Donkey Kong Game & Watch – Yay the D-Pad!

Ninendo’s Donkey Kong Game & Watch was the very first Game & Watch I had when I was a kid. I loved this thing more than life itself, which is why I still kick myself for swapping it for a Mickey & Donald Game & Watch at some point. It must have been some older kid talking me into it…. I can’t remember what actually went down in regards to the deal itself, but I do hope I got something in addition to that Mickey & Donald.

Anyway, being in Japan (the country with arguably the cheapest Game & Watches in the world), I could not think of a reason not to buy one again. And if you’re going to buy Donkey Kong, why not buy Donkey Kong II as well!


Released in 1982, Donkey Kong was revolutionary for a number of reasons, but most notable would have to be the D-Pad. This was the first time the cross style D-Pad (developed by Gunpei Yokoi) had appeared on any gaming device, and subsequently won Nintendo a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award (wiki). As many of you have probably read on my other posts, I am hard on the companies that used the D-Pad on the right side, and Nintendo really did set a standard by having them on the left – Donkey Kong Game & Watch was really a leader.


When it comes to story, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong II were very different games (that’s if you think them to have a story at all of course). In Donkey Kong you are Mario (at least I think it’s Mario) and you have to save the hot girl with beautiful long legs, creamy complexion, long flowing hair draped over her firm…. (sorry about that, childhood imagination taking over for a second), and in Donkey Kong II you must play as Donkey Kong Jr. to save Donkey Kong.

Both games are extremely playable in their own right, but Donkey Kong II is much more difficult to conquer. Those of you that have played these games on an emulator really don’t understand what these games are about. I have tried many different emulations out there (including the one for the Nintendo DS) and none of them come close to the feel of the real thing. Due to hardware limitations, these machines almost seem to have a life of their own.



I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed picking up Donkey Kong again after a 25 year break. The memories that flooded back when clicking open that second screen, hearing that first beep, and making Donkey Kong fall were incredible! 😀

Nintendo Spitball Sparky – One of the classics

The first Nintendo Spitball Sparky I owned I sold to a friend of mine back home, but the day after sending it I knew I was going to regret the sale. Within a few short months I bought another one, but unfortunately this one isn’t as good as the one I sold – the hunt continues for a perfect one.

There really is something about this silver beast that isn’t easy to define. I would say it’s one of the more challenging Game & Watches, and I believe it’s the only Nintendo handheld I have that I haven’t actually broken the 1,000 point mark on yet. Actually Donkey Kong II is another one I might not have clocked yet too now that I think about it.


A few details:

  • Model – Nintendo Super Color Game & Watch – Spitball Sparky (that’s a mouthful)
  • Model Number – BU-201
  • Released – 1984
  • Price then – unknown
  • Price now – $40 to $150

The game in many ways Spitball Sparky is similar to games like Arkanoid or Block Kuzushi, but each time the ball comes within spitting distance you must manually shoot it away. A very interesting gameplay element is the way in which you can shoot the ball before it actually lands. By doing this it means that it’s possible to change the trajectory, and this is what makes the game very fun to play. When compared with other Game & Watches of the time, the gameplay feels almost random.


For the collectors out there who only want the most rare version you can get a hold of, there is the illusive white Spitball Sparky just for you indian viagra alternative. The silver version that you see pictured here is the original colour that the Spitball Sparky is meant to be, but due to an error in manufacturing there were white Spitball Sparky Game & Watches released into the wild. Getting a hold of one of these isn’t easy at all though, and the prices they go for are insane.

I can thoroughly recommend picking up a Spitball Sparky. I am always on the lookout for an immaculate one, and I definitely won’t be selling this one I have here until I find it – learnt my lesson the first time. ?

Nintendo Playing Cards – No screens or controllers included

Before Nintendo was known for its video games, it was known for its games of the analogue variety. The following post is about two sets of Nintendo playing cards I stumbled across in two separate junk stores here in Japan. ?

Set One:
You may have seen the modern day Mario playing cards that are still being sold today, but the cards pictured bellow are considerably older – how old I’m not exactly sure, but judging by people I have spoken to here, they may be as early as the 70s. If anyone reading this post has any idea I would love to hear from you though.


This particular pack is still sealed, and was bought in a store that has very little to do with video games at all. It was a very lucky find, as if these were in a store that had any regular game hunters coming through, they would not have lasted a day!



Set Two:
This set also released by Nintendo, but of Irem’s Hammerin’ Harry is another quite early set (I think). Judging by the graphics printed on the cards they may have been released at around the same time as the Famicom version of the game, but again I am not sure at all. If so, these may have been released in the early 90s. I do know of older cards which have the exact same black plastic case. If anyone knows hard facts though, please link me to sites – I’d really appreciate it.


This set is still factory sealed too. Unbelievable that people wouldn’t even crack them open!


I was very lucky to find these two sets, specially for the prices that I did. ?


An Update – March 24th

After making this post I decided to go on the hunt for more of these Nintendo cards. I decided to search outside the areas where Nintendo gear would normally be, and was lucky enough to find an auction selling a bulk lot of 6 completely sealed! Completely amazed I snapped them up quick. The photos bellow show you what I got.

Click to enlarge
nintendo-trump-cards nintendo-trump-cards-1

nintendo-trump-cards-2 nintendo-trump-cards-3

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Nintendo Color TV Game 15 – CTG15s and CTG15v

The Nintendo Color TV Game 15 was one of the earliest consoles in Nintendo’s line-up. It was released at a time when almost every system on the market was a variation of Pong, but Nintendo pushed things far further by including Tennis, Hockey, Table Tennis, and Volleyball – who I am Kidding, it’s Pong just in different colours for the most part. 😀

Some details:

  • Released in 1978
  • Came in two models – CTG15S (left) and CTG15V (right)
  • Game modes – 8
  • 2 Player
  • Price then – 15000yen
  • Price now – $75 – $200


A common misconception (at least based on the two I own) is that the two models (CTG15s and CTG15v) are exactly the same except for the colour, but let me assure you, this is a misconception.

There is one major difference with the two models that doesn’t seem to get mentioned on the web. As you can see in the picture bellow the CTG15V (right) has larger knobs than the CTG15S (left), but size isn’t the only difference. The CTG15S (the one with the smaller knobs) is inferior – not due to knob size for all you guys feeling bad right now – but because it uses an endless rotary knob (no end or start points) versus the CTG15v which uses knobs that have clear start and clear end points. You may be saying “it shouldn’t make any difference, I can still rotate them in the same way”, but the main issue is that the knobs on the CTG15s do not actually respond to the speed of rotation, whereas the CTG15v (the darker coloured one) do – this is a make or break for this type of game.

Although there is a difference with the knobs on the two I own, this may not reflect that all CTG15S have that same difference. If you own a 15S and it has the same larger knobs as the 15V that I have please let me know.


The CTG15S is actually more sort after than the CTG15V purely due to rarity, but based on my two, if I were buying one to play then I would definitely try and get the CTG15V.

Another interesting point is that Nintendo wasn’t keen on plastering their name all over the machine either. The only places that have the Nintendo brand are on the RF and power adapter.



There are many game modes as indicated on the right hand side of the picture bellow. Basically in Japanese it reads that the game modes are Tennis A/B, Hockey A/B, Volleyball A/B, and PingPong A/B. The other switches do things like change bat size, and also change to singles and doubles mode. The two buttons there are a serve button and a reset button.


In use the Nintendo Color TV Game 15 is a really fun little pong clone. I have had great fun playing this with friends over a beer or two, and I can thoroughly recommend picking one up. 🙂



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