What Was Your Favourite Game Boy Game?

What Was Your Favourite Game Boy Game?
Image: Jared Cherup (Flickr)
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Easter Sunday wasn’t just a religious and public holiday celebration. It also marked the anniversary – in Australia, at least – of the humble Game Boy, the handheld console that conquered the world.

My family didn’t have a great deal of money growing up, but by the good fortune of my Dad’s work he was able to visit the markets around Singapore every now and again. The less reputable ones that would sell discounted pirated games on 51/4-inch floppies (and 31/2-inch floppies later) by the batch.

Anyway, on one trip back home my Dad was able to procure a couple of Game Boys for less than retail price. Apparently. I remember some of the early games – Tetris obviously, but also Mario Tennis, NBA Jam and QIX.

Qix could be utterly brutal if you didn’t plan ahead. It ended up being Mum’s favourite game (alongside Tetris), because my brother and I had moved onto things like Double Dragon and PGA European Tour. I guess it wasn’t much of a surprise that Mum got heavily into the Myst series and FMV point-and-click adventures like Zork Nemesis a few years later.

NBA Jam is probably the game I think the most about when I think of the Game Boy, only because I remember playing it so much in car trips and on family holidays when I could. I missed Super Mario Land, Zelda and a lot of what people would consider mainstays of the Game Boy.

I wonder if that’s just because that’s what was available. I certainly wouldn’t have known to ask for anything else, and I was pretty happy with what I was given at the time. I did end up getting on the Pokemon train, although not until much later in life.

Fortunately, a lot of what I missed I made sure to rectify when I got a DS Lite over a decade later. Still love Advance Wars on that thing.

But it’s the anniversary of the Game Boy, so what memories do you have? What was the first game you played, what do you remember about how it sounded and how it felt, and do you still have one today?


  • I can’t even remember the name of now, it was on the original gameboy and you played as a little tank.
    It was a top down real time game so it wasn’t Advance Wars

    • Fun fact: before Pokemon came and dethroned it, Link’s Awakening held the number one spot in Nintendo Power‘s monthly top-10 Gameboy game poll for five straight years.

        • I never actually owned nor beat it. Mine was a classic case of borrowing it from the kid next door but never long enough to finish it. Looking forward to the remaster on the switch.

        • My guess is that it was because Link’s Awakening was so big in scope and depth compared to others games that few could compare. I don’t think there there was a good game drought, though. Those five years were from ’93 to ’98, during the Gameboy’s heyday.

  • Really hard to decide. Gameboy was a dumping ground for a lot of shitty ports from SNES/NES that straight-up didn’t work there, but there were so many non-port, Gameboy exclusive classics I played to DEATH. Pokemon, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, Wario Land, Wario Blast, Link’s Awakening. Though OMG, so much Tetris

    Surprised at mention of NBA Jam, given that it was one of those shitty ports that didn’t belong on the platform. I remember walking into Target with a bunch of saved-up pocket money, buying NBA Jam (for $79.99 in 1994 Australian dollars) because I loved playing it with my friends on their SNES/Mega Drives, and discovering that it was awful, awful, awful. I got Road Rash instead, which was both a better-quality port AND nearly half the price.

    • Reminds me of the almost as short-lived Sega Game Gear. My best mate had one, but he only had Sonic and Mickey Mouse on it. Possibly because the thing chewed down a six-pack of batteries every hour.

  • I bought my Gameboy from a classmate in the early 90s, and it came with 3 games: Super Mario Land, Tetris and Double Dragon. It probably 2 or 3 years before I bought any more for it (when I discovered Cash Converters!). So it’s those three, in that order, that were my favourites. I still remember playing SML and Tetris regularly when I was living overseas with no other games in 2000!

  • I also had the Game Boy version of Qix and it’s a lot of fun.

    I remember being really disappointed by how short and easy the GB version of DuckTales was, as well.

    I actually have a pirate cart with like 50 games on it around here, but my original Game Boy no longer works (doesn’t power on at all) so I can’t explore what’s on it.

    Oh also, Sunsoft’s Batman game for Game Boy is a really fun, if difficult, time.

  • Can’t really have one favourite, more a top 5 that I kept coming back to:

    Pokemon Silver
    Link’s Awakening
    Wario Land 2
    Donkey Kong Land 1
    Kirby’s Dream Land 1

  • I got my game boy free with my super Nintendo in some deal, but it had no games. Not even Tetris!

    I think in the end I only had 4 games. Kirby, Double Dragon, Super Mario Land and Donkey Kong Land 2.

    DKL2 was probably my favourite.

  • I had one of the original gray gameboy that got lost after my mom hid it somewhere, i only ever had one game for it before it disappeared (Paper Boy)

    though when i got a colour Gameboy we only had i only had the first 5 pokemon games Blue/Silver were mine and Red/Gold was my Mum’s And Yellow was shared

  • Tetris.. did it come as a pack in with the GB? I was big into NFL in the eary 90’s so plenty of NFL Football. Also Bubble Bobble.

  • Mine didn’t come until years and years down the track, when I was lucky enough to chance upon a copy of X while looking for things to add in to a Play-Asia order. Until then though, it was probably DK94 – but then that too was a late-in-life purchase. At the time it was most probably Wario Blast, pretty sure I sunk the most time into that as a kid.

    That said, there’s a copy of Mole Mania sitting here which I’m still yet to get around to playing…

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