The California Raisins: The Grape Escape was a cancelled 1990 2D Platformer video game that was to be published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game stars the California Raisins, of the television and movie franchise of the same name.
Four band members of The California Raisins have been kidnapped, supposedly by the rival band The Wild Bunch. It's up to the player to make it to the penthouse studios of Sky High Records and rescue the band.
The California Raisins: The Grape Escape plays as a standard 2D platformer. The player must navigate through five levels by climbing, jumping, and falling, all while dodging obstacles and fending off enemies. The player's only attack is the ability to shoot grape juice as a projectile, which fires horizontally in whatever direction the player is looking. The player can regain health by grabbing suns, for a total of 5 health points, and can gain extra lives by grabbing small Raisinette icons. The player can also grab invincibility power ups, as well as musical notes for extra points.
The player must complete five levels to beat the game. The first four levels can be completed in any order, with the fifth and final level only being playable after the first four are completed, similarly to Duck Tales and Mega Man.
The Grape Vine consists of underground and above ground sections, with multiple grape vines around the level for the player to climb. The level's boss is a small green grape controlling a giant foot, that stomps on the player and causes rocks to fall from the ceiling.
The Juicery is a large brick grape juice factory, featuring many conveyor belts and climbing challenges, as well as falling obstacles and water hazards, both represented by grape juice. The level's boss is an anthropormorphic barrel of grape juice that drops grape juice on the player, and can only be defeated by shooting and destroying the platform he's standing on.
The factory is a large mechanical level, featuring pipework mazes, metal tunnels, and grape juice pools and waterfalls. The level features numerous alternate routes, allowing the player to find extra point items. The level's boss is a banana wearing a bandanna that spits projectiles and charges at the player.
The Maize Maze starts out in a simple above ground area, but quickly transitions to an underground stone labyrinth complete with falling and rolling boulders. The level's boss is a large ear of corn that shoots corn kernels at the player.
The Clouds has the player navigate atop the clouds as the shortest level in the game, featuring only a few enemies and obstacles before reaching the boss. The final boss is a bunch of grapes dressed in ancient greek clothing that drops grapes on the player.
Once the final boss is beaten the player is greeted with a quick congratulations screen, and the credits roll.
The California Raisins: The Grape Escape was fully finished, and had already been reviewed by critics, and published hints into various video game articles and magazines before it's cancellation. The reason behind the game's cancellation is unknown, but it's speculated that it may have been due to the game's poor quality, and declining popularity of the California Raisins.