Power Missiøn

August 24, 1990

Is it “Power Mission” or “Power Missiøn”? This forgotten release provided a pretty decent portable war gaming experience. It would be eclipsed by better-known games within a matter of months.

Dragon Slayer I

August 12, 1990

A seminal action RPG comes to Game Boy, despite some original design choices making it terribly ill-suited for the platform.

Hong Kong

August 11, 1990

Another game of matching mahjong tiles. It has a twist, but the only interesting thing about it is its backstory.

Bionic Battler

August 10, 1990

A clumsy, primitive, first-person maze shooter. It’s not very fun. But man, that box art is something else, huh?

Amazing Penguin

August 8, 1990

A charming little puzzler that stands out from the system’s glut of puzzlers thanks to its fast-paced, addictive gameplay.

Sakigake!! Otokojuku: Meioutou Kessen

August 4, 1990

Based on a thoroughly Japanese manga, this thoroughly mediocre fighting game remained stranded in its homeland.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan

August 3, 1990

The inevitable arrival of the juggernaut Ninja Turtles franchise didn’t quite live up to Konami’s usual standards, with repetitive play and cheap enemies.

Ishidō: The Way of Stones

August 2, 1990

An adaptation of a Macintosh board game involving matching tiles, slightly compromised by Game Boy’s lack of color and overabundance of puzzlers.

Puzznic

July 31, 1990

Oh. It’s another puzzle game. This version is distinct from the NES adaptation, and also from the soft-porn arcade versions.

Ranma 1/2

July 28, 1990

A tolerable action-puzzle adaptation of Ranma 1/2, seemingly built on the skeleton of SD Lupin III.

Dr. Mario

July 27, 1990

Nintendo had huge success with Tetris, so rather than wait for another hit to come across their desk they rolled their own. It’s OK… but it’s no Tetris.

Tasmania Story

July 27, 1990

Based on a Japan-only movie, with gameplay adapted from a Japan-only MSX game, this clunky and primitive creation is tough to love.

Double Dragon

July 20, 1990

A loose adaptation of the NES game, which in turn loosely adapted the arcade original. Nearly a brilliant rendition but for one critical flaw: Its absolutely wretched difficulty balancing.

Paperboy

July 15, 1990

Atari’s diagonal fling-em-up makes the leap from arcades to the Game Boy with rather less-than-impressive results.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.)

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!

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.

Card Game

June 15, 1990

So, yeah. It’s a card game.

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.