Friday, 21 March 2008

Room For The Memories

The place in Shibuya brought back a lot of memories. Here is a clue:

Growing up in the early 80's was a interesting time for me, probably never to be repeated.

When computers were still new, Nintendo brought out a whole range of small LCD "Game & Watch" handheld games.

Like many kids of the time I had quite a few of them.

Donkey Kong Jr "Game & Watch" Panorama screen:
The screen flipped open where the actual screen you played from was a colourful LCD reflection in a mirror.

Donkey Kong Hockey:
This one was different. Unlike most of the "Game & Watch", you could play an opponent or the computer and it had wind-up controls that fit inside the unit.

I had a solar-powered game made by Bandai Electronics.

Invaders Of The Mummy's Tomb, also known as "Pharoah's Pyramid" is called "Nazo No Pyramid" here in Japan.

Now THIS has a bit of a story. I had this one for not as long as I'd hoped.

Way back in 1982 my brother was just a little baby and my mother wisely thought it'd be a great idea to give it to him to play with. I pleaded with her, saying that he'd break it.

In an instant the little s**t snapped it in two. I was CRUSHED. No, they didn't get me a new one.

This may be the time to get it back. I recall seeing a few Bandai games in the shop.

From what I remember it was a pretty cool game. Look here for a 1982 magazine advert describing the game play.

I had an arcade-looking handheld of Galaga that was really cool, and also a handheld electronic bowling game, (the controller was a bowling ball) but trying as hard I can, I just can't find any pictures. Sorry.

So back to 2008.

At the shop I saw quite a few of the Nintendo and Bandai handhelds.
Remember this? Donkey Kong
And Oil Panic? I saw this one for about 3000 yen.
What about Green House? Another classic.

With my recent fixation of the Nintendo DS lite that the gf's friend's 10 year old daughter lent me, I tried a "Game & Watch" collection on the DS that features all three of these classics.

I had a go of them and I think I'm in trouble. The gameplay is still as addictive as I remembered it, and the LCD ghost images ups that retro cool factor.

This cart is very rare as it was not offered for sale to the public (only to Club Nintendo members, and only in Japan), so it's very tempting.

To finish off, I think I'll share a treat. One of the 80's handhelds I used to like (but not own), was Tomytronics Tron. I managed to find a very playable lightcycle game online. Download it here.

Imagine the game Snake, but with 3D graphics and more than one "snake". Addictive is the word.


Anonymous said...

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Jimmy In Japan said...

Thanks! Always good to hear people like my rambling thoughts ;)

xabi said...

Hi there!

1st of all congrats for your blog!

I'm collecting Game&watch games as you can see in my page:

A good friend of mine will be in Tokyo in two months and I would like him to buy me some G&W I still don't have. Could you please provide me the address and name of the second hand shops where he can buy me the consoles?

Thanks in advance:


PS: Sorry for my english, but I'm spanish.

Jimmy In Japan said...

Thanks for your kind remarks. Glad you like it!

The best places that I've found is Mandarake in Shibuya and Nakano Broadway. There is also a store in Akihabara, but they are moving, so I didn't get the chance to check there.

Look here for store locations. My best advice is to get copies of the maps here and get your friend to take them with him.

Street addresses are crazy.

Although I mentioned around 3000 yen, Game & Watch prices vary from 8000 yen to 30,000 yen!

I checked your site. That's some collection! Are you sure you don't have them all?

Ha, thanks again for stopping by.