Everyone knows about the Game Boy Advance and the PSP, but not everyone has heard of them. There were a lot of powerful platforms that were competing for the handheld game console market before they came along.
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When Bandai made the WonderSwan, it was one of them, and so were its successors, like the WonderSwan Color in 2000 and the SwanCrystal in 2002. (2002).
It had a powerful 16-bit central processing unit, and its long battery life was also a big part of how well it did. Seeing these consoles as the best retro handhelds from that time is easy.
Because the WonderSwan games never made it outside of Japan, you’ll need to know a lot of Japanese in order to play them all (or at least some English patches).
In this short list, I tried to focus on games that anyone can play even if they don’t know Japanese. Some well-known narrative-heavy games did make it in, though, for those who know the language or can find patches.
SD Gundam Operation U.C. (2002)
If there’s anything I like more than mechas, it’s mechas that look like bobbleheads.
SD Gundam Operation U.C. is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up with a few RPG elements that has a lot of action and very little rest time.
Mechas and spaceships of all sizes will come to fight you, and you’ll use an energy rifle and a sword for close-quarters fights.
If you want to fight against the machine or another player, there is a Vs. Mode in the game. You can fight against the machine or another player.
It’s a little harsh, but it’s also a lot of fun, and you don’t need to know any Japanese to enjoy it.
Engacho! is the best example of Japanese developers not being afraid of the grotesque, and it’s a lot of fun to look at.
Make your way through a grid board without getting caught by one of four monsters, which include a flying butt, Mickey Mouse clone, big-nosed dude with snot, and an armpit hair monster, without getting caught by any of them.
If you don’t like this line-up, the game is still pretty fun.
As soon as you step, your enemies go in one direction. You’ll need to learn their moves to stay alive.
Tane Wo Maku Tori (1999)
To make a great game, sometimes you only need one idea.
This game is called Tane Wo Maku Tori. In it, you have to direct rain drops down vertical beams until they reach a flower seedling that is growing under them. When you do this, you need to move the platforms that connect these columns. This way, the water will flow down in the right direction.
It’s not that hard at first. But the levels get more difficult with the addition of things like thirsty snails that move around and try to drink your water droplets.
For example, the game’s graphics are also very good for the time.
Hataraku Chocobo (2000)
A Chocobo is a large, flightless bird that looks a lot like an ostrich. In the world of Final Fantasy, a Chocobo is a horse.
They’ve been part of the series since Final Fantasy II.
If a game has the word “Chocobo” on it, I’ll play it.
Final Fantasy’s most famous mascot is the star of Hataraku Chocobo, a Life Sim/Board Game where you play as them. You’ll help them complete tasks in exchange for items.
It all depends on how you want to play these WonderSwan games. Recently, an English Patch was released for this great game.
Golden Axe (2002)
This side-scrolling beat-em-up can be played on the WonderSwan Color while you’re on the go.
Choose from a dwarf, a burly barbarian, and a sexy amazonian warrior to fight off the Death Adders and their minions as you make your way to their castle to raid it and get all the gold.
Game: You want to play it after a long day at work when your brain is tired. If you want to vent your anger, just start up your WonderSwan and play games with pixelated muscular men and their reptilian beasts.
Tetris! What else can I say?
All of the menus are in English, which is great for us Westerners because we don’t speak any other languages.
Those of you who are Tetris fans will be happy to know that this game follows the “Tetris Guideline.” For people who aren’t familiar with Tetris, that’s the current list of rules that the Tetris Company has for all Tetris games.
Tetriminos have to be the right colours and the playing field grid has to be 10×40 (it looks like it’s 10×20 to keep people on their toes). This makes sure that everything works out. It even tells you where Tetriminos must fall from.
Chocobo no Fushigi na Dungeon (1999)
WonderSwan: Hataraku Chocobo isn’t the only game in which Chocobo is a star.
In this game, “Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon,” it’s called “Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon,” and it’s a port of the PlayStation game. It’s now in monochrome 2D.
In the game, you play as a Chocobo who goes through a series of randomly generated mazes. You collect items that help you get through each area, which you’ll lose if you get knocked out.
It’s a great Roguelike, and it’s even better when you’re on the go.
There’s also an English patch for this game, and it’s the one to start with.
Magical Drop (1999)
Competitive Puzzle games were popular in the arcades back when they first came out, but now they’re more popular on handheld devices because they train your brain.
Magical Drop was first released on the Neo Geo Arcades, where it quickly became a huge hit. This WonderSwan version is very close to the arcade version.
The goal of the game is to keep a stack of falling bubbles from reaching the ground. Make a line of three or more by taking the bottom sphere from one column and moving it to another. Do this, and they’ll come out.
Rainbow Islands Putty’s Party (2000)
Next up in our list of the best WonderSwan games, Bub and Bob are taking a break. This time, Putty is in charge. He uses rainbows as weapons and tools to help bridge gaps.
With a rainbow, it’s not as scary as with a gun. It might even be a fun way to die.
This game is all about getting gems. Players also need to trap enemies inside rainbows to get gems.
To finish each island level, you have to move up the screen.
Do you have what it takes to beat the boss at the top of each screen? Putty’s Party is a game that you might play for a long time if you do not.
Rhyme Rider Kerorican (1999)
A frog-shaped helmet is a dream for every girl. It might be fun to see that same girl dancing to techno music.
Yeah, that sounds good.
The goal of the game is to dance to the music and avoid dangerous things while making notes sound when you miss something.
You know what… WonderSwan: This game looks great on the WonderSwan. The backgrounds are also interesting.
To soar over obstacles like the high-flying boss you are, grab a powerup. You can also take them on one by one with a little button-mashing magic.
A good way to keep your fingers soft is to use this one all the time. As a bonus, it’s also addictive as hell, so be careful!