Background and Identification
The Game & Watch series was one of Nintendo’s early experiments with video games, and was one of their most successful products at the time. Each game is played on an LCD screen with several buttons on the sides and bottom that the player uses as controls. The ‘Watch’ part of the name comes from the fact that the LCD screen also functions as a clock. Inspiration for this device came when Gunpei Yokoi, a near-legendary developer for Nintendo, saw a businessman punching buttons on a calculator to pass the time on a train home. He had the idea for a portable game system, and the Game & Watch was created.
The first game released on the Game & Watch was called ‘Ball'. The idea is that the player needs to juggle three balls without dropping them, using the buttons to control the arms of the game avatar. 59 more games followed this one. Their objectives ranged from saving people as they jumped out of a burning building to playing a game of tennis. These games featured a variety of characters like Mario, Mickey Mouse, and Snoopy. Ironically, the last game to be released was called Mario the Juggler, and was very similar to ‘Ball’.
There have been 3 remakes of the original Game & Watch:
Club Nintendo Ball Game & Watch
Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch
Legend of Zelda Game & Watch
Note: These are for the original Game & Watch. Later variations may have slightly different specifications.
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 95 x 63 x 11.5 mm
- Weight: 51 g (with batteries)
- Battery: Two Alkali-Manganese batteries (LR43 or SR43)