Club Nintendo Game & Watch: Ball

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Anybody who buys a reasonable amount of Nintendo games will probably be aware of the Club Nintendo Stars Catalogue. This is a store that allows a user to spend points of a range of items such as key rings to miniature statures to rare items such as a replica SNES controller specially designed for the Wii.

Stars are collected by buying a Nintendo system or game, generally you can pick up something like 500-1000 stars for registering a code included in a system box such as the WiiU or the 3DS while games will generally bag you 250 stars. In the past I have spent stars on “Nintendo Points” which can be redeemed on the virtual console to purchase digital games.

Some of the rare items cost thousands of points, one of which is the Game & Watch reissue of “Ball”. This classic was the first Game & Watch game Nintendo released, dating from 1980. I decided to save my points and bag myself the exclusive Club Nintendo gift.

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The system comes complete with a cardboard box, packaging and far too many manuals (multiple languages).

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The system itself is tiny, far smaller than I expected. For dimensions I’ve compared it to a 3DS XL (the blue console) and a DS Lite (White). The build quality is fairly decent, with a burgundy shell and a mock chrome faceplate. The buttons are rubber while the screen itself is a monochrome LCD display.

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As for the gameplay, don’t expect to be blown away, after all the game is over 30 years old. The premise is to catch the balls that you toss up into the air, in other words it’s juggling. Game A has the player throwing 2 balls and scoring 1 point per ball caught, each ball is tossed into the air and over to the opposite side of the screen. The left and right buttons are then used to adjust the position of the left and right hands in order to catch each ball. Game B is much the same but there are 3 balls in play and 10 points are scored for each successful catch.

As the system name suggests (Game & Watch), the system is also used as a watch. You can set the time and when not in play the LCD screen will display a demo and the current time.

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