Do you want to relieve the enjoyment of Christmas morning 1989 for your significant other/friend/family member later this month by gifting them a brand-new Game Boy game? Well, too bad. The first batch of one has sold out. However, a second batch is coming.
Stepping back a bit: Tobu Tobu Girl is a brand-new Nintendo Game Boy homebrew title (developed by Tangram Games) that has received an actual release. While Game Boy homebrews aren’t all that uncommon, it’s irregular that we’re blessed with a physical release. For your €35, you’ll also receive a Japanese style cardboard box as well as a 12-page full-colour manual. As stated, while the first batch sold out on the 3rd of December, there’s a second batch planned. No date has been given yet, but you can check this page to sign up for an email notification. They’ll also be tweeting updates here.
If you’re not too fussed about the physical release, Tobu Tobu Girl is also available as a free ROM download that can be played on your favourite emulator or GB flash cart. However, you can choose to throw a few dollars to the devs if you want to support them but don’t want to pay for the cartridge. The download includes the manual, plus a printable cut-out of the box. As an added bonus, the source code is also available for free on GitHub. You can even download the soundtrack on Bandcamp, although that will set you back USD $4.
As for the game its self, the story goes that a girl is walking her cat (attached to a balloon, no less) but trips on a rock. The kitty inevitably floats away, so the goal is to jump, dash and flap your arms (propelling herself off various enemies from birds to aliens) to retrieve Mittens. Check the video embedded above to get an idea of how it plays. Tobu translates from Japanese into “jump” (at least it does if Google Translate is worth the pixels it’s printed on) and appears to a super fun arcade platformer – including four timed levels.
Tobu Tobu Girl was originally developed for the third GBJam Game Jam, although Tangram have released a lot of indie games – all of which are available for free on their website. This is their first Game Boy release, though, and is certainly something I’d like to see more of. I’m feeling a bit hopeful and have signed up to the mailing list for the second batch, but living on the bottom of the world has its drawbacks and uncommon time zones are one. Wish me luck. However, you can expect a full review if I do manage to get my hands on a copy.