As a part of Nintendo’s 35th Annivesary, the company launched a number of games and hardware. One of the pieces of hardware was a modern version of the Game & Watch. This follows retro hardware such as the NES Classic and SNES Classic in recent years. A hallmark of these retro devices has been an experience close to that of the original devices except the games are built right in. The Game & Watch is no exception, Mario Bros., Mario Bros. 2 and Ball are built in and selectable via the Select button on the right side. Below is an image of one of the original Game & Watch handhelds. Each device had one game on it such as Parachute, Donkey Kong, Ball and others.
Super Mario Bros. & Super Mario Bros. 2
Mario Bros. is exactly what you would expect, the same game you played on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Super Mario Bros. 2 however is a game that wasn’t the one we all played on NES. Instead, this Super Mario Bros. 2 actually The Lost Levels and that’s why it’s very close to style and gameplay to Super Mario Bros. In SMB’s 2 you can play as either Mario or Luigi which wasn’t an option in the original SMB’s. According to Screenrant “When playing Super Mario Bros., players will unlock hard mode with new enemy appearances. Hard mode will remain available once players have beaten the game once on the system, whereas in the classic version of the game, once the console was turned off, hard mode would disappear until after the player beat the main game again. It is also possible to select the world to play in on the Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario Bros. 2 title screens after the player has beaten the game once already without cheating. While the default will begin at world 1-1, tapping the B button will raise the stage to 2-1. Tapping the B button multiple times will let the player choose their world all the way up to world 8. Players can unlock unlimited lives as a hidden feature of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. To do this, they will need to hold down the A button while on the title screen. In the Ball mini-game, players will experience the game as Mario by default. They can switch to Luigi by holding down the A button on the mini-game’s title screen. If players unplug the game on the Ball mini-game screen or the title screen of either of the Super Mario Bros. games and wait for three minutes, they will see one of two classic still images appear. Finally, while on the clock screen, players can hold down A for five seconds to be taken to a new screen. Here, the Mario drawing song will play and teach players how to draw the classic plumber.”
The Clock is perhaps one of the “neatest” parts of the Game & Watch. Depending on the time, the sky will go from blue in the daytime, to a sunset in the evening to a night sky during the night all while Mario runs from the left side to the right, leaping over enemy’s, sometimes grabbing a mushroom. If you watch long enough you may actually see some very interesting things like a group of Yoshis smashing the Hour bricks at the top of the hour. If you hold both the A & B buttons down, the bricks will flash to gold briefly while dropping enemies to either rob Mario of his power ups or kill him. Yes, it is possible to kill Mario on your Game & Watch clock. List of easter eggs in the clock below via Screenrant:
- Yoshis helping Mario change the time at every hour.
- Mario jumping on the flag at noon and meeting Toad, then jumping on the flag and finding Princess Peach at midnight.
- Special characters including Bloopers, Cheep Cheeps, and Shy Guys at 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, and 4:44.
- Beanstalks appearing at 1:23 and 4:56.
- A Monty Mole cameo between 7 and 8.
- Different enemy cameos throughout each hour.
- Luigi replacing Mario from 9 until 10 each night.
- Mario facing Bowser at 9:13 a.m. and p.m.
It was an absolute surprise to find a USB-C connector on this retro device along with a provided USB-C cable, a very short cable but still came with one. One thing is for sure, we won’t have a hard time finding a cable around the house to charge our Game & Watch if we can’t find the provided one.
The Game & Watch brings the retro charm in spades. Playing old NES games on such a light and pocketable device is a great casual gaming device for both parents and kids alike. You might want to buy an extra Game & Watch and just keep it in its package as most re-made retro gaming devices from Nintendo tend to be worth a fair amount a year later.