GB Reviews

Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

A snappy pinball title

HAL's Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator is a game which really needs to be approached with context in mind; back when it launched in 1990, real pinball games were still popular in arcades and digital representations were only just starting to offer the same level of enjoyment. Naxat's seminal Crush series — which includes Alien...

Castlevania Legends (Game Boy)

Castlevania Legends (Game Boy)

Tainted bloodline

The odds were stacked against Castlevania Legends almost from the start. When it was released towards the end of the '90s, it had the near-impossible task of following Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - a game which had revitalised Konami's gothic series and won widespread critical acclaim. To add to the heady level of...

Quarth (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Quarth (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Break it down

Originally released for the Game Boy in 1990, Konami's Quarth takes the presentation of a Space Invaders-type shooter, and instead gives us a puzzle game. As tempting as it might be to enter these stages with guns blazing, what Quarth actually requires is a healthy amount of foresight and on-the-fly problem solving. It's not without...

Kirby's Star Stacker (3DS Virtual Console / Game Boy)

Kirby's Star Stacker (3DS Virtual Console / Game Boy)

Stacked

Anybody who plays video games probably knows all about the likes of Tetris, Dr. Mario, Puzzle League and other puzzle games, but Kirby had his own original puzzler (as in, not a reskin of Puyo Puyo) as well. The last Kirby game for the original Game Boy, Kirby's Star Stacker is actually a fairly fun game, if a little shallow. Like most...

Mole Mania (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Mole Mania (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Dig in

Poor Muddy Mole has returned home to find his family kidnapped by the evil farmer Jinbe. That's the entire plot, and we're happy about that. After all, Mole Mania isn't about storytelling; it's about a massive gauntlet of clever puzzles, and that's exactly why we like it. Divided into eight very large levels, Muddy's adventure finds him...

Wario Land II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Wario Land II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Greed is good

After the success of the first Wario Land, Nintendo decided to take another shot at putting its beloved new anti-hero in the spotlight. To differentiate it from Mario even further, it removed the "Super Mario Land" prefix and also made a massive gameplay change for Wario Land II. But is it one for the better? Defeated at the end of...

The Sword of Hope II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

The Sword of Hope II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

The great black and white hope

Poor Prince Theo. Not only is his first game still unavailable in the eShop, but his second adventure begins with all of his previous hard work being undone, an evil spirit being set free by would-be grave robbers, the Sword of Hope being stolen, and a young orphan accusing him of murdering his father. He really can't...

Kirby's Pinball Land (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Kirby's Pinball Land (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Less than the sum of its parts

While primarily known as the star of a reliably charming series of platformers, Kirby has also starred in a fair share of spin-offs. One of those, Kirby's Block Ball, came to the eShop just a few months ago. It's a flawed but fun reimagining of Breakout. It plays to the strengths of both Breakout as a template and...

Castlevania: The Adventure (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Castlevania: The Adventure (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Belmont's first portable adventure

When the Game Boy hit store shelves in 1989 it didn’t take long for a vast swathe of third-party publishers – many of which had grown fat on the profits generated by Nintendo’s astonishingly popular NES – to sign up to produce software for the device. Konami was one of the first to pledge its allegiance to...

Tumble Pop (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Tumble Pop (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Tumble Pop and lock

In the future, nests of hornets will be the least of pest control's worries. Tumble Pop is filled with strange beasts, from living skeletons to little grey aliens, manic clowns and Sweetums from The Muppets. In this arcade platformer, it's your job to clean them up with nothing more than a trusty – and presumably engine-powered...

Kirby's Dream Land 2 (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Kirby's Dream Land 2 (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Dreamy

Dream Land's peaceful moniker is surely false advertising. There are constant problems with invasions and takeovers, the bad guys are apparently impossible to evict, based on how often they show up and the fact that some buffoon keeps dumping huge piles of those star blocks in everybody's way. It's an absolute nightmare. You wouldn't get that...

Dr. Mario (3DS Virtual Console / Game Boy)

Dr. Mario (3DS Virtual Console / Game Boy)

The doctor’s out

If there’s one thing the 3DS eShop has plenty of, it’s puzzle games. It’s a genre that's always been commonplace on Nintendo handhelds, with Tetris probably the best known example. It’s hardly surprising that Nintendo’s mascot extraordinaire, Mario, invaded Game Boy with his own puzzle title, Dr. Mario. Does it make us...

Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Heavenly

When the original Kid Icarus hit the NES, many gamers weren't sure exactly what to think of it. For starters the game's protagonist was a cute little winged angel (at least we thought so) who ran around shooting tiny arrows at mythological enemies. Of course it didn't help matters that the game was released around the same time Nintendo's...

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Game Boy)

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Game Boy)

Third time’s a charm?

While Nintendo kept things fairly standard with the first two Super Mario Land releases, it obviously decided to make some changes when it got ready to create this third title in the series on Game Boy. Instead of featuring Mario, it decided to give players a chance to shake things up and take on the role of its newest bad...

Kirby's Block Ball (Game Boy)

Kirby's Block Ball (Game Boy)

Ball breaker

Outside of the popular platformers for which he was first known, Nintendo is always more than happy to take advantage of Kirby’s robust, rotund appearance for spin-offs. In the past the happy little chap has been flipped and lobbed about in Kirby’s Pinball Land and abused with golf clubs in Kirby’s Dream Course. It was never a...

Maru's Mission (Game Boy)

Maru's Mission (Game Boy)

Mission: Unbearable

Several months ago, the eShop saw the release of Avenging Spirit, a gleefully eccentric title that made us all sorry we missed it the first time around. Lightning doesn't strike twice for Jaleco with Maru's Mission, however, as this time the publisher has dusted off a forgotten title that really should have stayed that way. The...

Trip World (Game Boy)

Trip World (Game Boy)

Bad trip?

Sunsoft made a ton of great games for Nintendo systems back in the day. Everybody knows the likes of Blaster Master and the NES Batman game, but they also had a ton of equally great games which people simply didn't find out about. We've already had some, like Ufouria: The Saga and Lock 'N Chase, but thankfully it's continuing its support,...

Bionic Commando (Game Boy)

Bionic Commando (Game Boy)

Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing

If there’s one sacred cow in the entire platforming genre, it’s jumping. According to our highly scientific calculations, there are one hojillion sidescrollers that rely on hopping all about to climb, collect and kill. Capcom’s Bionic Commando series has plenty of climbing, collecting and...

Tetris (Game Boy)

Tetris (Game Boy)

From Russia with fun

Saying that Tetris shifted a few Game Boys is like saying caffeine sold a few energy drinks. Already an established favourite by the time Nintendo's handheld hit the market in 1989, Tetris proved to be the perfect pick-up-and-play experience to go along with the fledgling portable system; while many people initially questioned...