Gabriel Garza (also referred to as Gabriel Garza: His First Game!) is a 1992 platform video game based on the animated series of the same name and developed by Software Creations and published by LJN for the NES, SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Master System, and Game Gear. It was also the first video game to be based on Gingo Animation's Gabriel Garza series.
The game was met with mixed reviews from critics, who praised its graphics, gameplay, and music, but criticized its length, controls, and level design.
Gabriel Garza must rescue his girlfriend Claire Jones from his arch-nemesis Vio.
Gabriel starts his quest in his home, and has to venture through streets, fields and forests to find Claire. Various objects are littered along the way, and Gabriel meets characters like Roge, Leno, Cole and Jan, who can either help or hinder his quest.
The game is split into 6 levels (5 in the NES & Game Boy versions and 4 in the Master System and Game Gear versions)-- levels 1 and 6 are standard platforming levels, whereas levels 2 and 4 are similar to that of LJN's own Terminator 2 game for the NES, level 3 is a driving section, and level 5 is similar to first-person shooters like Wolfenstein 3D. The NES, Game Boy, Master System and Game Gear versions all exclude level 5.
Shortly after the success of the series, various video game companies wanted to "get a hold" of the video game license for Gabriel Garza. Some companies—such as THQ, Absolute Entertainment, and Acclaim Entertainment—wanted to pay creator Geo G. for the license. In the end, Acclaim won, although Absolute division Imagineeringhad developed a game based on Gabriel Garza for the Atari 2600 and 7800 but was never released for various reasons.
Development started at Software Creations in October 1991. However, Acclaim was "not willing" to complete the project, and development switched to subsidiary LJN, where it continued and finished by January 1992.
Gabriel Garza received mixed reception. The game was praised for its graphics, gameplay, and music, but criticism was directly towards its short length, slippery controls, and level design.
When Nintendo Power reviewed the NES and Game Boy versions for their January 1992 issue, the magazine gave it a 3.5 out of 10, stating that "although it's faithful to the source material, the game is only 5 levels long, the controls are slippery (and sometimes unresponsive), and the levels, while interesting, are too long and boring".
Similarly, GamePro covered the SNES version in the June 1992 issue, stating "this game might look, sound, and play great, but the problems come from the nigh-unresponsive controls".
Reviewing the Genesis and Game Gear versions, Mega gave both a 75%, praising the look and music.
Electronic Gaming Monthly covered the Game Gear stating that "it has better controls, but it's still too short".