You’re a Ghost with Bubbles. That’s it. That’s the Game. – D’Arcy Briggs

It’s weird how collectible games for the Switch feel (hang on, we’re getting to Bubble Ghost). I’ve never been a big collector of current-gen platforms. Heck, the PS3 is the ‘newest’ console I collect for and that’s partly because of how dirt cheap most of the games are. The Switch is different. Sure, the games are all priced like current gen and many are reliant on a lot of things we’ve grown to hate like patches and memory space, but I love these little carts. This is largely the same way I feel about Game Boy games: the shape, the tiny art, and the promise of adventure and excitement. All in all, Nintendo may have been looking at what made their handhelds so special when carrying over that same magic to the Switch. For me, Bubble Ghost is a GB title that really sums this all up. It’s a simple concept with fantastic execution and delivers on the promise of fun for all, anywhere and anytime.

The original computer versions of Bubble Ghost are terrifying. It’s a combination of the available graphics and general aesthetics of the time. The Gameboy on the other hand, well, that got a Nintendo coat of paint. Now we have a cute Kirby-esque character interacting with a charming environment with single-screen puzzles. Get your bubble from point A to point B… because? I only have this game as a cart, so maybe the manual fills you in more.

The controls aren’t the best, but certainly serviceable and allow you to do most any maneuver you want. The music, while not varied, is really fun and adds to the excitement as well. I think what drives this game home is the simple yet enjoyable concept, and a style that feels like the team really pushed to make it unique and charming on the platform.

Looking for some tips? Pause right at the start of each level. You might not notice a burning candle or a fan in operation right when you start to explore. Pause, take your time, and plan out how you want to approach each room. Also, you will fail. A lot. It’s just gonna happen, but a generous life and continue count keep that from getting to be too much.

It’s one of those ‘just one more’ games. You will fail fairly consistently early on while you get used to the controls and obstacles, but you never feel like it wasn’t your fault. It’s the kind of thing that just fits what the GB was about, and I think why the Switch has seen some of the success it has. Bubble Ghost is, like many reviewed with Yokoi Kids, a ‘perfect’ Game Boy game.

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

Tetris Plus+ – D’arcy Briggs

Tetris. I mean… What more is there to say? It’s sort of THE video game, isn’t it? Like, my mom doesn’t know a Bomberman from a Bomb-omb, but she knows Tetris. It’s a game we’ve all spent time with, and generally love. I think when we think of what a ‘puzzle game’ is, Tetris is the first game that comes to mind. While I personally prefer match-3 or tile puzzlers, Tetris is likely the one game I’ve spent the most time with. It’s that classic combination of easy to understand, hard to master. From the classic Game Boy pack-in, to flash versions you played at the school library, to the stellar Tetris DS, to the amazing Tetris Effect, it’s a basic game that really just keeps going and improving.

In many ways, Tetris Plus feels like the first proper sequel to the original game. Tetris 2, V-Tetris, and Tetris Attack feel more like spin-offs, side projects, or even renamed games from Japan. There are 19 games between Tetris on the Game Boy to Tetris Plus, and it feels like they finally get it right. It’s got the standard Tetris gameplay but throws in a few more bells and a couple whistles to make it a fantastic package.

Along with the classic Tetris mode, which even gets a few updates of its own, the bulk of the game places a puzzle mechanic into the mix. In Puzzle Mode, you have to get a character, The Professor, to drop to the bottom of the stage from a pre-set arrangement of blocks. The Professor also walks around and climbs on top of blocks, and requires a gap of two spaces to fall. It’s a different twist that really made me think differently about the game. It can often be more than ‘how can I make a line,’ but trying to think a few steps ahead to work with the given geometry. It takes some time to get into the right mindset to understand that the quickest way to your goal isn’t erasing lines, but it’s so satisfying when you hit it. It’s also pretty tough. Even set to easy, at time of writing I’m only on Level 19. I’m not always a fan of ‘the core game with a spin,’ but this one works well.

The game is pretty cheap and easy to find, with options to make your own puzzle stages as well. It’s like Mario Maker, but everything is a block and you can only play Tetris. It’s got a decent challenge, both in Classic and Puzzle modes, and just really feels like an evolution in the series. Other Tetris gems are Tetris DX and Tetris DS, but those are games for another time…

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