Game News These legendary Game Boy games you may have forgotten
If we have fun today making demakes of great games like Elden Ring Game Boy version, the Nintendo console had its share of legendary titles at the time. Besides the Tetris, Pokémon, Super Mario Land, Donkey Kong and other Metroids that everyone knows, there are cult games that have fallen into oblivion for many gamers. We offer you a return to the past with this non-exhaustive list of Game Boy games that you may not remember.
Many Game Boy classics are actually sequels to hit games released on the NES. This is particularly the case with Metroid II: Return of Samus, a sequel to Metroid (1986), but also a game that has lost its notoriety over the years: Balloon Kid. It was in 1991 that this portable sequel to Balloon Fight (1984) was released. You play as Alice, a young girl who must find her brother. The latter, attached to helium balloons, disappeared into the skies. Alice will therefore do the same to propel herself into the air and find Jim. The game consisted of pressing the A key in order to keep Alice in the air, while trying to pick up the balloons left there by Jim. Balloon Kid even had a two-player mode that pitted Alice against her rival Samm.
World Cup 98 (1998)
This one has a somewhat special aura. It is indeed the first official game of EA Sport. It was in 1997 that the Electronic Arts brand obtained the exclusive license for the Football World Cup from FIFA. The following year, the publisher decided to release World Cup 98, a 3D game which had the advantage of arriving just before the World Cup. Despite its flaws, the title therefore benefits from the football craze of the moment and is found in many homes. Of course, the game was also released on PlayStation, PC and Nintendo 64, but many of you have probably discovered it on Game Boy. Maybe you were even playing there during the famous final between France and Brazil.
Of course, Mario is not really a forgotten license. But of all the games released on the Game Boy, there’s one that’s stuck in the past: Dr. Mario. At the mention of this name, memories undoubtedly come to mind. You’ve probably spent long hours on this game, right? Or maybe you know the crazy music ad that was broadcast in Quebec at the time? Or the different more modern versions released especially on Wii? In any case, Dr. Mario is an iconic console game. Created by the father of the console, it is the eighth best-selling title on Game Boy, just that. In terms of gameplay, it was one of the first Match 4 type puzzle games, of which there are hundreds today.
While this name may not mean anything to you, the franchise to which it belongs will undoubtedly sound more familiar to your ears. Dynablaster is indeed the name given to the European version of the first Game Boy game from the Bomberman license. It is thanks to him that the players of the portable console could finally discover the addictive gameplay of the series. If for a long time the latter was considered a must in video games, it has recently lost its splendor. If Super Bomberman R has not met with the expected success, perhaps Super Bomberman R 2, announced during the last Nintendo Direct, will manage to restore the franchise to its former glory.
Gargoyle’s Quest is a somewhat unusual sequel to the well-known platform game for arcade gamers: Ghosts ‘n Goblins. In this Game Boy exclusive, you play as the antagonist of the 1985 game, namely Firebrand (or Red Arremer in the Japanese version). For its game, Capcom was largely inspired by Zelda II and its hybrid gameplay mixing phases of 2D action and exploration from above. And it works since the game even manages to sell consoles. Building on its success, this spin-off gave rise to a short second license which ended four years later with Demon’s Crest. The Ghosts ‘n Goblins franchise lasted until 2010 before in turn falling into oblivion.
If we will not talk about the iconic Castlevania here, vampires are still welcome. We have indeed chosen to evoke the parody version of Castlevania, today little known. It was Konami that embarked on this project, seeking to develop another vampire game, less serious than those presenting the bloody hunts of the Belmont family. As its name suggests, Kid Dracula immerses us in the skin of the son of the famous count imagined by Bram Stoker. Besides its well-thought-out humorous winks, Kid Dracula was a good game that will have marked the childhood of many young players.
Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (1992)
We are back on a sequel to an NES game with Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters. This action and platform game offered a complete adventure that quickly raised it to the rank of classic. As a result, the game and the Kid Icarus license still retain a certain aura today, even for those who have never played it. Indeed, if you are a Super Smash Bros player, you probably know the hero of Kid Icarus who is none other than Pit. Small additional anecdote: it is one of the only Nintendo games not to have been released in Japan.
There was a time when the games regularly had a different name depending on the geographical area. If in Europe, the game that interests us today was called King of the Zoo, its American name will certainly be more familiar to you: Penguin Wars. It is indeed under this title that the arcade game that inspired the one on Game Boy was also known. Inviting you to play a rather special sport, King of the Zoo was one of those fun games on which you could spend hours without getting bored. Note that the license is not completely dead, since a remake on Nintendo Switch was born in 2017 (2019 for Europe), under the name of Penguin Wars of course.
As for Dynablaster, the name of this game is certainly unknown to you. And yet, it is part of a very popular universe, that of Final Fantasy. The game was also called Final Fantasy Adventure in the United States. Conceived as a spin-off from Square Enix’s franchise, Mystic Quest was a 2D action-RPG that put you in the role of a former slave on an adventure to save the great Mana Tree. If this name means something to you, it’s not for nothing. Mystic Quest is indeed the father of Secret of Mana and other Sword of Mana. As such, it is a staple of the genre, unfortunately too often forgotten.
We end with a game that has sadly been forgotten. And yet, it is one of the most outstanding role-playing games on the Nintendo console. If the reviews were rather mixed when it was released, this first-person game was the childhood of many players. Today rather a title for insiders, it has kept a certain aura with them, more so than the first opus released in 1991. This is also why it was he who made himself available on Nintendo 3DS in 2012, not its predecessor.