The Game Boy Color is home to a vast library of incredible games, many of which have unfortunately gone underappreciated. It's a shame because these hidden gems showcase remarkable core mechanics and innovations that have yet to be fully utilized even in modern gaming. Come now, seven of the best-hidden gems on the Game Boy Color that deserve recognition and a place in every gamer's collection.
Best game boy color hidden gems
7. Magical Drop
Magical Drop on the Game Boy Color is a puzzle game that elicits strong reactions in both directions. Hence, this game has never had the attention it greatly deserves. This game offers a refreshingly original gameplay experience within the puzzle game genre.
In this game, the player's character stands at the bottom of their field while gems (which can be customized in the options) fall from the top. The objective is to catch and throw these gems back up, aiming to align three or more of the same color in a line. Matching three gems causes them and any touching gems of the same color to disappear. While not a direct attack, players can hinder the opponent by lining up three medallions of the same color, which transfers corresponding colored gems to their field. The game features six initial playable characters, including the Fool, Magician, Priestess, Star, Devil, and Chariot. Expect additional tarot card opponents to challenge and impede your progress in acquiring the magical drop.
The graphics are impressive, reminiscent of the Arcade/Neo Geo version. While the music is generally good, some tracks may become repetitive as this stands true to every single puzzle game out there. The game offers high replay value, encouraging players to aim for high scores and engage in multiplayer battles. Puzzle game enthusiasts will find this enjoyable and a perfect fit as a portable game.
6. NBA 3 on 3 Featuring Kobe Bryant
When it comes to basketball simulations on the Gameboy Color, NBA 3 on 3 Featuring Kobe Bryant game stands head and shoulders above the rest. With its realistic gameplay, deep features, and attention to detail, it offers an almost perfect basketball experience.
NBA Player's skill sets are realistically reflected, with ratings mirroring the players. The ability to tweak various aspects, such as rules and season length, provides extensive customization options. The game even allows players to take on the role of a General Manager, creating their own players and making trades to build a championship-winning team.
NBA 3 on 3 Featuring Kobe Bryant brings a unique twist to basketball games by offering a three-on-three experience instead of the traditional five-man teams. The developers came out of the left field and took a simulation approach rather than going for a simple arcade-style game like NBA Jam. Indeed, this is what made the game pleasantly different as compared to a barrage of arcade basketball games and unimpressive ports of NBA simulation games.
5. Monster Rancher Battle Card GB
Monster Rancher Battle Card GB was unfortunately overshadowed by the popularity of Pokémon TCG during its release. The game offers unique gameplay without relying on luck-based mechanics, allowing players to control various monsters and form teams of three. The graphics are generally good, with unique sprites in Aurora, although the ruins could have been improved. The audio/music is decent, featuring four background sounds and average battle sound effects.
The card game in Monster Rancher Battle Card GB is deserving of praise for its simplicity, beauty, and enjoyability. It involves battles, exploration of ruins, and participation in License Matches. Battles rely on HP and MP (Guts), with strategic moves, combo systems, and the risk of using 0-Guts moves. However, the game has a steep learning curve.
The dungeons consist of multiple random floors, and players face the dungeon master who often possesses hybrid monsters and occasionally has monsters with more health than they should. The card games themselves can vary in length from three to twenty minutes, depending on the player's deck.
The story focuses on becoming the "Master Breeder," although it lacks depth. In terms of replayability, there isn't much incentive to start over, but it can be enjoyable for casual playthroughs.
4. Snoopy Tennis
Just like Monster Rancher, Snoopy Tennis has this unfortunate circumstance where it gets compared to a Nintendo classic: Mario Tennis. Snoopy Tennis is a game that is more than a decent sports game with a refreshing take.
Snoopy Tennis offers a satisfying handheld tennis experience with precise controls and enjoyable gameplay. Armed with a control system reminiscent of Super Tennis, Snoopy Tennis also includes hard shots, slices, and lobs. The ability to dive for the ball adds a realistic and exciting element to the gameplay. The game strikes a good balance between allowing players to hit powerful shots while still requiring skill and precision. Rallies can be thrilling, and the risk-reward factor is well-implemented.
Snoopy Tennis includes additional game modes like squash and power mode, which add some fun and variation to the gameplay. This game is a recommended purchase for those seeking a handheld tennis game with enjoyable gameplay and precise controls. It also offers enough content and replayability whilst having a solid foundation in mechanics.
Casper on the Game Boy Color, a puzzle game often overlooked by young gamers obsessed with shooters or young adults with JRPGs, is a hidden gem that deserves appreciation. With its vast mansion, intricate puzzles, and captivating exploration, this game offers a unique and enjoyable experience.
This game revolves around puzzle-solving, featuring strategic boss battles rather than relentless combat. Players embark on an exploration journey through a sprawling mansion filled with secrets and treasures. Each discovery, such as an enigmatic barrel, presents a puzzle to solve. These puzzles gradually reveal hidden keys, unlocking new areas and granting Casper new abilities through picture pieces. These acquired skills become instrumental in facing off against the formidable Uncles in thrilling boss fights. The game's well-crafted traps and ghostly encounters make this game a must-play.
Surprising for a puzzle game, Casper presents a compelling narrative centered around Casper's quest to regain his human form using a machine his father had created. With the company of a kind-hearted man and his daughter, Casper develops a deep bond and yearns to join the world of the living. However, his wicked uncles sabotage the machine, setting the stage for a gripping and emotionally charged journey.
This game's enchanting allure makes it suitable for players of all ages. Whether an avid puzzle game enthusiast or a parent and child duo seeking an immersive and cooperative experience, Casper offers a delightful adventure. Free from violence and excessive frustration, it provides the joy of exploring a vast mansion, unraveling secrets, and embarking on a quest of self-discovery.
2. Bomberman Max: Blue Champions
Bomberman Max: Blue Champions for the Game Boy Color brings back the beloved classic gameplay that fans have been longing for. The levels are a blast, with well-crafted designs that offer a variety of challenges and features. The addition of the Charabom collecting system is a welcome one.
The game's replay value is exceptional with 80 levels, hidden bonus rounds, and a multitude of Charaboms to train. Additionally, the ability to unlock 20 extra levels by connecting with Bomberman Max Red: Challenger expands the gameplay even further. Effectively, two of the Bomberman games on the platform are hidden gem recommendations.
The graphics are impressive for a Game Boy Color game, with visually pleasing level designs and captivating cinematic scenes. Blue Champions (and Challenger) is a must-have for fans of the series and a great addition to any handheld gaming collection. It stays true to the classic Bomberman experience, providing well-designed levels, engaging features, and an enjoyable story.
1. Monkey Puncher
Monkey Puncher is a hidden gem of a game that combines RPG elements with strategy and boxing. Developed by Taito, this unique title has unfortunately flown under the radar for many gamers.
Monkey Puncher delivers a delightful and innovative gameplay experience. The simplicity of its interface allows for effortless control, minimizing any learning curves that may arise. Training monkeys has never been this fun. This is accomplished through rhythmic button tapping. The game offers the opportunity to connect with another Game Boy Color, enabling trades and sparring matches with fellow trainers and their monkeys.
The story follows the protagonist, either Kenta or Sumire, as they embark on a mission to rescue their kidnapped sister and father from the Saru Group, a gangster organization. To save their family, they must participate in the Monkey 1 Grand Prix Tournament and become successful monkey trainers. The story unfolds with the help of a mysterious man named Fred, a former rival of the protagonist's father.
Monkey Puncher has a nice art style. The animations are smooth, and the character designs are detailed. The game offers excellent replay value, providing a plethora of surprises and challenges in the single-player mode. Collecting items is a major aspect of the game, and there seems to be an endless array of items to discover and merge.
No game in this modern era has yet to employ the core gameplay of Monkey Puncher. This makes this hidden gem not just one of the best games that nobody played but also one of its only kind.