It is 2021 but the developers at 7FH worked with publisher Incube8 Games to release a brand new original Gameboy game. To be clear, we are talking an original pea-green screen Gameboy game here which is pretty cool.
Genesis, not to be confused with Sega’s 16-bit home console, is the title of this new vertical shooter. It is an original GB game after all so don’t expect a crazy, fast-paced bullet hell. Instead, the player’s goal is to survive the four stages with as high of a score as possible.
This shooter plays to the strengths of the system. It is simple, straightforward, but carries a different approach to most other games in the genre. Instead of shooting every enemy, it is often much easier to actually avoid confrontation than to try and eliminate it. If you watch my stream below, I was cruising a bit on easy-street but then got greedy going for a power-up and it cost me the game.
Another thing that makes Genesis different is the health system. The player can take a few hits before dying and there is even the occasional health pack that can be collected to regenerate some hit points. However, it is important to know there is only one life. Once you die, it is Game Over and the player is sent back to the title screen, which is composed of an uninspired design. The absence of options, like adjusting the difficulty and number of lives, is somewhat annoying for a 2021 game but this just means it plays exactly like an old school GB game, brutal punishment and all.
Unfortunately, repetition sets in as early as the second stage since enemies repeat and all look the same. Outside of the larger boss sprites, the common enemies are nothing more than circles that fire bullets at your current position. Although the enemies are nothing special it is important to highlight just how smooth this game is. With zero flicker and a high frame rate, everything scrolls smoothly including the background layer. It would have been nice if there was a better screen transition between stages and the lack of flourish on the main menu screen is disappointing but still serviceable.
For about $45 dollars, you can own a physical cartridge of Genesis that comes with a box and instruction manual just like original GB games. Is this the best shmup on Gameboy? No, but it does offer quick-play entertainment and it is really cool to see a new, official (physical) GB cart in today’s modern gaming landscape.
Also Play: Solar Striker (GB)
Don’t Forget About: R-Type DX (GBC)
Not As Detailed As: Aero Star (GB)