Grimace’s Birthday, for Gameboy Color


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.

AND, here it is on Boing Boing (still exists in 2023!), and here it is on Destructoid.

AND ALSO, here it is on Gamespot. And the mandatory ResetEra thread.

TOO, GoNintendo, NintendoWire, GameRant, KnowYourMeme (already??), MSN (also still exists) and (groan) Ycombinator.

This: not present.

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.

ima grip and sip

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.

What the game actually looks like. It’s a platformer with heavy inertia.

(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.

It looks like Jupiter’s Great Purple Spot! Two Earths could fit inside that vaguely violet blob! The whippede creme is mostly frozen methane! Drink it before it undergoes gravitational collapse and becomes a star! ALL THESE SHAKES ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA

St1ka Points Out Neglected 8-Bit Games

St1ka is an interesting Youtuber from Portugal who often covers the Brazilian gaming beats. I should link to him more often when he does videos on his standard beat, as the gaming scenes outside of the US, Europe and Japan don’t get nearly as much exposure as they should.

This time though he is looking at retro gaming with a more general focus, pointing out interesting titles from decades past. They’re not making nearly as many 8-bit titles as they used to, so finding a cool old game you’ve never tried is almost as good as if they were making them now!

The games covered are:

  • Konami’s Getsu Fuuma Den, Japanese horror for the Famicom,
  • Rod Land, a single-screen arcade platformer with a good Famicom port,
  • Kickmaster, a deep combat action game for the NES,
  • Lunar: Walking School for Game Gear, a Game Arts-produced spinoff JRPG of the main Lunar series that doesn’t have much to do with its origin, and has a happy slice-of-life anime feel,
  • Psychic World for the Sega Master System, a neglected platformer where you pick up magic-like powers as you progress, which got a Game Gear port with unexpected differences, and both deriving from a Japan-only MSX version with its own differences,
  • Power Blade and Power Blade 2 for the NES, and the Japanese version of the first one, Power Blazer, stylish action platformers akin to Mega Man, but staring an Arnold Schwarzenegger clone who wields boomerangs, except in Japan where you play as a serious-looking little kid,
  • Cave Noire, a roguelite game for Game Boy that I’ve written about in the past, and personally vouch for,
  • Daikatana for Game Boy Color, a 2D and rather improved version of the infamous 3D PC game,
  • Power Strike II for the SMS, or its Game Gear remake that’s completely different, but they’re Compile shooters so you know they’re going to be awesome, and really you can’t go wrong with any Power Strike/Aleste game, or ZANAC or The Guardian Legend on NES come to mention it,
  • Queen Fighters 2000, a bootleg game for Gameboy Color that outright cribs the style from Gals Fighter for NeoGeo Pocket Color, but also includes a bunch of random characters from other properties for the hell of it, since being a bootleg game anyway why not,
  • Aliens Neoplasma is a 2019 release for the Spectrum that makes excellent use of that system’s graphical quirks to increase the game’s atmosphere,
  • the action RPG Dark Arms for the NeoGeo Pocket Color,
  • early survival RPG Survival Kids for the Game Boy Color,
  • Phantis, a cross-genre sci-fi game for the Spectrum,
  • Shatterhand for the NES, which feels inspired by Batman on the same system, and
  • Kabuki Quantum Fighter, also for the NES, which also seems inspired by Batman in its play style, and was also developed by Hal Laboratory.

INCREDIBLE 8-BIT Hidden Gems You Never Played (Youtube, 41 minutes)

Romhack Thursday: Kirby’s Dream Land in Color!

On Romhack Thursdays, we bring you interesting finds from the world of game modifications.

Kirby’s first adventure was, famously, a Gameboy game. Since that system is black and white, it’s been heard that Shigeru Miyamoto didn’t know Kirby was supposed to be pink until his second major game, Kirby’s Adventure, was released as a swan song for the Famicom/NES. The last main world in Kirby’s Adventure, as a nod to its Gameboy roots, is monochrome.

Kirby games tend to have distinctive graphics, and Dream Land is no exception even if it is monochrome. But what would they look like if they were in color? Well we don’t have to wonder any longer, because of a romhack constructed by GreenAndACat. It ports the game to the Gameboy Color hardware, and it looks pretty darn great! They resisted the urge to make it too fancy, instead giving background elements broad swaths of primary color that look great when applied to the game’s simple yet iconic graphics. Have a look:

Green Greens is looking pretty sharp!
The water may look slightly glitchy, but its clarity is really appealing!
Nice color combinations inside Castle Lololo
No games do starry skies like Kirby does.

Kirby’s Dream Land DX, on

Video: Jeremy Parish’s Video Works

I figured I’d post all three of the major platform compilation projects I’ve been following. The second is Jeremy Parish’s Video Works, which is a collection of a number of mostly-ongoing subprojects: NES Works (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, “Gaiden”), Game Boy Works (1989, 1990, Color 1998, Advance 2001, and Gaiden), SEGAiden, SNES Works (1991, Extra and Gaiden), and Virtual Boy Works (which is complete). The first link up there has everything; the others are in various states of completion.

What I appreciate most about Jeremy’s many series is how they’re informative without being dry (he knows his stuff!), interesting without being pedantic, and lively and entertaining without being obnoxious, obnoxiousness being a sin that I charge against many many gaming YouTube channels. If your videos whisk cut-out elements around the screen, their passage marked by swooping sound effects, then you are not going to get a link from me if I can in any way help it, so states the doom of rodneylives, and of Set Side B too if I have something to say.

Link Roundup, 4/19/2022

Sega looks to revive Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio properties

On using a serial port SD card reader on a Sega Dreamcast

How a Sonic fanfic writer ended up leading Sonic Frontiers

A roguelite that looks like an 80s Saturday Morning cartoon

Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games could be coming to Switch Online

Old Super Mario Bros. anime restored in hi-def quality and available to stream or download

The anime appears to have the “sucked into gameworld” premise used in Captain N: The Game Master and Bug tte Honey
Cameo by special guest star Gamera!