All the gaming bigsites have been talking about Grimace’s Birthday, a promotional Gameboy Color game sponsored by McDonalds and made by Krool Toys. Here it is on IGN, and here it is on Kotaku. And, here it is on Gizmodo, and here it is on Retro Dodo.
Ars Technica linked to it as well. I love their title. It reads, “For reasons no one can fathom, McDonald’s has released a new Game Boy Color game.” Well, I think I know why. It’s an advergame. Judging by how many websites have stories about it, I think the why is freaking obvious. It’s so obvious that I would be surprised if an ad agency weren’t behind this flurry of interest by half the bigweb.
Some notes. I’ve seen people say it’s the first “official” Gameboy Color game since the system died. I suppose that’s true, but that’s really tricky language. It’s official in that McDonalds sponsored it, and it uses the McDonaldland characters with their blessing. It’s not official in that it’s supported by Nintendo. It doesn’t have the “Official Nintendo Seal,” and it’s not being released on physical media. Although it was made as a Gameboy Color rom, and can be played on actual hardware using a flashcart or if someone put it on chips (in such a way as to get past Nintendo’s hardware check) and made a cartridge of it, but nearly everyone will play this as a webgame, on maker Krool Toys’ website.
(Why the bay, take a look at the site design on both of those pages, they’re totally earlyweb relics! I am not complaining; in fact, I love them fiercely. Do not get between me and those sites!)
All of this is of course part of McDonalds’ promotion where they’re cerebrating the Grimace’s birthday, an affair that involves purple milkshakes. In a whole post of surprising revelations, the biggest one is that they remember they have McDonaldland characters to begin with, as they’ve been gathering dust for over a decade.
Anyway, it’s not a bad game. It’s mostly interesting for the novelty value. It won’t win any rewards, but it’s a perfect ordinary timed GBC inertial platformer. It’s mostly notable for McDonalds’ temerity in sponsoring it, but I suppose Nintendo doesn’t much care anymore about the integrity of their (oh frog) twenty-five year old hardware’s library.
Boo the hey: no one paid us for this post, but we’re not against making thousands of dollars. McDonalds, call us.