Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
33 Consoles of Christmas
Nintendo Game Boy (1989)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 27, 2006   |   Episode 5 (Show Archive)  

It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!

Synopsis: When Nintendo released their Game Boy few would know the impact it would have on the industry. Nearly twenty years later the Game Boy is still a massive force in the video game world, spawning countless portable game systems of all shapes and sizes. The original Game Boy released in 1989 featured a black and white display, a link cable that supported two-player support and a bunch of classic 8-bit games. As the years went on Nintendo would shrink the Game Boy and give it color, but the original 1989 Game Boy is still considered one of the most important systems of all time (and one of the best selling systems ever).

Best Games: Tetris, Super RC Pro Am, Final Fantasy Legends, Final Fantasy Adventure, Nemesis, and Contra.

It looks like a brick. It looks like they could have just called it the Nintendo Brick and gotten the obvious out of the way. Revolutionary or not, the thing looks like a freaking brick! The truth is that I have nothing bad to say about the design of the Game Boy, by today's standards it's big and clunky, but in 1989 it was an amazing invention. But while I can't say anything bad, I also can't say much that is positive. The look is pretty plain; it doesn't try to stand out in any way. Then again, there's something to be said about the simplicity of the system, it nothing else it excels at getting the job done. It's the kind of thing we've come to expect from Nintendo, it's reliable and it does exactly what it's supposed to. I can't rave about the design, but I can't complain about it either.

The Gameboy was a total revolution when it came out, and I still get excited when I see one sticking out of 1995's trashcan. Portable gaming was something my kindergarten self would have never thought of, and I feel the design was excellent. It conveyed the concept of a miniature Nintendo quite well, with similar colors and boxy demeanor. I loved the link capability too; nothing like sticking it to your friend in a game of Tetris from an entire system away. Since the system was rather large, and I don't know that cargo pants existed quite yet, it wasn't as portable as the later, smaller versions. Still, for the time it was just what the Doctor Mario ordered.


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