Game & Watch Revival - 30 Years Later And Still Ringin'

Mr. Game & Watch

It's been over 30 years since the first Game & Watch release, the aptly named "Ball," hit shelves, but Nintendo is dead set on making sure the simplistic LCD handheld series doesn't fade into obscurity. This past March, Nintendo began supporting the franchise with a series of nine DSiWare releases. These downloads (which run 200 DSi Points) serve as a great introduction to the games, as well as significantly cheaper option than the originals, which remain collectors items to this day.

We thought it was high time to take a look back at some of these releases to which ones stand the test of time.

Ball Game & Watch Ball

"Ball" was the first Game & Watch game ever released, and therefore it's also the most basic. Throw two balls up in the air. Catch them. Repeat. After a few minutes it gets pretty boring, but it is great to get a sense of where the series began, and how far it progressed.

Original Release: 4/28/80

DSiWare Release: 4/19/10

Also Available: "Game Boy Gallery," "Game & Watch Gallery 2" and re-released as a Club Nintendo prize in Japan

Collectable Price: New: $820 Used Compete: $360 Used Loose: $119

Flagman

Game & Watch FlagmanThe GAME A version of "Flagman" is the Game & Watch version of the classic game Simon. You have to memorize the order in which the flags pop up, and do your best to duplicate what was shown to you. GAME B has you raising the appropriate flag according to the number that is displayed. Both are fun, but GAME A is a timeless gameplay mechanic that never really gets old.

Original Release: 6/5/80

DSiWare Release: 4/19/10

Also Available: "Game Boy Gallery," "Game & Watch Gallery 3," "Wario Land II"

Collectable Price: New: $1695 Used Compete: $630 Used Loose: $300

Vermin

Game & Watch Vermin"Vermin" has you running back and forth whacking moles on the head with a mallet for points. While it isn't the most challenging game in the bunch, watching your score rack up does offer some level of satisfaction. It also offers a slightly different gameplay mechanic than most players are going to be used to; instead of lining up your character where the moles are going to be, you actually have to adjust for whacking room, meaning that you have to be next to where the vermin are going to pop up.

Original Release: 7/10/80

DSiWare Release: 4/5/10

Also Available: "Game Boy Gallery," "Game & Watch Gallery 2"

Collectable Price: New: $480 Used Compete: $220 Used Loose: $160

Judge

Game & Watch Judge"Judge" is the only game on this list that actually offers a finite game time, as well as two-player simultaneous play. Each of the two on-screen characters are assigned a number for each round, then another number is randomly displayed on the screen, depending on whether your number is higher or lower, you have to react appropriately for points, and the first player to 99 points wins. It's a very different experience from any of the other games offered, and fortunately offers advanced starting points since making it to 99 every game can be extremely tedious.

Original Release: 10/4/80

DSiWare Release: 3/22/10

Also Available: "Game & Watch Gallery 3"

Collectable Price (Green): New: $700 Used Compete: $380 Used Loose: $160

Collectable Price (Purple): New: $920 Used Compete: $550 Used Loose: $145

Manhole

Game & Watch ManholeIt's on Mr. Game & Watch to make sure everyone can cross the screen without falling into the manholes. There are four separate spots in the game where someone that's walking across the screen can fall and the player needs to position Mr. Game & Watch in the right place at the right time. Like most Game & Watch games it starts off painfully slow and boring, but picks up after a couple of minutes.

Original Release: 1/29/81

DSiWare Release: 4/5/10

Also Available: "Game Boy Gallery," "Game & Watch Gallery 4," "Game & Watch Gallery 4," e-Reader

Collectable Price: New: $560 Used Compete: $190 Used Loose: $70

Helmet

Game & Watch HelmetMr. Game & Watch apparently lives in dangerous world where it rains hammers and wrenches. All you have to do is make it from one door to the other without getting hit in the head. It's a very simple concept that's actually quite challenging since you can't score points unless the door on the right is open. It's not the best game of the bunch, but it's definitely in the top half.

Original Release: 2/21/81

DSiWare Release: 4/5/10

Also Available: "Game & Watch Gallery 2"

Collectable Price: New: $462 Used Compete: $220 Used Loose: $79

Chef

Game & Watch ChefMr. Game and Watch heads to the kitchen as he tries to manage flying sausages and airborne fish by tossing and catching the ingredients in his frying pan. It's along the standard lines of "Ball" in that it forces you to juggle items in the air, aiming for the high score. As an added bonus there's an adorable little LCD cat that occasionally pops out to grab your food to throw off your timing.

Original Release: 9/8/81

DSiWare Release: 3/22/10

Also Available: "Personal Trainer Cooking"

Collectable Price: New: $488 Used Compete: $215 Used Loose: $96

Donkey Kong Jr.

Game & Watch Donkey Kong Jr.If you're only going to pick up one game on this list, "Donkey Kong Jr." should be the one. It's a fairly accurate recreation of the arcade and NES classic where Mario plays the bad guy, and D.K. Jr. has to save his caged father. It may not be as robust as its counterparts, but it offers a relatively large number of obstacles and enemies to overcome, and doesn't get old too quickly.

Original Release: 10/26/82

DSiWare Release: 4/19/10

Also Available: "Game & Watch Gallery 3"

Collectable Price: New: $435 Used Compete: $225 Used Loose: $60

Mario's Cement Factory

Game & Watch Mario's Cement FactoryMario has to run back and forth through the factory, loading up the trucks below with cement and then send them on their way. The middle of the screen has elevators that move you up and down so that you can trigger the switches as the cement works its way down through two levels of the game. Out of the nine that are available, it's actually quite fun, although it feels similar to "Manhole," it's more involved and builds on what the player is asked to do.

Original Release: 6/16/83

DSiWare Release: 3/22/10

Also Available: "Game Boy Gallery," "Game & Watch Gallery 4"

Collectable Price: New: $350 Used Compete: $108 Used Loose: $51

NOTE: All collectable prices are based on RarityGuide.com where they have a breakdown of how they have established these values.