It’s a tough ol’ girl, I’ll give her that. Sturdy from design and made of that special 1980s plastic I have come to call Nintendium. Finding a working one isn’t so hard. The batteries for it, that’s different. These boy was a thirsty thing. Chugging AAs like it was the purple stuff in the back of the fridge. For that reason I don’t particularly recommend buying one to use on the regular. If you are wanting to play Game Boy carts well the Game Boy Advance SP is the way to go.
Those little beauties have everything the Game Boy Classic lacks. They are small, light weight, back lit, and have a rechargeable battery. So why get a one of these big boys? Because they are iconic. The Game Boy oozes style and makes a nice shelf piece. That alone makes it worth it. Prices range from $15-$2,000 depending on how clean you like it. The multiple colors are not as common here. That is more a Game Boy Color sort of thing. There was the Play It Loud series but that was mostly just black, green, and sexy sexy clear. It was however full of limited editions and contest prizes so expect some crazy price hikes.
So what about the games? They were some of the best worst games ever. Though the good ones are fantastic. My favorite Tetris by far. The Mario Land series is fantastic and brought us Wario. Pokemon started here. The Donkey Kong game expanded the arcade title to what would become Mario vs Donkey Kong. A puzzle platformer much like Lemmings. Not to mention the minimalist titles more about gameplay than graphics like everyone’s favorite 4 in 1 Fun Pack Volume 2!
The rarity, demand, and availability if games also lend to dramatic price fluctuations. So don’t focus on a full set unless you have to be that guy. My advice is rebuy your childhood games or perhaps just focus on building sets. Mario games, RPGs, arcade ports, or what have you. If possible, by that I mean cost effective, go for boxed copies because just look at those packages.
The silver spine wrap stays around until GBA and will look nice in a larger mixed collection helping to make a smaller amount of Game Boy titles look more impressive in your game room. This style choice stays even in the massive amount of GB add ons and accessories. These are ones you should track down and have a fair amount of accomplishments behind them. Like the Game Boy Camera for one. Being one of the first commercially viable digital cameras. As well as the smallest camera available in 1999. Which in no small part helped legitimize idea of pocket cameras which we all enjoy today on our phones. With built in stickers and editing software and available pocket printer it was another example of Nintendo being ahead of the times but refused to follow up in any meaningful way.
I could go into it’s impact on gaming, but that would be like going into why the NES was important. It wasn’t the first portable gaming option, but it legitimized it. Instead just look at it’s lasting impact on gaming culture. It’s design is everywhere. Still going strong since it came out you can find almost anything as a Game Boy.
And best yet you can even make your phone a Game Boy. Not only for ROMs but one that plays carts as well. With a neat little slip over controller dodad.
So it’s safe to say you should in some way show the Game Boy some love. How much is up to you and your wallet. ROMs, Virtual Console games, and collection packs for current systems are fairly common. So if you are on a budget or just don’t really have a fondness for the classic I would recommend going with a Game Boy Advance SP collection with some classic GB games and a few nice pieces of Game Boy memorabilia.