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Game & Watch

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Ball
The first Game & Watch unit ever released was simply titled Ball. An image of the unit can be seen here.

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 80's. 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 even 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 a total of 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 sort of revival of the games, albeit not entirely successful, were released in the late 90's under the name of miniclassics which were simply rereleases of the classics that were placed in small units that featured a key chain.

Games

1981  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 - A game similar to simon.
  • Judge - Attack your opponent using hammers or avoid his attacks.
  • 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.
  • 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 and come in possession of 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.
  • Donkey Kong Jr. - Simply 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. This was the first of the Game & Watch video games to feature Nintendo characters; many of them from here on out would do so.
  • Mario's Cement Factory - Here you'll play as Mario and make sure that the cement flows nicely to its destined location.
  • Tropical Fish - Place Goldfish in your fishbowl and safely merge them into another.
  • 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, though was less advanced.
  • Climber - This game is based on the NES game Ice Climber. Here you'll help a kid get to the top a mountain, just as you did in the NES classic.
  • Balloon Fight - This game is not actually based on the NES game of the same name, but rather is probably just a reference to it. Here you'll ride on a jet pack and attempt to shoot balloons.
  • Mario the Juggler - This game is nearly identical to Ball, though this time you'll control Mario.
  • 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 (and NES) video game of the same name. You'll control Mario who'll jump over barrels in an attempt to save Pauline.
  • 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.
  • Pinball - A simple game of pinball.
  • Black Jack - A simple game of blackjack.
  • Squish - Moving platforms will come towards the protagonist of this particular game. Your goal is to avoid them in order not to get squished.
  • Bombsweeper - Opponents are throwing bombs your way. Try to catch them and put them out.
  • Safebuster - In this you'll have to try and get out of labyrinths.
  • Goldcliff - Try and get valuable items.
  • Zelda - In this game based on The Legend of Zelda, you'll control the protagonist of the series Link and fight off skeletons and bosses. It's handheld model bears a resemblance to the Nintendo DS
  • Mario Bros. - Here you'll control Mario and Luigi and merge packages from point A to point B.
  • Rain Shower - Here you'll have to save your clothes from a rainshower that are hanging to dry outside by pulling on the wires.
  • Lifeboat - Here you'll have to take control of two lifeboats and save passengers who are falling out of a cruiser.
  • Snoopy - Once again you'll take control of Snoopy. Here you'll have to hit the musical notes that appear.
  • Mario's Bombs Away - Here Mario will have to move bombs safely from point A to point B.
  • Donkey Kong Circus - Juggle the sticks, but watch out for torches.
  • Spitball Sparky - A Breakout type game.
  • Crab Grab - Be sure not to let the crabs grab you while you push them out of the way.
  • Boxing - Here you'll control one boxer and fight against another.
  • Donkey Kong 3 - Based on the arcade game of the same name. You'll control Stanley and spray all of the bees.
  • Donkey Kong Hockey - You'll play hockey as Donkey Kong and Mario.

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.

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 Super Smash Bros. Brawl 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

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