Difference between revisions of "Game & Watch"

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|logo = gamewatch1.png
 
|logo = gamewatch1.png
 
|developer = [[:Nintendo]]
 
|developer = [[:Nintendo]]
|type = Handheld electronic game
+
|type = [[:Category:Handhelds|Handheld electronic game]]
 
|generation = [[:Category:Second-generation consoles|Second generation]]
 
|generation = [[:Category:Second-generation consoles|Second generation]]
 
|release = 1980
 
|release = 1980
|discontinued = 1991
+
|discontinued = 1991 (2010 & 2020)
 
|successor = [[Game Boy/Game Boy Color emulators|Game Boy/Color]]
 
|successor = [[Game Boy/Game Boy Color emulators|Game Boy/Color]]
|emulated = {{~}}
+
|emulated = {{}}
 
}}
 
}}
The '''[[wikipedia:Game & Watch|Game & Watch]]''' is a series of self-contained handheld LCD games by Nintendo which are often seen as the precursor to the [[Game Boy/Game Boy Color emulators|Game Boy/Color]], although new Game & Watch games were still released as late as 1991.
 
  
Despite their simplicity, Game & Watch handhelds were completely unemulated for a very long time due to a lack of information about their hardware and difficulties with dumping ROMs and accurately recreating graphics. After an [http://forums.bannister.org//ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=97003#Post97003 extensive reverse engineering effort by several MAME developers], MAME became the first emulator to emulate many retro handheld electronic games, including a few Game & Watch systems.
+
The '''[[wikipedia:Game & Watch|Game & Watch]]''' is a series of self-contained handheld LCD games by Nintendo where the first one was released on April 28, 1980, and which are often seen as the precursor to the [[Game Boy/Game Boy Color emulators|Game Boy/Color]], although new Game & Watch games were still released as late as 1991.
 +
 
 +
Despite their simplicity, Game & Watch handhelds were completely unemulated for a very long time due to a lack of information about their hardware and difficulties with dumping ROMs and accurately recreating graphics. After an [http://forums.bannister.org//ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=97003#Post97003 extensive reverse-engineering effort by several MAME developers], MAME became the first emulator to support many retro handheld electronic games, including Game & Watch systems.
  
 
==Emulators==
 
==Emulators==
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center;"
 
{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center;"
|+PC
 
|-
 
 
! scope="col"|Name
 
! scope="col"|Name
! scope="col"|Operating System(s)
+
! scope="col"|Platform(s)
 
! scope="col"|Latest Version
 
! scope="col"|Latest Version
! scope="col"|[[libretro|Libretro Core]]
+
! scope="col"|[[libretro]]
 +
! scope="col"|<abbr title="Free/Libre and Open-Source Software">FLOSS</abbr>
 
! scope="col"|Active
 
! scope="col"|Active
! scope="col"|[[Recommended Emulators|Recommended]]
+
! scope="col"|[[Recommended emulators|Recommended]]
 +
|-
 +
! colspan="7"|PC / x86
 
|-
 
|-
 
|[[MAME]]
 
|[[MAME]]
|Multi-platform
+
|align=left|{{Icon|Windows|Linux|macOS|FreeBSD}}
 
|[http://www.mamedev.org/release.html {{MAMEVer}}]
 
|[http://www.mamedev.org/release.html {{MAMEVer}}]
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
 
|-
 
|-
|DSP
+
|[[DSP]]
|Multi-platform
+
|align=left|{{Icon|Windows|Linux|macOS|FreeBSD}}
|[https://github.com/leniad/dsp-emulator 0.18]
+
|[https://github.com/leniad/dsp-emulator {{DSPVer}}]
|{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
 
|}
 
|}
  
;'''[[MAME]]''':The first Game & Watch emulator, with support for a growing but still a very limited amount of games (An example being Mickey and Donald). For the few games, it does support, MAME is recommended, although most Game & Watch games still can only be played outside of the original hardware through simulation.
+
;[[MAME]]:
 +
It was officially the 1st Game & Watch emulator, with support for almost all games. It started to comprehensively cover the Game & Watch games from around just before mid-2017 (e.g. [https://wiki.mamedev.org/index.php/MAME_0.185 0.185] in May 2017) and emulated its first game in [https://wiki.mamedev.org/index.php/MAME_0.186 0.186]. <br> Since July 9, 2020, MAME supports at least one version of each Game & Watch model.
 +
 
 +
;'''DSP''':It was officially the 2nd Game & Watch emulator. Just before mid-June 2017, it also started to emulate a few notable Game & Watch "Thanks to MAME for the ROMs and the info." (as stated in the [https://github.com/leniad/dsp-emulator readme]).  
  
 
===Emulation issues===
 
===Emulation issues===
Although Game & Watch emulation has recently become possible, it took quite a while to achieve due to the [http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=17884.msg259362#msg259362 lack of information] about the microcontrollers driving them and the high difficulty of dumping the ROM from a system. (To dump a game's ROM, the microcontroller must be decapped, which is not only very costly and complicated but highly destructive to the system.) The lack of information on the Game & Watch's hardware leads to the false belief that it does not contain a CPU or ROM and therefore could not be emulated. Even though this was disproven after reverse engineering efforts of several MAME developers led to support for a few games being added to MAME, emulation of additional games is progressing slowly due to the high amount of time and patience it takes to dump their ROMs and recreate their graphics.
+
Although Game & Watch emulation has recently become possible, it took quite a while to achieve due to the [http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=17884.msg259362#msg259362 lack of information] about the microcontrollers driving them and the high difficulty of dumping the ROM from a system. (To dump a game's ROM, the microcontroller often must be decapped, which is not only very costly and complicated but highly destructive to the system.) The lack of information on the Game & Watch's hardware leads to the false belief that it does not contain a CPU or ROM and therefore could not be emulated. Even though this was disproven after reverse engineering efforts of several MAME developers which led to support for all of the games. Emulation of the games had been progressing slowly due to the high amount of time and patience it takes to dump their ROMs and recreate their graphics.
  
 
===Graphics===
 
===Graphics===
Even when a Game & Watch game's ROM has been dumped, one of the biggest challenges with accurately emulating it is with how the Game & Watch displayed graphics. Rather than by sending output to an LCD display like most cartridge based handhelds do, Game & Watch games (as well as most other handheld electronic games from the same time) displayed graphics by lighting up pre-drawn LCD segments, like a calculator. In order to recreate this as accurately as possible, MAME uses .SVG files traced from high-quality scans of the LCD screen, allowing graphics in supported Game & Watch games to be displayed crisply at any resolution without the loss of any detail. While this is the most accurate way to recreate the LCD graphics outside of obtaining the original art from Nintendo, it is a difficult and time consuming process, as not only does the LCD need to be scanned at a high resolution with all segments lit up to capture all of the graphics, but the scans must be traced very carefully to faithfully recreate the original artwork.
+
Even when a Game & Watch game's ROM had been dumped, one of the biggest challenges with accurately emulating it was with how the Game & Watch displayed graphics. Rather than by sending output to an LCD display like most cartridge-based handhelds do, Game & Watch games (as well as most other handheld electronic games from the same time) displayed graphics by lighting up pre-drawn LCD segments, like a calculator. To recreate this as accurately as possible, MAME uses .SVG files traced from high-quality scans of the LCD screen, allowing graphics in supported Game & Watch games to be displayed crisply at any resolution without the loss of any detail. While this is the most accurate way to recreate the LCD graphics outside of obtaining the original art from Nintendo, it is a difficult and time-consuming process as not only does the LCD need to be scanned at a high resolution with all segments lit up to capture all of the graphics but the scans must be traced very carefully to faithfully recreate the original artwork.
  
==Simulators==
+
=Games=
For most Game & Watch games, this is your only option outside of buying them used.
+
The main way of playing these games outside buying any of the units second hand is MAME, its accuracy automatically makes it the recommended way of playing these games but if you really don't want to use it, there are other ways in the simulators list.
* Nintendo officially released virtual reproductions in the games and compiled them in the ''Game & Watch Gallery'' (and, later, ''Game & Watch Collection'') series of games. These games had both "classic" and "modern" variations of these games. While these collections have a loss of "authenticity" (especially in the collections that are running on earlier hardware), these collections are Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS games for which emulators are widespread. (A few games are from the difficult-to-pirate DSiWare series, though every game in the DSiWare series appears in another collection.) However, some of the games in the collection (notably ''Zelda'') may need to be unlocked before play.
 
* [http://www.pica-pic.com/ Pica Pic] (by Hipopotam) is an online collection of Game & Watch games under an authentic presentation. While there seems to be no way to play these games offline, there are a few games that are exclusive to the website, one example being ''Nu, pogodi!''
 
* Madrigal wrote some [http://www.madrigaldesign.it/sim/ simulations] that give an offline, authentic presentation of the Game & Watch games, the collection of these games growing through time. Of particular note is that these simulations are available to play through [[RetroArch]] through the gw-libretro core. There are also some simulations that are not of the Game & Watch series.
 
* [http://bdrgames.nl/lcdgames/ lcdgame.js] is an open source JavaScript library which currently supports authentic representations of Donkey Kong II and Mario Bros.
 
  
==Games==
+
==MAME Support==
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center;"
+
{|class="wikitable sortable mw-collapsible mw-collapsed
! scope="col"|Game
+
|+  style="background: #ECECEC;"|
! scope="col"|Collection
+
! Model
! scope="col"|DSiWare
+
! Year
! scope="col"|Remakes
+
! Series
! scope="col"|Pica Pic
+
! [[MAME]] support
! scope="col"|gw-libretro
+
! ROMs
! scope="col"|MAME
+
! Emulators / Description
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Ball
 
|Ball
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|2010
 +
|Club Nintendo
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Ball / Toss-Up
 +
|1980
 +
|Silver
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Balloon Fight
 +
|1986
 +
|Crystal Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Balloon Fight
 
|Balloon Fight
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1988
 +
|New Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Blackjack
+
|Black Jack
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1985
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Bomb Sweeper
 
|Bomb Sweeper
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1987
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Boxing
+
|Chef
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1981
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Chef
+
|Climber
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1986
 +
|Crystal Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Climber
 
|Climber
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1988
 +
|New Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Crab Grab
 
|Crab Grab
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1984
 +
|Super Color
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Donkey Kong
 +
|1982
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Donkey Kong
 
|Donkey Kong
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Donkey Kong II
 +
|1983
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Donkey Kong 3
 
|Donkey Kong 3
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1984
 +
|Micro Vs.
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Donkey Kong Circus
 
|Donkey Kong Circus
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1984
 +
|Panorama
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Donkey Kong Jr.
 +
|1982
 +
|New Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Donkey Kong Hockey
+
|Donkey Kong Jr.
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Donkey Kong II
+
|Donkey Kong Jr.
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1983
 +
|Panorama
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Donkey Kong Jr.
 +
|1983
 +
|Table Top
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Donkey Kong Jr.
+
|Donkey Kong Hockey
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1984
 +
|Micro Vs.
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Egg
 
|Egg
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1981
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Fire
 +
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Fire
 
|Fire
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1981
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Fire Attack
 
|Fire Attack
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1982
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Fireman / Fire
 +
|1980
 +
|Silver
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Flagman
 
|Flagman
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1980
 +
|Silver
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Goldcliff
+
|Gold Cliff
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1988
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Green House
 
|Green House
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1982
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Helmet
+
|Headache / Helmet
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1981
 +
|Gold
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Judge
 
|Judge
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1980
 +
|Silver
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Life Boat
+
|Lifeboat
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1983
 +
|Horizontal Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Lion
 
|Lion
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1981
 +
|Gold
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Manhole
 +
|1981
 +
|Gold
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Manhole
 
|Manhole
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1983
 +
|New Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Mario Bros.
+
|Mario's Bombs Away
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1983
 +
|Panorama
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Mario the Juggler
+
|Mario's Cement Factory
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1983
 +
|New Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Mario's Bombs Away
+
|Mario's Cement Factory
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Mario's Cement Factory
 
|Mario's Cement Factory
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1983
 +
|Table Top
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Mario Bros.
 +
|1983
 +
|Horizontal Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Mario The Juggler
 +
|1991
 +
|New Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Mickey & Donald
 
|Mickey & Donald
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1982
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Mickey Mouse
 +
|1984
 +
|Panorama
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Mickey Mouse
 
|Mickey Mouse
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1981
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Mysteries of the Deep / Sea / Octopus
 +
|1981
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Octopus
 
|Octopus
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Oil Panic
 +
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Oil Panic
 
|Oil Panic
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1982
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Parachute
 +
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Parachute
 
|Parachute
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1981
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Pinball
 
|Pinball
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1983
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Popeye
 +
|1983
 +
|Panorama
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Popeye
 +
|1983
 +
|Table Top
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Popeye
 
|Popeye
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1981
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Punch Out / Boxing
 +
|1984
 +
|Micro Vs.
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Rain Shower
 
|Rain Shower
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1983
 +
|Horizontal Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Safebuster
 
|Safebuster
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1988
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Snoopy
 +
|1983
 +
|Panorama
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Snoopy
 
|Snoopy
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1983
 +
|Table Top
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Snoopy Tennis
 +
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Snoopy Tennis
 
|Snoopy Tennis
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1982
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Spitball Sparky
 
|Spitball Sparky
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1984
 +
|Super Color
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Squish
 +
|1986
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Super Mario Bros.
 +
|1986
 +
|Crystal Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Squish
+
|Super Mario Bros.
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1988
 +
|New Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Super Mario Bros.
 
|Super Mario Bros.
|{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Edition
 +
|2020
 +
|Color Screen
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|The Exterminator / Vermin
 +
|1980
 +
|Silver
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|The Legend of Zelda 35th Anniversary Edition
 +
|2021
 +
|Color Screen
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 +
|-
 +
|Ball / Toss-Up
 +
|1980
 +
|Silver
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Tropical Fish
 
|Tropical Fish
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}}
+
|1985
 +
|New Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Turtle Bridge
 
|Turtle Bridge
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1982
 +
|Wide Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
|Vermin
+
|Zelda
|{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1998
 +
|<u>Nintendo Mini Classics<u>
 +
|style="background:gainsboro;"|None
 +
|
 +
|
 
|-
 
|-
 
|Zelda
 
|Zelda
|{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✓}} ||{{✗}} ||{{✗}}
+
|1989
 +
|Vertical Multi Screen
 +
| style="background: LightGreen;"|Good
 +
|Yes
 +
|
 
|}
 
|}
  
==Games exclusive to some collections==
+
List Note: underlined text = devices that are re-releases of G&W games that are technically not apart of the Game & Watch Series.
===Games in Pica Pic that are not part of the Game & Watch Series===
+
 
* Aerogun Field
+
==Simulators==
* Autoslalom
+
 
* Barrier
+
{|class="wikitable mw-collapsible mw-collapsed
* Bartman
+
|+  style="background: #ECECEC;"|
* Castle Adventure
+
! Simulator
* Caveman
+
!Description
* Coffee House
+
|-
* Fishing Boy
+
|Nintendo
* G-Man
+
| Nintendo officially released virtual reproductions in the games and compiled them in the ''Game & Watch Gallery'' (and, later, ''Game & Watch Collection'') series of games. These games had both "classic" and "modern" variations of these games. While these collections have a loss of "authenticity" (especially in the collections that are running on earlier hardware), these collections are Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS games for which emulators are widespread. (A few games are from the DSiWare series, though every game in the DSiWare series appears in another collection.) However, some of the games in the collection (notably ''Zelda'') may need to be unlocked before play.
* Merry Cook
+
|-
* Ncha! Bycha
+
|Pica Pic
* Nu, pogodi!
+
|Developed by Hipopotam, Pica Pic is an online collection of Game & Watch games under an authentic presentation (using Adobe Flash). While there seems to be no way to play these games offline, there are a few games that are exclusive to the website.
* Penguin Land
+
|-
* Plane & Tank
+
|Madrigal Simulations
* Pirate 777
+
|An offline, authentic presentation of the Game & Watch games, the collection of these games growing through time. Of particular note is that these are available to play through RetroArch through the gw-libretro core. There are also some that are not of the Game & Watch series.
* Search Light
+
|-
* Space Bridge
+
|[http://bdrgames.nl/lcdgames/ lcdgame.js]
* Sub Attack
+
|An open-source JavaScript library that currently supports authentic representations of Donkey Kong II and Mario Bros.
* The Terminator
+
|-
* Thief in Garden
+
|[http://www.emulator3000.org/hq.htm Handheld Quake]
 +
|A free simulator that simulates some Elektronika and Nintendo handhelds.
 +
|}
  
===Simulations that are not part of the Game & Watch Series===
+
==Miscellaneous G&W Info==
* Armor Battle
+
<div style="display: flex; flex-flow: row wrap; justify-content: space-between;">
* Banana
+
<div style="flex: 1 0 240px;">
* Baseball
+
* The silver version of Fire has slightly different gameplay than the widescreen version.
* Bomb Fight
+
* The three Panorama titles listed above are completely different games than the standard versions despite the same names.
* Caccia al Ladra/Heatcliff
+
* The tabletop version of Mario's Cement Factory is similar to the widescreen and panorama versions but has different artwork and slightly different gameplay.
* Cessate il Fuoco/Heatcliff
+
* From an emulation point of view, the 2009 re-release of Ball is a completely new game with a different CPU and a different program compared to the original Ball release.
* Chick Woggy (2 versions)
 
* Condor
 
* Crazy Chewy
 
* Defendo
 
* Donkey Angler
 
* Donkey Kong (Coleco version)
 
* Donkey Kong Junior (Coleco version)
 
* Dungeons & Dragons Computer Fantasy Game
 
* Engine Room
 
* Escape
 
* Explorers of Space
 
* Fowling
 
* Frog Boaster
 
* Galaxy II
 
* Grab Man
 
* Hippo Teeth (2 versions)
 
* Hot Line (2 versions)
 
* Las Vegas
 
* Monkey
 
* Monkey Jump
 
* Motor Cross
 
* Pac Man
 
* Pancake
 
* Penguin Land
 
* Pirate
 
* Roller Coaster
 
* Safari
 
* Sleep Walker
 
* Sub Chase
 
* Tennis Menace
 
* Tom & Jerry Popper
 
* Towering Rescue
 
* Tron
 
* Wild Man Jump
 
  
==Resources==
+
=Resources=
 +
<div style="display: flex; flex-flow: row wrap; justify-content: space-between;">
 +
<div style="flex: 1 0 240px;">
 
* [[wikipedia:Game & Watch ports and remakes|List from Wikipedia of Game & Watch ports and remakes]]
 
* [[wikipedia:Game & Watch ports and remakes|List from Wikipedia of Game & Watch ports and remakes]]
 +
* [https://www.gameandwatch.ch/en/game-watch-information/all-60-games.html All 60 Games list] detailing the Nintendo's Game & Watch series (Nice list with technical names and links to details and photos of 60 different Game & Watch)
 +
* [https://www.mariowiki.com/Game_%26_Watch Super Mario Wiki] covering Nintendo's Game & Watch series (Nice wiki-style page with many photos of different handhelds)
 +
* [https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1WLKcvynl0ky2mRL1UacA9yaiMTnNs4x5 Design, layout and artwork] (Made by Lee Robson (hydef). Storage of background art files for LCD handheld games from Elektronika, Gakken, Konami, Nintendo G&W, Tiger Electronics, and Tronica.)
  
 
{{Nintendo}}
 
{{Nintendo}}
  
 
[[Category:Consoles]]
 
[[Category:Consoles]]
 +
[[Category:Handhelds]]
 
[[Category:Nintendo consoles]]
 
[[Category:Nintendo consoles]]
 
[[Category:Second-generation consoles]]
 
[[Category:Second-generation consoles]]
 +
[[Category:Emulated By MAME]]

Latest revision as of 10:35, 20 July 2022

Nintendo Game & Watch
Gamewatch1.png
Developer Nintendo
Type Handheld electronic game
Generation Second generation
Release date 1980
Discontinued 1991 (2010 & 2020)
Successor Game Boy/Color
Emulated

The Game & Watch is a series of self-contained handheld LCD games by Nintendo where the first one was released on April 28, 1980, and which are often seen as the precursor to the Game Boy/Color, although new Game & Watch games were still released as late as 1991.

Despite their simplicity, Game & Watch handhelds were completely unemulated for a very long time due to a lack of information about their hardware and difficulties with dumping ROMs and accurately recreating graphics. After an extensive reverse-engineering effort by several MAME developers, MAME became the first emulator to support many retro handheld electronic games, including Game & Watch systems.

Emulators[edit]

Name Platform(s) Latest Version libretro FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
MAME Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 0.246
DSP Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 0.19
MAME

It was officially the 1st Game & Watch emulator, with support for almost all games. It started to comprehensively cover the Game & Watch games from around just before mid-2017 (e.g. 0.185 in May 2017) and emulated its first game in 0.186.
Since July 9, 2020, MAME supports at least one version of each Game & Watch model.

DSP
It was officially the 2nd Game & Watch emulator. Just before mid-June 2017, it also started to emulate a few notable Game & Watch "Thanks to MAME for the ROMs and the info." (as stated in the readme).

Emulation issues[edit]

Although Game & Watch emulation has recently become possible, it took quite a while to achieve due to the lack of information about the microcontrollers driving them and the high difficulty of dumping the ROM from a system. (To dump a game's ROM, the microcontroller often must be decapped, which is not only very costly and complicated but highly destructive to the system.) The lack of information on the Game & Watch's hardware leads to the false belief that it does not contain a CPU or ROM and therefore could not be emulated. Even though this was disproven after reverse engineering efforts of several MAME developers which led to support for all of the games. Emulation of the games had been progressing slowly due to the high amount of time and patience it takes to dump their ROMs and recreate their graphics.

Graphics[edit]

Even when a Game & Watch game's ROM had been dumped, one of the biggest challenges with accurately emulating it was with how the Game & Watch displayed graphics. Rather than by sending output to an LCD display like most cartridge-based handhelds do, Game & Watch games (as well as most other handheld electronic games from the same time) displayed graphics by lighting up pre-drawn LCD segments, like a calculator. To recreate this as accurately as possible, MAME uses .SVG files traced from high-quality scans of the LCD screen, allowing graphics in supported Game & Watch games to be displayed crisply at any resolution without the loss of any detail. While this is the most accurate way to recreate the LCD graphics outside of obtaining the original art from Nintendo, it is a difficult and time-consuming process as not only does the LCD need to be scanned at a high resolution with all segments lit up to capture all of the graphics but the scans must be traced very carefully to faithfully recreate the original artwork.

Games[edit]

The main way of playing these games outside buying any of the units second hand is MAME, its accuracy automatically makes it the recommended way of playing these games but if you really don't want to use it, there are other ways in the simulators list.

MAME Support[edit]

Model Year Series MAME support ROMs Emulators / Description
Ball 2010 Club Nintendo None
Ball / Toss-Up 1980 Silver Good Yes
Balloon Fight 1986 Crystal Screen Good Yes
Balloon Fight 1988 New Wide Screen Good Yes
Black Jack 1985 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Bomb Sweeper 1987 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Chef 1981 Wide Screen Good Yes
Climber 1986 Crystal Screen Good Yes
Climber 1988 New Wide Screen Good Yes
Crab Grab 1984 Super Color Good Yes
Donkey Kong 1982 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Donkey Kong 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Donkey Kong II 1983 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Donkey Kong 3 1984 Micro Vs. Good Yes
Donkey Kong Circus 1984 Panorama Good Yes
Donkey Kong Jr. 1982 New Wide Screen Good Yes
Donkey Kong Jr. 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Donkey Kong Jr. 1983 Panorama Good Yes
Donkey Kong Jr. 1983 Table Top None
Donkey Kong Hockey 1984 Micro Vs. Good Yes
Egg 1981 Wide Screen Good Yes
Fire 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Fire 1981 Wide Screen Good Yes
Fire Attack 1982 Wide Screen Good Yes
Fireman / Fire 1980 Silver Good Yes
Flagman 1980 Silver Good Yes
Gold Cliff 1988 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Green House 1982 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Headache / Helmet 1981 Gold Good Yes
Judge 1980 Silver Good Yes
Lifeboat 1983 Horizontal Multi Screen Good Yes
Lion 1981 Gold Good Yes
Manhole 1981 Gold Good Yes
Manhole 1983 New Wide Screen Good Yes
Mario's Bombs Away 1983 Panorama Good Yes
Mario's Cement Factory 1983 New Wide Screen Good Yes
Mario's Cement Factory 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Mario's Cement Factory 1983 Table Top Good Yes
Mario Bros. 1983 Horizontal Multi Screen Good Yes
Mario The Juggler 1991 New Wide Screen Good Yes
Mickey & Donald 1982 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Mickey Mouse 1984 Panorama Good Yes
Mickey Mouse 1981 Wide Screen Good Yes
Mysteries of the Deep / Sea / Octopus 1981 Wide Screen Good Yes
Octopus 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Oil Panic 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Oil Panic 1982 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Parachute 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Parachute 1981 Wide Screen Good Yes
Pinball 1983 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Popeye 1983 Panorama Good Yes
Popeye 1983 Table Top None
Popeye 1981 Wide Screen Good Yes
Punch Out / Boxing 1984 Micro Vs. Good Yes
Rain Shower 1983 Horizontal Multi Screen Good Yes
Safebuster 1988 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Snoopy 1983 Panorama Good Yes
Snoopy 1983 Table Top None
Snoopy Tennis 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Snoopy Tennis 1982 Wide Screen Good Yes
Spitball Sparky 1984 Super Color Good Yes
Squish 1986 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes
Super Mario Bros. 1986 Crystal Screen Good Yes
Super Mario Bros. 1988 New Wide Screen Good Yes
Super Mario Bros. 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Edition 2020 Color Screen None
The Exterminator / Vermin 1980 Silver Good Yes
The Legend of Zelda 35th Anniversary Edition 2021 Color Screen None
Ball / Toss-Up 1980 Silver Good Yes
Tropical Fish 1985 New Wide Screen Good Yes
Turtle Bridge 1982 Wide Screen Good Yes
Zelda 1998 Nintendo Mini Classics None
Zelda 1989 Vertical Multi Screen Good Yes

List Note: underlined text = devices that are re-releases of G&W games that are technically not apart of the Game & Watch Series.

Simulators[edit]

Simulator Description
Nintendo Nintendo officially released virtual reproductions in the games and compiled them in the Game & Watch Gallery (and, later, Game & Watch Collection) series of games. These games had both "classic" and "modern" variations of these games. While these collections have a loss of "authenticity" (especially in the collections that are running on earlier hardware), these collections are Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS games for which emulators are widespread. (A few games are from the DSiWare series, though every game in the DSiWare series appears in another collection.) However, some of the games in the collection (notably Zelda) may need to be unlocked before play.
Pica Pic Developed by Hipopotam, Pica Pic is an online collection of Game & Watch games under an authentic presentation (using Adobe Flash). While there seems to be no way to play these games offline, there are a few games that are exclusive to the website.
Madrigal Simulations An offline, authentic presentation of the Game & Watch games, the collection of these games growing through time. Of particular note is that these are available to play through RetroArch through the gw-libretro core. There are also some that are not of the Game & Watch series.
lcdgame.js An open-source JavaScript library that currently supports authentic representations of Donkey Kong II and Mario Bros.
Handheld Quake A free simulator that simulates some Elektronika and Nintendo handhelds.

Miscellaneous G&W Info[edit]

  • The silver version of Fire has slightly different gameplay than the widescreen version.
  • The three Panorama titles listed above are completely different games than the standard versions despite the same names.
  • The tabletop version of Mario's Cement Factory is similar to the widescreen and panorama versions but has different artwork and slightly different gameplay.
  • From an emulation point of view, the 2009 re-release of Ball is a completely new game with a different CPU and a different program compared to the original Ball release.

Resources[edit]