I’ve been playing around with the Zelda Game & Watch this week, and I just have to tell you that it’s bloody brilliant. If you’ve never seen a Game & Watch, it’s a tiny little handheld device that is incredibly uncomfortable to hold but is packed with Zelda content. There are three big Zelda games on there, all the old retro ones from the SNES and NES days, and they look amazing on the screen that this device has. Ultimately, it’s an emulator, but my goodness is it one of the best emulation devices I’ve ever played. There’s even the rare whacking Zelda game that was an exclusive to the Game & Watch series back in the day.
The idea with this device is that it’s a tiny portable thing you can take anywhere, and it’s pre-loaded with all the games you could want to play as a Zelda fan. Whether you’ve got minutes or hours, the device has something for you to do, and it’s got functional saving too. As far as emulators go, it’s one of the better ones, and it’s also a big of a king in the retro handheld market for coming with some of the best games out there already on it. One of the biggest barriers for me in the niche is actually downloading the games, so this just makes me feel a lot happier about what I’m buying and playing.
The screen is phenomenal, making the experience of playing these games so easily enjoyable. They’re so far from the Zeldas of today, or even the Game Boy days, but they’re still good. It’s a great way to experience the place that Zelda started, and you can even go back and play the original Link’s Awakening to see what it was like before the remake hit the Switch.
I didn’t think there was much of a point to the first new Game & Watch Nintendo put out. It was all Mario, and everyone has Mario on their retro devices. This Zelda one changes things though, it’s like a new way to play the games, because it’s got both a decent screen and so much power that it runs the games incredibly well.