recommended Game Gear games

It was mentioned briefly in the Analogue Pocket thread that maybe there weren't enough good Game Gear games to warrant getting the adapter. This is false!! Game Gear is a neat system that sometimes almost looks like a genesis due to the number of colors it can use. The biggest issue I have with the Game Gear is its low number of sound channels, so they wind up sacrificing melody for SFX etc… really makes it feel old. Otherwise the games can be quite contemporary-feeling in some ways.

I played a bunch of Game Gear games in college, then got into the deeper catalog in the early handheld emulation days (GP32 etc), and found a bunch of real cool stuff. Here are my recommendations - if nobody else has games to add, I'll come back with some deeper cuts later! I'll just share one video per category to not overload things.

**Original recommendations**
Godzilla: Kaijuu Daishingeki - tactics game with realtime battles where you play as the monsters. Probably my favorite Godzilla game.
Sylvan Tale - very nice action RPG where you turn into animals. has an english patch. used to be obscure, but people really seem to like it now, so that's nice!
GG Aleste 1 and 2 - best shooters on the system. Compile rules.
Royal Stone - sequel to Crystal Warriors, a game which I have a soft spot for. Check the use of color!!!
Shining Force Sword of Hadja - it's a solid shining force game, that's about all you need!
Tails Adventure - you know how so many sonic games for 15+ years were like "it's sonic, but with X gimmick" - this game imagines the gimmicks at the forefront and sonic in the background. It's basically an action game that happens to use tails. Throw bombs, use vehicles, turn into stuff... it's imperfect but it's pretty good!?
SMT Gaiden Last Bible series - First last bible is an upgrade of the GBC version of handheld weirdo SMTs. also there's an english patch. Original is top down, Special is a dungeon crawler that's unique to game gear.
Psychic World - a valis-like!

**neat ports**
gunstar - it's amazing that it works at all. it's totally playable. It gets a little soft round the middle but overall it feels pretty good.
dynamite headdy - ditto, though it makes a little more sense that it works
ristar (like a cutesier version of the original, and wow, the colors!!)
Power Rangers the Movie - probably the best fighter on the game gear, though some of the SNK ports are okay
Terminator 2 Arcade - a port of the arcade game for game gear for some reason - it's a rail shooter with a machine gun, which was real fun at the time. I still like it! Really has that Euro feel in a good way
Streets of Rage 1 and 2 - they're cute ports of their bigger siblings. Not perfect, but it's more streets of rage.

**honorable mention:**
Defenders of Oasis - nice top down trad RPG but definitely feels old now.
coca cola kid - speedy run and jump kick game. it gets samey after a while but it's pretty neat, with lots of "destructible" backgrounds.
sailor moon - this game mostly sucks but it's passable sailor moon and better than a lot of the main console offerings!? and people are gonna want to try it if they know about it, so it's on here.
taz-mania - the music must be experienced.

**games I think might be cool but haven't played:**
Kishin Douji Zenki - graphics look hot, platforming looks decent?
Vampire: Master of Darkness - SIMS-developed game gear castlevania

I had fun with Tails Adventure. The only tails-centric games are on the Game Gear

Vampire Master of Darkness is good, but suffers from a cramped screen in comparison to the Master System version. The same is true of Wonder Boy the Dragon's Trap. I am partial to both the Shinobi games for Game Gear, but they are both brutally hard.

The Game Gear version of Battletoads has a graphical style that sets it apart from the other versions.

pretty amazing fake parallax scrolling work on GG shinobi there - I believe it is also motohiro kawashima's first music assignment for sega, before streets of rage 2. I thiiiiiiiiiiiink!?

not a controversial position to take but I really like the yuzo koshiro soundtrack on sonic 1

Makes me even sadder that they skimped on the sound chip here, because half this soundtrack is obscured by jump or hit effects when playing, because of the low number of channels ;_;

Popils is my jam! Best puzzle game on the console.

Designed by MTJ himself.

This one actually came up on the podcast this week!

I have two recommendations:

first is Dragon Crystal, which is featured on both Game Gear and Master System. BUT. there is only one song that plays throughout the whole game, and if I recall correctly, the song for the game gear version is far superior.


this is an early roguelike/mystery dungeon style game and it is quite engaging. you are constantly finding new equipment, and much of it requires you to wear it in order to identify it, which can cause you to equip cursed items which can't be removed without using a certain scroll.


it's quite an enjoyable game, although towards the later levels it becomes a bit tedious because to advance you must press a button while facing certain walls, and rarely the walls will be destroyed as fake walls, and this is a big pain in the ass.


the second recommendation is Soltaire FunPak.


now you must note that there are at least 2 solitaire games for the game gear, and the other one sucks - "Poker Face Paul's Solitaire". I'm sure everyone here hates solitaire but I find it quite enjoyable and when I had the Odroid Go basically the only thing I played on it was GG Solitaire FunPak. the controls are nice and fluid, you can really get into a groove, and it's a WHOLE lot of fun, folks. note that I only ever played the base, simple, first game, which I think is Klondike. I never learned the other variations, although they are probably great and I think solitaire is way undervalued by the gaming community.


note that to inject genuine fun into the game, you must place limitations. if you have unlimited cycling of the deck and only 1 card movement, then the game is not a game at all but simply just going through the motions. however, if you only permit 1 cycling of the deck, and 3 card movement, then it is genuinely challenging, and you must think and plan and perhaps use undoes.


Dragon crystal sounds like a lot of work! Sort of gives me a fatal labyrinth vibe, is it similar at all?

@exodus#3846 think it is the same devs. fatal labyrinth came 1st as a network-download game in Japan iirc. crystal is quite a polished and good experience imo.

I‘ll look into it a bit more then - I reckon it doesn’t have the coolest element of fatal labyrinth in which money only counts toward how nice your funeral looks when you die, heh

There are three songs in Dragon Crystal, one for each set of ten levels. The music is different in each version, as I recall. Money is used for continues, but according to the Master System manual: “To continue, you must have enough gold. (There isn't a set amount that you must have in order to continue.)”

“Ronald in the Magical World” was only released in Japan but when inserted into a US Game Gear, it translates to English.

I really like the art. The controls are not bad. The game overall is better than it needed to be. I bet they had a lot of fun developing it. The story is whimsical and quite funny. There’s even cutscenes! They’re all hilarious with great lines.

It’s a wholesome game that is on par with the 16-bit Lion King games. Check it out!

I never really tried that one, because I figured it couldn‘t measure up to Macdonalds treasure land. I’ve only got room for one Macdonalds product in my life :sunglasses:

(in seriousness though I'd try this!)

Wait, I am not on top of my McDonald's international lore… Ronald is called Donald in Japan? It says ドナルド on the packaging right there. Donald McDonald? …He is! Huh. I must have heard that somewhere but I had never bothered to memorize that important piece of info.

@exodus#3864 it's wild how more often than not, the McDonalds games are pretty good?

yeah… it's very SUSPICIOUS

@hellomrkearns#3919 this guy loves Donald Land for famicom:

back to the topic of Jame Jear:

there are two Columns games on the platform, right? one of them, I think Super Columns, allows you to both shuffle the 3 tiles within a piece but ALSO permits ROTATION! roflmao