Game & Watch The Legend of Zelda is a joy of a retro handheld gaming device

A year ago we were crowing about the new Super Mario Bros Game and Watch.

We loved how the retro design and classic 80s Mario games were lovingly brought back to life for today’s gaming audience.

And now Nintendo are back for Christmas 2021 with a new mini console, this time boasting four classic games, one more than 2020.

The theme this time is Zelda and the Game and Watch, designed exactly the same as last year’s machine barring green edges instead of red, is so thoughtfully built it is a joy to play.

The original Game & Watch system was released in Japan in 1980. It was the very first handheld gaming console created by Nintendo.

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And this new device takes that look and replicates it perfectly while adding in the latest USB-C charging port and a simple on-off side button for ease of use.

The buttons feel smooth to the touch and react well to the gaming. The credit card size fits comfortably in the hands.

The screen, while small, is bright and colourful and really brings the retro gaming up to modern expectations visually.

The system features the early games in the hit Zelda actions series, including 1987’s The Legend of Zelda, as well as 1988 sequel Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and the historically popular 1993 Game Boy version of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

There’s also a playable clock, complete with timer, and the added Vermin game from the original Game and Watch, which is basically an 8-bit whack-a-mole title.

It’s so easy to pick up and put down again that you’ll find yourself returning to this little gem with every passing 10 minutes you get spare.

And because the games are all quite different – side scroller, top-down puzzler and the more modern story-driven Game Boy one – it feels more varied than the Mario device.

This means greater longevity and that in turn means you’re less likely to find this a gimmicky purchase that fades quickly.

Overall, a great retro product for Nintendo fans that improves the amount of content on last year’s version while also adding in greater variety.

A perfect Christmas present for the gamer in the family.

VERDICT 5/5

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