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.

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.

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.

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.

Card Game

June 15, 1990

So, yeah. It’s a card game.

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.

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.

SD Lupin III: Kinko Yaburi Daisakusen

April 13, 1990

The classic manga and anime comes to Game Boy in the form of… a generic, by-the-numbers puzzler. Because that’s precisely what one of the most beloved (and stylish!) comic franchises deserves, yeah.

Space Invaders

March 30, 1990

A bare-bones but admirably faithful rendition of the arcade classic. While Taito made some compromises in order to squeeze the game into the tiny handheld, they did so intelligently, preserving the essence and pacing of the original remarkably well.

Trump Boy

March 29, 1990

Where SD Gundam was offensively awful, Trump Boy is merely unremarkable in every way. A quick and dirty compilation of four different real-world card games, it lacks any bells or whistles to speak of. Better than a kick to the teeth, but much less memorable.

SD Gundam: SD Sengokuden: Kunitori Monogatari

March 24, 1990

  Game Boy gets its first strategy game and its first Gundam game… and Kunitori Monogatari is pretty lousy at being either. Rather than depicting a cool Gundam, this is about chubby robot suits in ancient Japan. And the cumbersome strategy interface yields to some absolute rock-bottom barrel-scraping fighting game. Disastrous.

Flappy Special

March 23, 1990

  Another old-school PC conversion. Another Soukoban variant. DB-Soft and Victor definitely were not on a mission to radically change the way we thinking about Game Boy software with this one, that’s for sure.

Shogi

December 19, 1989

Shogi was the third Game Boy release to revolve around an endemic Japanese pastime, and the third Game Boy release never to see a release in the West. It’s almost like there’s a pattern evolving, or something. As we venture further into the Game Boy’s life, the disparity between Japanese and Western releases will grow considerably; […]

Pachinko Time

December 8, 1989

Pachinko tutorial time I don’t know how much you know about pachinko, but I’m… what’s the furthest thing from an expert? I’m one of those. But let’s pretend. For those not in the know, pachinko is a popular Japanese gambling pastime. Legally, it’s not considered gambling, and any time someone suggests the authorities crack down […]