As the video game market slowly turned towards the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis, Rare Ltd released this game which can be considered one of the best looking games on the NES. The game begins aboard the space ship ‘The Vulture’ where Battletoads Rash, Zitz, and Pimple (all disgustingly named after skin diseases) are escorting Princess Angelica back to her home planet. Pimple and Princess Angelica go cruisin’ and get intercepted by the game’s villain, the Dark Queen of Ragnarok. Both are kidnapped and taken back to Ragnarok. The Professor, captain of The Vulture, takes Rash and Zitz to ‘rumble’ with the Dark Queen on Ragnarok and ‘get the Princess and Pimple back.’ The remainder of the game takes place on planet Ragnarok where Rash and Zitz set off to save their friend Pimple and Princess Angelica.
While the first level is a typical 2D beat em up similar to Double Dragon, other levels have a variety of gameplay styles, including rappelling down a pit, riding speed bikes and surfboards, navigating a level on a unicycle-like vehicle that can ride up walls and on the ceiling, etc. The main objective of each level is to defeat as many enemies and overcome as many obstacles as possible and reach the endpoint. General strategy is to memorize these obstacles and rely on quick reflexes to reach the end. The entire game rounds up to two difficult levels where the Toads climb a tower and, at the end, reach the Dark Queen.
The most memorable aspect of this game is the absurd difficulty. Not only did it employ a decent amount of memorization but reflexes had to be fast, even for veteran gamers. Another memorable moment for this game would be the humorous way enemies were finished off, be it by using a football helmet or sprouting horns and ramming the enemy off screen.
When the game was released on the Game Boy Electronic Gaming Monthly awarded it the scores of 8,8,8,7 saying, "...one of the best Game Boy games I've ever played". The Game Boy version had the same basic theme found in the NES adventure, with the toads using all of the same fighting moves. The levels and bosses however were entirely original.