Finally my copy of Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe for the Game Boy (Color) has arrived. This was the first time I paid for something on Kickstarter. I doubt many members of the forum are still interested in such things as new Game Boy games… but I decided to post this anyway. The idea of getting a brand new game for the good old Game Boy consoles in the year 2019 with colorful cardboard packaging, printed manual and plastic case for the cartridge like in the 1990s was tempting… I just could not resist.
The previous (four grey green shades) version was already sold out when I found this game by complete accident. The ROM for the colored version is now available for (free and legal) download including the source code on Github.
Story of the game:
Meh. The girl has a cat. That cat floats away with a helium filled (party-)ballon right into the stratosphere. Tobu girl decides to follow/rescue her pet by jumping on various creatures like bats and birds. Although the third stage is already called “Space” neither the cat nor the girl die of suffocation despite not wearing anything remotely close to a spacesuit.
That story is ridiculous. But… Princess Peach has been kidnapped for the 154th time is even more ridiculous.
This game is hard. You need good reflexes, good reaction time and have to be able to tolerate lots of frustration. I failed some hundred times on the third stage (Space) and did not yet really try the fourth (Dream). Yes my Everdrive GB I used to play the ROM before public release is the X7 variant and has RTS. No, I did not use save states.
- The goal of each of the four main stages is simply getting up.
- She bounces off of most creatures and can dash up to three times in 8 directions with (A)+Dpad. Then she has to bounce off another creature to reset that dash counter.
- She can also “fly”with (B) a little as long as her energy lasts.
- Energy can be replenished by dashing downwards onto a creature.
- You have to be fast – there is short a time limit. To extend the time, collect alarm clocks.
Graphics and sound:
Nothing special in my opinion. It looks and sounds good for a Game Boy game… but the system is fairly limited. Good choices for color palettes. Nice sprites for the protagonist and the cat. Nothing more to say. No complaints. I like the style – well done.
More important (for me) than graphics is the game as such. What I have to criticize is the short length. Three stages to get the cat back and one bonus stage after that. Getting better “grades” and a high score for each level by being extra fast and stomping down on more creatures does add a little to the game if you want to master it. There also is an endless mode you can try to master.
I understand: The game mechanic “Getting up and up and up and up” does not allow enough varieties to build 50 stages. Still: It is pretty short. (TASvideos has an impressive TAS for the black and white version.) This is fast!
Back in the 1990s I would really have enjoyed such a game because of the challenge. If this had been an official game back then, I would have bought it – although it does not offer as much a some later, totally different Game Boy titles like Zelda Oracle of Ages/Seasons or Pokemon.
Classic arcade mode feeling without any long text. Easy rules, but hard to master. No mercy! This is how I like it.
Packaging has a good quality. The cartridge seems to be made out of good, durable plastic. To open it you need a triwing/tripoint screwdriver. A bit strange. If they where to mimic genuine Nintendo carts it should have been the inverse Torx you have to open with a “game bit”. I would have preferred standard Philipps screws. Well… doesn’t really matter.
The PCB looks nice and has five chips. I don’t know why. ROM, SRAM, mapper and ??
Nicely done is the (big!) SRAM backup battery. It can be replaced without soldering. But if the SRAM in the cart is as frugal as in the Nintendo games that would mean more than three decades before the battery fails.
One last comment: This thing was/is expensive. I had to pay about 50€ to get the physical release. But supporting development for new Game Boy games… this is no question for me. YES, OF COURSE! The game comes without any stupid DRM, is manufactured in a small quantity, no big company behind it and has even been released for free download now. The price was/is reasonable. So I paid for it. If they ever make more game(s), I will most likely support them again.
Edit: Dang it! My camera gets worse and worse. Auto focus has gone mad… Sorry for the bad pictures.
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