Posted on 4 April, 2016 at 8:40PM
Here's a real quirky one for ya. Have you heard of the Game and Watch series from Nintendo? Really? You haven't? And you already have two badges? In the early 80s and beyond, Nintendo got its first taste of the handheld market, not with the Game Boy, but with these weird, single-game units that for some reason had an alarm clock in them. Ahh, Nintendo, why do you put alarm clocks in everything? They were ugly, they weren't comfortable, and they weren't even that fun… But we still remember them fondly because we're gamers and make poor decisions I guess.
So anyway, these simple little games didn't have any music, and didn't really have any story or graphics or game
The Game and Watch Gallery series started on the Game Boy Color and would bring direct ports of those classic-ish games to the GBC, but with the Game Boy Advance version, Nintendo really pulled out all the stops. In addition to simply porting the games to GBA, they added remixed versions with updated graphics and music, though the gameplay was usually unchanged. This was a nice bit of eye candy to refresh these old games, and made the already cute little games just a little bit more adorable. Seriously, tell me rescuing Yoshi from a burning castle (How could that even happen?) isn't just the most cuddly-wuddly thing you've ever seen! The updated versions also did contain some form of music, usually delightfully catchy tunes that would get stuck in your head--but in the good way, of course. play either. They're sort of like those crummy little Tiger Electronics games that sometimes come in Happy Meals. But they're a little better, I think?
My favorite game is probably Fire. It's a really simple concept but I just like juggling games. It's sort of like Tetris in the way it starts slow and the ramps up the difficulty as time goes on, although unlike Tetris you occasionally (In Modern mode) get a small rest period. After that I think it would be a tie between Donkey Kong and Octopus. Now, don't be confused, while thematically, Game and Watch Donkey Kong is very similar to the arcade/NES classic, even in Modern mode this game is... Well it's a Game and Watch game, okay? Movement is jerky and you're limited to certain areas where Mario (Or is this Jumpman?) are allowed to stand. But I should mention that the D-Pad was originally developed for Donkey Kong. (I should, but I won't. Oh, except that I did. Oops. It's okay though because parentheses are secret code that nobody can read.) Octopus is of course a classic, and would later go on to be Mr. Game and Watch's final smash. A scuba diver has to swim down and run into the Octopus's Garden to gather treasure, but watch out, that Octo is angry! This had a fun type of risk/reward gameplay that really went strong with the G&W graphics and play style. Other honorable mentions were Chef (Probably the prequel to Fire, judging by the similar gameplay and the fact that a dinosaur is cooking), Mario's Bombs Away, and Rain Shower.
There was also a ranking feature, and depending on your score you could end up with 0-5 stars in each game. Okay, that's fine, but you know what? The more stars you had, the more games you unlocked! Games that were featured in older versions of Game and Watch Gallery could be unlocked to be played without switching cartridges, totally cool! Some of these games didn't have upgraded graphics and music, but whatever, they were still fun! There were even some games that weren't previously released in the gallery! And of course, the illustrious Game and Watch Zelda, which I was never able to unlock.
Overall, I'd give this game four out of four game and watch galleries. It's a fun time waster that you can pull out and play for two minutes or two hours, and I dumped all of my best teenage years into it. (Seriously). I wish they had continued the series but honestly, how far could it have gone with only fourty or so games?