7 Best Game Boy Color Action Games where you unleash yourself

Action games are common commodities in the fifth generation of video games. Such was further pushed, in terms of graphical fidelity, due to the Game Boy Color having, well, a colored screen. This list features seven of the best action games for the original Game Boy that are sure to captivate players seeking adrenaline-fueled adventures.

Best game boy color action games

7. Aliens: Thanatos Encounter

In Aliens: Thanatos Encounter, a group of marines receives a distress signal from a space freighter and is tasked with investigating the situation. Players choose one of three marines, each with unique attributes, and navigate through 12 expansive levels with various mission objectives.

The graphics in the game are impressive, with diverse and colorful levels that fully utilize the Game Boy Color's capabilities. The aliens are well-designed, featuring different variations and growth stages. The music suits the game well, but the sound effects, particularly the gun noises, could be better. The controls offer different options, allowing players to choose between different shooting styles and movements.

Aliens: Thanatos Encounter also has the option to replay on different difficulty settings. There are various guns available, boss fights, and the use of power loaders. Players can send in another marine to continue playing if their current one dies, and they have the choice to save fallen comrades. Nothing really on the platform that offers intense shooting action and strategic gameplay than this game.

6. Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem, a beloved character known for his foul-mouthed antics and alien-blasting adventures, returns to the Game Boy Color in a side-scrolling action game. Reminiscent of the earlier 2D installments, the graphics in this pocket Dukem is similar to the second side-scroller on the PC. From intricately detailed levels to unexpected settings like a 1950s-themed house, the game offers a visually pleasing experience. The animations, including Duke's movements and interactions with other characters, are well done.

The music, although toned down due to hardware limitations, still delivers an enjoyable experience. However, the real highlight of the audio package lies in the digitized effects. Borrowing many iconic sounds from the second Duke Nukem side-scroller for the PC. From the satisfying cocking of the shotgun to Duke's distinctive grunts and screams, the sound effects enhance the gameplay as how sound design should.

With tight play control, players can navigate Duke through various obstacles and engage in intense battles. Running, jumping, and utilizing an array of weapons, including those of mass destruction, add depth to the gameplay. The game presents a good challenge, requiring strategic thinking and careful resource management to survive the onslaught of alien enemies. With a battery save feature and multiple save slots, players can revisit levels and experience the game's replay value.

5. Army Men 2

The gameplay of Army Men 2 closely resembles its predecessor, with the campaign divided into two operations: field and assault. The game features a total of thirty-one levels, although many can be completed in just a few minutes. The objectives primarily revolve around eliminating all enemies, which can become repetitive. However, there are a couple of levels that introduce variations, such as finding an item or destroying objects. A helpful map displays the locations of enemies and the player.

The graphics have seen a significant improvement, with brighter and more vibrant textures. The player and enemies are more pronounced, avoiding blending into the background. It's worth noting the attention to detail, such as the soldier's weapon growing larger when equipped with a bazooka or flamethrower. Certain parts of the scenery can also be destroyed, it ain't Battlefield but for a portable game, that is mind-blowing.

The game offers a variety of weapons for Sarge to use, allowing him to carry a rifle and two additional weapons at a time. Players can find weapons like bazookas, mortars, grenades, auto rifles, and flamethrowers, as well as health kits and minesweepers. At certain points, Sarge can take control of a tank or jeep, using them to run over enemies. Unfortunately, weapons do not carry over to the next level, and getting in and out of vehicles still requires pausing the game and selecting options from the menu.

4. Dragon's Lair

The announcement of Dragon's Lair coming to GameBoy Color initially elicited indifference, as the Nintendo Entertainment System version is an incredibly mid platformer game. However, the Game Boy Color version was a direct port of the original laserdisc.

Despite the limitations of the 8-bit screen, the graphics remained faithful to the original, with only minor cuts and alterations. The sound, although limited, conveyed the atmosphere effectively, and the inclusion of digitized voices added much to its greatness. The controls, although different from traditional platformers, were manageable once accustomed, thanks to the training mode. The timeless story of the brave knight Dirk the Daring on a quest to rescue Princess Daphne from the clutches of the evil dragon Singe remained captivating.

With limited lives and randomized levels, the replay value was high, ensuring a fresh experience each time. Dragon's Lair on GameBoy Color proved to be an excellent portable game that tested reflexes and provided entertainment, surpassing other pocket keychain games. Whether a newcomer or a seasoned player, embarking on a quest into the Dragon's Lair was a must for all players.

3. Spawn

Spawn for the Game Boy Color is an action-adventure game that brings the dark and twisted world of the popular comic series to life. Developed and published Konami, the game lets players in the role of Al Simmons, the anti-hero known as Spawn. With its interesting storyline, engaging gameplay, and impressive audiovisual presentation, Spawn offers an enjoyable experience for fans of the franchise and action-adventure enthusiasts alike.

The game kicks off with Al Simmons already transformed into Spawn, skipping the need for an extensive introduction. This assumes that players are already familiar with Spawn's backstory from the comics.

Visually, Spawn on the Game Boy Color impresses with its well-detailed graphics. The character models, including Spawn himself, closely resemble their comic book counterparts, featuring the iconic black, red, and white color scheme. As players progress through the game, Spawn's necroplasmic outfit evolves, gaining a cape and a large, spiked block, enhancing the visual variety. Comic book enemies such as Overt-kill and Violator are faithfully recreated and easily recognizable.

In terms of gameplay, Spawn offers a satisfying blend of action and platforming. Players guide Spawn through the levels, defeating enemies and ultimately confronting boss characters from the comic series. Spawn has an arsenal of moves at his disposal, including punches, kicks, and his signature chain attack. The combat is engaging, although the hit detection can be problematic, often resulting in frustrating situations. The game also introduces a welcome variety with motorcycle sequences, allowing Spawn to shoot and kick at oncoming motorists. This adds an enjoyable change of pace and showcases the versatility of gameplay mechanics.

2. Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid on the Game Boy takes players back to the time before the series embraced three-dimensional environments. Contrary to what the name suggests, it is not a diluted version of the PlayStation One classic but rather a unique addition to the series known as MGS in the West and Metal Gear: Ghost Babel in the East. This spin-off incorporates elements from the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, blending new and old-school gameplay seamlessly. As a result, Metal Gear Solid on Game Boy emerges as the best 2D Metal Gear game and ranks among the top titles on the Game Boy.

The animation is slick, and the characters are visually appealing. The sound design deserves commendation, as the game delivers impressive audio despite not featuring particularly catchy tunes. The music is implemented effectively, capturing the atmosphere and enhancing the mood of each area. Fans of Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation will recognize the excellent VR tune, as well as the classic "game over" theme.

The Game Boy Color version of Metal Gear Solid seamlessly translates the stealth-focused mechanics of the PlayStation version to the Game Boy Color. The lack of stealth competition in Game Boy games makes Metal Gear Solid on the platform a unique and refreshing portable experience. The game successfully incorporates stealth sections interspersed with boss battles, resulting in an engaging and dynamic gameplay experience.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX

There are other Legend of Zelda games and they are great action-adventure games, probably the best on the platform. However, Link’s Awakening DX, even if it’s an old game splashed with colors, still endures until this very day.

Link's Awakening DX is a faithful and enhanced version of the beloved original Game Boy game. With the addition of color and improved graphics, it brings the charming world of Koholint Island to life like never before. The gameplay remains as engaging as ever, with its well-crafted dungeons, challenging puzzles, and satisfying combat mechanics.

Exploring the diverse landscapes of the overworld is a joy, from bustling towns filled with quirky characters to treacherous forests and eerie graveyards. Each location is meticulously designed, offering unique challenges and secrets to uncover. The dungeons, in particular, are a highlight, with their intricate layouts and clever puzzles that require both dexterity and wit to overcome.

The game strikes a perfect balance between accessibility and depth, making it suitable for both dedicated play sessions and quick gaming on the go. The captivating storyline and memorable cast of characters is the highlight of the game.