Nintendo’s new Game & Watch is the cutest way to play classic Zelda games

It’s not laborious to play the unique Legend of Zelda games. With every new {hardware} launch, Nintendo trots out its 8-bit Hyrule adventures once more, giving gamers an opportunity to relive (and rebuy) the games that began all of it. In the event you’re a Swap On-line subscriber, as an example, you’ll be able to play them proper now in your Swap. Even nonetheless, there’s one thing pleasing about Nintendo’s new standalone Game & Watch handheld. It’s a distinct segment little toy that does nothing greater than allow you to play three classic games and preserve observe of the time. Nevertheless it does a terrific job at it — and it’s so darn cute.

This newest retread of nostalgia is a sequel of kinds. Final yr, amidst the peak of next-gen hype, Nintendo launched a small plastic-and-metal machine that performed the unique Tremendous Mario and doubled as a clock. Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda is principally the similar factor, however, you already know, for Zelda. It has the similar tiny-yet-crisp display screen, the similar rubbery buttons, and the similar metallic entrance that appears quite a bit like the unique Game & Watch handheld. Visually, the predominant distinction is the vibrant inexperienced coloration scheme and the phrases “The Legend of Zelda” printed on the entrance. Additionally, when the display screen is on, a triforce is lit up on the again, which is a pleasant, nerdy contact.

Functionally, although, there’s truly fairly a bit extra happening right here. Sure, the system nonetheless serves as a clock with a Zelda theme; Nintendo even turned the packaging right into a stand of kinds, so you’ll be able to prop it up on a desk. However there’s additionally a terrific collection of games. It contains each The Legend of Zelda and The Journey of Hyperlink from the NES, alongside the Game Boy classic Hyperlink’s Awakening. All three maintain up fairly nicely (supplied you’ll be able to take care of Zelda II’s punishing fight), and so they look, sound, and management nice right here, regardless of Nintendo’s latest emulation woes. The games all assist save states as nicely, so it’s simple to dip out and in.

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Picture: Nintendo

Consistent with the theme, there’s a barely remixed model of the mole-smashing Game & Watch recreation Vermin, which now stars a stick determine model of Hyperlink. Rounding out the bundle is a misleading mode known as “timer.” Mainly, it’s a countdown clock, nevertheless it’s additionally playable, basically turning it into Zelda II: Arcade Version. You select how lengthy you need to play for (10 minutes is the max), choose an Journey of Hyperlink location, after which spend that time frame attempting to kill as many baddies as potential to get a excessive rating. It’s surprisingly engrossing and a terrific way to kill a couple of minutes.

Is all of that price $50? That’s a private query. There are actually cheaper and simpler methods to play some 8-bit Zelda. However, similar to with the Mario Game & Watch, I’ve loved the single-use nature of this machine. After I decide it up, I do know what I’m going to do: get misplaced in Hyrule with out distraction. Plus, it’s good to toss in a bag figuring out I’ve one thing to do after I want to kill a couple of minutes whereas I’m out. It’s one thing I would like, not want — however for devoted Zelda followers, it’s going to probably supply simply sufficient for that asking worth.

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