Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda Review

Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda Review

A charming collector's item

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Opinions on 🧝

It's The Legend of Zelda's 35th anniversary so let's celebrate with a cool new Game & Watch console that's jam-packed with nifty treats.

Photo of Game & Watch console with The Legend of Zelda onscreen
That's how I feel about this Game & Watch

Hardware

I'm old enough to have owned a few Game & Watch consoles back when I was a kid with Mario's Cement Factory being my favourite. Since then, portable gaming has come a long way and now, you can enjoy a humble collection of excellent Legend of Zelda games on a cute little dedicated console. Speaking of which, the console itself is quite small which I think is great because carrying the Switch around can be cumbersome so if you want a quick fix of Zelda while waiting for a bus then this pocket-sized device is perfect for that. v1d30chumz 54-211-101-93

The Game & Watch can be charged via a USB-C port and there are 7 buttons in addition to a D-pad. At any time, you can press Game to enter the game select menu, Time to be taken to the "Watch" portion, and Pause to stop the action and adjust a few settings. Meanwhile, the Start, Select, A, and B buttons are placed in the bottom-right so you can play it as you would a NES or Game Boy.

The screen is impressively bright so you won't have to squint while playing it unless you're outside on a very sunny day and you can adjust the volume and brightness in the menu. Oh, and a cool feature is that there's a light-up Triforce on the back of the console. Nifty!

Inside the box, you get a cardboard holder that you can place the console in so you can show it off or if you want to leave the clock onscreen. However, folding out the cardboard stand is tricky and I ended up ripping mine a bit after gently trying to assemble it so be careful with that. You also get a tiny USB cable so you can charge it up or leave it on while connected to a power supply.

Photo of Game & Watch console in stand next to the box
Now I'll always know what time I took this photo

Game

I'm happy to say that Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda comes with 4 games. For starters, you get both original NES games in the form of The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. By the way, which one of those do you prefer? Next, there's Link's 4th adventure with The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for Game Boy. Although it's a superb game and its Switch remake was a ton of fun, I wish that Link's Awakening DX was included instead as it's a much-improved iteration. Finally, there's an actual Game & Watch title with Vermin but it's not exactly the 1980 classic as this version stars Link as he smacks Octoroks instead of moles. Needless to say, this is an excellent assortment of Zelda titles that'll keep you entertained and they're each emulated quite well.

Watch

On top of the included games, you also get the "Watch" portion which consists of a simple clock and a countdown timer that you can set from 1 to 10 minutes. Surprisingly, both of these features are actually interactive. When you leave the former alone, Link carries on in his The Legend of Zelda adventure as the time dynamically changes with the scenery and the latter has Link battle enemies in a variety of 3 arenas from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. However, at any point, you can simply pick the console up and start playing for yourself. Therefore, you can treat the timer as if it's a time attack arena and you can even see your high score. Cool, right?

Photo of Game & Watch console with Vermin mini-game onscreen
I don't remember Link being in Vermin but there he is!

As you can tell, I love the Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda console and it really impressed me; not only with its selection of classic games but with its exceptionally clever features, too. It's one cool bite-sized piece of hardware and I highly recommend it.

Official trailer for Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda thumbnail
Official trailer for Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda 1:16
Super NES Classic Edition Trivia

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