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Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.

Posted by GG Goblin On December - 1 - 2020

Part game, part watch, all fun.

 
In case you missed it, Nintendo are currently celebrating the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. Traditionally this means a gift of Coral, which has been well covered with the release of a coral coloured Nintendo Switch Lite. However, Nintendo are in no way understated and continue the celebrations with all manner of other goodies, including a bunch of games, such as Super Mario Bros. 35, and merchandise. However, for the long time Nintendo fans, the real star of the show would be the new Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Nostalgia, here we come!

 


 
For many gamers of a certain age, the Game & Watch devices would have been their introduction to gaming, or at least to Nintendo. Featuring heavily under Christmas trees for many years, these small handheld devices came in a variety of different flavours, each featuring a single game and a clock on an LCD screen. By modern standards, they were incredibly simple, but had that addictive early gaming quality that meant hours and hours would be spent staring at the little screens. Personally, my first experience was with the dual screen version were Mario and Luigi loaded crates of bottles onto conveyor belts. Hours of high score chasing fun.

 
That was then, and this is now. Anyone lucky enough to find the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. under the tree this year will be in for a real treat. Taking the unit out of the box, the first impression was that it actually felt much lighter than I expected. Still, that has no impact on the quality here, as the small handheld is built to the high standard you would expect from Nintendo. The unit is made from a solid red plastic with a gold, brushed metal front plate. One side features a small slot which is the handhelds surprisingly effective speaker, while the other side has the power button and the USB-C charging port (cable included in the box). The front plate has the Game & Watch, Nintendo and Super Mario Bros. logos, along with a classic, but slightly small, d-pad, and the Game, Time, Pause/set, A and B buttons. The d-pad has a solid plastic feel, which the other buttons have that delightfully tactile rubbery feel. In the centre of the front plate, within a raised area, is the small screen. Measuring only 2.36 inches, the screen is indeed small, but being a full colour LCD screen means that the picture quality is very, very nice.

 


 
As a Game & Watch, buyers would be expecting both game and watch functionality, and they won’t be disappointed here. Traditionally, Game & Watch units came with only one game, but that wouldn’t do for Nintendo’s little anniversary handheld. Firstly, players will get the original Super Mario Bros. game in all of its glory. To complement this, Nintendo have also included Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, ensuring there is plenty of platforming goodness to keep people entertained. However, the fun doesn’t stop there as a real blast from the past comes with original Game & Watch title Ball.

 
Everyone knows the Super Mario games, and while they have been available on most Nintendo platforms at one time or another, it is really nice to play them on the small handheld. The screen is small, but everything is easy to see and the light weight means that holding it close to the face for extended periods is no problem at all. Ball may be new to players though. It features Mr. Game and Watch juggling a couple of balls and the player simply has to keep them up for as long as possible. The big difference here is that Mr. Game and Watch’s face has been replaced with Mario’s, befitting the celebratory nature.

 
The games are fun and all work perfectly, even including a version of quick resume that mean breaks can be taken. However, and I hate to say this, but the clock is where the Game & Watch really stands out. Hours of fun from simply knowing what the time is. Pressing the Time button brings up a full screen clock, set within one of Mario’s worlds. There are a couple of different worlds to choose from, changed by pressing the Time button again, but the fun doesn’t stop there. The numbers on the digital styled clock are made of bricks, and Mario will run along the bottom, encountering the occasional classic enemy. It really is quite mesmerizing, especially as different animations will come up at set times, such as at midday, but I won’t spoil them as discovering these animations is all part of the fun. Nintendo have explained that there are 35 secrets to be found in Game & Watch, and they are all worth finding.

 


 
Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. may hold little by way of surprises when it comes to the games. They are still as much fun as they always have been, and easy to play anywhere on the handheld device. The clock function though is great, and when plugged in will remain active and look great on a desk, especially with the little pings on the hour. For Nintendo fans, or those looking to treat a Nintendo fan this upcoming gifting season, the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. really would make a great gift, for young and old alike.

 

 ★★★★★★★★★★ 



 

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