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Game & Watch
Ball
Manufacturer Nintendo
Released 1980
Generation Second generation
Processor Color TV Game

For a list of all the handheld Game & Watch games, go Here

The Game & Watch series are a total of 60 handheld video games that were released between 1980 and 1991. The games were released a year before Donkey Kong, three years before the Famicom, and a whopping nine years before the Game Boy was released. While not Nintendo's initial entry into the video game market, it was one of their most successful products in the early 80s. After Nintendo started to develop popular series such as Donkey Kong, Mario and The Legend of Zelda, they constructed games based on these titles, and even made games that starred popular characters such as Mickey Mouse and Snoopy. The idea of the Game & Watch was conceived by Gunpei Yokoi.

A multiple of companies help Nintendo create their Game & Watch units, including Mego, CGL, Ji2l, Futuretronics, Bienegraeber&co, and Videopoche. While the games themselves were virtually unchanged, the box that the game came in were different as each one was custom made by the respective company.

Years after the Game & Watch was created, Nintendo honored the franchise by referencing it in the WarioWare series and making Game & Watch compilations known as the Game & Watch Gallery and Game & Watch Collection series.

History

The games were created by Nintendo designer Gunpei Yokoi who was hand picked by the Nintendo president after finding unique toys that the man had made before. Gunpei Yokoi would later go on to create the Game Boy, Metroid, Super Mario Land, and the Virtual Boy, among other products.

After 58 of the 60 games had been released, Nintendo made a surprising choice to release the Game Boy which featured interchangeable cartridges similar to the NES. Some consider the Game & Watch to be the handheld variant of the Color TV Game series - Which, like the Game & Watch, were units that featured one game and one game only, and would later feature a successor with interchangeable cartridges.

After the Game Boy was released, Nintendo quit production of the Game & Watch series about a year later in the 90's. A revival of the games were released in the late 90's under the name of Miniclassics which were rereleases of the classics that were placed in small units that featured a key chain.

Games

  • Ball - The first game ever released for Game & Watch, you're required to juggle balls in the air for as long as you can. If a ball falls on the ground, you lose. The more you progress, the harder it'll become.
  • Flagman - In Game A, it is a game similar to Simon. In Game B, a game of pressing the correct button in the allotted time limit.
  • Vermin - Moles will occasionally come toward your garden, your goal is to lodge the giant mallet you wield into their skull to drive them off.
  • Fire - Save people jumping out of buildings by using the trampoline. In Game B, people jump from the third floor and the fourth floor.
  • Judge - Attack your opponent using hammers or avoid his attacks, depending on the number on each of your cards. For 1 or 2 players
  • Manhole - There are four holes in the ground, pedestrians walk by and your goal is to make sure that they don't fall into the holes.
  • Helmet - In this game you're required to move from point A to point B without getting hit by the falling projectiles such as mallets.
  • Lion - The goal here is to control two lion tamers on contrary sides of a cage. A lion is inside and you're required to keep the lion inside the cage.
  • Parachute - Here, you control a boat and save all of the paratroopers. Be sure not to let any of them into the water as they'll be gobbled up by sharks.
  • Octopus - Here you'll have to be sure not to be attacked by the Octopus' tentacles in order to plunder the treasure deep in the ocean.
  • Popeye - Capture the objects Olive throws your way and avoid Brutus.
  • Chef - Here you control a chef to flip all sorts of foods that the cooks toss your way. Make sure not to allow any of the food to drop on the ground.
  • Mickey Mouse - A game in which Mickey (Disney's mascot) attempts to catch eggs before they fall on the ground. This is not in fact Nintendo's first collaboration with Disney, as Nintendo once made cards with famous Disney characters on the cover. They were quite successful.
  • Egg - Almost identical to Mickey Mouse other than the fact that you control a wolf rather than the famous mouse.
  • Turtle Bridge - Here you'll get packages from side A to side B by jumping on top of the turtle's shells.
  • Fire Attack - Your fortress is under fire by Indians (...). Your goal here is to either attack the Indians or the torches they throw in order to not let your building collapse.
  • Snoopy Tennis - Here you'll control Snoopy the dog and hit tennis balls back to the other side.
  • Oil Panic - Here you'll control a man whose goal is to capture oil drops and drop them into another man's bucket below.
  • Donkey Kong - This game is based on the arcade video game of the same name. You'll control Mario who'll jump over barrels in an attempt to save Pauline. This was the first video game system to use the D-pad, and the first of many Game & Watch video games to feature Nintendo characters.
  • Donkey Kong Jr. - A Game & Watch remake of the popular arcade video game, you'll control Donkey Kong Jr. in an attempt to save his dad Donkey Kong from Mario's clutches.
  • Mickey & Donald - Mickey and Donald are both fire fighters in this game. Your goal is to extinguish fires.
  • Greenhouse - Similar to the game Donkey Kong 3. In it you'll spray bugs.
  • Donkey Kong II - You'll once again take control of Donkey Kong Jr. in an attempt to save his father from Mario.
  • Mario Bros. - Here you'll control Mario and Luigi and move packages along the assembly line.
  • Donkey Kong Jr. - In this Table Top/Panorama version, control Donkey Kong Jr. and navigate balloons and umbrellas to rescue Donkey Kong from Mario.
  • Mario's Cement Factory - Here you'll play as Mario and traverse elevators make sure that the cement flows nicely to its destined location.
  • Snoopy - Once again you'll take control of Snoopy. Here you'll have to hit the musical notes that appear.
  • Rain Shower - Here you'll have to save your clothes from a rainshower that are hanging to dry outside by pulling on the wires.
  • Popeye - As Popeye, battle Brutus in 1-on-1 combat to save Olive Oyl.
  • Lifeboat - Here you'll have to take control of two lifeboats and save passengers who are falling out of a cruiser.
  • Mario's Bombs Away - Here Mario will have to move bombs safely from point A to point B.
  • Pinball - A simple game of pinball.
  • Spitball Sparky - A game similar to Breakout.
  • Crab Grab - Be sure not to let the crabs grab you while you push them out of the way.
  • Mickey Mouse - As Mickey Mouse, juggle sticks, but avoid the flaming ones.
  • Boxing - Here you'll control one boxer and fight against another. For 1 or 2 players.
  • Donkey Kong 3 - Based on the arcade game of the same name. You'll control Stanley or Donkey Kong and spray all of the bees toward the other player. For 1 or 2 players.
  • Donkey Kong Circus - Juggle the sticks, but watch out for torches.
  • Donkey Kong Hockey - You'll play hockey as Donkey Kong and Mario. For 1 or 2 players.
  • Black Jack - A simple game of blackjack. This was the last Game and Watch sold in Japan.
  • Tropical Fish - Place Goldfish in your fishbowl and safely merge them into another.
  • Squish - Moving platforms will come towards the Ziggy, the game's protagonist. Your goal is to avoid them in order not to get squished. In Game B, you must rescue aliens at each of the corners of the maze.
  • Super Mario Bros. - Another game featuring Nintendo's mascot Mario. Here, you'll make Mario run from left to right in order to save Princess Peach. The gameplay was inspired by the NES video game of the same name.
  • Climber - This game is similar to, though not based on, the NES game Ice Climber. Here you'll help a control a kid named Climber and ascend the Block Mountain.
  • Balloon Fight - This game is similar to the Balloon Trip mode from the NES game of the same name. Here you'll play as Balloon Man and ride on your jetpack-powered balloons and try to stop the criminal Oiram Repus.
  • Bomb Sweeper - As John Solver, enter the labyrinth and diffuse the bombs set by Dynamite Jack, moving walls as you go.
  • Safebuster - Catch and dispose of bombs thrown by the Wily Bomber to keep the bank safe.
  • Gold Cliff - As an archaeologist, scale disappearing platforms in search of the treasure in the ancient ruins. This was the first Game and Watch to have a continue feature, and it was last Game and Watch to be released prior to the Game Boy.
  • Zelda - In this game based on The Legend of Zelda, you'll control the series protagonist Link and fight off goblins and dragons to recover the Triforce and save Zelda. This was second and final Game and Watch to have a continue feature, and it was the first Game and Watch to be released after the Game Boy.
  • Mario the Juggler - The last Game and Watch released, it is similar to Ball, though here you'll play as Mario and juggle hearts and stars.

Mr. Game & Watch

Main article: Mr. Game & Watch

Mr. Game & Watch is the name given to the character found within most Game & Watch games. He can arguably be considered the mascot of the franchise. The name was given to him when he was introduced as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube. He also appeared as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Trivia

  • The creators of the Homestar Runner series of cartoons have created an online game known as Pigs on Head, based entirely on G&W games.
  • Mr. Game & Watch's Final Smash in Brawl and 3DS/Wii U turns him into the Octopus found in the Game & Watch game titled "Octopus" listed above.
  • In Super Paper Mario, the Flipside/Flopside Pits of 100 Trials and minigame, Hammer Bash, looks like the Game & Watch's Black and White LED screen.

Links

Commercial for the Game & Watch at the Museum of Classic Chicago Television