Gameboy Jam 5 Round Up

Was hoping to get out some more detailed looks into some of the 400+ entries into GBJAM5, but well, ain’t nobody got time fo dat and all that (not for lack of want though, I’d rather be playing through each game and writing about them here than working -ed). Here, at least, are a couple more tasty desserts from the GBJAM5- some choice selections from an admittedly fine menu.

The appetizer is a challenging action-platformer featuring ever Ninja’s favourite weapon, followed up by a main serving of Slug-shooting arcade action, finished off with some classic football-infused dungeon exploration. Yes, really. As a bonus supper, I’ve also included a rare treat: a Gameboy style beat ’em up.



A frustrate em up platformer, you know the type. Truth be told, Shuriken is pretty forgiving for the challenge-platformer genre, but still packs some venom in its fangs, and is damn polished as heck to boot. Everyone’s favourite Metroidvania ingredients tossed in a carefully selected colour palette, simmered in authentic sounding chiptunes serves up a satisfying dish. Kind of like how fried chicken mysteriously tastes better at 3AM after at least 4 drinks. A post-jam update even adds an unlockable harder difficulty mode for all you masochists out there.

Shuriken | download



An arena shoot ‘ em up sorts, with one additional spice: the power of gravity and a distinct lack of floor. Like that one gun in Cave Story, you have to keep yourself propelled in the air, constantly, while also trying to blast the beasts and totally-not-metroids that float around the screen. Slugcaster is very arcade-lite fun, without a hint of progression, but fun while it lasts.

Slugcaster | download

Legend of Ball


I guess before the corrupting influence of the internet a boy and his blob ball were like inseparable pals, going on adventures together. That’s basically what Legend of Ball is all about, expect a hypothetical Legend of Zelda where sports was king and the only weapon was a ball to the face. Enemies, too, receive an athletic makeover, with footballers making the rounds in the dungeon waiting to smash your face in. So, basically, a pretty authentic high school simulation, then.

Gameplay-wise, the mechanics work suitably well; the throw button (X) tosses the ball into whatever needs hitting, be it an enemy or conveniently placed switch puzzle, while holding down the button longer unleashes a longer, faster throw. The game would sound like a gimmick Zelda, but there are a few devious touches to the gameplay. The ball, as would be expected, does indeed bounce off of edges and enemies, which can be a help or hindrance at times. Furthermore, the ball must be retrieved after throwing, leaving you utterly defenseless between – making each throw a risky but necessary prospect.

Legend of Ball | download



The Gameboy was well-received for platformers, and had its fair share of excellent quirky puzzle games, and even wasn’t bad off when it came to RPGs. But beat ’em up brawlers were less represented on the old green-box device, so it seemed only fair to include Beat-Up-Boy on this list. A odd Double Dragon style game which includes pandas, because, why not?

I can’t add much more sadly, as I couldn’t get it to run on my computer, but judging by the reviews it works for others and is a fun if short little street brawler.

Beat-Up-Boy | download

This year’s gameboy jam certainly unleashed a crazy amount of games. If you have the time, I highly recommend to check it out, as there’s a few more notable games worth playing. Until next time, same gameboy time, same gameboy channel.


About J.C

I grew up in the dark dingy arcades of the 1980s, blasting heads with Robocop 2, but grew up in an era that spanned the introduction of the x86 home computer, through to the 16-bit revolution, into the polygon age and beyond. I write about food, travel and of course, New Retro Games. I started and contribute to I am also a freelance business researcher, writer, and editor having published academic and corporate articles on innovation and intellectual property.

Posted on October 25, 2016, in Arcade, Beat 'Em Up, Platformer, RPG and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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