Full thoughts and Review of Super Mario Bros. Game and Watch
Happy Mario day, everyone. As we wind down the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. I wanted to talk about an item that released and ending among the other Mario games like Super Mario Bros. 3D All-Stars, Super Mario Bros. 35, and Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (ok maybe that last one isn’t a Mario game, but it’s leaving on March 31, 2021). The Super Mario Bros Game and Watch released on November 13, 2020. This unit features Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka The Lost Levels), and an original Game and Watch Videogame Ball.
For those unfamiliar with Game and Watch, they are a series of handheld electronic games made by Nintendo from 1980-1991. Designed by Gunpei Yokoi, Game and Watch featured one game and a clock on an LCD screen. It’s stated that Gunpei came up with the idea for Game and Watch while on a bullet train and saw a businessman playing with a calculator killing time on the trip. Gunpei got the idea for a watch that doubled as a mini-game to kill time. Titles varied with mostly first-party Nintendo properties like Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda. Even other properties like Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, and Popeye had Game and Watch games made. Game And Watch successfully sold over 43 million units in its decade-long run and inspired other future Nintendo portables like the Gameboy and the Nintendo DS/3DS.
I’ve had Game and Watch games when I was a kid. I wish I kept them instead of getting rid of them, but I was a kid and not a collector. I’m familiar with the designs and styles they came in. The Super Mario Bros Game and Watch Design look to be inspired by the New Wide Screen Series of Game and Watch games. I like this design for the system. It measures 4.5 inches or 11.43 centimeters wide and 2.5 inches or 6.35 centimeters high. The screen size is 35 millimeters or about 1.3 inches. It fits easily into a pocket, but I’m not sure how easy the screen scratches, so I leave it out of mine. It’s colored in the Famicom gold and red style. There is a D-pad and A and B buttons to control the gameplay and system. There are three buttons on the top right to change the mode you are in depending on what you select. The game button selects one of three games available on the system. Time shows the current time on the system and changes the background or setting Mario and enemies move around on. Pause/Set can pause the game you are currently playing and set the brightness of the screen, control the volume, and reset your game. There is an on and off switch on the side of the unit.
As I mentioned, there are three games: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros, 2 (Lost Levels), and Game and Watch Game: Ball. Making this more of a Games and Watch system instead of Game and Watch. The Mario games are just the NES ports; I’ve talked about Super Mario Bros. before. Game and Watch Ball is a game that you juggle one or two balls back on forth, depending on the game difficulty, and is one of the original Game and Watch Games released. You keep juggling to get a high score and if you drop a ball, the game is over. It’s a fair game that I don’t find that hard to play. All the games control great. The D-Pad is solid and responsive. The A and B buttons feel mushy and soft compared to an NES Controller, but they also work well. I don’t experience lag, and the games are responsive when I play them. Battery life is about eight hours and lasts for quite a while on standby. I powered the unit back on after two months, and the power decreased only a bar off the battery meter. All games also leave off where you left when you pause or switch games.
I think that this is a great item to come out. It provides nostalgia to older gamers that grew up with a Game and Watch. Younger gamers might see this as a curiosity, of what game we like for parents, and maybe grandparents when they were growing up. The system doesn’t feel flimsy or cheaply made. Besides the games, Nintendo put many Easter Eggs into the Game and Watch. The Easter Eggs can be found in the games or watch mode. It feels like a game in itself to find all of the hidden pictures, screens, and animations in the Game and Watch unit. Most are time-based, so to see certain ones, you need to be watching at a particular time. You get value from this.
Speaking of value brings me to my least favorite thing about the Game and Watch the price. Fifty Dollars is a rather high price point. This feels like it should be a Thirty dollar unit. But Nintendo must realize that the unit was going to be in limited release. Since nostalgic memories could drive sales, then that’s why the price is high. Maybe to prevent scalpers, I’m not sure. More games could be added, even if there are more Game and Watch games. I would make the fifty-dollar price point worth it. There are a few weeks left at the time of this article that this will be available. So buying one should be up to you. If somehow you can find one at clearance. Then I’d pick it up before scalpers, and eBay drives the price up to crazy high prices.
Summarized thoughts and review of Super Mario Bros. Game and Watch\
This is a great Nostalgic trip back to both Mario games and the Game and Watch series. The unit is well designed and functions great, looking like an original Game and Watch, but updated for 2020. The price is high, for the three games and everything available. It’s going to be a personal choice if you wish to pick up the unit. If you love Mario and everything Nintendo, then this might be for you.
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