What People Used To Say About The Game Boy

3D without glasses? No thanks. I'll take my monochrome sprites and go and have some real fun.

The Game Boy was kind of a big deal. Revolutionary, even. Console-quality games on the go? Great Scott. Let's look at what people thought of that.

  • "Game Boy promises 'any game, anywhere.' It has a 2 1/2-inch LCD screen with surprisingly clear pictures, and runs on batteries or AC. Two Game Boys can be linked with a cable to provide two-player competition."
    Rocket in Your Pocket Hand-Held Games; The Toronto Star, December 3, 1989.

Two and a half inches! Pocket Rocket indeed.

  • "'The software drives everything, and there is no question that the Atari (Lynx) product is superior to Game Boy,' said Larry Carlat, editor of Toy & Hobby World, a trade publication. 'But Nintendo is Nintendo and they have the marketing muscle. If something has the Nintendo name on it, it's virtually guaranteed to sell.'"
    Jube Shiver Jr.: Hardly Playing Games, Toys: It's Serious Business As Nintendo's Game Boy Goes Head To Head With Atari's Lynx (...); Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1989.

Atari does what Nintendon't! Shame it doesn't work out for them.

  • "The layout of the controls is also good. There's a cross-key joystick to manipulate the gamesters, as well as A/B buttons that enable two people to play one game."
    David Elrich: For Nintendo Fiend, Now It's Portable; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 21, 1989.

Co-op consists of shrieking at your partner when s/he doesn't hit A and drops your gamester down a pit.

  • "The name Game Boy not only carries echoes of Walkman, but also reminds us of the target audience for the product: game boys everywhere. But a name like this further reinforces the misguided notion that fun on a home computer is solely for adolescent males. When will we be ready for a Game Girl?"
    Dennis Lynch: Nintendo stars at the Electronics Show; Chicago Tribune, June 23, 1989.

Not for a while, mister Lynch.

  • "Game Boy is a hand-held, battery-operated video game. It includes Tetris, a puzzle game developed in the Soviet Union that challenges the player to manipulate lines and patterns, which will darken the screen when played correctly."
    Mary Evertz: OH BOY TOYS // Let the shopping begin, but be forewarned: This year's hot toys are selling fast; St. Petersburg Times, December 9, 1989.

Even the Rubik's Cube of Software goes portable. This may or may not be a Soviet plot to take over the world.

  • "To be honest, I am wondering what all the fuss is about. Pokemon is an enjoyable sojourn into the realm of RPG/strategy gaming, and the collectible idea is a nice touch, but by no means is it the best the game I have ever played — not even on the Gameboy (that honour goes to Tetris). RATING: * * * (3 stars)"
    David Canter: Pokemon by Nintendo; The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 27, 1998.

It's a passing fad.

  • "At KB Toys, spokesman John Reilly said Pokemon hasn't reached the level of a phenomenon a la Furby. But, he added, 'That's not to say Pokemon isn't hot.'"
    Chris Reidy: Watch out, Furby: 2 new Nintendo video games appear to be nearly as hot as this year's top holiday toy; The Boston Globe, December 12, 1998.

Oh. Guess Pokémon is cool after all. It's just not the Furby killer we've been waiting for.

So, portable gaming enthusiasts of Kotaku. Was the Game Boy your first? Have you caught 'em all, or did the Mew under the truck manage to elude you? Post your stories below.


    I had the much coveted clear white plastic gameboy that my dad brought home from China for me.

    It's still sitting on my desk at home. With Pokemon Blue in it.

    The mere sight of one of these things near brings a tear of nostalgia to my eyes.

    Lots of things changed in my life as i grew but this was always there. There were times when it sat for a year or two but when it got dusted off it was like seeing an old friend.

    I'm pretty sure its the reason i now have bad eyesight hah..

    Still got my original 90' grey beastie sitting proudly on my shelf name on bottom in permenant marker and all...

    Please tell me that the "Mew under the truck" was a bait - I tried everything on that truck & got nadda! Although I did manage to catch Mew another way.

    Nope, I had a Game Gear. Full colour, backlit, better sound, Master System adaptor, TV adaptor - it was basically a Master System that ran on batteries.

    Which was the main problem - SO MANY BATTERIES. Six AAs disappeared in no time, I had to carry the AC adaptor everywhere. Also the screen was good when I got it but it doesn't age well and is now barely legible even at 0 degrees.

    But was so comfortable to hold compared to the Game Boy - landscape, rounded D-pad MUCH easier on the thumb.

      And there was the main issue with the Game Gear and Lynx, they missed the whole 'portable' part. The Gameboy would at least last out long roadtrips and holidays.

    They probably made a nice profit on the gameboy. I lost two of them when I was a kid and games also. I replaced the gameboy and games. Too small.

    I still got mine somewhere, might have to dig it up and play some pokemon blue for nostalgia's sake.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now