Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan

August 3, 1990

The inevitable arrival of the juggernaut Ninja Turtles franchise didn’t quite live up to Konami’s usual standards, with repetitive play and cheap enemies.

The Amazing Spider-Man

July 1, 1990

Lousy licensed Game Boy games are just as likely to come from western studios as Japanese! The Amazing Spider-Man is every bit as awful as Gundam or Zoids. Sorry, kids.

Gargoyle’s Quest

May 2, 1990

At long last, Capcom makes its debut on Game Boy, and that game—an RPG-inspired Ghosts ’N Goblins spin-off—raises the bar for quality on the platform.

Ninja Boy

April 20, 1990

The first portable entry in Culture Brain’s long-running Chinese Land franchise, Ninja Boy is also the worst entry in the series. Don’t be fooled by those big, appealing character sprites; poor design and terrible controls and collision detection make this a frustrating nightmare.

Batman: The Video Game

April 13, 1990

Game Boy’s first tie-in to a Western comic (and movie) property came to us in care of the hottest comic and movie property of the time: Tim Burton’s ultra-stylish Batman. Surprisingly, this is not simply a port of the NES game (also by SunSoft) but rather a completely original title.

Cyraid

April 13, 1990

Featuring a profound lack of brick-headed silver space faces and more than enough surreality to make up for it, Cyraid turns out to be a ladder-kicking platform puzzler… and one of the better efforts so far.

Penguin Land

March 21, 1990

A real rarity: A Sega game on Game Boy. Pony Canyon converted a computer port of an old Sega arcade game to Game Boy. Sneaky! A fundamentally good game feels fundamentally flawed on Game Boy, however, due to poor line-of-sight distance that makes the action unreasonably hard, and a distracting screen-scrolling pause effect.

Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear

January 1, 1990

The first Western-developed game for Game Boy… and the first Game Boy release never to reach Japan… and the first game of the ’90s! Fortress of Fear had a lot riding on its shoulders, but sadly it proved to be a lackluster companion to the NES Wizards & Warriors games.

Castlevania: The Adventure

October 27, 1989

Back in the ’80s and early ’90s, no series could sell me on a platform like Castlevania. I loved the NES trilogy, and when early screens of sequels for Game Boy and Super NES began to materialize, those systems shot right to the top of my must-have list. Once I finally got my hands on […]

Hyper Lode Runner: The Labyrinth of Doom

September 21, 1989

How circular gaming has become. Over the past couple of decades, portable and PC gaming have essentially existed on opposite ends of the medium’s total spectrum; handheld systems lend themselves to low-power, efficient game design, whereas PC developers typically revel in the format’s raw power, sometimes designing games that demand so much processing muscle that […]

Motocross Maniacs

September 21, 1989

To be realistic about it, there were only so many ways you could make a racing game in the days before true 3D graphics came around: Top-down, isometric, or fake-scaling pseudo-3D. And when it came to motocross-style motorcycle racing, your options became even more limited; because bike racing leans so heavily on uneven tracks dotted […]

The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle

September 5, 1989

Nyeah, what’s up, doc? Released in September 1989 in Japan, The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle stands as the Game Boy’s first licensed release (that is, the first to bear a license from another medium). However, the particulars of its license — or rather, licenses — and chronology of its release variants make a compelling case for […]

Super Mario Land

April 21, 1989

Super Mario Land was the big release for Game Boy’s launch – the can’t-fail hit designed to move systems by the million right as the world was caught in Mario Mania’s peak thrall – and that makes it a fascinating game on several levels. Thank the maker For starters, unlike Game Boy’s other launch titles, there’s no ambiguity about who was […]