Game and Watch Nostalgia

Before the PlayStation Portable, the Nintendo DS, and even the Sega Game Gear or the Nintendo Game Boy, there was the Game and Watch. It was produced all through the 1980s. Every boy at that time was familiar with this portable toy that allowed them to bring an arcade game with them everywhere.

In 1979, the creator of this handheld electronic game, Gunpei Yoko, was traveling on a Japanese train. He watched his fellow travelers and one in particular his eyes. It was a bored businessman. He had nothing to do and passed time by playing with his electronic calculator. Yoko realized that there was a need to be filled. There were many bored people out there on trains, planes and automobiles that want something to do as a passenger. That something was small, portable, and electronic on a small LCD screen.

The game and watch was born from that observation. It was small device that fit well on your palm. It was powered by small button cell batteries. It used the aforementioned LCD screen but it is very primitive compared to the screens we have now. For one thing it could only display one background, because the background was not part of the LCD screen. It was purely backlit to in order to show it through the clear LCD. The LCD was black and white and it only had a limited number of actions it could display. There were many screen sizes and some even had two screens.

The controls were limited to those that the game allowed. For many games it only needed a directional pad and an A button or B button but there were many exceptions. Many games of that time needed only 3 buttons, a left button, a right button and an A button.

Unlike the portable electronic devices that we have today, Game and Watches only had one game. You could not add another game to it. That is why the number of controls and buttons could have been limited in order to save expenses.

Nintendo first manufactured the Game and Watch in 1980. It was discontinued in 1991. During that time, many of their titles were translated into Game and Watch form and original game titles were introduced. Some of the games include, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros, Pinball, Climber, Balloon Fight, among others.

In 2001, Nintendo released Mr. Game and Watch, as a character in a series of games. He can be found in Game & Watch Gallery and Super Smash Bros. He became the mascot for the entire genre of the vintage handheld game and he looks like the typical game and watch character in his all-black glory.

The game and watch was pretty popular during its time and it afford many hours of fun for children and adults alike.


Comments are closed here.