Nintendo Games and Watch Handheld Games

A look at the most innovative and popular handheld games of the 80’s…

IN THE early 1980s, Nintendo asked Gunpei Yokoi to create a new toy for the company. He came up with the Game & Watch handhelds – small pocket-sized LCD games, each playing a dedicated single game. Fifty-nine games were produced between 1980 and 1991 and were incredibly popular. The game themes were very original and took a different turn to the usual themes of sport or fighting aliens that other games used.

Game & Watch games featured everyday objects and events but these days were exciting because of the addictive game play, proving that the player didn’t need to fight aliens to get a thrill. Catching eggs, covering manholes and getting the washing off the line before it rains provided all the excitement necessary !
Some of the games borrowed characters from earlier Nintendo games, such as Donkey Kong, and cartoons such as Popeye or Mickey Mouse.
lire games were very small which was a selling point – definitely ‘pocket-sized’ as opposed to table-top size. The games were more detailed than previous handhelds and also only required a couple of watch
type batteries which wouldn’t be used up after a short time of playing. Most featured an easy ‘Game A’ option and harder ‘Game B’ option, which was the same as Game A but usually just faster.
Bonus ‘lives’ or points would be awarded after so many points had been reached with no lives lost. All had an LCD clock and alarm. The first Game & Watch game was ‘Ball’, produced in 1980s, which was part of the
a series of Game & Watch games which had a silver front plate
on the front.
Ball was very simple in that the player had to control a juggler and
ensure all the balls were caught.

In 1981 the games had a gold front plate and then in 1981/2 ‘widescreen’ traps and other objects to save Donkey Kong by collecting the keys to unlock his cage. The next type of G&W game were the ‘new widescreen’ games produced from 1982. The most popular of these included Donkey Kong Jr and Manhole.

These games were then followed by the Table Top versions in 1983 which were larger (not pocket size) and had a coloured LCD screen; the Panorama screen versions which used an angled mirror to provide enough light to generate colour LCD graphics;

the Super Color games in 1984 which had a painted colour backdrop; the Micro vs System versions which was for 2 players and had foldaway joypads, and then the Crystal screen versions  in 1986 which had a clear ;

screen which you could see through. Mario the Juggler, released in 1991, was  the last game  created for A Game &  Watch  system.

Sometimes considered the 60th Game & Watch, a yellowcased version of new wide screen Super Mario Brothers game was produced. They were not intended to retail but were given as prizes to winners of Nintendo’s F-1 Grand Prix tournament. Yokoi also patented the Directional pad (or ‘D-pad’) that Nintendo has used ever since on their game system controllers. Game & Watch games were then superseded by the Gameboy, which
was also designed by Yokoi. Both the original Nintendo game systems and the game themes themselves were incredibly popular at the time and
their legacy has continued through to this day. Gamers and collectors alike have a fond remembrance of their first Game & Watch. Indeed those with superior hand eye coordination skills have a lot to thank for their experiences of these games!

 

 

 

The following table are Vintage Nintendo handheld game lists from 1980s to 1990s. it may be useful for Handheld games collectors, hope you would like it.

Silver series

Game & Watch: Ball was the first game Nintendo introduced in the series, way back in 1980 with a simple yet addictive concept. You play the juggler, using the left and right buttons to catch and continuing tossing.

Game Name  Pic.  Model  Released 
Ball / Toss-Up  AC-01 1980.04.28 
Produced: 250’000
Flagman FL-02 1980.06.05
Produced: 250’000
Vermin MT-03 1980.07.10
Produced: 500’000
Fire RC-04 1980.07.31
Produced: 1’000’000
Judge IP-05 1980.10.04
 Produced: 250’000
Gold series

there is a gold-colored front plate as the name already reveals and as before there is a small screen.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Manhole MH-06 1981.01.29
 Produced: 500’000
Helmet CN-07 1981.02.21
 Produced: 500’000
Lion   LN-08 1981.04.29
 Produced: 250’000
wide screen

“Wide Screen” is the third series and was also still launched in 1981. The games of this series have a larger screen than the one of the previous series and therefore this series is called “Wide Screen”. The front panel is gold-colored. Games of this series are for example: Parachute, Octopus, Popeye, Chef, Mickey Mouse, Egg, etc. Except the game Egg most of the games are relatively easy to find.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Parachute  PR-21 1981.06.19 
 Produced: 1’200’000
Octopus OC-22 1981.07.16
 Produced: 1’200’000
Popeye PP-23 1981.08.05
 Produced: 1’200’000
Chef FP-24 1981.09.08
 Produced: 500’000
Mickey Mouse  MC-25 1981.10.09
 Produced: 1’200’000
Egg EG-26 1981.10.??
 Produced: 250’000
Fire FR-27 1981.12.04
 Produced: 1’200’000
Turtle Bridge TL-28 1982.02.01
 Produced: 500’000
Fire Attack ID-29 1982.03.26
 Produced: 500’000
Snoopy Tennis SP-30 1982.04.28
Produced: 1’200’000
New wide screen

“New Wide Screen” is the fifth series of the “Game&Watch“ line and was produced from 1982 until 1991. A few of the games are, funnily enough, more rare to find than games of the previous series. Very hard to find is especially the game Mario The Juggler.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Donkey Kong Jr.  DJ-101 1982.10.26 
 Produced: 1’200’000
Mario’s Cement Factory  ML-102 1983.06.16
 Produced: 750’000
Manhole NH-103 1983.08.24
 Produced: 250’000
Tropical Fish TF-104 1985.07.08
 Produced: 250’000
Super Mario Bros. YM-105 1988.03.08
 Produced: 1’000’000
Climber DR-106 1988.03.08
 Produced: 250’000
Balloon Fight BF-107 1988.03.08
 Produced: 250’000
Multi screen

“Multi Screen” series and this one is also the most famous of all series. The special feature about these games are the two hinged displays that can be opened vertically in most games and horizontally in three of the games. This series was produced from 1982 until 1989.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Oil Panic  OP-51 1982.05.28 
 Produced: 1’250’000
Donkey Kong  DK-52 1982.06.03
 Produced: 1’250’000
Mickey & Donald  DM-53 1982.11.28
 Produced: 1’250’000
Green House GH-54 1982.06.12
 Produced: 1’250’000
Donkey Kong 2 JR-55 1983.03.07
 Produced: 1’250’000
Mario Bros MW-56 1983.03.14 
 Produced: 1’250’000
Rainshower LP-57 1983.08.1
 Produced: 250’000
Lifeboat TC-58 1983.10.25
 Produced: 500’000
Pinball PB-59 1983.12.05
 Produced: 250’000
Black Jack BJ-60 1985.02.15
 Produced: 250’000
Squish MG-61 1986.04.17
 Produced: 250’000
Bomb Sweeper BD-62 1987.06.05
 Produced: 250’000
Safe Buster JB-63 1988.01.06
 Produced: 500’000
Goldcliff MV-64 1988.10.19
 Produced: 250’000
Zelda ZL-65 1989.08.26
 Produced: 250’000
Micro VS.

It was introduced in 1984. In this series the games have a big screen. New in this games are the two existing extendable game pads for two players.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Boxing / Punch-Out!! BX-301 1984.07.31
 Produced: 250’000
Donkey Kong 3 AK-302 1984.08.20
 Produced: 250’000
Donkey Kong Hockey HK-303 1984.11.12
 Produced: 250’000
Color Screen Tabletop

“Tabletop” name already reveals that you do not hold the console in your hands while playing but you put it on a surface. Thus, it can be used as a miniature gaming machine and it looks accordingly. This series came on the market in 1983. New in this series is a colored and lighted display.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Donkey Kong Jr. CJ-71 1983.04.28
 Produced: 250’000
Mario´s Cement Factory CM-72 1983.04.28
 Produced: 250’000
Snoopy SM-73 1983.07.05
 Produced: 250’000
Popeye PG-74 1983.08.17
 Produced: 250’000
Panorama Screen

“panorama screen” games the screen which is colored and lighted is opened. The screen is up, however, while playing you look, unusually, obliquely downwards onto a mirror inside the game. Thus, you play on the mirror image of the display located above.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Snoopy SM-91 1983.08.30 
 Produced: 250’000
Popeye PG-92 1983.08.03
 Produced: 250’000
Donkey Kong Jr.  CJ-93 1983.10.07 
 Produced: 250’000
Mario´s Bombs Away  TB-94 1983.11.10 
 Produced: 250’000
Mickey Mouse DC-95 1984.02.28
 Produced: 250’000
Donkey Kong Circus MK-96 1984.09.06
 Produced: 250’000
Super Color

The games of this series have a colored and large screen and a silver-colored case, only two games exist in this series.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Spitball Sparky BU-201 1984.02.07
 Produced: 250’000
CrabGrab UD-202 1984.02.21
 Produced: 250’000
Crystal Screen

“Crystal Screen” has a large screen. An absolute novelty in the games and revolutionary for that time: a transparent display. While playing you can look through the display. However, you can also choose to fix an interchangeable background.

Game Name Pic. Model no. Released
Super Mario Bros. YM-801 1986.06.25
 Produced: 250’000
Climber DR-802 1986.07.04
 Produced: 250’000
Balloon Fight BF-803 1986.11.19
 Produced: 250’000

 

Vintage computer Osborne-1 (1981)

Osborne- 1 Computer
The Osborne- 1 is regarded as the first completely self-contained portable or luggable’ computer.

IN 1981 the Osborne-1 was introduced at the West Coast Computer Faire and by September the company achieved US$1 million sales a month. By the end of 1982, an average of 10,000 units were being sold every

month. In 1972 Adam Osborne founded
Osborne and Associates to create a series

of easy-to-read computing manuals. By 1977, Osborne Books, as the company had become, had published over 40
computing titles. In 1979, Osborne sold the lot to McGraw-Hill in order to pursue a gap in the computing market, namely
a machine that users could operate on the move. Backed by Silicon Valley VC Jack Melchior, and with the help of ex Intel engineer Lee Felsenstein, Osborne
Computer came into existence. At a cost of $ 1 795 it was a lot cheaper than comparable models of the time, especially when you consider the bundled software that came with it: Microsoft’s CBASIC (compiled version of
Basic), Mbasic, Supercalc spreadsheet,
Wordstar word processor and Mailmerge.


This software, costing over $2000, was actually worth more money than the computer and this was also the first instance where application software was bundled with a microcomputer. dBASE II was included with later systems. The Osborne ran the CP/M 2.2 operating system that was loaded from a floppy disk. A printer and a modem and other scientific equipment could be attached via a built-in IEEE-488 interface. The keyboard acted as a lid to the cany case. Despite the decent 64K RAM and 4K ROM, the general specifications were not suitable to run large application software packages.

The built-in 5.25” disk drives were only single sided, single density disks. This, and the fact the screen was only a tiny 5 inch monochrome screen with 52 lines of 80 chararters that scrolled with each character 2 mm in height. The Osborne was powered by a wall plug, and had no internal battery, although an aftermarket battery pack offering 1 hour run-time was available.
Other peripherals included an external monochrome display, 300 baud modem, double density disk drives, external hard 80 column video upgrades were also available.
It was originally designed to ht under an aeroplane seat, but at 23lbs it  was to be described more as a ‘luggable’ than a ‘portable’ computer.
In 1983, the Osborne- 1 was followed by the ‘Executive’, and then the ‘Vixen’. The Vixen was a smaller machine with the keyboard permanently fixed which acted as a stand, and didn’t sell in great numbers.

The Executive was an evolution of the 1 with built-in hard drive storage.
Osborne- 1 Computer The Osborne- 1 is regarded as the first completely
self-contained portable or luggable’ computer. larger 80-column display and double density floppy drives.

The Osborne effea is a term used today and referred to how the Osborne company announced future products that weren’t ready. This hurt sales and is evidenced when the Executive was announced prematurely. The announcement of the Vixen also hampered sales of the Osborne- 1.

The company was declared bankrupt on 13 September 1983, less than three years after its formation but this didn’t stop other companies from imitating the Osborne computer in offering portable
computers with bundled software.
Compaq delivered a portable computer (the Compaq Portable) with a 9 inch CRT, that was software compatible with the IBM PC, making it the first PC clone.