Previously on My Gaming History…
In 1989, Nintendo released the incredibly successful handheld gaming console, the Game Boy. My memories regarding the Game Boy are not as strong as my previous gaming systems. I’m not sure why that is… but I’ll piece this together as best I can. I mean, I didn’t just want to skip the Game Boy because my memory has gaps and it would be easier to go ahead with the Super Nintendo. I’ll get there, but I definitely had a Game Boy before the 16-bit console. So let’s just go with it…
I couldn’t remember when my family got our first Game Boy. I reached out to both my mother and my sister to see if they had a better memory than I do… but I’m not sure. Mom wasn’t able to tell me much other than we definitely had one of the original Game Boys while she later received her own Game Boy as a gift from my dad. She said it was gold… so it was probably one of the later Game Boy Pocket versions. My sister is pretty sure I took Christmas money to Toys ‘R’ Us and bought our first Game Boy with that.
The Game Boy came packaged with the classic puzzle game, Tetris. So many hours were spent playing and mastering that game. And it’s no wonder that my mother eventually received her own Game Boy because if the handheld system couldn’t be found, it was likely she was playing Tetris on it. She was a master, for sure. Which is why I always call her when I need help packing up a moving van. She can Tetris the crap out of some storage bins.
I’m fairly certain that, aside from Tetris, the first game I bought for the Game Boy would have been Super Mario Land. Because of course I’d get the only available Mario game (at the time). I don’t remember that one being much of a challenge, but I’m sure I spent plenty of time playing it as well. The only other Game Boy game I remember taking time to play from start to finish would have been Metroid II: The Return of Samus. As much as I loved the original Metroid, I had to have the sequel.
I was less than thrilled about having a game that epic on a small, handheld screen. But Metroid II kept me interested enough to get all the way through it. And it was so satisfying to finally take down the Metroid Queen in the end, only to be followed by a freshly hatched Baby Metroid.
The Game Boy was fun, but with such a small screen, my attention span was limited. I know I had The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the handheld system, but I also know I never finished it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I barely started it. I was more likely to play puzzle games that were easy to pick up for 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
I could have sworn that we had two of the original Game Boys at one point. You know, the gray brick that you could probably drop from a fourth story window and it would still work. But neither my mom or sister remembers having a second gray Game Boy. Which is strange because I thought for sure that my sister and I would play head-to-head Tetris in the back seat of the car as we traveled to our family reunion in Nashville.
That was the thing with the Game Boy… If you wanted to play a two-player game with an actual second player, you both needed to have a Game Boy and you both needed to have whatever game you wanted to play. Which was fine for Tetris, since it came with the Game Boy. But if you both want to play Dr. Mario, that’s gonna cost extra, kids. Then you’d connect your two Game Boys with this cable that made it possible to sync up. Let the good times roll!
Man, life got crazy simpler with the introduction of Wi-Fi.
Well… that’s it for me and the Game Boy. I’m pretty sure… Like I said, it’s not one I played too often since I just didn’t have a need to play a handheld system very much. I mean, when I was at home, why wouldn’t I just play video games on the larger color screen provided by my TV? And it’s not like we went on a lot of long trips where a handheld gaming console would be needed to keep me entertained in the back seat.
How about you? Did you ever own an original Game Boy? If so, what were your favorite games? I mean, aside from Tetris… because that is obviously everyone’s favorite Game Boy game. More importantly, were you able to beat the hardest difficulty of the B game? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!