Almost everyone, at some point or another, has come across The Smurfs franchise. Whether that’s through comic books, cartoons or movies, those charming blue gnomes are everywhere. Another medium they’ve done well in is videogames, with the first titles released in the 1980s. Now that The Smurfs are 65, here’s the franchise’s gaming history as well as what’s to come.
The Smurfs have managed to find their way into every entertainment medium and videogames are no different. Over 22 titles have been created for the franchise in the last 40 years, with that same lovable charm children the world over have enjoyed growing up.
So here’s a brief look through The Smurfs’ gaming history, covering most of the major gaming formats.
Smurfs in the 80s
Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle (1982)
Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle was the very first videogame based on the franchise. Released in 1982 for the ColecoVision and Atari 2600, it featured The Smurfs’ arch enemy Gargamel. Smurfette has been captured by the evil wizard and it’s up to you to venture out of the village, through a forest and into the titular Gargamel’s castle to rescue her.
The Smurfs Save the Day (1983)
Following on from Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel’s Castle a year later was The Smurfs Save the Day. An educational title for the Atari 2600, it was designed for use with the KidVid “voice module” system. Split across three cassettes, there were musical games on the Harmony Smurf cassette, colour games on the Greedy Smurf cassette, and shape-based games on the Handy Smurf cassette.
Smurf Paint ‘n’ Play Workshop (1984)
Another educational title for young kids, Smurf Paint ‘n’ Play Workshop offered the chance to play, paint, and place objects on the screen. They could also make animations and manipulate objects.
Also in the 80s:
- Tiger Smurf (1983)
- Smurfen (1985)
- Smurf Play & Learn (1983) – Unreleased
Smurfs in the 90s
The Smurfs (1993/94)
It wasn’t until the 1990s that The Smurfs’ adventure into videogames really took off properly, starting with The Smurfs on the original Nintendo Game Boy in 1993 in Europe. Followed by a North American version in 1994. Other platforms soon followed: NES, Super NES, Master System, Game Gear (1994); Mega Drive, Mega-CD (1995) and then Game Boy Advance in 2002 under the Revenge of the Smurfs title.
The Smurfs Travel the World (1995)
Release in 1995 for the Game Boy, Master System and Game Gear, The Smurfs Travel the World was only released in Europe. A Super NES and Mega Drive version arrived in the following year. Its story picks up right from the last season of the 1981 animated series, and you can choose between Inquisitive Smurf and Smurfette. The goal is to repair the Magic Crystal by collecting broken shards from around the world.
The Smurfs’ Nightmare (1997)
Once again the evil Gargamel is back, this time casting a spell on the sleeping smurfs, thus trapping them all in nightmares. As the Brave Smurf, players enter each Smurfs’ house to rescue them. The Smurfs’ Nightmare was released for the Game Boy in 1997 in Europe, followed by a Game Boy Color launch in 1999.
Also in the 90s
- Learn With The Smurfs (1996)
- The Smurfs (1999)
Smurfs in the 00s
The Adventures of the Smurfs (2000)
The Smurfs continued to be well received in Europe, with The Adventures of the Smurfs (2000) coming to Game Boy Color. It was a top-down adventure game from Infogrames.
Smurf Racer! / 3, 2, 1, Smurf! (2001)
Another Infogrames title, Smurf Racer! – 3,2,1 Smurf in Europe – was a racing game for the Sony PlayStation.
Smurfs in the 2010s
Smurfs’ Village (2010)
The first instance of The Smurf’s coming to mobile phones (iOS in 2010, Android in 2011), Smurfs’ Village was a free social game. You build up the Smurf village, growing and harvesting crops whilst playing entertaining mini-games that litter the village. It was so popular on iOS that it dethroned Angry Birds as the top-grossing game in November 2010.
The Smurfs Dance Party (2011)
The Wii was all about getting up and moving, so no surprise Ubisoft brought The Smurfs Dance Party to Nintendo’s console. In a similar vein to the Just Dance series, players have to sync their movements to that of the dancers on screen.
The Smurfs 2 (2013)
Tying in with the release of The Smurfs 2 movie in theatres, the videogame of the same name came to Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was an action-packed adventure platformer featuring iconic moments and key environments from the movie.
Also in the 2010s:
- The Smurfs (2011)
- Smurfs vs. Gargamels (2011)
- The Smurfs Hide & Seek with Brainy (2012)
- Smurfs’ Village and The Magical Meadow (2014)
- Smurfette’s Magic Match (2014)
- The Smurfs Bakery (2015)
- The Smurfs Games (2015)
- Telling Time With The Smurfs (2015)
- The Smurfs Epic Run (2015)
Smurfs in the 20s
The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf (2021)
The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf, a 3D platformer arrived for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2021, followed by PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S in 2022. You have to save the forest from a monstrous plant known as the Vileaf, created by non-other than Gargamel.
Smurfs Kart (2022)
The blue gnomes are back on four wheels in Smurfs Kart for Nintendo Switch. Featuring 12 tracks taken from the Smurfs’ universe including the village, the forest, and the swamps, players can select from 12 different Smurfs.
The Smurfs Future
So what’s in store for The Smurfs? We definitely know that Smurfs Kart is coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2023.
Additionally, RedDeer.Games have announced a collaboration with IMPS – The Smurfs, creating a series of new apps and games for the Nintendo Switch. The first of which will arrive in 2023. These will be family-friendly apps for fun and learning, leveraging RedDeer.Games’ experience creating titles like Sport & Fun: Swimming, Family Chess and Comic Coloring Book.
Not much else is known about the projects at the moment, but there’s going to be plenty to celebrate on this 65th anniversary. Did you enjoy The Smurfs gaming history? Which titles have you played? Let us know in the comments below.
You must be logged in to post a comment.