Making a new Game Boy game in the modern era takes a lot of guts, but Tangram Games has done just that with Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe. Successfully crowdfunded to the tune of €40,972, this is a simplistic yet challenging action title which tasks you with getting to the top of the screen using a wide range of skills while avoiding hazards along the way.
Enemies can be used as platforms to bounce your character upwards, but this is often harder than it sounds as some foes move from side-to-side, while hitting one from underneath results in instant death. Thankfully, you have two powers to aid your quest; you can dash in eight directions as well as flap your arms to boost upwards. Both of these skills have limits; the dash can be used three times in succession but is only replenished when you 'land' on something. The boost eats away at your finite energy bar, which can be topped up by dashing downwards onto enemies to kill them.
Like we said, the premise is simple, but Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe is tough. Even getting to the end of the first level requires considerable reserves of patience, as it's very easy to mess up your run by accidentally clipping an enemy or misjudging a jump (if you fall to the edge of the screen, you're toast). Oh, and you're up against a pretty savage time limit, too – so thank goodness you have unlimited lives.
Despite the stern challenge, Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe is incredibly addictive. It nails the 'pick up and play' appeal that so many Game Boy games got right back in the day, and the neat visuals (the game sports an enhanced Game Boy Color palette as well as working on original monochrome system) and excellent soundtrack (the latter provided by potato-tan) keep you invested in the action. Battery-based save data means your progress and scores and high scores are retained after shutdown, encouraging repeat play.
Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe comes in western and Japanese-style packaging, thanks to First Press Games. We were lucky enough to be sent both, and the production quality is excellent throughout. You can, if you wish, download the ROM for free and play it using either an emulator or a flash cart on the original Game Boy hardware, but having a proper, physical copy of the game feels suitably authentic.
Let us know if you've played Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe – and what you make of it – by posting a comment below.