travel as a key plot device. In the story, the evil witch and antagonist of the previous games, Gruntilda, transfers her spirit into a mechanical body before kidnapping Kazooie and going back in time to prevent her from meeting Banjo, thus preventing the events of Banjo-Kazooie. The shaman Mumbo Jumbo sends Banjo back in time to stop Gruntilda. At the start of the game, the player controls just Banjo, who can walk, jump, crouch, and attack enemies with his backpack. Collecting golden musical notes scattered around levels will enable Banjo to purchase three additional abilities from a mole named Bozzeye. Eventually, Banjo rescues Kazooie, who rides in his backpack for the remainder of the game. With Kazooie, the player can purchase seven new abilities, such as temporary flight. While Grunty's Revenge's game mechanics are largely the same as those from the N64 games, it is presented in 2D from an overhead perspective with pre-rendered graphics, rather than the 3D presentation of its predecessors.
There are five levels (called worlds), which are accessed from the overworld Spiral Mountain. In each world, players must collect items scattered around the environments. These include the musical notes; puzzle pieces called Jiggies, which unlock levels and progress players through the game; empty honeycombs, which extend Banjo's energy bar; and lost creatures called Jinjos, which will give the player a Jiggy when every one in a level is found. Progress is tracked on a statistics screen showing maps of each location and collected items. Other collectibles include totems and coins; overall, there are more than 750 collectibles. If Banjo gives totems to Mumbo Jumbo, he will gain the ability to transform into other creatures, including a mouse, octopus, candle, or tank, each with its own unique abilities. Some areas in levels are inaccessible unless Banjo buys new abilities or transformations. Every level features an "arena style" boss fight with Gruntilda or her minion, Klungo. Like previous games, the final boss fight includes game show-style quiz segments testing the player's knowledge of the game mechanics. Aside from the platforming, some levels feature minigames, such as fishing, racing, and target shooting. The closing credits features a minigame where the player can earn tokens, which can be used to purchase and replay unlocked ones in an arcade cabinet hidden in one of the levels.
Game Boy Advance
September 12, 2003 (North America)
October 24, 2003 (Europe)
June 2005 (World Wide)