News Article

Game Boy 20th Anniversary Special

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Nintendo's popular portable turns twenty!

For those of you who don't know, Nintendo's Game Boy system turns 20 on July 31, 2009. It's hard to believe the little guy is already two decades old, but I guess time really does fly when you're having fun.

The original Game Boy system hit the video game scene in North America in 1989 at a retail cost of $89.99 and was a runaway sales success from day one, selling over 40,000 units on its first day of release. Of course it didn't hurt that the system was bundled with the massively popular Tetris title either.

From the moment they released their Game Boy system, Nintendo took control of the portable gaming market and have never really let go of it, still going strong some 20 years later. The system was even able to fend off more powerful offerings of the time period like Sega's Game Gear and Atari's Lynx, both of which offered full color screens.

Of course over the years, we would end up seeing quite a few upgrades and new Game Boy systems released, each offering up an even better and more powerful gaming experience than the last. But there's just something about that classic black & white Game Boy system and its many wonderful games that still keep classic game fans coming back for more.

So to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Game Boy system, we at Nintendo Life are going to do 20 classic Game Boy game reviews in 20 days, beginning on the Game Boy system's 20th Anniversary on Friday. We'll be putting up one Game Boy review each day for 20 days.

So tell us what some of your favorite black & white Game Boy titles are. Who knows, we might even pick one of them to review! :D

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User Comments (73)

Medri_Fogmatio

#2

Medri_Fogmatio said:

Besides Tetris, Pokemon, Super Mario Land, Castlevania, Mega Man, Zelda, and many more?

Jee Corbie, you sure have a huge list to sort from.

warioswoods

#5

warioswoods said:

Kirby's Dream Land, please. That's my favorite entry in the entire Kirby series, and a better platformer (IMO) than SML or SML2 (not Wario Land, however ;), which by the way I would also like to see reviewed).

TanookiMike

#6

TanookiMike said:

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening!

It saved me during COUNTLESS family road trips!

CorbsAdmin

#8

Corbs said:

The first review will be Super Mario Land. And I'll even be playing the games on my original Game Boy system for full blinding accuracy. :D

astarisborn94

#9

astarisborn94 said:

You should also review Tetris. An classic game that should come back into the spotlight. Always loved that game.

Cthuloops

#11

Cthuloops said:

I feel ancient even though this was before my time. I was a Gameboy Color kid. ;)

Pokemon Blue will ever be in my heart... :')

ueI

#12

ueI said:

I can't believe I had a gameboy and I missed so many games. I guess that's what happens when you're a kid.

pixelman

#14

pixelman said:

Sweet! I actually owned one of these for a few minutes, but being only five years old, I complained about the hard-to-see screen, so I ended up getting a Game Gear instead. Boy, what a mistake that was...

Anyway, I'd like to see reviews for Super Mario Land 1 & 2, Link's Awakening, Kid Icarus, Metroid II, and Tennis.

Machu

#15

Machu said:

Wow Corbie, you're H-core! Looking forward to them already.

I'd like to see you revisit TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan please, the 1st portable game I ever played. sighs

BJWanlund

#16

BJWanlund said:

Maybe Nintendo has been biding their time regarding the DSi Virtual Handheld for exactly this reason!

BJ

irken004

#17

irken004 said:

I had a GBA, but I didn't start liking the GB franchise until the GBA SP, Micro, and DS Lite came out (thank god for backlit screens!!!)

Bahamut_ZERO

#22

Bahamut_ZERO said:

I love the GB/GBC. My favorite system, ever, by far. It was my first video game system I ever played, along with the first game (Pokemon blue). Ah the memories :)

Do Mega Man: Revenge/Return (I forget :P ) of Dr. Wily. Pleeeaaasssseeee. I know I'll be the only one to suggest it, but still :)

TwilightV

#23

TwilightV said:

Mole Mania
Daedalian Opus
There was also this Mickey one that involved magic wands.

MetalMario

#28

MetalMario said:

I still have one of these. Anyone else see that one at the Nintendo World Store that still works after an explosion? Pretty awesome.

John3714

#29

John3714 said:

@ Tony

Revenge of the Gator was awesome! My fave pinball game ever!

There was one game that I used to play all the time. You were a little dinosaur, and you walked around digging holes to find items (shovel to dig faster, roller skates to move faster, bombs, keys to beat the level, etc.). You also made the enemies fall into the holes and then you would fill them back up, thus killing the enemies. It was an awesome game, but I can't remember the name! Anyone know what I'm talking about?

****EDIT**** Found it! Boomer's Adventure in ASMIK World! Man I loved this game. Seeing the cover box makes me want to drive the 550 miles I would have to go to get my Game Boy out of my mom's closet just to play this! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boomer%27s_Adventure_in_ASMIK_World

Another classic: Alleyway. My mom played the crap out of that one.

Noire

#30

Noire said:

Yay Game Boy! You gave me the oportunity to play Nintendo on-the-go, and for that I will be eternally grateful! You also gave us Pokemon, and without that, my childhood would have been much more boring.

I'm going to eat cake, sit back, read the reviews, and have an epic Pokemon session on the ol' Brick.

This comment seems rather familiar...

GamerZack87

#32

GamerZack87 said:

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was one of my favourites, along with Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.

But if I'd want one Game Boy game reviewed, it's the one I post about most often across this website and the forums - you guessed it, Mole Mania! _

Hyperstar96

#35

Hyperstar96 said:

Pokemon Yellow will always be my favorite!

By the way, the Mother series' 20th anniversary was a few days ago.

Mike1

#36

Mike1 said:

Greatest handheld of all time. The Game Boy and the NES were the video games from my childhood.

y2josh

#37

y2josh said:

Pokemon Red/Blue
Super Mario Land 2
Total Carnage
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Chuck Rock

Stevie

#38

Stevie said:

Donkey Kong Land on the yellow cartridge, Kirbys Dream World, Warioland and that motorbike game with the loop the loops (I can't remember the name) were my favourites.

Edit: The motorbike game is Motorcross Maniacs - Still the best motorcross game i've played to this day

timp29

#39

timp29 said:

I loved tetris, played it to death. The only other gameboy games i really played on the old brick were fortress of fear: wizards and warriors x, ninja gaiden shadow and mega man: dr wily's revenge. I've always been a franchise slut with one exception... I could never bring myself to play a black and white zelda even though it was by far my favourite franchise. Somehow missed the 6 golden coins mario as well....

Anyway, apart from tetris, I don't think I ever actually managed to complete any of those games. I remember getting up to Wily's space fortress but never quite beat it. Either I flat out sucked at gameboy, or was too young or these games were just hard :(

I would love to see the review of any of those 3, but I would lean towards mega man: dr wiley's revenge, I think that was the pick of those 3.
Would also like to see Link's Awakening and 6 Golden Coins reviewed... they were some of the essentials and I need to see if I missed out :p

Chunky_Droid

#40

Chunky_Droid said:

Once I heard about this I went straight back to my 18 year old Gameboy and fired up Revenge of the Gator.

Still loads better than most pinball games released nowadays :)

WolfRamHeart

#46

WolfRamHeart said:

I still have my Gameboy with Tetris and Metroid II and it still works!:)
I can't believe that I was 12 years old when it came out! Man, I'm old!:P
EDIT: Thanks Corbie! Now I don't feel so bad!:D

SmaMan

#47

SmaMan said:

#35
Yes! Mother fans unite! I think there was a petition to get Mother/EB0 on to the Gameboy color at one point, and it actually got quite a few signatures too.

But when it comes to what Gameboy game to review, you know what I'm gonna say... X! Surely one of you guys have it. And Corbie, you should be ashamed if you don't have that in you ginormous awesome game collection!

Since we're all talking about how old we were when it came out, I was -6 and a half months old. (Yes that's a negative sign)

odd69

#48

odd69 said:

I'm 6 years older than this system time does fly. I had one a year after they came out. I remember the family having two systems.We all played Tetris together for hours at a time. I wouldn't trade those moments for anything. I remember the gameboy being a big deal back then and couldn't believe my family got me one.

werdy

#49

werdy said:

My first console, I still have a Gameboy Color with more than 20 games. So much fun with Alien 3, Super Mario Land 1 & 2, Final Fantasy Legend, Zelda, Donkey Kong Land, R-Type 2 etc... the list is so long what proves that this is a great system with great games. Happy Birthday!

JimLad

#50

JimLad said:

That shape (GB Fat) is iconic, although mine was black.
I sometimes wish I still had it, just so could hold it and feel its chunkiness with the easy to reach buttons, and watch the word Nintendo scroll down the screen and go "duh-ding!"
My most used softwares were the Game Boy Camera and Pokémon Blue, but I also enjoyed Mario Land and Links Awakening and even the first Wave Race.
The Game Boy Advances library didn't impress me half as much,
but the DS has done wonderfully in comparison.

RayTheSkypirate

#54

RayTheSkypirate said:

Happy birthday, my dear friend. Game Boy was my very first console, and I still love it! I'll never forget Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. and Pokémon Silver.

TourianTourist

#55

TourianTourist said:

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was my first Zelda game and it instantly turned me into a Zelda fan. It's still one of my favorite games today.

Hopefully you're going to review it. I'm looking forward to it.

Other_DaveStaff

#57

Other_Dave said:

Hopefully the 20 will just be limited to the original green and black, as when discussing the orignal people tend to throw in a load of SGB games - not that there's anything wrong with them (and colour aside they largely functioned fine) but it does mean that a lot of great games get overlooked.

Tetris seems like a must and I'd second the vote for Fall of the Foot Clan. I haven't played since I saw a cousin in the early 90's but Bill & Ted's was fun (though I only recall seeing one good review for it). Game Boy Mortal Kombat II was excellent.
Final suggestion (again a bit obvious): Metroid II.

CorbsAdmin

#58

Corbs said:

Most of the 20 are original b&w titles, but there will be a couple of the hybrid titles as well.

WiiGuy

#59

WiiGuy said:

@19.Hopefully the GB games will launch as DSiWare.

Maybe this is what Nintendo was/is waiting for to launch it...

Outrunner

#61

Outrunner said:

My favourites were Kirby's Pinball Land, Super Mario Land, Donkey Kong Land 2 and Tetris Attack.
I think I was 11 or so when I got my white brick. I loved that thing.

BulbasaurusRex

#62

BulbasaurusRex said:

If you haven't done them already, you need to review Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow.

If they count as hybrid titles, you also need to review Pokemon Gold/Silver

MetroidMedia

#63

MetroidMedia said:

i think they waited for the big boy's b-day to put up DSi VC and that must be why there wasn't any VC titles... nah, doubt it

the_shpydar

#64

the_shpydar said:

Bill & Ted's Excellent Gameboy Adventure is a great one, very reminicent of the Jumpman games.

Pupil_of_Life

#65

Pupil_of_Life said:

Ah, the good ol' Game Boy. Too bad that my first Game Boy (a hand-me-down) had very few games. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (the only one of my original Game Boy collection that's still with me), Killer Instinct, and a third game which I forgot the name of but I believe it had Tetris-like gameplay with a twist. I'm a big Pokémon fan as well (just don't ask me about the weak animé), but I've never had any of the first six main games in the series. O_o

super-nintendo

#68

super-nintendo said:

I still have and play my original GAMEBOY in great condition! I also have a NES GBA, both of which I will keep forever. Happy Anniversary to the little system that started it ALL. Nintendo shook the gaming world up with this massive hit. I wish they would bring the GAMEBOY name back. I don't like the name DS at all. Just imagine if Nintendo released a new GAMEBOY. I can hear your Nintendo hearts in joy. I would pay $300 for a new GAMEBOY (no joke..lol). It's only 20 years young for game's sake...lol

Ricardo91

#69

Ricardo91 said:

Happy Birthday Gameboy, one of my favorite systems and one that consumed most of my childhood!

Cheers!

Stijnco

#70

Stijnco said:

My favorite game for the old gameboy is The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Altkey

#71

Altkey said:

pokemon yellow and blue were my favorite although i never played them in black and white

OK_Computer

#72

OK_Computer said:

Well, I'm going to be original and say the original Batman from the movie. That game was EPIC.

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