10 Game Boy Deep Cuts That Aren’t On Nintendo Switch Online

If you needed a reason to fire up the ol’ DMG, we’ll give you ten.

This list omits lauded titles like Avenging Spirit, Faceball 2000, Heiankyo Alien, Kid Dracula, QIX, and Quarth — which either appeared elsewhere as ports on past Nintendo home consoles or are available on Switch in some form — instead leaning into largely forgotten console exclusives. Without further ado…

Another HAL outing that pre-dates Kirby, Trax is a top-down shooter that puts the player in control of a cute tank that can be steered freely in all eight directions, but with a turret that rotates clockwise. That constraint adds a layer of strategy while dodging, manoeuvring, and lining up shots. Despite its brevity and low difficulty, the title boasts fluid controls and is brimming with character owing to its unique boss sprites and fights. Trax pushes the Game Boy to its technical limits and is a great little title to fire up to sate a handheld shump fix.

Originally envisioned as ‘Bound High’, a Virtual Boy-exclusive set in stereoscopic 3D that was cancelled when Nintendo pulled the plug on the doomed headset, developers Japan System Supply adapted the title’s robot protagonist, Chalvo, and its bounce-focused gameplay for an outing on the Game Boy, albeit as a 2D side-scrolling puzzle platformer. Though obscure and released only in Japan in 1997, Chalvo 55 creatively leverages block-pushing, exploration, and the unique traversal mechanic of curling into a perpetually bouncing ball to great effect.

Given its sheer quality, it’s a shame that Mercenary Force is as overlooked as it is. Released in 1990 by Meldac and steeped in the folklore of Edo Japan, this fast-paced horizontal auto-scrolling shooter puts you in control of a band of mercenaries, each with unique abilities. Attack formations can be changed dynamically to gain strategic advantage, with each warrior boasting a unique kamikaze move that can be unleashed prior to falling in battle. This is a true cult classic that will test your shump mettle while pushing the hardware to its limits.

Though it never left Japan, Konami’s 1991 title Cave Noire is historically significant for being one of the earliest examples of a roguelike game on a handheld console, and it holds up respectably today. You take on bite-sized quests in four procedurally dungeons, each with a unique goal such as slaying monsters, collecting gold, or freeing fairies. Inventory management and grasping the game’s turn-based movement are key to overcoming later quests’ high difficulty. A fan translation has been available online for some time for those eager to dabble in this curio.