Game Boy: The Box Art Collection
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Game Boy: The Box Art Collection Reviewed

Last Updated on June 1, 2024

The Game Boy needs no introduction. It is the most popular handheld console in the world and kickstarted the popularity of the handheld consoles. It is so popular that it became a cultural icon of its own and define the generation of the late 80s to 90s.

Not even its competitors, who have far more capability in terms of graphics and color, could even surpass the Game Boy which shows how legendary the Game Boy is. This is down to two things: simple, fun gameplay and a longer battery life than its competitors. In addition, the Game Boy has tons of games in its library. Of course, there are many Game Boy games which never made it outside Japan for various reasons. It has been said that some Japanese box art was more vibrant and beautiful than the Western versions. I myself, who had the Game Boy before, had never even played the Japanese games due to its language barrier.

Luckily, Bitmap Books has provided us a wonderful Game Boy encyclopedia which puts the main focus on the platform’s box art – Game Boy: The Box Art Collection.

Coming at 372 pages, this book describes the wonderful history of Game Boy before going into alphabetical order the list of games and its covers. The main attraction, of course, are the box arts hence the title. It has been said that the box arts usually attract people into buying the game even though the game turns out to be bad.

This book not only shows the wonderful Japanese box art cover but also some great Western box art as well. Looking at the book, I was really amazed how vibrant the Japanese box art covers are. Not only are they beautiful and colorful but the amount of effort to make the box art attractive is clear.

Each page includes details about the game, the Japanese language game title (English included where applicable), who made it, the genre, year of release, the description of the box art, and a brief review. As with any Bitmap Books publication, great attention has been given to creating new screenshots of the games. This is a huge plus because it allows us to see what the game would look like and whether it would pique our interest or not. This could also benefit the Game Boy collectors who wish to sample screenshots of the games and their descriptions before deciding whether they want to buy or not. You might say that it serves as a reference book which can help them save money as they can make better decisions and buy good games rather than waste money on buying bad games despite the attractiveness box art.

To say that I really like this book is a huge understatement. This book is my treasure and my daily reading before going to work even though it is for a few minutes or just 2-3 games I read about it. I had a Game Boy myself and I had played so many games on my Game Boy but now that I look at this book, I can say that I only played about 5% of its library.

Sure, I played Super Mario Land, Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, Tetris, Doctor Mario, etc but thanks to this book, I have discovered new games which really got my interest such as Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R, Dead Heat Fighters series, Ikari no YousaiRace Day and a whole lot more. This book is not just for reading and learning about the games, it is a discovery to me. Sure, you can play them in emulators in the present day, but it will never replace the feeling that we could have if we had those games played on our Game Boy console.

Many franchises started in the Game Boy. This book helped me discover tons of amazing Game Boy games that I had never played before, and understand and appreciate the Game Boy even more. It has also taught me the facts and the knowledge about the Game Boy which made it really superior to competitors. This book really appreciates its motto ‘Small is Beautiful’ because despite its technological disadvantage (compared to the SEGA Game Gear and Atari Lynx), the Game Boy had the longest battery time and the best games.

If it weren’t for Game Boy, then we wouldn’t had Game Boy Advance, Wii, nor Wii U (despite the mixed review of it) and especially not the Nintendo Switch.

This book is a must have for all the people who had the Game Boy before and wants to relive their childhood memories. This book is also suitable for collectors as they can make the decisions based on the amount of details of the games the Bitmap Books has put into.

Aside from a couple of missing games (such as Tom and Jerry), there is not a single negative thing I can say about this book. This book is available and the packaging and the work the Bitmap Book has done is beyond amazing and it deserves a round of applause. So a huge kudos to Bitmap Books for making such a wonderful book and we really hope that you guys will make great retro gaming books for years to come.

Game Boy: The Box Art Collection is available to buy from Bitmap Books, listed at £29.99.

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