Racing games may seem like not the best experience on a small screen. However, screen size does not matter if the race is on. Below are seven of the best racing games on the original Game Boy.
Best game boy racing games
7. Road Rash
Road Rash is the only bike racing game on the original Game Boy that could scratch the itch of those longing for some bike racing on the go. Being a port of the Sega Genesis original, some concessions were made to adapt the game to the portable platform. Despite these compromises, the sound remains enjoyable, featuring a slowed-down rendition of the original Genesis version that complements the gameplay well.
The combat system has been modified compared to the Genesis title as the punches are quicker. The physics are also modified so that the Game Boy's CPU will not set itself on fire. Controls are straightforward, though the absence of a dedicated brake button can lead to bike accidents at later levels. The game's difficulty progressively increases, but overall, it remains relatively easy compared to its Genesis counterparts.
6. Head On
Head On is a unique blend of racing and puzzle gameplay, reminiscent of the classic Pacman. As players take control of a racing car, their objective is to collect all the dots on the single-map screen without colliding head-on with other racers. The controls are easy to grasp, utilizing all the buttons on the Game Boy system to steer your car strategically. The graphics are simple yet effective, allowing players to focus on the task at hand. The sound effects are basic and unremarkable.
The game poses a challenge, requiring careful maneuvering and avoiding crashes, but the ability to replay levels alleviates the pressure of completing them in one go. Head On excels in providing addictive replay value, enticing players to return for that "one last play" feeling. While it may not surpass Tetris in popularity, the game's charm lies in its pick-up-and-play nature. It offers a delightful experience in short, enjoyable bursts.
5. Street Racer
Street Racer, originally released for the Super Nintendo and later brought to the Game Boy, provided a refreshing and enjoyable kart racing experience. Despite the limitations of the Game Boy hardware, the game managed to deliver decent graphics that were clear and easy to distinguish. The soundtrack, while not exceptional, featured different tunes for each track, adding a touch of variation to the races. The gameplay controls were standard for portable racing games, ensuring a smooth and responsive experience. With a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique abilities, Street Racer offered a fun and challenging gameplay experience.
The game included a variety of modes, such as cup races and single racing, providing ample content to keep players engaged. The multiplayer functionality via Game Link added an extra layer of excitement for competitive gaming sessions with friends. Additionally, the time trials offered the opportunity to improve personal records and strive for better lap times. Although the Rumble mode didn't quite live up to its console counterpart, it still provided some enjoyable moments.
Street Racer on the Game Boy offered a respectable amount of replay value, ensuring that players would return for more racing action. While it may not have had the same features as the console versions, it remained the only kart racing game available for the Game Boy at the time, making it unique and worthy of any racers out there.
4. Micro Machines
Micro Machines for the original Game Boy is a delightful racing game that brings back nostalgic childhood memories for the oldies but is pretty accommodating for gamers born in the mid-200s. With its fun gameplay and a variety of options, it offers an engaging experience. Whether playing in one-player or two-player mode, players can participate in tournaments where progressing to the next race requires surpassing the last-place position, with continues available for retries.
The head-to-head races against computer opponents add an exciting competitive element. The game features a wide selection of characters, each with unique abilities, and an impressive range of vehicles to race with, including 4x4's, Warrior cars, Sports cars, helicopters, speedboats, and tanks. The graphics are surprisingly detailed and visually pleasing, with tracks showcasing intricate designs without distracting from the race. While the sound effects are well-executed, the absence of in-game music is a headscratcher for a racer this polished.
Controls are simple and responsive, allowing players to focus on developing their racing skills. This game may be anemic with side content, but what it offers as the main course is fabulous.
3. Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing
Nigel Mansell, the mustachioed sensation, embarked on a thrilling career shift from detective work to Formula 1 racing. Not content with just conquering the tracks, Mansell left his mark on the gaming world, gracing a multitude of platforms with his name. Move over, Mario, there's another charismatic mustache in town!
Now, on the original Game Boy, Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing takes players on a whirlwind tour of Grand Prix races across the globe, sans vuvuzelas. Players start the racing first through the Driving School, Single Race, or Full Season modes.
This is a first-person racing experience, where you'll find yourself behind the wheel, gazing at the front end of the car. While the graphics boast charm and the first-person perspective adds a unique flavor, it does come with its fair share of challenges.
2. Wave Race
Nintendo is known for its originality and innovation in gaming, and Wave Race follows suit. The game involves racing jet skis on various circuits, similar to its Nintendo 64 and GameCube counterparts.
Wave Race's greatest asset is how it controls as it accurately simulates jet ski handling. The graphics, despite the limited color palette, are detailed and run smoothly. The multiplayer mode adds to the enjoyment, with support for up to four players. It is also one of the more challenging racing games on the original Game Boy.
1. F1 Race
F1 Race owes its notoriety to its console version. F-1 Race on the Nintendo Entertainment Console is one of the better racing games of that console generation. Four years after its release, an original Game Boy port graced the console.
F1 Race on the Game Boy offers three modes: Grand Prix, Time Trial, and multiplayer. The graphics, though not impressive by today's standards, are impressive for a Game Boy game, with 3D graphics, smooth scrolling, and themed backdrops for each country's race track. The sound is decent, with music during races and on the menu screen. The gameplay is challenging, requiring flawless racing to progress in the Grand Prix mode.
The game offers two car options, each with advantages and disadvantages. The handling is approximate but overall responsive. The game's difficulty and variety of modes contribute to its long-lasting appeal. F1 Race is the best pure racer platform. It is also the most polished on this list.