GameBoy Gallery Review
Mr. Game and Watch provided some very early and basic gaming back in the 1980’s. They were simple games, with simple goals, getting a high score. However, to play his style of games, you need to collect the systems each game was on, which can be a little expensive for those that want to experience these games. Thankfully, there is a game where you can play five of Mr. Game and Watch’s games. This is GameBoy Gallery.
The game greets you with a cheery tune an the title screen. The games aren’t direct copies of the games, more like reworked games with more modern graphics. Mr. Game and Watch didn’t really look like Mr. Game and Watch, but you could say he had a face life of some kind. You get to choose between five different games. Ball, Vermin, Flagman, Manhole, and Cement. Each game is unique to its own. The menu screen is simple enough, with a nice Game and Watch cursor on the side. Pick a game, and he hammers the word to the ground. That’s a nice effect.
When you selected your game, you can pick between Game A or Game B. Game A is like the easy mode, starting off slow, while Game B is a harder mode, starting off quite a bit faster in the game. You can choose this in the options menu, as well as how the music is set out. You can either choose the GameBoy, or the TV thing…What is that? Is that meant to be used by the Super Game Boy or something? Well, it wasn’t until recently I found out it’s the retro style music used in the original Mr. Game and Watch systems. A really nice effect, and really surprising to see an “old school” option in a game that was out in 1995. I don’t know why, but the music playing when you pick your options is really annoying, and I kind of hate it with a sick loathing. The rest of the music is alright, though.
Let’s start first with Ball. Ball is a juggling game where you must keep the three balls in the air for as long as possible. You do this by moving your arms to and fro using the D-Pad. However, when you move one of your arms, the other moves as well. This adds a little complexity to the game as well as more concentration. It starts off pretty slowly, which gives you time to appreciate the background and its graphics. While they aren’t all that impressive, I like the details in this games background. There are two acrobats there doing a number of different stunts. Every time you score 100 points, the game resets, maintaining your high score and starting off just a little faster than before. With that, the two acrobats go off the screen for a bit, and then come back with a completely new act to perform. I got to 476 before failing, and I really wanted to know what happened after that act. The game itself is very simple, but done is a good way. After a while (and it is quite a while on Game A), the game becomes more challenging in the sense of predicting when the inner ball will land and plan accordingly with arm placement. The waltz music that is played in the background is also very calming for a “to be” intense game….after a while of course. This one is a personal favourite of mine in this Gallery, and the only problem is that it takes a little too long for it to be fast enough to be challenging.
Next up is Vermin. The aim is to whack as many moles as possible to protect your valuable turnips, which appear more frequently as the game moves on. After you have whacked 16 of the little fellows, the game goes back to normal, at a slightly faster speed. Once again, Game B starts at quite a faster pace than Game A. Unlike Ball, you are allowed two mistakes, the third giving you a game over. The game is relativity easy compared to Ball. Using a clear head and not panicking, one could easily get a score of 500 without losing a single live.
There are also some odd rules to this game. When you get a certain score, you gain extra lives, so you can make more mistakes. When you gain another certain score, I think if you haven’t made any mistakes something comes up and walks under the lives bar. Something also comes up, but it’s too small to read on the GameBoy system, and every time I try and read it (thinking the game is paused during this), I get a mole eating one of my precious turnips! The music is nice and flowing, and suits the mood well. The graphics in this game are decent. The way the man moves around and switches his eye movement is a nice feature. The RSPCA won’t be too happy with this game, but it’s a good deal of fun. Again, it takes a little too long for it to become a challenge.
Next is Flagman. This is the age old memory game. The sailor tells you what button on the D-Pad to press, and you have to press it. Then you must press that button plus one more. After you do that, you must press the previous buttons in the same order, plus one more button. This goes on and on until your memory fails and you press the wrong button at the wrong time. This is the only game here were Game A and Game B doesn’t affect speed, but rather, what buttons you press. Game A focuses on the D-Pad only, while Game B focuses on the D-Pad and the A and B button. This is harder than it sounds at first. But giving it a go could improve your memory and attention span. The music is a fun background song with satisfying sounds when you get the right combination. Again, the graphics are average at best, but they suit the purpose of the game.
Up next is Manhole. All you have to do is to build a temporary bridge for some people who can’t seem to stop skipping. You use the D-Pad to move around one of the four spots, or you could use the A button to move up and along one in an instant. Game B is a harder version in terms of more people appearing earlier in the game. This game is rather challenging, as you have to wait for the man to hit the bridge part before you can move and help the others. Again, this takes ages for it to speed up and become a challenge for me. It’s doing the slow, boring parts that get to me. The music is once again that catchy song that seems to perfectly suit the game it’s in. I do, however, have a question regarding logic. In parts, he’s under water, but the animations show him breathing normally and not in some diving gear or something. Is this guy an amphibian? Is he not really a real person, but kind of like the “kind” troll under the bridge that has gills? Do people recognise him and respect his work? I know a rule of mine is “Story doesn’t matter that much in high score games”, but this really does beg to be asked in the first place.
Finally, and by far the most complex, Cement Factory, or Mario’s Cement Factory if you prefer. You start off as a blog, going up some moving platforms, and you turn into a sort of Mario to start your duties at the factory. Why a blob? What meaning does that have? Is there any point to it? Probably not... The aim is to empty the endless supply of cement mix into the cement mixers below. Each layer you lower down gives you a point. But be careful, as like in Donkey Kong, if you aren’t on a platform, you’ll fall to your doom. This makes a surprisingly hard game for the Mr. Game and Watch series. I often make the fatal mistake of jumping off a platform without my knowing and receive a game over. The graphics are once again decent and the music, once again matches the game perfectly.
Overall I give this game a 7.7/10 It's a nice selection of Mr. Game and Watch titles to choose from. All of which offer a nice game to kick back and relax with. Yes, the games are a little short lived and won't last very long unless you are a hard core gamer with these sorts of games, but it's good to enjoy them while you still can.
Graphics 5 Sound 8 Addictive 8 Depth 5 Difficulty 5
Gameboy Gallery Description: Game Boy Gallery is a Puzzle game, developed and published by Nintendo, which was released in Europe in 1995.