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?