|Game & Watch|
Logo of Game & Watch.
|Genre(s)||Action, puzzle, platforming|
|Platform(s)||Game & Watch, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U|
|Platform of origin||Game & Watch|
|Year of inception||1980|
|First installment||Ball (1980)|
|Latest installment||Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. (2020)|
The Game & Watch (ゲーム&ウオッチ) universe refers to the Super Smash Flash series' collection of characters, stages, and properties concerning and modeled off of Nintendo's old Game & Watch series of dedicated handheld gaming devices, released from 1980 to 1991. For predating even 1981's Donkey Kong, the Game & Watch series is sometimes labeled the grandfather of gaming. Of the various game franchises that have been heavily represented thus far in the Super Smash Flash series, this can be considered the most "out there" universe of them all, featuring a unique, distinctive, flat "mascot" character, referred to as Mr. Game & Watch, as a playable character in SSF and SSF2. Its symbol is a Mr. Game & Watch-esque character wearing a helmet and ringing a bell, a nod to the alarm feature of the Game & Watch systems.
Prior to his work in Nintendo in video games, where he would eventually create the first games in the Metroid and Kid Icarus series, Gunpei Yokoi was traveling on a Shinkansen Bullet Train when he saw a businessman pressing buttons on a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) calculator, in an attempt to kill time. It occurred to Yokoi that there could be an audience for a handheld machine meant specifically for game-based entertainment, so as head for Nintendo's R&D1, he created the first games in what would be a long-running line of Game & Watch dedicated handheld consoles (dedicated in that each individual unit had one game built into it). The games in the franchise were released as "subseries" based on the consistent design of each Game & Watch. The first set of G&W games released in 1980 was called the "Silver" series. The Game & Watch made handhelds vastly popular and prompted other companies, such as Tiger Electronics, to produce similar devices of their own.
The first Game & Watch games helped carve more of the path towards gaming as a mainstream commodity, continuing the trend of such products as Pong and SPACE INVADERS. This would later be continued by Nintendo in later releases, such as Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.. New sub-series of Game & Watch games were developed and released in the years following, though they would eventually be superseded by the Nintendo Game Boy. The sequel subseries to Silver, Gold, was made in 1981, and later subseries of Game & Watch products included the Widescreen (1981-1982), Multiscreen (1982-1989), Tabletop (1983), Panorama (1983-1984), New Widescreen (1982-1991), Super Color (1984), Micro Vs. System (1984), Crystal Screen (1986), and much later in 1998, the Mini Classics series. Throughout the Game & Watch's entire history, approximately 59 distinctive titles were released. The name of each subseries generally denotes the physical build and layout of the game devices in that subseries, such as games in the Multiscreen subseries being "clamshell"-designed handheld devices, with two separate screens displayed simultaneously, one above the other. The Yokoi-designed, multi-screen layout of Game & Watch gaming devices is extremely similar to the design of the modern-day handheld gaming device, the Nintendo DS.
The games themselves were generally simple in design, especially so for the earliest of the games, such as Ball or Manhole, which comes packaged with the e-Reader for Game Boy Advance. They often had buttons titled "Game A" and "Game B", where selecting one game mode over the other would affect difficulty. As the rest of the gaming industry expanded and developed, the Game & Watch series became somewhat less antiquated; it would soon play fully ported versions of Donkey Kong, Balloon Fight, Super Mario Bros., and Zelda. Game & Watch games were not limited to known Nintendo characters either; there were also games based on Disney's Mickey Mouse, and several of the games featured an unnamed, fully black-colored character in particular.
After the Game & Watch series was superseded by the Game Boy and its many future successors, the Game & Watch name took its place as an artifact from gaming's early history. When HAL Laboratory was designing Super Smash Bros. Melee in 2001, it decided to renew historical appreciation for the franchise by featuring properties from Game & Watch in Melee as a playable franchise, alongside such major game franchises as Mario and The Legend of Zelda. To this end, they gave the unnamed character from several of the games the identity of Mr. Game & Watch, and made him to be the playable "mascot" of the Game & Watch series. Game & Watch has since become a better known subject among the gaming community, enough that properties from it make occasional cameo appearances elsewhere, such as a false clone of Mr. Game & Watch appearing as an NPC in Wario Land 4 for Game Boy Advance.
In the Super Smash Flash series
In Super Smash Flash
Game & Watch was first introduced as a franchise in Melee. Due to this, it made an appearance in Super Smash Flash as a "bonus" franchise, featuring Mr. Game & Watch as the sole representative.
- Mr. Game & Watch: A small, flat, black, and voiceless personality who made several appearances among several of the games in the Game & Watch series, Mr. Game & Watch was given his identity for his appearance as a Melee fighter. A character like no other in the Smash series, Mr."G&W" is almost totally flat, despite the game is in 2-D, and nearly every movement he makes is distinctively frame-by-frame and is accompanied by a "beep-and-boop" sound. As a Smash Flash fighter, however, since all characters had 5 different attacks, Mr. Game & Watch was so limited, having few moves from the Smash series and some other different moves.
In Super Smash Flash 2
While part of the initial roster of Super Smash Flash 2, the Game & Watch franchise was shelved for several years until the reveal of its flagship character.
- Mr. Game & Watch: He returns to the reboot updated and enhanced with many new attacks from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Unlike his previous appearance, and overall Smash Bros. appearances as well, Mr. Game & Watch has been revealed to be a starter character this time around.
- Flat Zone +: A stage found inside a gigantic Game & Watch unit. It comprises some elements from games in the Game & Watch series, notably Manhole and Turtle Bridge.