SB Recommends Game Boy Games

gb_ratherlarge.jpgAside from PCs, the black and white Game Boy with its ghosting “spinach” screen was the most popular and successful gaming platform of all time. It maintained its market supremacy through a gauntlet of would-be competitors, such as the Game Gear, Lynx, and Neo Geo Pocket. The stripped-down nature of the hardware and its games, coupled with low development costs, meant that some real classics and neat curiosities were allowed to emerge that would have been rejected by their publishers as too simple or experimental for console release. Like the NES, the Game Boy has an absolutely massive library of commercial games, owing to its extensive lifespan as well as its popularity. Game Boy cartridges will play on the Gamecube's Game Boy Player, and Game Boy Advance models that aren't the micro.

  • The Adventures of Star Saver / Rubble Saver (JP)
    • sharc: A weird-looking platformer with obtuse, random elements that make it feel like some kind of ROM-hack, but it has really cool music. That doesn't really come through on Youtube videos, so just go find a ROM.
  • After Burst
    • dessgeega: After Burst is a clever platform shooter whose mechanics are reminiscent of Super Mario Land and Batman: shoot blocks to change the architecture of the level. When you figure out how to beat the first boss really easily, that is when you have arrived.
    • The Blueberry Hill: Another one of those neat, modest Game Boy action puzzle games. Here you are an astronaut, with a cannon with a variable fire angle.
    • Dark Age Iron Saviour: A curious puzzle game from NCS/Masaya. You control a little robot dude with what is essentially a Worms/Gorillas1) style grenade launcher, which you can alter the angle/force of. You must destroy the Epcot-shaped pod in each level before the time runs out or the enemies get you. Interesting concept, but I didn't dig it enough to keep playing beyond the first ten levels (and it seems to run oddly slow for me). Perhaps someone else will enjoy it more than I did?
    • Mr. Mechanical: Platformer-Puzzler-Shooter type game. Really good. Destroy the core on each screen while avoiding enemies and navigating platforms. Also features realistic physics in that your shots fall to the ground as gravity dictates rather than going in a straight line across the screen but you can fire a charged up shot that goes longer before falling.
  • Alien 3
    • yellowlightman: An above-average top-down action game where you have to explore the detention facility and kill aliens. You start off with a cattle prod and eventually make your way up to more fearsome weapons like the pulse rifle. A lot more substance than you would expect a licensed game from the era to have.
    • Sketch: Perhaps the best film license I've played. This is how an Aliens game should be made. Overhead map, multiple items, plenty of enemies, an absolutely stonking game. A real meaty adventure, with an amazing atmosphere.
  • Angel Marlowe
    • Dark Age Iron Saviour: The game itself is about an angel and his friend, the sun, and their quest to grow flowers in order to rescue the angel's girlfriend. Meanwhile, you have to avoid the farmers with the touch of death try and destroy the tilled ground that you cannot fly over. By pressing A, you cause the sun to fire a laser of awesome that makes flowers grow, temporarily kills enemies, and clears tilled ground. It's all quite….strange.
  • Astro Rabby
    • dessgeega: Astro Rabby is an overhead platforming game that works, much like Jumping Flash works as a first-person platforming game. Jump onto question spaces to reveal points, time bonuses, and “power up parts” (which look like flashing hearts), then jump on them again to collect them. Every third stage is a bonus game where you match tones by jumping between platforms.
  • Avenging Spirit / Phantasm (JP) (also on: 3DS VC)
    • sharc: A game where you are killed in the opening cutscene. You spend the rest of it as a ghost, possessing your enemies and using them as tools to fight your way through levels. you begin able to possess a hadoken-tossing tough chick, a gangly cartoon gangster with a tommy gun, and a fire-breathing kangaroo. The enemy selection only improves from there. It becomes absurdly hard to keep your thralls alive in the end, but it's some good stupid fun in the meantime.
  • Balloon Kid / Balloon Fight GB (JP) (also on: 3DS VC)
    • dessgeega: An autoscrolling platform game with the physics of Balloon Fight. It is great. Also on the Famicom with a Hello Kitty license.
    • spectralsound: The dictionary definition of “adorable”. Some of the bosses are actually pretty tricky!
  • Batman
    • Levi: Required playing. It might even be better than the NES outing, and could be most succinctly described as “Brevity Megaman.”
    • RT-55J: Did the whole “Batman with a gun” shtick much much better [than Return of the Joker for the NES]. It has a very well thought out power-up system and some excellent level design. I second Levi's “required playing” recommendation.
    • Kitten ClanClan: To add do what's been said: The game's level design lends itself to having strong replay value given how it is structured. It is easy to miss many upper paths or downgrade your character, making it have a very slight puzzle element to it. I would also consider it “required playing.”
  • Battle Bull
    • dessgeega: Pengo as a slower-paced robot arena battle with Opa Opa-style upgrades between rounds.
    • sharc: The best part of Battle Bull is that your choice of gear changes it from an action game to a puzzle game. I think it was either a missile launcher to blow up enemies directly, or a push-plate to shove the blocks around and crush them? I always thought it pretty surprising that the game is equally enjoyable either way.
  • Battle City
    • Loki Laufeyson: I'm going to say that the GB version of Battle City is really cool. the fact that you only see a small amount of the map at a time adds tension, and I think it was the first game that made me “fill in the blanks”, I mean, it's called “Battle City”, right, so those walls must be whole city blocks, and each quarter you shoot off are the individual buildings!
  • Bionic Commando (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Excellent “remake” of the NES game with a new, futuristic setting. While some levels are more or less copies of their NES counterparts, there are several new levels added, including an amazing new final level. The swinging mechanics are tweaked quite a bit, and many elements of the game were reused in the “Bionic Commando: Rearmed” remake of the NES game many years later.
  • Blues Brothers
    • hebereke: Fucking excellent oldschool platform game, as far as I'm concerned. Copies shit from Chip'n Dale but I love all the pointless collecting pointless items, reminds me of the Commodore Amiga I grew up on.
  • Bomb Jack
    • hebereke: I've loved Bomb Jack since I was a kid, and the music in this version is indescribably brilliant. That's it.
  • Bubble Ghost
    • Max Cola: An interesting little puzzle game wherein you play a ghost that must navigate a bubble through all sorts of obstacles by blowing on it.
    • evnvnv: Bubble Ghost was one of the few GB games I had and I played the shit out of it. For some reason I always felt it to be the spiritual link between A Boy and His Blob and Kirby's Dreamland. I can't really explain why…
    • Kitten ClanClan: Very interesting concept originally developed for DOS - very surprising that it translates to Game Boy, even more surprising that it translates well. Difficult, but addicting, and one of the more “actiony” puzzle-action games for the Game Boy.
  • BurgerTime Deluxe (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Take It Sleazy: It makes it in on that cover alone, but it is the absolute best version of the best game about hamburgers. The only true sequel to the original, it is so cute and clever that the level of maze game satisfaction we're operating at here is basically only beaten by Pac-Man stuff. The fact that no one knows who designed this or the original BurgerTime is a crime against humanity.
  • Burning Paper
    • hebereke: I don't know who made this now, but I love it. original concept and a bit of interesting design (other than the company logo it never uses the black in the Gameboy palette — only the dark grey/light grey/white shades).
  • Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge / The Legend of Dracula II (JP)
    • wasted potential: My favorite handheld Castlevania, absolutely EVERYTHING that plagued the original has been fixed, and while it’s also a lot easier, I honestly don’t mind it. It took me forever to kill Dracula! also, Praying Hands. god I love the music. Absolutely mindboggling to hear it come out of a Game Boy.
    • Kitten ClanClan: I disagree with it fixing everything plaguing the original - the movement speed is still incredibly slow, and hurts the platforming significantly. Does not translate Castlevania onto the Game Boy nearly as well as it could.
  • Catrap / Pitman (JP) (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Sczechpanik: A game where you control either a catboy or catgirl, and you must walk around each small level, and walk into the enemy. Touching them makes them all disappear. Do that and you move to the next level. Stupidly simple, and yet really good fun. Playing it again, I was struck by the fact that they would never make such a game like this again, in today's market climate.
    • Quick Shot II Turbo: Probably the best character-based puzzle game ever made.
    • Chris B: So what we have here is one of the best puzzlers on any handheld console and if you're into those type of games, you've basically no excuse to not check this one out, especially as the US version can be found rather cheap and easily on Ebay.
    • dessgeega: A fantastic puzzle roguelike.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Just reaffirming what's already been said: this game is import-only, but very affordable and highly worth looking into.
  • Choplifter II
    • Cycle: I always loved this series, and this has to be my favourite one. Great game where you fly around in a chopper, attacking enemies, blowing up structures and rescuing hostages. Kinda like a 2D, level based Strike game. Anyway, it was extremely playable and damn addictive, each mission a bit more challenging than the last. Great portable game!
  • Contra: The Alien Wars (NA) / Probotector 2 (PAL) / Contra Spirits (JP) | Super Game Boy enhanced
    • wasted potential: A surprisingly competent imagining of Contra 3 from Factor 5. Pretty sure I started it up when I was taking a shit a few years ago and I actually went through the whole game, I was that enthralled with it. There’s some NES Contra hack that uses some of the bosses from this game as its own.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Although it's not the best job that could have been done on porting Contra to the Game Boy (and is certainly disappointed when stacked up to Operation C), it is a fairly competent one. The music is awful, but the game is designed well enough to be worth looking into for Contra fans.
  • Cosmo Tank
  • Crystal Quest
    • dessgeega: A seminal Mac game that plays much better than you'd expect without the mouse.
  • Daruman Busters
    • dessgeega: A clever matching puzzle game where you control two fellows (one with the A button, one with the B) that smack blocks into other blocks and make them disappear, the goal being to make the monster fall to the bottom of the screen. The monster wants to reach the top, of course, and will climb onto higher blocks, as well as pull nasty tricks like stunning one of the player's little guys.
  • Donkey Kong | Super Game Boy enhanced (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Max Cola: DONKEY KONG GB is an excellent expanded port of the original game. Basically, the first four stages are the classic Donkey Kong, and the remaining 96 stages are excellent puzzle-platforming challenges.
  • Dr. Franken
    • Cycle: A huge action adventure here. Dr Franken's castle has been invaded by ghouls and ghosts, and his girlfriend has been taken apart and scattered around the castle. So off you go, exploring the castle in a non-linear manner, finding inventory which would unlock things in the area they would logically be used and finding all your girlfriends bits. Erm. Great game, but it was easy to get lost due to many maze like areas that all look the same. Still, the puzzles were logical, and the castle was very fun to explore. Shame that the sequels sucked.
    • The Blueberry Hill: The multiplayer mode is great fun. Players take turns to create a dungeon—by placing walls, a boss, etc.—which the other player much make their way through, revealing one tile at a time. The menus are in Japanese, but I figured it out without any ability to read the language.
  • Final Fantasy Adventure / Seiken Densetsu (JP)
    • The Blueberry Hill: A really solid predecessor to Secret of Mana—probably betters it, actually. What Link's Awakening is to A Link to the Past, this game is to Secret of Mana. There's also a nice chainy morningstar type weapon.
    • Dark Age Iron Savior: Final Fantasy Adventure does not have any inherent major advantages in any area over the subsequent games except lack of bugs and the pure compelling simplicity. But those two are pretty important.
    • HarveyQ: It's really just a Zelda game that replaces the heart pieces/containers with level raising. I think that works rather nicely. you still have to have good reflexes to get by.
      Too bad they fucked up the remake so badly.
  • Final Reverse
    • dessgeega: A two-player versus shooting game that's played in two rounds: in the first round, the players draw a trail as they move and shoot at each other. In the second round, each player is confined to the trail that the other player drew in the first round, and attempt to dodge and shoot each other.
  • Fortified Zone / The Fortress of Fury (JP) (also on: 3DS VC)
    • wasted potential: Remember Operation Logic Bomb on the SNES? Well, this is its prequel. Take a little Metal Gear and a little Senjou no Okami [AKA:Commando] and you come out with a game that’s more fun than what you’d think it’s made of.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Surprisingly entertaining. As already mentioned, it's similar to both Commando and Metal Gear.
  • Gargoyle's Quest (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Cycle: A great little platform RPG game. You run around from an overhead view doing RPG type stuff which was a nice break from the action, but the action levels were very well designed and fun. There was a sequel on NES and I believe Demons Crest on the SNES is a spiritual sequel.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Very good addition to the Game Boy library, but its sequel, which is a very similar game, outdoes it in pretty much every way. However, the Game Boy port of the sequel is quite rare, so it's still worth looking into so that you can play GQ on your Game Boy.
  • (Gargoyle's Quest II) Makai Mura Gaiden: The Demon Darkness (also on: NES (as Gargoyle's Quest II: The Demon Darkness / Red Arremer II (JP))
    • costel: Slicker then the first by a long shot.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Outdoes the first, but is rare to find on the Game Boy. NES port is much easier to get a hold of and much better.
  • Ghost Busters II / Ghost Busters 2 (JP)
  • Great Greed
    • The Blueberry Hill: One of those tidy, quick, frictionless game boy RPGs; this one with a food themed coating. It's up to you whether that's a waste of your time, or not.
    • sharc: The progression is grindy and the jokes are pretty dumb, but the combat is pretty awesome. There are no menus; all commands are just mapped to a button. To attack you press the A button. To cast spells you press the dpad. To run away you press start.
      When you attack, the window displaying your name and stats changes to read YAAAA! and how much damage you did, respectively.
      I wish more traditional RPGs would have stolen this menuless system. It makes turn-based fights so much faster and punchier, and it's rare to find a game that has more basic commands than buttons on the controller anyway.
    • Dark Age Iron Savior: That was a really weird game.
  • Heiankyo Alien
    • extrabastardforumla: Heiankyo Alien deserves respect. I think it was a remake of the precursor to Lode Runner. Except it has an overhead view rather than from the side with ladders. It's still plenty exciting!
  • James Bond 007 | Super Game Boy enhanced
    • wasted potential: it’s a Zelda-lite game that’s better than Zelda. I don’t like Zelda and I like this game. I could definitely see this becoming a selectbutton game if more people played it. I remember EGM gave it a bunch of .5s and 1s and I think that’s why I bought it in the first place, to see if it was really that terrible. Also the game that made me realize game reviewers are fallible.
    • dessgeega: The problem with 007 is that the combat is terrible. this becomes a pretty big problem when you get to the stage that's more or less a long gauntlet of enemies. I've never passed that part (which might be Tibet?).
  • Kid Icarus: of Myths and Monsters (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: I nearly abhor the original Kid Icarus, but I love this game. It takes the elements of the original that I enjoyed and puts them in a much more digestible, well designed format.
  • Kirby's Block Ball (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Koji: Kirby's Block Ball was the first Kirby game I ever played, even though it was a spinoff… But it's filled with the charm that's abundant in the series. It's rather easy, but for what it lasted it was great. It's basically a Breakout clone, but stages may have paddles at the top or at the sides too. Of course, the ball is Kirby, and he can get many abilities. What made the game fun was getting higher scores; breaking blocks in different ways would net you different amounts of points, and so on. It's the kind of game that people who enjoy pinball would like.
    • glitch: Best arkanoid-kinda-game I ever played. Applying violence to Kirby equals happyness.
    • Ethoscapade: I remember loving Kirby's Block Ball back in the day (two of my friends went in together to buy it for me, back in elementary school or something, or at least when your mom wasn't expected to throw in thirty bucks for your friend's birthday present), but I tried playing it again recently and I found it to be wayyyy too slow.
  • Kirby's Dream Land (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Where Kirby began. He lacks the copy ability and the game is rather short, but it's rather charming and still worth playing even divorcing its significance in being the first in the series from it.
    • spectralsound: it's kind of not worth playing, honestly. both the sequel and Kirby's Adventure outclass it in every way.
  • Kirby's Dream Land 2 (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: An extremely measurable step-up from its predecessor, Dream Land 2 is one of the most impressive-looking games on the Game Boy. I consider it an even better game than its SNES sequel, and one of the most stand-out Kirby games.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening | Game Boy; Game Boy Color (also on: 3DS VC)
    • HarveyQ: LA is my favorite Zelda game and one of the finest adventures ever released for any platform. it has loads of nostalgia value for me (being my first GBC game), but beyond that it has a dreamy, beautiful atmosphere, excellent pacing and a fine progression of difficulty. plus a nice, silly sense of humor about things (“You got Marin! Is this your big chance…?”)
    • vamos: My favourite game of all time. I feel like I could cope with anything in life as long as I can retreat into this game when things get hard. A perfect little world, filled with characters with their own lives and stories, and just the right levels of melancholy, weirdness and joy. The first Zelda game I ever played, and none of the others have quite lived up to it. Just writing about it makes me want to play it again now.
    • The Blueberry Hill: Gorgeous little adventure game which feels like it truly suits the hardware; I couldn't imagine a redo on anything else being anything but worse. The tragic story matches the Zelda mythos, the GB's sound hardware, and the hand-held format well. In fact there seems to be more consideration here than any other entry in the series. As an aside: I am really curious about what an early generation Game Boy Zelda game would have looked like (thinking about Super Mario Land), and how it would have functioned.
    • gatotsu2501: Better than A Link to the Past. Quite possibly better than any other game in the series.
  • Lock N' Chase (also on: 2600; Apple II; Arcade; Intellivision; 3DS VC)
    • Take It Sleazy: [The Game Boy version is] One of my favorite maze games ever and has an amazing soundtrack.
  • Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge / Rockman World (JP) (also on: 3DS VC)
    • RT-55J: Who knows how they did it, but it's a practically perfect game.
    • dessgeega: This is marvelous level design.
    • Kitten ClanClan: I'm not going to recommend against this game - I still find it worth playing - but I will mention that it is very slowly paced and deliberately mechanical. I feel like this makes it a bit frustrating and stale, and mostly noteworthy for it being the first Mega Man game on the Game Boy, rather than one of the best.
  • Mega Man III / Rockman World 3 (JP) (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Kitten ClanClan: Retains some of Dr. Wily's Revenge's more mechanical, masochistic design while moving forward toward better accessibility and more expansive play. Impossible to recommend over IV and V, but heartily recommended if you're looking for more after playing both of them.
  • Mega Man IV / Rockman World 4 (JP) (also on: 3DS VC)
    • wasted potential: Has the greatest Wily fight.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Definitely has the best Wily fight in the entire Mega Man series (not just on Game Boy), and does some interesting things with the Mega Man formula. Excellent Game Boy game, but still held very slightly back by having to borrow a lot from the NES games.
  • Mega Man V / Rockman World 5 (JP) (also on: 3DS VC)
    • koholinttakeout: Considered by some to be the best in the entire series.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Entirely original content, and all of it is excellent. Astoundingly well-designed and original, and what I consider the very best Game Boy game and 2nd best of all the 8-Bit Mega Man games.
  • Mercenary Force
    • dessgeega: Mercenary Force is a shooter wherein you hire a team of four mercenaries. Each has its own firing pattern — for example, the samurai is a dual forward, while the mystic fires vertically. Your mercenaries travel in formation — B button changes formation and select changes the leader. Each mercenary has an individual hit count that goes down when it is hit by an enemy bullet. Visit stores to purchase healing items with money left behind by enemies. Pressing A and B simultaneously transforms your leader into its invincible spirit form for a brief time, but completely extinguishes the leader afterwards. Between stages you can purchase new mercenaries.
    • The Blueberry Hill: Really neat little shooter, by Lenar (the small company behind Gunman's Proof). The members of your 'force' function somewhat like the options we see in other shooters—though the player may care more about their safety.
  • Metroid II: Return of Samus (also on: 3DS VC) - forum thread forum thread
    • Sync-Swim: As close as grayscale portable games come to 'scary'. Many call it the best installment in the series.
    • Max Cola: METROID 2 uses the monochrome palette and a limited soundtrack to create a genuine sense of foreboding. It's the best non-Metroid Fusion Metroid in my opinion! (Yeah, I actually like it better than Super Metroid for some reason! I really don't know why!)
    • cthuljew: Metroid II basically took all the wonder and exploration of the first game, added a bit more action, some really interesting weapons, and generally improved on the whole experience. I mean, Super Metroid was fun, but not as pure an experience as Metroid II.
    • dessgeega: Unlike in later games, you never feel as though you're the master of this world. SR388 never loses its teeth, nor its ability to bite you.
    • gatotsu2501: The lack of a proper map kills this game IMO. I somehow made it to the last boss before quitting in frustration.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Easily one of the best Game Boy games, by a long shot. Exploration in video games is almost never as foreboding or enthralling as this single, relatively tiny game on the Game Boy.
  • Millipede
    • glitch: The mono GB has the best Millipede port ever.
  • Mole Mania | Super Game Boy compatible (also on: 3DS VC) - forum thread
    • Infernarl: One of my favorite games of all time is Mole Mania. It was produced by Shigeru Miyamoto (that should get your attention). I feel that his influence is very evident when you play it. It is basically Legend of Zelda with all the bullshit boiled out and harder puzzles. Maybe Legend of Zelda + Kickle Cubicle would be an apt description.
    • Deets: This and Donkey Kong are my favorite monochrome GB games, for sure.
    • Cycle: Yeah, this is certainly one of the best games on the GB for sure. I played it a heap back in the day.
    • invisibleyogurt: That was probably my favorite game on the GB B&W! I was never able to beat it, actually, they really did put some extremely well-thought-out, challenging object-moving puzzles in it.
    • Harveyjames: […] basically the Light World / Dark World switching mechanic from LTTP if they'd chosen to flesh it out and make a game out of it. You play a Mole, and you have the ability to go underground and overground.
  • Monster Max
    • Sketch: Isometric adventure made by the same 2 Brits who made Head Over Heels on the Speccy. A classically British game, where you have traverse several isometric worlds. B/W only, but damned charming. Screenshots do it little justice, especially regarding the humour, so you really will have to rom it. Or buy the original. A sublime jaunt through the minds of two of the UK's best developers. An excellent GB game. Perhaps the best I've played.
  • Motocross Maniacs
    • Cycle: I LOVED this game. A simple 2D stunt game where you ride around doing stunts and trying to pass various courses. Just something about it that was so addictive and fun.
  • Mysterium
    • sharc: A dense little dungeon-crawling WRPG, but one of the more interesting ones you can find on the old Game Boy since the focus is less on the wonky combat and more on alchemy. You can transmute items found in the levels using pools of fire, water, mercury or acid; each level is built around introducing a new element to you, until the tenth where the difficulty suddenly ramps way the shit up with puzzle boss rush. Hope you took good notes! can't find a scrap of video about it, but all the better I suppose since it's not much to look at.
    • dessgeega: God, there's something about Mysterium that makes it far more evocative than it has any right to be.
  • Nail 'n' Scale
    • dessgeega: Nail 'n Scale is fantastic because you have such a wide range of actions you can perform with your primary verb, which is throwing a nail. You can throw it at enemies as a weapon, you can throw it in a wall and climb on it, you can stick it in the floor to get some extra height, you can use it to break through crumbling blocks. You also have what I like to call a non-double jump - that is, you can walk off a platform and choose to jump while you're falling - and it perfectly suits the game's mechanics. Toss a nail into a wall while falling, jump up on top of it.
    • hebereke: It's like a refinement and expansion of this old MSX game called Quinpl that I discovered on one of my occasional jaunts through the MSX library to see if I could uncover anything interesting. I had no idea there was a Gameboy game based on it until fairly recently.
  • Ninja Taro / Sengoku Ninja-Kun: Ashura no Shou (JP)
  • Nemesis II / Gradius Interstellar Assault (US)
    • wasted potential: reminiscient of Castlevania Adventure and II, in that the first game was pretty good on its own, but you can see it can be a lot better, and then the sequel comes out and shows you Konami knows what’s up. I’m convinced the same team that did Belmont’s Revenge worked on Interstellar Assault, graphically they’re similar (as in, they both look great). Also, the last boss actually fights back! WOW
    • dessgeega: Probably the most progressive game in the Gradius series in terms of storytelling.
    • Kitten ClanClan: The best shooting game on the Game Boy. Excellently designed and original levels, cinematic level transitions, superb music and great graphics. Inexcusable to miss out on if you enjoy the genre.
  • Ninja Gaiden: Shadow
    • Kitten ClanClan: Originally planned to be a Game Boy adaptation of Shadow of the Ninja, this was later turned into a prequel to the Ninja Gaiden series on the NES. It was developed by Natsume rather than Tecmo, the same team workong on it that made Shadow of the Ninja. While its difficulty is perhaps a little too forgiving and its length could have been a stage longer, it looks and sounds stellar and is one of the most impressive Game Boy games I've played.
  • Noobow
    • dessgeega: Noobow is a licensed puzzle adventure game for kids, by Irem. It is surprisingly satisfying.
  • Operation C
    • Kitten ClanClan: Operation C is a superb translation of the Contra series onto the Game Boy, featuring entirely original levels and themes while borrowing a few tunes from the original NES game. It is nearly as good as Super C, and a very impressive game given the hardware.
    • Lurky: If you want to play Contra on a |Gameboy Operation C is the way to go.
  • Picross 2
    • hebereke: I love this and its whole system with the four parts > one part thing, but it's still horribly obscure compared to the original Picross (probably because that was released in America and Europe)
    • The Blueberry Hill: There's no need to get the first one: the interface feels a bit wrong, mostly. Picross 2 Breaks the puzzles up, and it works!
  • Pokémon Red/Green/Blue Version (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: Pokemon was the gateway drug to JRPGs for many a kid without a Playstation in the late nineties, and the original is still a great way to introduce someone to the genre. Screwing around with Missingno is still something of a bizarre thrill, even in this age of romhacking.
  • Power Quest / Gekitō Power Modeler (JP) | The western version is Game Boy Color only
    • Sniper Honeyviper: A surprisingly full-featured, balanced fighting game that's at least on par with the Neo Geo Pocket library. The excellent story mode sees you running around a microcosmic Japanese town, powering up your little robot by trashing kids on the playground and Duke Nukem lookalikes at the dojo for cash, with the ultimate goal being victory over Don Quixote at the tournament. There's several dramatic plot developments along the way!
  • Rainbow Prince
    • hebereke: A complete ripoff of Twinbee by a Taiwanese company, somehow works out as one of the best and most stupidly fun shooters on the system.
  • Rolan's Curse 2
    • Red_venom: An action-RPG that was extremely linear, but featured something like 6 secondary characters that you could add to your 2 man party. Every character in the game basically had a melee/basic attack and a spell which could be leveled up(I think). It was simple, but really fun and I tried beating it with every 2ndary character to see all the ending texts for them.
  • Serpent - article
    • Loki Laufeyson: Serpent is a pretty good game. It's sort of like snake, but it's a versus game, and you have to either trap your opponent's head until it bursts, or completely surround them.
  • Super Mario Land (also on: 3DS VC)
    • hebereke: Yes it's Mario, but its really weird Mario. obviously after this was made Nintendo came up with some magical Mario document specifically designed to stop this happening again. But it just takes the Super Mario gameplay and puts it in weird settings like china or some alien world or something, or transplants it to shooter gameplay..absolutely brilliant twist on the original SMB formula.
    • Ni Go Zero Ichi: I think I might actually like this game better than Super Mario Bros. proper.
    • This Machine Kills Fascis: As far as SML, I said before that it plays like some sort of DOS knock-off Mario, created by a Chinese third-party as part of some shady backroom deal, possibly involving Yokoi's gambling debts. You can decide for yourself if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I've always been on the fence.
  • Super Mario Land 2 (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Sniper Honeyviper: The first Game Boy game I owned. It's a lot better visually defined than the first game, and the traditional fireballs and turtle shells are now present, but it's still weird as hell by Mario standards. You'll visit a world inside a giant clockwork Mario, explore the inside of a whale, and ride a hippo's nose-bubbles to the moon. Classic, multi-faceted, immediately memorable stage design and tons of charming little details. The final stage is also incredibly hard, and paved the way for many similar “platform hell” designs.
  • Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land (also on: 3DS VC)
    • Max Cola: The original WARIO LAND is a very nice, somewhat slow-paced platformer about hunting for treasure and breaking things with Wario's awesome bulk. Moreso than actually beating the levels, actually.
    • starblood: To some the first game is either the only true platformer in the series or the bastard child, whose only purpose serve to set the template for the future entries. It is still a marvelous game on its own right. I have spent some days trying to get all the treasures, without much luck. If you are into the OCD ridden gameplay found with your average Igavania. You may leave it at your door step. Your only concern is to steal as much money as you can.
  • Survival Kids / Stranded Kids | Game Boy; Game Boy Color
    • dessgeega: Survival kids, the predecessor to [the DS game] Lost in Blue, sets the player as a child marooned on a desert island. You have to drink, eat, build weapons and hunt food, start fires and cook. You can combine objects you find on the beach to create a wide variety of useful tools — a long stick and a vine become a fishing rod, for example. And while surviving you explore the island as best you can, seeking new tools and, ultimately, a way off. The sequel was released only in Japan.
    • monaco: The only adventure on the Gameboy as frustrating and compelling as an old Sierra/Lucasarts game! Survive on an island, do cool stuff with objects, and happily die of starvation! Dig the cool music.
    • Quick Shot II Turbo: A very nice concept executed rather nicely. It will feel a bit repetitive at times, but that's survival for you! The game also has numerous endings.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    • Cycle: One of the best movie licenses ever! You played as the terminator (in the war) and you went around blasting stuff. Well, the blasting stuff bits were actually really well designed and fun, and there was even a puzzle mini-game that was really enjoyable. Unfortunately, it was also really short. Great while it lasted.
  • Tetris (also on: 3DS VC)
  • Trax / Totsugeki! Poncotts Tank (JP)
    • dessgeega: It's my favorite shooter on the Gameboy (ZAS is worth checking out too; it reminds me of Image Fight). A Hal game (the wobbly cannonballs, designed to be unmissable on the Gameboy's small screen, show up in the kirby games), it is full of character.
    • Kitten ClanClan: Seconding what has already has been said, Trax is a great little Game Boy shooter with a lot of personality.
  • Trip World
    • hebereke: A beautiful platform game by Sunsoft. One of that company's true masterpieces up there with Mr.Gimmick and Hebereke, just entirely overlooked because it was on the Game Boy.
    • dessgeega: Trip World, yes, is gorgeous and mysterious. Every screen is full of wonders, and only some of them will hurt you. So your curiosity is tempered by caution in a way that is actually close to exploring a beautiful and dangerous new place.
    • glossolalia: Trip World is frustrating because it would be so good if only the main mechanic was something more interesting than a feeble kick within a character's existing hitbox. There's so much Gimmick!-like talent and imagination evident in every other aspect of the game but unlike Gimmick! there's not much holding it together.
  • Ultima: Runes of Virtue 2
    • dessgeega: Imagine a world where every bookcase hides a secret passage to a cavern filled with danger and wonder. That world is this game.
  • Vattle Guiche
    • glitch: Sort of similar [to Aero Star], but instead of spending most time on the ground like in Aero Star, you're mostly flying and occasionally take a dive to take out ground targets. it's bloody fast, got some great music, and a pretty wide choice of crafts. Japan only AFAIK, unfortunately…
  • Wario Land 2 (also on: 3DS VC)
  • X
    • glitch: X is spectacular. Wireframe 3D by the brains behind Starfox.

See Also

1) See also: Earth Scorchers. - Blueberry
 
 sb/recommended/gameboy.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/08 09:58 (external edit)
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