Video Works by Jeremy Parish

Game Boy gets its first-ever boxing game, and it's almost pretty good. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite hit the mark due to an interface that stumbles over the line between "perfectly complex" and "bizarrely overcomplicated." It attempts to channel the spirit of and even improve on Nintendo's Punch-Out!!, but unfortunately it only duplicates the obvious part of that masterpiece rather than the design choices that make it so good.

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_056_Heavyweight_Championship_Boxing.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 5:23pm EDT

Good Nintentions isn't just a survey of the NES; it's meant to be a history lesson that helps contextualize the place of these old game releases in the evolution of the medium. So while Tennis is not the kind of game that causes people to tear up with nostalgia 30 years later, it nevertheless holds a place of distinction in gaming history, as outlined here.

Direct download: Good_Nintentions_002_Tennis_Nintendo_1985.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:55pm EDT

Hi! Welcome to the first episode of Good Nintentions, the full-color companion piece to Game Boy World. This series will serve as a chronological survey of the NES (the first year or two of its life, anyway), published less frequently than Game Boy World... basically, as the mood strikes me. The world's not really short on comprehensive surveys of the NES, so I don't expect this to be a particularly popular or well-received series—it's just something that seemed like it would be enjoyable, really.

We start at the beginning of the NES's life in Oct. 1985, with what I have arbitrarily pegged as the "first" NES release. Of all the games released alongside the NES at launch, Baseball appeared earliest in Japan, so it's the oldest of Nintendo's U.S. launch titles. It definitely feels its age, but it's not a bad game... merely one that's been surpassed by 30-plus years of countless developers working within a fixed rule set and doing their best to create the ultimate virtual expression of the sport. Despite its simplicity, there's plenty to say about Baseball...

Direct download: Good_Nintentions_001_Baseball_Nintendo_1985.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:51pm EDT

Sure, we've seen a lot of puzzle games on Game Boy—and I do mean a LOT of puzzle games. And there are so, so many more to come. But every once in a while, one rises above the morass to merit attention, and that's precisely what we have with Vic Tokai's Daedalian Opus. Despite the opaque name and misleading box art, Daedalian Opus takes a decidedly different approach to its puzzle design. It centers on a refreshingly simple premise that results in complex, challenging puzzles. Sure, you can dabble in the same basic concept with the puzzle boxes in 3DS's Monster Manor Streetpass game, but that's haphazard and random. This is the real deal, and it's a remarkable and addictive puzzle. Bonus: It appears to have been made by the same people as NES cult classic Clash at Demonhead.

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_050_Daedalian_Opus_Vic_Tokai_1990.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:33pm EDT

♫ It's Popeye the vid'ja game

(Not the one Nintendo made)

It's not entertainin'—

My good mood is wanin'

From Popeye the vid'ja game ♫

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_051_Popeye_Sigma_Ent._1990.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:31pm EDT

Those blockheads at Kemco give us another cartoon-based game that has no substantial connection to the property. Snoopy's Magic Show is only a Peanut's game because it has Snoopy on the box; otherwise, it's just another in a long line of unremarkable and poorly designed puzzle action games for Game Boy. I know, right?

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_052_Snoopys_Magic_Show_Kemco_1990.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:29pm EDT

As we enter the holiday season, Game Boy World gives us reason to celebrate at last: Not only a game that doesn't incorporate a single puzzle element, but a well-made and quite high-quality one at that! Mercenary Force puts a unique spin on the shoot-em-up, not only in terms of mechanics but also with its setting. It's wicked hard, but so good.

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_053_Mercenary_Force_Live_Planning_Lenar_Meldac_1990.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:22pm EDT

Ah, here we go. A true Game Boy classic. Capcom's ambitious debut for the platform brought the Ghosts ’N Goblins series to the world of portable entertainment, but not in a way we'd ever seen before.

Perhaps in acknowledgement of the limitations of the hardware, Capcom shifted the focus away from Arthur's hopeless action quests in favor of a slower-paced, RPG-tinged adventure featuring the bane of every Ghosts ’N Goblins fan's existence: A Red Arremer named Firebrand.

Despite an iffy localization and the inevitable content censorship that a game revolving around satanic hosts had to accept under Nintendo's religion-free regime, Gargoyle's Quest expanded the scope of the Ghosts ’N Goblins universe... and it brought legitimate excellence and ambition to Game Boy. An essential selection.

Game Boy World is made possible through viewer support through Patreon ( And please check out the needs list if you have any old Game Boy software you've been wanting to get rid of (especially boxes!):

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_054_Gargoyles_Quest_Capcom_1990.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:19pm EDT

Lupin III may be a criminal mastermind, but with this game, he couldn't steal... MY HEART. Alas, such an iconic manga and anime character deserves a more interesting Game Boy adventure than this dull puzzler. Sadly, this would be his only outing on the system. Such a letdown!

Direct download: 046_SD_Lupin_itunes.mp4
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

While not as fondly remembered as its dense, dark, NES counterpart, SunSoft's portable tie-in to Tim Burton's semi-camp classic Batman movie holds up fairly well. Despite some awkward jump physics and the occasional instance of super-cheesy level design, Batman stands out as one of the better Game Boy releases we've seen to date here. It's a strong example of smart portable action game design: Good sprite and screen proportions, short enough to complete in a single sitting, and not so easy that you're likely to see the ending your first time through.

Direct download: 045-Batman_itunes.mp4
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:43pm EDT

That's no moon, it's a... giant... robot... thing? I can't make heads or tails of the story and overall aesthetics in Nexoft's weirdo puzzler Cyraid, but that weirdness (and some pretty inventive play mechanics) do at least help it stand out from the bazillion puzzlers we've already seen for Game Boy. Sometimes, the insanity defense pays off.

Direct download: 044_Cyraid_itunes.mp4
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

It's another arcade classic on Game Boy, sure enough. But for some reason, Nintendo decided to take this one under its wing and produce it as a first-party title. Why? Who knows! But the upside is (1) this is a great conversion on Qix; (2) it has a customs Super Game Boy palette; and (3) it has these weird endings with Mario in ethnic costumes.

Also, before anyone corrects me on the pronunciation of the game's name... I don't care what Wikipedia says, it's クイックス according to the Japanese packaging — that's "kuikkusu," or "quicks." Not "kicks." This is not the hill any of us want to die on!

Direct download: 043-Qix_Uncensored_itunes.mp4
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:39pm EDT


Another journey into Game Boy obscurity, Taxan's Serpent is an updated take on the classic old Snake game that has appeared in countless variants through the years. To my knowledge, though, this is the only one that involves snake-seeking missiles and serpentine war robots.

Direct download: 042_serpent_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:59am EDT


Are you ready for some football? "But which KIND of football?" you ask, trying to get me on a technicality. Ah, but I've covered my bases: This episode concerns both kinds of football, each of which saw its Game Boy debut in April 1990. From Konami, NFL Football does it up American-style; and from Sony, Soccer Mania does the Euro football thing. They may concern two different forms of football, but these two Game Boy releases share something in common besides a debut month: They're also both pretty awful. Hoorah!

Direct download: 041_NFL_Football_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:43am EDT


This is it: The soaring high-water mark of Game Boy technology. You might not expect it from a humble conversion of a 1978 arcade game, and the original Japan-only release of Space Invaders would bear out that assumption. But when Taito and Nintendo reissued the game in the U.S. four years later, they created the most elaborate and complex piece of Game Boy software ever. It's one of those things you need to see to believe.

Direct download: 040_Space_Invaders_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:41am EDT


Pack-in Video's Trump Boy is the sort of game that would appear these days on 3DS eShop without ceremony for $1.99. Back in the Game Boy days, though, we didn't have digital distribution, so this meager excuse for a card game collection showed up as a full-price release. Our thoughts and prayers go to anyone who shelled out ¥3000 for this clunker.

Direct download: 039_Trump_Boy_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:39am EDT

The first of several Gundam games to appear on Game Boy, Kunitori Monogatari is pretty much the living definition of "substandard licensed game." The Gundam license can't save this one... especially since the license in question is a spinoff of a spinoff of Gundam rather than the real thing.

There's not much to this game: You spread across the map with a cumbersome, turn-based menu, attempting to recruit various robot samurai through asking or conquest, and ultimately assault the enemy daimyo's palace. Daimyo are hilariously overpowered, though, so every war appears to end in a draw when both sides run out of robots to throw at the other castle. Great stuff, clearly.

Direct download: 038_SD_Gundam_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:37am EDT


Can you believe it? Another Game Boy puzzler. Another port of an old PC game. Another Japan-only release. Yes, Flappy Special is basically the quintessence of Game Boy games from 1990 — the sum totality of all that is GB. And yet, despite its redundancy... it's actually not too bad. A pleasantly doomed portable experience.

Direct download: 037_Flappy_Special_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:36am EDT

In March of 1990, something miraculous occurred: Two Game Boy games revolving around the theme of penguins appeared in Japan. But which was the better penguin adventure?

Hey! It's another puzzle game. But this one's quite unlike anything else we've seen on Game Boy to date. Based on the 1989 arcade puzzler Plotting, this one involves throwing blocks and trying to make matches while avoiding locking yourself out of future moves. It's simple-looking and a little bit complicated in practice, but a lot of fun regardless.

Direct download: 035-Flipull.itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 8:02am EDT

Konami gets tricky this time around by combining a genre they know well (shooters) with a game style they don't (falling block puzzlers). The results are... well, mixed. But it's a nice effort. And check out that list of legendary development talent!

Direct download: Game_Boy_World_034_Quarth_Konami_1989.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

From the developer and publisher of NES sports classic Bases Loaded comes... Bases Loaded for Game Boy. Except it's kind of not? Despite the common heritage and the common sport, this Bases Loaded isn't exactly a straight-up portable conversion. More like a different take on the sport. And it's 100% more enjoyable with a friend, because 8-bit sports games tend to be pretty terrible solo. This is no different!

Direct download: 033_Bases_Loaded.itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT


There's this one guy who comments on pretty much every Game Boy World video I post to say, "Bet you can't wait until you cover a good game, huh?" Well, here we go. Nemesis may not bear the Gradius name, but it's clearly a Gradius game... and a better and more satisfying take on the series than Castlevania: The Adventure had been for its respective franchise. A dense, beautifully designed shooter that doesn't compromise the player's options (and Options) or the number of hazards flying around despite the limited hardware, Nemesis even goes a step further by offering a huge array of difficulty options to let fans play their own way — fairly easy, super tough, or in between. Easily one of the standouts for the platform to date.

Direct download: 032_Nemesis.itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:53am EDT

In February of 1990, Japanese Game Boy owners were treated to two curiously similar board game adaptations in a row: Kawada's portable rendition of Othello, and Towa Chiki's gomoku renju game Taikyoku Renju. Both can trace their origins back to the classic Japanese board game Go. This episode takes both in at once, pitting them head-to-head in a mighty struggle to the death. Or something like that.

Direct download: 031_Othello.itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:56am EDT

The first vertical shoot-'em-up for Game Boy, and the first Nintendo had produced since 1983, Solar Striker is... well, it's totally forgettable. While it did the trick in terms of providing a shooter for the Game Boy in its early days, and it played well on the system despite its poor screen, it did little else of note. 

Solar Striker's page on Game Boy World:

You can buy Game Boy World in print:

Direct download: 030_Solar_Striker.itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT

One of the most influential games of all time makes its way to Game Boy — ironically well after two games that heavily borrowed from its classic design showed up on the platform. Heiankyo Alien may not be as well known as Lode Runner or even Boomer's Adventure in Asmik World, but neither of those games would exist without its groundbreaking design. The venerable PC is neatly presented here... along with a fancy remake.

For more on Game Boy's history, read

The complete Game Boy World archives from 1989 is available in print at

Direct download: 29-Heiankyo_Alien_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 9:52am EDT

So it turns out making a bowling video game is pretty tough, especially on Game Boy. Sadly, developer Athena wasn't quite up to the task, turning the favorite pastime of dudes with one huge forearm into what amounts, mechanically, to a weaker version of Golf. They can't all be winners, but 1990's off to a pretty bad start so far.

For more on Game Boy, check out


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Direct download: 28-World_Bowling_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

Revenge of the Gator proved the Game Boy was more than capable of supporting an excellent pinball game. Now, Jaleco proves that not all pinball games are created equal with this underwhelming take on the subject. A motley assembly of obscure Jaleco characters can't save this one from mediocrity, I'm afraid.

For more on Game Boy history, check out

Support this venture at


Buy the first Game Boy World book at

Direct download: 027_Hero_Shuugou_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

Welcome to the '90s! Sorry it doesn't get off to a better start. But alas, Wizards & Warriors X: The Fortress of Fear is about as mundane and insipid as 8-bit platformers come, a huge step back in quality and ambition from its two NES predecessors. Everything that made the first two Wizards & Warriors games notable is missing here, leaving nothing but a floppy-footed knight with a tendency to jump a little too vigorously. The first Game Boy title of the '90s, and the first Western-developed Game Boy game, is kind of a bust.

Stay tuned for more tragedy in the '90s at And, of course, support this journey through mediocrity at

Direct download: 026_-_Wizards__Warriors_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 9:06pm EDT

Game Boy may have ruled portable gaming, but Nintendo's was not an uncontested victory. In this side story to Game Boy World, we look at the first competitor to Game Boy: Atari Lynx, which launched in the U.S. mere weeks after Game Boy's debut. Why did Lynx lose out to Nintendo's system, and why does it remain a notable system to this day despite its failure?

For more on Lynx:

Main site:

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Direct download: Gaiden_I_-_Lynx_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:52pm EDT

The final entry in the Metroidvania Chronicles "prequel trilogy," this episode looks at the world's first great platformer, Donkey Kong. Not that the world needs yet another Donkey Kong retrospective, but at least this one tries to take a different perspective on it. Go on, give it a watch. 

For more on the history and evolution of exploratory action games, read — and please consider supporting this series at!

Direct download: 003_Donkey_Kong.itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

We finally put a bow on Game Boy's first year of existence with a recap: What came before, what the Game Boy accomplished, and what was up with all those games.

Direct download: 1989_round-up_iTunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 12:01pm EDT

This is it: The end of Game Boy's first calendar year's worth of releases. Master Karateka brings the library of releases (at least in Japan) to 25... but, unfortunately, it doesn't bring 1989 to a rousing finale. Based on a 1984 PC classic, this brawler's age definitely shows, especially while fans of punchin' stuff were enjoying the likes of Final Fight in the arcades. Still, there's a fair amount to say about this adventure... even if I couldn't quite get past the annoying first boss while capturing footage.

Anyway, roll on 1990.

Direct download: 025_-_Master_Karateka.output_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

The next-to-last Game Boy release for 1989 in Japan, The Sword of Hope wouldn't make it way to America for a year and a half. It's not a game you hear people recall with fondness, though original developer/publisher Kemco seems to have a soft spot for it. Despite its obscurity, The Sword of Hope offers surprising depth and quality, combining role-playing mechanics with the trappings of an adventure game. As interesting an experience as it is rough-hewn.

Direct download: 024_The_Sword_of_Hope_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

Further ruminations on the design and narrative of Squaresoft's Final Fantasy VI. This time, we follow Terra as she flees into the caves and Locke as he saves her bacon. Featuring 100% more Moogles than Part 1!

For more words about old video games, check out the super cool site known as

Direct download: Anatomy_of_Final_Fantasy_VI_02_itunes.mp4
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 9:00am EDT