From Ball in 1980 to Mario the Juggler in 1991, the Game & Watch series was made by Nintendo and created by Gunpei Yokoi (RIP). These handheld electronic games had first two buttons, they used a LED display and had a clock and an alarm; everything could slip into your pocket. Amazing, huh? Well, not that much for today’s criteria on gameplay and fun in video games but for those who played them during the 80’s, they were a must-have. I remember when the Widescreen series came out with a wider screen and -some- colors, I played Parachute a lot (see the flying Shibi below this article, you’ll get the point). Then the Multiscreen series and the great Donkey Kong Jr…
At primary school, we created a trade market for Game & Watch games. Few schoolboys/girls could afford to get the latest ones and the others had to watch them play, it was quite frustrating I must say. Most wanted Game & Watch were frequently stolen but always came back in the pocket of the owner after giving them a try; I personally gained most of mines playing marble games (you know, small and colored glass balls, you hit your opponents’ marbles, you win them) or during tournaments, higher score would win the handheld game. You had to be real good and not be afraid to come back home a little late: “I had to finished the game and see what I won!“. Sounded weird, I realize that now but you couldn’t hit ‘Pause’ so you had to play until you won. Or lost.
I still have many of them, some became very rare like Crystal Screen series and Tabletop series. This is old time my friends, far from the over-powered consoles like XBOX360 and PlayStation3. I own today’s handheld consoles such as a Black Sony PSP, a White Nintendo DS, a Gameboy Micro I take with me when I travel, and tens of Gameboy (color, special series, printer, etc)… I really enjoy playing with.
By the way, how old is your brain (Brain Age on Nintendo DS)? Mine is 42. I could (should) do must better!