Review: 1942 (Game Boy Color)

In this review, we single handedly defeat an entire enemy air force in the Game Boy Color game 1942. We find out how well this top down shooter game plays.

This game was released in 2000. We previously reviewed the NES version. that game left a lot to be desired. We also reviewed the game 1943 – The Battle for Midway. That game scored half decently here. So, we thought we’d try the Game Boy Color game to see if it’s any better than its NES counterpart.

Since there are so many similarities between this game and the NES version of 1942, we’ll focus on the differences.

One thing this game manages to fix is the starting point for your bullets. Now, the bullets start right at the front of the plane instead of a distance ahead.

Another fix is the scoring system. The game now includes a 7th digit and can handle bigger scores.

One thing that is stripped away in this game is the top score system. Instead of a top score in this game, you alternatively have the ability to print them out. Hard to figure out the reason why the change, but there it is.

The power-ups are largely the same. Green increases the width of your shots. White adds two planes beside yours to increase the width of shots further. Red increases the number of “rolls” you get for your plane. Light orange destroys every enemy plane on the screen. Once you collect one power-up, subsequent power-ups merely act as score bonuses and nothing else.

Free lives are awarded every 100,000 points or so (exact number is unclear).

A problem I have with this game is that, other than a few minor fixes, it’s still the same boring and repetitive game as it was on the NES. There still is no real ending and the game struggles to draw high numbers of enemies on the screen. Because it is released when other games already out there do so much better now, it’s next to impossible to really recommend this one thanks in part to it’s still dated style of play.

The graphics are quite basic. It is largely unchanged from the NES version. The high volume of enemies won’t cause planes to disappear completely, but flickering can be quite bad still. The backgrounds can get quite repetitive with the long endless blue ocean with only the odd island here and there providing some minor differences to the background. Sandy beaches still conflict with the colors of enemy shots, making it difficult to see. It’s a fairly poor showing.

The audio is probably the biggest weakness for this game. I was initially excited when I heard the intro music. Unfortunately, the level music is still the random beeping noise and mess of hi-hat white noise. The sound effects only increase the amount of random white noise you hear. By today’s standards, this is nowhere near passable.

Overall, this game manages to make a few minor fixes. These include the scoring and where shots are generated. Beyond that, you get the same old style of play that was boring and repetitive when it graced the NES. By the standards of 2000 handheld games, it may almost be unplayable. The lack of innovation in this game really hurts this games chances at success. The graphics are average and the audio is a complete flop. Definitely a game on the avoid list as far as I’m concerned.

Easy: Won: 1,410,050
Normal: Died on level 28: 123,450
Hard: Died on level 25: 287,600

General gameplay: 12/25
Replay value: 5/10
Graphics: 4/10
Audio: 1/5

Overall rating: 44%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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