Match-Mania set

Latest Updates

June 11, 2016

2016 June 11: Shinsenshou: Match-Mania page posted. Game Boy World 1990 Vol. 2 has begun!

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Game Boy World 1990 Vol. 1: Now in print

May 2, 2016

The first chapter of Game Boy World 1990 is now available in book form!

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Shisenshou: Match-Mania

July 13, 1990

Irem makes its Game Boy debut with this adaptation of Tamtex’s arcade Shaghai variant, losing the original version’s color (and its smut) in translation to the portable.

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Pipe Dream

July 3, 1990

An interesting counterpoint to the remarkably similar Blodia from a few months prior. Where that game featured structured puzzles, Pipe Dream features a Tetris-like randomness… and an ease of use that makes it infinitely more fun than Blodia.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

July 1, 1990

Lousy licensed Game Boy games are just as likely to come from western studios as Japanese! The Amazing Spider-Man is every bit as awful as Gundam or Zoids. Sorry, kids.

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Volleyfire

June 29, 1990

A promising premise for a game — two players go head-to-head in a shooting match — crumbles beneath lousy programming. A throwback to an older time, in a bad way.

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Burai Fighter Deluxe

June 22, 1990

The fast-paced NES shoot-em-up comes to Game Boy with most of its content and mechanics intact, almost day and date with its console sibling. Pretty impressive!

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Boxxle II

June 22, 1990

The Game Boy’s first sequel builds on its most imitated game to date: Boxxle. Can basic box-pushing stand up to the fancier variants we’ve seen since? (Not really.)

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Dexterity

June 15, 1990

SNK makes its Game Boy debut with a game remarkably similar to partner developer ADK’s arcade classic Make Trax. Hmm!

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ZOIDS: ZOID Densetsu

June 15, 1990

Based on the toyline, Zoids Densetsu fails to live up the standard of even that middling property; it was, by far, the worst Game Boy release to that point.

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Card Game

June 15, 1990

So, yeah. It’s a card game.

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Cosmo Tank

June 8, 1990

A game that brushed with greatness but didn’t quite make the connection. Cosmo Tank spans planets, genres, and play modes—it’s incredibly ambitious, and almost a masterpiece.

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Catrap

June 1, 1990

Despite sharing a great deal in common with previous Game Boy puzzlers, Catrap stands out in a crowded field thanks to its innovative, player-friendly rewind feature.

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Ultraman Club: Teki Kaijuu o Hakken Seyo!

May 26, 1990

Ultraman’s debut on Game Boy bears a suspicious similarity to Gundam’s first portable outing. Except instead of taking the form of a brain-dead fighter, it’s more of a primitive proto-Pokémon.

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Ayakashi no Shiro

May 25, 1990

The first of approximately half a dozen first-person RPGs ever to appear on Game Boy, Ayakashi no Shiro plays by the rules laid down by Wizardry but switches up its setting to ancient Japan.

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Heavyweight Championship Boxing

May 18, 1990

Game Boy’s first boxing title takes a lot of inspiration from Punch-Out!!… and then just keeps adding stuff and adding stuff, until it collapses into a heap of overcomplicated design. There’s merit here, sadly spoiled by a lack of restraint.

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Lock ’N Chase

May 11, 1990

Data East arrives on Game Boy by dipping back into its vast arcade archives. But this is no rehash—Lock ’N Chase plays more like a sequel than a port.

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Gargoyle’s Quest

May 2, 1990

At long last, Capcom makes its debut on Game Boy, and that game—an RPG-inspired Ghosts ’N Goblins spin-off—raises the bar for quality on the platform.

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Mercenary Force

April 28, 1990

Designed by the creators of Deadly Towers, crafted in the image of Bokosuka Wars and King’s Knight, Mercenary Force should by all accounts have been awful. But no, it was great!

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Snoopy’s Magic Show

April 28, 1990

Like so many licensed kids’ games of the ’80s and ’90s, Snoopy’s Magic Show had basically nothing at all to do with Peanuts: A generic action-puzzler. Always remember: Capcom’s NES Disney titles were the exception, not the rule.

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Soccer Mania

April 27, 1990

A startlingly wretched take on soccer (the other football) whose only interesting points are its bizarrely huge sprites and the fact that it may have been produced by the company that animated Ranma 1/2. Those facts are not enough to justify playing Soccer Mania, though!

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Popeye

April 20, 1990

Nintendo’s Popeye was a memorable but slightly subpar action game from the golden days of the arcade. Despite its deficiencies, it blew away this sad take on the license by Sigma Enterprises.

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Daedalian Opus

April 20, 1990

Dear Vic Tokai, if you have to include an IPA pronunciation guide for your game’s title on the box, maybe use a different name? Especially when that cumbersome title could discourage people from checking out a great puzzler that stands out from the teeming puzzle masses on Game Boy.

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Blodia

April 20, 1990

Based on Diablo—no, not THAT Diablo. Blodia draws its track-arranging concept from a 1983 ColecoVision game which in turn probably took cues from Konami’s Loco-Motion. Whatever its heritage… it’s not very fun.