(image credit: Nintendo)

Though few have heard of it, “Game and Watch Gallery 4” was one of the greatest experiences avail­able for the Gameboy Advance back in the early 2000s. Now, the game is being brought back for the Wii U Virtual Console, and every kind of player has a reason to try this old gem. The arcade-like experience re­mastered classic “Game and Watch” titles like never before, bringing the games to life while incorporating the heroes of the Mushroom Kingdom.

The Super Mario crew arrives in classic titles including “Fire” or “Chef” in recreations of the hand­held games created by Gunpei Yo­koi. Being the fourth installment of this gallery series, players can expect that the formula has been explored in numerous ways, and perfected. In a simpler time before smartphones were popular, this game could have easily substituted most app games.

While “Game and Watch” might be technically weak by the standards of modern games, the understanding of basic design prin­ciples shines through, showing that good graphics and orchestral soundtracks simply aren’t enough to make a good game. Risk and reward are at play in these easy to learn, dif­ficult to master gaming gems. Iconic characters from the Super Mario franchise make the game feel famil­iar from the time you turn it on.

Placing these characters in dif­ferent scenarios, such as saving Toads from a burning building, or cooking food for a baby Yoshi, brings the world to life, and makes the games feel slightly connected. The soundtrack is beautiful, amplify­ing the already peaceful atmosphere that the vibrant colors in the art style create.

With over twenty Modern and Classic style games to play, “Game and Watch Gallery 4” is a great game for killing time and having simple fun in a classic way. This game is available on the Wii U eShop.

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