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.

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!

Qix

April 13, 1990

Nintendo and Minakuchi Engineering take Taito’s arcade classic under their first-party week to embellish it with multiplayer mechanics and Mario dressed as random ethnic stereotypes.

Othello

February 9, 1990

A video adaptation of Pressman’s reversi board game. While Acclaim published the NES game on which this rendition was based in the U.S., the Game Boy release was only ever sold in Japan and Europe (where it was published as a Nintendo first-party title).

Solar Striker

January 26, 1990

Game Boy’s first vertical shoot-em-up. Simple and clean, Solar Striker may not impress these days, but that’s by design: What seems painfully limited in 2015 made for a highly playable action game on the original Game Boy hardware. Sometimes, smart design and timeless design aren’t one and the same.

Golf

November 28, 1989

The testament of a great game: Even if you don’t care about the subject matter or genre, a player can still appreciate its quality and refinement. So it goes with Golf, a game that revolves around the topic of its very literal title and does so with far more style and panache that its generic name would suggest. […]

Shanghai

July 28, 1989

It took a couple of months, but we finally have the first third-party release for Game Boy… though only just barely. These days, Shanghai publisher HAL Laboratory is more a Nintendo second party studio akin to Intelligent Systems than a true third party, but the company’s relationship with Nintendo was still evolving back in 1989. And […]

Tetris

June 14, 1989

So. Tetris. Has any game ever defined a platform so clearly? Wii Sports, probably. Possibly Halo. But Tetris didn’t merely move systems – though it certainly did that – it established the tone and style of the Game Boy. Until Pokémon came along, Tetris served as the Game Boy’s statement of intent. Game Boy Tetris carries several levels […]

Gunpei Yokoi

April 21, 1989

The father of the Game Boy. Gunpei Yokoi’s design philosophies shaped not only the direction of the Game Boy, but Nintendo’s creative DNA as well.

Alleyway

April 21, 1989

You can see the Game Boy’s roots in the Game & Watch series on clear display in Nintendo’s first generation of releases for the system, and nowhere more than Alleyway. A dated take on the block-breaking genre even at the time of its 1989 debut – the far more sophisticated Arkanoid predates it by a good three years […]

Yakuman

April 21, 1989

When Game Boy launched in Japan, it arrived with four games (each sold separately, of course). Most of them made their way to the West – as did the overwhelming majority of game releases from Game Boy’s first year of existence, for that matter – with one notable exception: Yakuman. Yakuman‘s failure to venture beyond […]

Baseball

April 21, 1989

Nintendo didn’t launch the Game Boy in Europe until late 1990 – more than a year after the Japanese and American launches. Unlike with consoles, power standards weren’t the issue behind the delay; Nintendo didn’t have to worry about reprogramming software for PAL/SECAM or dealing with 50Hz vs. 60Hz timing issues, because the Game Boy came with its […]

Super Mario Land

April 21, 1989

Super Mario Land was the big release for Game Boy’s launch – the can’t-fail hit designed to move systems by the million right as the world was caught in Mario Mania’s peak thrall – and that makes it a fascinating game on several levels. Thank the maker For starters, unlike Game Boy’s other launch titles, there’s no ambiguity about who was […]

Nintendo Game Boy (DMG-001)

April 21, 1989

Administrative note: Please consider supporting this site through Patreon! The Game Boy Before we talk about the Game Boy hardware, let’s talk about what came before Game Boy. The idea of portable gaming certainly didn’t come into existence from nowhere the day Game Boy launched; various toy companies had been dabbling in the concept since the […]