What a bummer! Tiger Electronics’ Game.com is a pretty shoddy video game system. Released in 1997, it attempted to differentiate itself from Nintendo’s Game Boy, but personally I think it feels cheap and that probably contributed to the system apparently never catching on. It seems more like an upscale toy rather than a serious video game system.
Mimicking the PDAs of the day (remember those?), the Game.com features a touch screen and a system menu with a few layman productivity software features. Included are a phone book, calendar, and a calculator, which would’ve appealed to my younger self as I could organize important information and feel like an adult, but their functionality is reduced in the modern age we’re living in fifteen years later. Also included at the system menu level is a high score application that tracks player’s high scores through all the games they’ve played and solitaire. I really like the idea of consolidating every high score into one place and solitaire is always solid. The system also had internet functionality through a separate cartridge, but I didn’t get the opportunity to try it out.
One of the most interesting features of the Game.com is the dual cartridge slot allowing two games to be inserted at once. But with a lackluster catalog of games, there isn’t much reason to use both. Twenty games were released for the system and I believe they came in two or three waves. Nearly every one of these releases were licensed titles and a gamut of genres were present, but in my experience they were hampered by the system’s infernal motion blurring. Another hindrance to my enjoyment was the system’s monochromatic screen and lack of backlighting. But, it was mostly due to the blurring whenever there’s movement in-game.
They’re available for cheap although many of the games can be hard to track down. I was “lucky” enough to have a local game store that had an abundance of games for cheap and built a large collection very quickly. I recently decided to play through them and compose mini-reviews. This feature will continue for a couple of days.