Before the Game Boy, Nintendo were already at the height of the handheld market…well, maybe the only company; but what was their first successful handheld console? Well there were a number of them, they were called Game & Watch (also called Tricotronic in West Germany and Austria), a series of 59 LCD games and they were very popular for the time, I guess they survived the Video Game Crash of ’84 because it had a decent lifespan from 1980-1991, even after the release of Game Boy it was still around for a while. Even after it’s discountinuation LCD games were still popular, mostly thanks to companies like Tiger Electronics.
But Nintendo are unsurprisingly proud of their Game and Watch machines to the point where the multi screen versions would end up being the design of the Nintendo DS. Trying to find a Game & Watch console is getting harder, I’m also trying to get the Game & Watch Collection for the DS, but until then, Game Boy Gallery – 5 Games in 1, developed and published by Nintendo…and also developed by Tose…I need to talk about this company. It was released in 1995…only in Europe? Ain’t complaining. Keep in mind that this isn’t a Compilation Corner since they’re remakes and not the original.
The collection contains 5 games:
Ball – You control a character where he juggles balls and you have to make sure he doesn’t drop them. But if you’re good, chances are you’re going to spend hours on it.
Vermin – You play as a Gardener as you crack moles’ skulls with your hammers to prevent them from popping out of the surface. Another game where you can get good at it and spend hours on it.
Flagman – This was one I didn’t know what to do until I read online what to do. As it turns out it’s a memory game where the character will give out a set of numbers and you have to press a numbers in the order the character showed you. The version I played consists of the character pulls out flags in a specific direction and you have to tap the d-pad to the correct order. I like this since it actually gets harder the more you play.
Manhole – So this is weird, not as a game but as a concept. You must protect some stupid civilians who can’t look at a hole RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM by covering the holes so they can pass. This is my favourite game as it does takes skill and timing to make sure a multiple of people at once don’t fall.
Mario’s Cement Factory – While this version doesn’t contain Mario, it’s still cement factory nonetheless. So you play as not-Mario as you got to transfer the cement to the mixers by pulling levers. This is quite difficult since you want to quickly drop the cement to prevent it overflowing the bowls.
The graphics are brand new as well as the music but the gameplay is still the same as the original games. Is this still playable today? If you appreciate retro games no matter what it is then yes, it’s going to be near enough authentic to the original. To any new gamer YOU WILL FIND IT BORING; these games are very simple in mind and were made at a time when the Game Boy wasn’t even a thing yet and were fun for it’s time, nowadays handheld games can be fully 3D but still have the pick up and play factor so Game & Watch may be irrelevant to younger gamers.
Overall, they’re nice simple games based on classics from the 80’s, they may not have a lasting appeal nowadays but it’s a collection to play once in a while, if you appreciate Nintendo’s early days of handheld gaming before Game Boy made it extremely popular.
You can get it on Game Boy.