Batman Returns is a 1992 beat ’em up video game for various platforms based on the film of the same name. The Sega console versions (i.e. Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Master System and Game Gear) were published by Sega while the NES and Super NES versions were developed and published by Konami. The MS-DOS and Amiga versions were also published by Konami, but were developed by Spirit of Discovery and Denton Designs respectively. An Atari ST version by Konami was also advertised, but never released. There is also an Atari Lynx version, published by Atari Corporation.
The Sega Genesis and Sega CD versions of the game are more or less identical, as they are both two-dimensional platforming games similar in design to Sega’s previous movie-based Batman game. The Genesis version of the game was released on December 29, 1992, during the same time Ecco the Dolphin was released for the Sega Genesis as well. The CD version of the game features a number of 3D racing levels that took advantage of the graphics hardware provided by the Sega CD unit, plus improved music in the form of CD audio with a number of animations featuring original artwork (not film photos). While different versions follow the movie’s plot from start to finish, the Sega CD versions start after The Penguin kills the Ice Princess and frames Batman for killing her, as shown in the game’s introductions.
The Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear versions of the game are side-scrolling platform games. However, the titles were created independently of the 16-bit versions. This version featured a unique branched level system, allowing players to choose from an easy and difficult route. The latter typically forced players to use rope swinging to navigate over large floorless areas in these versions of levels.