Before Nintendo Wii’d all over the competition with its consoles, it was busy pioneering handheld gaming with the legendary Game & Watch series. Containing (very) pared down versions of arcade classics, these LCD rectangles were to the Eighties what the DS is to the Noughties, and no self-respecting gamer would dream of hitting the playground without one sandwiched between his conkers.
As you’ve probably guessed, all this reminiscing is merely an appetiser to whet your nostalgic cravings, because some of the greatest Game & Watch titles are back, shoehorned into these fantastic keychain-friendly gizmos. Fully licensed, they even feature the same strangely incongruous watches and alarms. High score!
...or use as a desktop clock
Styled to resemble titchy Game Boys, Nintendo Mini Classics are just as thumb-blisteringly addictive as you (probably don’t) remember. We’re talking minutes of fun! Thing is, those minutes soon turn into hours as you attempt new high scores and search for new cheats.
Yes, you can probably download more advanced games on last season’s mobile phone. And yes, the games are not really up there with the likes of Gears of War. But at under a tenner a pop, who cares.
Better still, thanks to the recent proliferation of handheld gizmos, the human thumb has evolved into the speediest digit in town, so your monochrome characters will be cavorting around faster than you ever thought possible. Run, Mario, Run!
There are currently three classic titles to choose from:
Mario's Cement Factory
Donkey Kong Junior
Super Mario Bros.
Remember these classics?
Super Mario Bros: Inane leaping between side-scrolling platforms or a nailbiting race to rescue a princess? Probably both.
Donkey Kong Jr: An arcade classic in which you help the son of an ape unlock padlocks by jumping between vines. As you do.
Mario’s Cement Factory: This classic platformer sees the iconic tap-twiddler attempting to prevent containers of cement overflowing. Plumber? In a cement factory? Whatever.
We really can’t stress quite how evocative and compelling these primitive arthritis inducers are. You’ll be transported back to the decade style forgot the second you start playing. And if that isn’t a good enough reason to slip on your fingerless gloves and get ordering, we give up. Game over!