Game Boy Enters National Toy Hall of Fame

Nintendo’s original portable gaming device is being inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, specifically the Electronic Games division:

No video-game platform did more to put gamers “on the go” than Nintendo Game Boy. And go they did-bringing their gaming experience to school, to summer camp, and to the back seat of the family automobile. Over the past two decades, Game Boy has become synonymous with portable gaming fun.

They are 100% correct too. Prior to the Game Boy, portable gaming was delivered either by a variety of awful LCD handhelds (such as Nintendo’s own Game & Watch) or the Microvision, a clunky, nearly unplayable handheld console with a blur problem worse than the original model Game Boy.

The Game Boy was designed by Gunpei Yokoi, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1997.

The Game Boy would go through a number of variations, including an “attitude” series to mirror Nintendo’s attempt to attract an older audience. The variety of splashy colors, including a clear version so you could see the inner workings of the system, were released.

gameboyWhile bulky, the original model lasted for nine years until the inception of the Game Boy Color made an appearance in 1998. The system is undoubtedly remembered for introducing Tetris to the world (as an initial pack-in), but also sported a number of additional classics. The Super Mario Land series is a spectacular series of platformers, and some translations are impressive. Ninja Gaiden Shadow, despite its slower pacing, is deserving of mention for translating the familiar action to the small screen. Likewise, Metroid II is one of the best games in the franchise.

A four-player adapter included with F-1 Race allowed for owners to link their systems up for multiplayer, something mirrored in the competition such as the Lynx. While everyone needed a copy of the game and a Game Boy, letting everyone have their own screen was a small miracle when F1 Race was released in 1990.

All modern handhelds owe something to the Game Boy, and the National Toy Hall of Fame is handing out a deserved nod to one of the most influential systems ever released.

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