Tumble Pop Boi – Nolen Tabner

I had never known about this game until it was selected for Yokoi Kids in October. Cute enemies and fun gameplay, if a little slow-paced. The original idea for this piece was to have one of the protagonists sucking up one of the skeleton baddies but I had to scale it back due to lack of free time.

Nolen Tabner is a game designer and Game Boy enthusiast. Check out his stuff. 
http://nolentabner.com

January 2022 – Gargoyle’s Quest (1990)

Jeepers, folks! It’s 2022! I’m reclining in the guest room at my parents’ house in Buffalo, NY typing at you after a crazy holiday. I came home, caught COVID, ordered in a bunch of local fare, and played a whole heap of Game Boy. I went and checked out a local mall during one of the healthy days early in my trip and discovered that the whole thing had more or less been converted into independent and mom & pop shops. There were pierogi kiosks, antique shops, records… even a whole place dedicated to handmade pet treats! It was like the mall caught a flea market virus that took over the whole organism. It was super neat. While there I found a really nice copy of Gargoyle’s Quest for twenty-five bux and I couldn’t resist. I played it through or close to through in my youth, but it’s been a while so I’m very excited to revisit it because it’s the game of the month! Picked by… me! 
Let’s see what me has to say –
Gargoyle’s Quest is a great looking hybrid of RPG and platforming goodness by Capcom starring Red Arremer/Firebrand of Ghosts n Goblins fame. The game is super challenging, but rewarding, and the control scheme allows for some flying and hovering that leads to interesting level design and enemy placements. You’ll learn how to maneuver quickly or perish infinitely! The game has some old school RPG trappings that can make progress a bit difficult at times, so don’t feel bad if you pull up an FAQ so you can get back to the fun stuff. If you enjoy it, definitely check out the sequel on the NES or the absolutely gorgeous Demon’s Crest on SNES. I would LOVE to see this game series come back in some form.”
Heck yeah, me! I agree with everything you said!
The cart is about 50 bucks these days so by all means emulate away. You can also get it on the 3DS eShop for… $3.99 US, I think? CHEEP! 
Happy New Years, all! Enjoy the game!   

What is a Game Boy Game? – D’arcy Briggs

Battle Unit Zeoth is an absolute unit (see what I did there?) of a Game Boy game. It has that late 80s/90s anime mecha aesthetic with music that just pumps you up for some shooting goodness. The controls took a little bit of time to get used to as you shoot in the direction you’re facing, rather than one static direction. The bosses have some awesome designs and the power-up system is simple and easy to manage.

All in all, I would describe Battle Unit Zeoth as sort of being representative of *a* Game Boy game. Even though I never had the game as a kid, playing through its levels (well, with the help from cheat codes, it’s not the easiest game for many) really brought me back to a time when no TV remote battery compartment was safe, when I’d stay up past my bedtime just to try the level one more time, and waiting to see a map or tip section listed in the latest issue of Nintendo Power. I think the Japanese mechanical designs have something to do with this, and same with the sense of completeness with the game. It’s a tough one, but I never felt like anything was missing. It has cut scenes, a really good introductory level, and just feels like a complete package delivered on a tiny cart.

D’Arcy is an educator and gamer from BC, Canada. He’s been gaming his entire life and enjoys both new and retro games. His consoles of choice are Game Boy, PS3, and Switch.You can follow his gaming online @darcyska_gaming

December 2021 – DuckTales (1990)

GOBBLE GOBBLE and JINGLE JANGLE The holiday season is in full swing! What a gift we have for all you folks: December’s game of the month is DuckTales! Woo! This was picked by our buddy Josh Adams. Let’s see what he has to say:
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I’ve been a fan of the NES DuckTales game for just over a decade when I played it for the first time. Simple but fun and full of discovery. Referencing the original show and the original characters, at every opportunity, especially my boys LaunchPad and Gizmo Duck. Now that I’m such a fan of the remake series, going back to play the NES title is even more fun than when I first played it a decade ago. So, of course, if I’m given the option to choose DuckTales on Game Boy for Yokoi Kids, a companion to the NES game, I’m going to take it.
Funnily enough, unlike a few Game Boy games from those early years, DuckTales on Game Boy actually had all of its levels redesigned from the NES game. Most likely due to a lack of space, from NES Cartridge to Gameboy Cartridge but it definitely makes for a more concise and efficient adventure.
The graphics are just as fantastic as on the NES. Almost like all of the assets were directly lifted but I think that the Gameboy sprites were redrawn but that’s my unsubstantiated hypothesis.
The music and sound effects are just like the NES, although, some notes aren’t held as long for some reason? Like, the note lengths were mistakenly cut shorter, semi-quaver instead of quaver, for example.
The only slight detriment is that the Cane Pogo ability is easy to miss if you’re near the edge of an object or ledge. Though, it’s easier to pull off, compared to the NES version. Just Jump and hold B. Done.
A short, enjoyable, pretty GameBoy romp. Genuinely simple reasons for me to choose DuckTales on Gameboy and it’s just a bonus that I have an excuse to play a game, tied to a show that I adore so much. I hope everyone who plays it for this month takes a break from the difficult, the bad, and the intense Game Boy games, lately and revisit or have a fresh experience with Scrooge McDuck.
–Josh. The guy who makes Metal songs for YokoiKids.
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Thank you Josh for bestowing this classic on us to wrap up 2021. The original NES game is one of my all-time favorite video games overall. I got it for Christmas one year and remember my pops didn’t take to it like other NES games, but my mom loved it. If it wasn’t for her, I’m not sure I would have ever beat it as a kid. I was lucky to be able to watch and glean her strategies. I’m excited to revisit the Game Boy version which I recall being great, just like Josh does. Hope you all enjoy! –IF

November 2021: Battle Unit Zeoth (1991)

It’s Oct…It’s November? Why? How? Things are moving too quickly. I just started watching scary movies last night and they’re already out of season? HARUMPH. The good news is this at least means there’s a new game for the Yokoi Kids to dig into! This month we’ll be covering Battle Unit Zeoth by Jaleco! I’m excited about this one. I own it and have put a little time into it, but had a feeling it would be selected one of these days so I’ve sorta held off on getting into it.  It seems like a challenging one! This one was picked by Shayne, who had this to say:

I love ‘shoot ‘em ups’. I love them, and yet there are so many I’ve either yet to discover or have only recently discovered. Queue Battle Unit Zeoth: a mech-based ‘shoot ‘em up’ where you are the “One last hope against the Heavy Metal Horde…Battle Unit Zeoth!”.

You’ll be met with 5 stages of shooter action with a range of weapon upgrades at your disposal. A life bar and unlimited continues help to stem frustration, keeping hope alive that the next run is the one.

I hope everyone has fun with the game!”

Jaleco had some dang sleeper hits on the Game Boy like Avenging Spirit(which is now really expensive) and Fortified Zone so hopefully, this one stacks up!

This one unfortunately isn’t available on 3DS, so you will have to get this one how ever you usually get “game paks” and tell the crew what you think!

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon: A Haiku – D’arcy Briggs

Top-down ninja fun
Legend of Zelda, it’s not
‘Nintendo’ hard, yup

D’Arcy is an educator and gamer from BC, Canada. He’s been gaming his entire life and enjoys both new and retro games. His consoles of choice are Game Boy, PS3, and Switch.You can follow his gaming online @darcyska_gaming