Nintendo is an unbothered legend. In the same week that two much-anticipated new-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft were launched, Nintendo decided to release a revival of a true classic: Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.—a nod to the first handheld gaming system they introduced in the 80s to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. franchise.
Evoking much nostalgia, it comes with three games, namely Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and Ball a.k.a. the very first game that the OG Game & Watch featured, which was given a Super Mario makeover.
We got our hands on the limited-edition Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. when it hit Philippine stores last week, and we can’t wait to share with you what we loved about it—everything, actually, but here are eight highlights:
It’s (Quite) Affordable
Among the first things gamers consider before buying a console, aside from the specs, is the price. Well, Filipino Nintendo fans and game collectors can take a sigh of relief as the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. retails for 5,795PHP—at most. Products shipped from the U.S. are on the pricier end, while those shipped from Japan can go as low as 3,995PHP.
The price range may still be a bit pricier than its suggested 49.99USD price tag, but the mere fact that it’s a collectible that will be available for a limited time only (until March next year, to be exact) is enough a reason for collectors to shell out some cash. Besides, it’s worth the novelty and more.
Okay, the packaging of the 2020 Game & Watch revival is nothing grand—it’s a box encased in a plastic film (like a matchbox), BUT that’s part of the fun of it! The overall look of the packaging is so retro with the Super Mario design, it’s something that could even be a collectible in itself!
Reminiscent of the early 80s versions of the Game & Watch, this limited-edition also has a brushed metal gold face, but with more control buttons—including the iconic Nintendo D-pad—made of rubber that are nicely solid and tactile. If you’re worried they wouldn’t stand some serious gaming sessions or repeated playing, don’t be! They seem really durable.
The tiny color LCD screen is positioned right in the center, and is an obvious level-up from the original’s LCD calculator-like screen. It’s bright and colorful and the graphics are undeniably crisp. You gotta see for yourself how good it looks IRL!
It’s super lightweight
The device measures 67mm x 112mm, weighs roughly 68 grams, and is just 12.5mm thick. It’s the pocket-sized handheld console that’s perfect for when you’re on-the-go and just want a plaything that will keep you preoccupied for short periods of time.
Nintendo’s bid adieu to disposable batteries for this version of the Game & Watch and replaced them with an internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can be juiced up with a USB-C cable included in the box. The official Nintendo USB AC adapter (CLV-003) is sold separately, though.
It takes approximately three hours to fully charge the device. Battery life is at around eight hours of play time, but can be even shorter depending on the gamer’s play style and preferences.
Adjustable Brightness and Volume
Want to lengthen the battery life of your unit? Simply make tweaks in the brightness and volume!
One of the defining features of the original Game & Watch is the digital clock or “watch” it displays, and we’re happy to say that the new version stays true to the original…with a twist. Instead of a plain digital clock, the unit displays a wide variety of Super Mario animations as time passes. Believe us when we say that watching time pass has never been so entertaining!
The Familiar Feel
It’s been a while since we last played the original Super Mario Bros. game, but holding the new Game & Watch didn’t feel strange at all and we just hit it right off the bat—devouring growth-spurting Super Mushrooms, collecting coins, stomping on Goombas, and more—as though we played it just yesterday. The Super Mario Bros. franchise has come a long way, but nothing makes us as warm and fuzzy on the inside as the classic.
You can get your own Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. at DataBlitz, Game One, i.TECH, and GameXtreme.