Last year, Nintendo released a Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch. Initially, it was a hard item to get but I was lucky enough to get my hands on one and really enjoyed it. This year, they came back with another one, this time focused on The Legend of Zelda. While last year’s edition was a lot of fun, this one is even better thanks in large part to even more content available to enjoy. After spending some time fooling around with everything they’ve included, I’m really hopeful Nintendo continues to release more variations in the future.
Three full Zelda games and more
The big selling point for this Game & Watch is that it features three full-length The Legend of Zelda games: 1986 Original, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and the Game Boy version of Link’s Awakening. Like the Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch, all three look really good on this small piece of hardware. While I would have preferred the Game Boy Color version of Link’s Awakening, it still translates really well here.
The only downside is that they did not include A Link to the Past. Sure, we can play it on just about anything from the 3DS to the SNES collection on Nintendo Switch, but it would have been so cool to also have it in this here. I get that they probably would have had to include extra buttons to accommodate that version, I think it was a missed opportunity to not include it here.
Like the Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch, you have some extra content to enjoy. As you would expect with the name, there is a clock function that features Link from the first game in different environments. There is also the Game & Watch game, Vermin. Lastly, there is a Timer mode, which lets you play as Link from Zelda II. In this mode, you set your timer between 1 and 10 minutes then try to fight waves of different enemies until the clock runs out.
Having fun and wanting more
For what this is, it’s an absolute no-brainer to pick up if you’re a Nintendo collector and/or love The Legend of Zelda. Sure, it’s missing the best Zelda game from the 20th century, it still has three other full-length games, more than what we got in the Super Mario Bros. version.
The build is solid on this. They even included a light-up triforce on the back of the unit, which looks really cool in the dark. It might not blow some people’s minds, but the improvements of this version show that Nintendo listened to some of the complaints people had with the Mario one.
Most of all, this really makes me wish Nintendo does at least one more of these in the future. There are so many other games they could do. If they don’t want to do a dedicated Game & Watch collection, they could certainly do a Metroid version that featured the first two games (although I would also want Super Metroid). They could do a classic collection featuring Kid Icarus, Excitebike, and many other classic first-party NES games.
Heck, if they could work something out with publishers like Capcom, Konami, or Square Enix to do Mega Man, Castlevania, and/or Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest units. There are communities of gamers that would fork over the money to make them profitable.
Get it if you can
Unlike the Super Mario Bros. version, this Game & Watch unit is actually pretty easy to get. It’s clear they upped the production to meet the demand. It won’t be that hard to get your hands on one, especially as an easy Christmas gift. Even if you only play this for a bit and come back every once in a while to fool around, I still think it’s of good value. If sales for this version are good (which I suspect they are), I really hope it encourages Nintendo to release more versions in the future, which I will also gladly buy.