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Let Us Console You: Game Boy Clones

 
When the original Game Boy was released way back in 1989 (in Japan and the USA, while it was released in Europe a year later) everybody wanted a piece of the action. Atari released their portable games console, the Lynx, while Sega released the Game Gear and NEC released a portable version of their home console, the TurboGrafx-16, which was called the TurboExpress.

From left to right: Lynx, TurboExpress, Game Gear

But it wasn't just the big companies that wanted a piece of the pie. Smaller, unknown companies tried to have their own shot at the handheld gaming market, producing their own consoles, that were pretty much the same as the Game Boy. Let's have a look at some of the more well-known ones.

1. Supervision

From left to right: Watara Supervision, Hartung SV-100, QuickShot Supervision

What it is: The Supervision was marketed and distributed by a few different companies under different names in different countries as a method of saving money, the better known ones were the the QuickShot Supervision (UK) and the Watara Supervision (most other countries). While the Watara version is very similar in style to the Game Boy, some versions (see the UK and German versions above) were particular interesting, because the console body split into two parts, enabling the screen to be tilted in relation to the control section. Despite being significantly cheaper than the Game Boy, the Supervision failed to grab the attention of gamers and flopped. Although the Game Boy had a problem with its screen, in which it blurred a lot, making some games difficult to play (also known as Ghosting), the Supervision's screen is much worse in comparison. The games were a little bit simple and not anything really that had the power to blow Nintendo's list of popular franchises such as Mario and Zelda out of the water.

Conversation with your friend:
Friend: "Hey bro, did you get one of those awesome Game Boys?
You: "No, I have the Supervision."
Friend: "What the fuck is the Supervision?!?"

2. Mega Duck / Cougar Boy

Mega Duck and Cougar Boy pictured with European and
South American cartridges of Magic Tower


What it is: A mainly European-based console, with perhaps the stupidest name in the history of everything. Seriously, Mega Duck? Were they high when they came up with that name? It was also sold in South America under the name 'Cougar Boy', which was a little bit better, but still sucked ass. The console itself is incredibly similar to the Supervision in regards to the buttons, volume controls, contrast controls and the game cartridges. The LCD screen is also similar to Supervision, but the Supervision's screen is larger. Apparently, with an external joystick that you had to get separately, two players (you know, cause everyone you knew back then would have owned one of these. Not.) could play against each other simultaneously.

A real-life Mega Duck.

Conversation with your friend: 
Friend: "Hey bro, did you get one of those awesome Game Boys?
You: "No, I have a Mega Duck."
Friend: "Seriously dude, are you feeling okay today?"

3. Gamate
Gamate pictured with games 'Devil Castle', 'Dino Ball' and 'Brick Blaster'

What it is: The Gamate was manufactured by a company called Bit Corporation. It struggled to shift units and sold even less that the Supervision. The console itself is actually really high quality in comparison to the Supervision and the Mega Duck, although it still had the frustrating problem of ghosting. The unit isn't held in a portrait fashion like the Game Boy but actually in a landscape fashion, similar to consoles such as the Game Boy Advance or the Game Gear. Over 70 games (mostly clones of Game Boy games) are known to have been produced for the system, and a colour version was rumoured to have been released, but there has been no proof to whether or not this rumour is true.

Conversation with your friend:Friend: "Hey bro, did you get one of those awesome Game Boys?
You: "No, I have a Gamate."
Friend: "Hur Hur Hur. You have a Gay Mate?"

 
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