Game & Watch Primer, Part 2

by Clint Dyer

CLICK HERE to read Part 1

Welcome to part 2 of the Game & Watch article. In this issue, we'll discuss Wide Screen and Multi-Screen G&W's, 2 of the most common versions of G&W's to be found. Forgetting their rarity for a moment, these are, in general, more fun to play than most of the other G&W's.

The following information was gathered from several different sources. Camiel Dobbelaar ( was the one who really got me started on the idea of doing this when he combined information taken from the July/August issue of Retrogames, a foreign fanzine. He noticed several different things, but the most interesting is that Nintendo used a very specific numbering system with it's games. You'll notice that the original silvers start with 01 and it goes up from there, with each variety of G&W having a new starting point. What's most interesting about that is that there is plenty of room for more in almost all the categories. One thing that doesn't make sense about their numbering scheme is the first initials before the numbers. Some titles, it's easy to tell why they were named that way. FL for Flagman, MH for Manhole, etc. Others, the letters don't make any sense. AC for Ball, RC for Fire, etc. Good work Camiel, I knew that college degree was good for something! ;-) The reviews and descriptions of the types were all written by me, with help from Michael Davidson ( and Camiel on some that I don't have.

Widescreen G&W's are much larger than their "original" counterparts (see part 1). The screens are about a quarter an inch larger all the way around and the cases are about half an inch longer and a bit taller. These are the most common versions of the G&W, perhaps because there were more Wide Screens made than any other version.

There are 2 different versions of the Multi Screen G&W. One version has the screens on the right and left and opens like a book and the other version has the screens on the top and bottom and opens like a calendar. The controls on the book type are on the right of the right screen and left of the left screen and the controls for the calendar type are on the left and right, similar to a regular G&W. These are also fairly common, though some are much tougher to find than any Wide Screens.

Wide Screen (21-30 or more):

PR-21 Parachute
People are parachuting out of a helicopter. You have to catch them in your boat. If you don't, they'll get eaten by sharks.

OC-22 Octopus
Guide the hero to the treasure on the right side of the screen while avoiding octopus tentacles. Then, take the treasure back to the boat. Pick up too much treasure and the hero will move slowly and make your task much more difficult.

PP-23 Popeye
The long time rivalry is alive and well in this G&W. You play Popeye, who is in the middle of a lake between the shore and a boat. Catch items thrown by Olive Oyl while avoiding being hit on the head by Bluto (or Brutus), who is on the boat and under the dock Olive Oyl is on.

FP-24 Chef
This is a fun little game where food is thrown out onto the playing field (much like people jumping from a building in Fire), and the object is to not let the food fall to the floor. This is accomplished by juggling each piece of food until it cooks, then goes away. Pretty fun, overall! This is one of the rarer Wide Screen games!

MC-25 Mickey Mouse
You play Mickey, trying to catch eggs before they hit the ground. Minnie pops out of a window in the upper left corner to thank Mickey and end the level. It should be noted that this is one of the harder G&W's! The speed really picks up fast and you'll shortly find yourself scrambling (pun intended) to catch the eggs!

EG-26 Egg
Egg uses the same game 'engine' as Mickey Mouse - the same screen background, gameplay, etc. except the Mickey Mouse character is replaced by a wolf or fox and instead of Minnie Mouse popping out of the upper window there is a large cook.

FR-27 Fire
People are jumping out of the building and your job is to get them to the ambulance without letting them splat on the pavement. To accomplish this job, you are armed with only a trampoline and when someone hits it, they will bounce to the next spot on the pavement, where you have to "catch" them again. Continue this all the way to the right and they will bounce into the ambulance (wouldn't that hurt as well, though?). This game is probably remembered better than any other game in the G&W lineup. In fact, when someone asks me to name the game "they used to have as a kid", this is the game I mention first.

TL-28 Turtle Bridge
Carry an item from the left side of the screen to the right. The bridge is (surprise) made of turtles, who occasionally dip down and grab a bite to eat. Jump on them when they're grabbing a bite and you drown.

ID-29 Fire Attack
Guys are throwing fire at your hut from 4 different angles. You have to put the fires out before your hut burns down. I've never cared much for this G&W, as you really have to be able to keep your eye on several different areas at once.

SP-30 Snoopy Tennis
You're Snoopy, on the right hand side of the screen. Charlie Brown is on the left, hitting tennis balls at you on 3 different levels. The object is hit the tennis balls back at Charlie Brown and off the screen. To make things more difficult, Lucy appears to hit returned balls back at you. It should also be mentioned that this is the first G&W to keep score above 999 points (the rest just stop at 999 and you can keep playing).

Multi Screen (51-65 or more):

OP-51 Oil Panic
This is perhaps, the most interesting Multi-Screen title. The two screens represent entirely different gameplay elements. On the top screen, you play "the guy" (might be Mario) who has to catch oil in a bucket without letting any spill. Then, when your bucket gets full, you have to go to the window and drop the oil down to your counterpart below. The object on the bottom screen is to simply catch the oil. The trick is that you don't actually get to control your counterpart. He moves back and forth at a certain interval and if you dump when he's not there, oil gets all over your boss or a girl and a policeman comes to take your life away (it is, after all, illegal to dump oil, isn't it?). Another interesting thing is that you can have 2 misses on the top AND bottom without the game ending. If either side reaches three, the game ends.

DK-52 Donkey Kong
The most common of the G&W's and one of the most popular, the object of this one is to, what else, rescue the girl who has been captured by Donkey Kong. In order to do this, you have to move up the first screen, jumping over barrels to reach the ladder at the end which leads to the second level. Then, on the
second screen, turn on the crane, then jump over to it and take one girder wire away from the ones holding up the girder. Repeating this 4 times will cause Donkey Kong to fall and the girl to be rescued. Strangely enough, though, the girl gets captured right away and it's up to you to rescue her again.

DM-53 Mickey & Donald
Mickey, Pluto and Donald have to work together to put out flames rising up the building. Pluto pumps the water from the truck at the bottom of the building, Mickey helps Pluto and repairs breaks in the water line and Donald pours the water. Every so often, the "level" ends and Minnie shows up to lay some lovin'
on Mickey and the game gets faster and harder (wouldn't you if you got lovin' from Minnie?)

GH-54 Greenhouse
Pesky worms and spiders are trying to destroy your precious flowers. You have to move alternately between the top and bottom screens while spraying pesticides at the little devils to save your plants. This is another of the G&W's that require you to keep your eyes in more than one place at the same time.

JR-55 Donkey Kong 2
On the first screen, pick up a key and guide Donkey Kong Jr. to the right jumping over monkey eating Crocodiles. Then head up the vines, and left, avoiding electrical sparks both above and below you. Eventually, you'll reach the vines leading up to the second screen. On the second screen, avoid flying
birds and ground Crocodiles while climbing up ropes to "unlock" the chains that hold Donkey Kong. Then, go back to the beginning and grab the next key. 4 keys successfully placed and you rescue Donkey Kong and get to do it all over again.

MW-56 Mario Bros.
The object of this game is to guide packages from one side of the screen to the other. You control both Mario on the left and Luigi (well, it's probably Luigi, so I'll call him that even though I'm not sure) on the right side of the screen. Mario puts the package on the moving elevator and sends it toward Luigi. Luigi has to catch it, then pass it back to Mario and then Mario must place it on the next moving elevator and send it back to Luigi. At the top, Luigi throws the package into a truck (what, no sleigh?!) and goes onto the next package coming toward him. When you fill up the truck with packages, a new level starts and the game gets faster and harder!

LP-57 Rainshower
Pull and push clotheslines to avoid letting the rain hit the shirts on the lines. This is one of the most impossible Game & Watches, because your eyes have to be in two places at one time (this one is a bit worse on that subject than the ones above).

TC-58 Lifeboat
The boat is on fire. People are jumping off. What will you do? What will you do? You have to catch them in your boat and bring them to safety of course. You can only fit 4 people in your boat and if you try and fit more, they plunge into the ocean and get eaten by sharks.

PB-59 Pinball
It's pinball. Each screen has flippers and the usual assortment of things to hit. Not an overpowering pinball game, but decent none-the-less.

BJ-60 Blackjack
It's blackjack. Not much new blackjack wise, in fact, a pretty poor version of blackjack overall! It should be mentioned that this is the only G&W to keep track of seconds in addition to minutes/hours.

MG-61 Squish
Guide our hero through the maze. The only problem is the maze moves left, right, up and down and switches rapidly. Get caught in the wrong place and you get squished! This is one of the most fast paced G&W's made and will have your hands sweating in no time!

BD-62 Bombsweeper
There's a mad bomber on the loose. You have to push walls through the level to get to the bomb(s) and disarm it/them. This puzzler is one of the most replayable and enjoyable G&W's made (well, that is once you get past level 4 -- the "impossible level").

JB-63 Safebuster
This one is primarily a clone of Oil Panic.

MV-64 Goldcliff
This is a 'disappearing platforms' game - your man starts at the bottom of the screen and has to jump up on the appearing/disappearing platforms to reach a 'gem?' at the top of the screen.

ZL-65 Zelda
This is one of my favorite G&W's! You have to get link through the levels by defeating the enemy on the right side of the screen while avoiding Stalfos' underneath you and ghosts to the left who throw knives at you. Certain levels will reveal weapon and life power-ups, which is a rare feature that really adds a lot of replay value. When you defeat the Goblin on the right, you get to choose from 2 paths. When you get to the top of the level, you fight a huge dragon and once you defeat him, get a piece of the Tri-force and start the next level.

CLICK HERE to read Part 3


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Last updated: Saturday, April 23, 2005 07:48 AM