50 Shades of Grayscale: Let's Play 50 Game Boy Games!

Balloon Kid

Game number five! We’re a tenth of the way there. I decided every fifth game in the list would always be guaranteed to be a mainline Nintendo game (with maybe one or two exceptions), so we’d always have a bit of a rock to come upon after long bouts of licensed game hell. Balloon Kid caught my eye immediately as I was initially compiling the list. A sequel to Balloon Fight but as a charming character platformer! Who knew! Not a lot of people, probably. I’m happy to be able to show it off. It did occupy a somewhat torturous position regarding information, though. As a Nintendo game it had a bit of trivia tied to it on legacy alone, but if there are extended bits of information I certainly couldn’t find them! Not even, like, a magazine ad. Let alone a strategy guide. As such we were left with only little bits of info, including only half of the enemies and one boss being listed in the manual!

Balloon Kid’s legacy is not very far reaching either, tragically. It does seem to strangely survive through a WarioWare character, though, and I’d be super supportive of a reboot based around her.


what a delightful game! I never knew this one existed. really hard near the end, but still nowhere near Gargamel levels of nonsense.

this series is especially cool to me since I didn’t get to play much of any Nintendo stuff until Pokemon came out, so you’re going to show off a lot of games that I never got to play.

how far ahead are the streams now, compared to these recordings?

As of this writing we’re currently almost done with game 25 on the list! I, uh, kind of procrastinated on the editing side of things…

Editing is time-consuming, so I get it. Good that these are coming through though, looking forward to catching up!

Sneaky Snakes

We’re back with an obscure title from Rare, and probably the first proper chapter of bullshit that our lineup can throw at us. It’s Sneaky Snakes! There isn’t a whole lot to say on the game itself, and frankly it amazes me that there were even people out there who looked upon its prequel with fondness. It’s a tedious experience at best and the best thing I can even say about it is its musical taste. Somewhat importantly, this is also the introduction/discovery of our new mortal enemies, the defunct UK publication Advanced Computer Entertainment, hereto known as ACE. ACE’s nightmarish review system and smarmy 90s attitude really seal the deal of making them the perfect companion to this shitty shitty game. They deserve each other. Feel free to read it for yourself.

This also marks the beginning of the first themed block of 50 Shades of Grayscale. With the possible exception of the multiples of 5, each stack of games has a running theme throughout it. Sneaky Snakes marks the beginning of the reptile block, so please look forward and guess at what possible titles may arrive!

Snake count: 5


Baby T-Rex

Congratulations, team! We made it to the final screen flicker episode! The reptile block continues with the shadow of Sneaky Snakes looming over us, as we tackle the somewhat strange title of Baby T-Rex. It’s a strange case of an actually wholesome motive behind a simple sprite swap, which gives it plenty of bonus points as is in my book. So much so that I am genuinely envious of this collection despite the game itself not being all that memorable.

I’d kill for a copy of the unreleased Edd the Duck, though. Here’s the full resolution version of the article previewing it, with enough smarm to make ACE blush!

Snake count: 6

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Tail 'Gator

Tail Gator! A new age of good video has arrived, and brought with it a new era of audio futzing. It’s not too bad but it’s certainly one of those hindsight things that drives me up the wall. This game is honestly lovely, if not a little long in the tooth (haw). It kind of drove us immediately insane once again, but that might have just been runoff from Sneaky Snakes still poisoning our brains. I wish there was more to say on it! Natsume is pretty prolific but the documentation on smaller games like this just does not exist in many cases, and that can be a little disheartening. Digging up these games can provide so many fun insights into design from back in the day and when you hit a dead end it’s just a bummer.

PublicOpinion put the challenge out to see just what people would artistically interpret this thing as, though. I encourage everyone to try it out! I know I will.

Snake count: 7


Thank you for this beautiful moment. (Sound effects bit, late in the second half)

gotta pay tribute to the very tangible human skull

Myself and a couple of pals are answering the artistic challenge of interpreting our little ghost girl sprite!

My entry:


A third secret friend also took a crack at it!

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It’s time to close out the reptile block with the biggest and baddest reptile I know! Godzilla, I feel, is one of the quintessential licensed Game Boy game experiences: a well known figure supplied in a surprising medium. While, contextually, it makes a fair amount of sense to have a Godzilla game look like this, I have to imagine the surprise many children felt as they booted this one up for the first time. I certainly was floored the first time I discovered it. Godzilla has a lot of elements many other games we’ve disliked so far feature, but in a package we can actually enjoy. I’m not entirely sure why, but something about the game just has a little more polish and care for the player built in? Hell, there’s even love in the code of the game! What I’m saying is Godzilla is about love.

Also this magazine ad owns.

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I didn’t expect this to be a puzzle platformer, but it gave us adorable Kaiju sprites so who could possibly complain?

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Kirby’s Dream Land

Here we are! The big one-oh! Kirby’s Dream Land is a wonderful title and it feels like I have so much to say about it and truly nothing at all simultaneously. This is one of those titles I played to death on my Game Boy Pocket, though it would be several years until I learned about Kirby’s now iconic copy ability. To me, he was perfect only as a hungry boy and only n64 titles like smash and Kirby 64 could tell me otherwise. Even after all the success of this franchise, though, I still can’t help but admire its simple roots. Kirby is most certainly a key part of my love for this monochrome system that goes on even to this day.

A lil bit of extra history that I couldn’t fit in the video: Kirby’s original ability was going to be kicking and headbutting enemies like a soccer ball. To go along with the philosophy of making the game accessible to anyone, Sakurai came up with Kirby’s ability to float endlessly and not be conquered by pits. The idea of Kirby sucking a bunch of air to do so, naturally lead to changing from headbutts to sucking in enemies as well.

Development for the game was on a Twin Famicom system that had no implementation of a physical keyboard. All code had to be entered manually using a track ball and an on screen keyboard. While cumbersome to work with, the kit allowed the game’s data processing load to be easily streamlined, leading to smooth animations.

Finally, while I didn’t complete it within the original video itself, as luck would have it I did happen to recently stream all of Kirby’s Dream Land on hard mode! Just me on commentary for this one and there’s a lot of me crying, but it’s all there!


A sweet potato turned into a mint leaf? Maxim Tomato turned into a bag of magic food!? OK whatever, manual! I get the feeling the English writers either didn’t fully agree with the Japanese manual, or straight up couldn’t translate some of it and just guessed.

I’ve been curious for a while what the rest of Extra Mode is like, always bounced off it when playing it myself. Might as well give that a watch too!

Showcase #1

Hey everybody! Now that we hit the ten entry mark, it’s time for our first official interlude! My main philosophy for this series is to play 50 games with concrete starts and ends, but the Game Boy has so many other things to offer! A wide variety of genres and styles were featured on the hand held system, taking advantage of its portability to provide bite sized experiences suitable for playing on the go. Sure, they’re not very deep, but they are still important! Many of the games in this particular video hold a small place in my heart. Some were gifts, some were closely tied to friends, and others were just good-ass games. All of which shaped the nostalgia I hold to this day, even if some of the games are objectively…lacking.

This particular block features both arcade ports and puzzle games featured on the Game Boy, including the grand daddy of them all: Tetris. There’s a LOT to say about Tetris, and admittedly it could have occupied its own segment in itself, but the long and short of it was that the people getting Nintendo the rights to this game knew exactly what they had on their hands. Several legal disputes of dubious moral standing across multiple countries were enacted to make sure the game was bundled with the Game Boy. Instead of Super freakin Mario! Tetris was the biggest of deals.


Hello everyone! Every week I’m going to start rolling out the uncut stream archives for each 50 Shades of Grayscale session. Admittedly, the first few are not going to be incredibly different, but as time goes on there will be quite the hefty batches of footage to peruse, with all the delirium of tackling an overly challenging game you might expect! I will be doing a group of however many videos happened per session, per week, so for short game entries you’ll probably get two videos! Exciting!

This is going to also be my one plug usage, as I am releasing all sessions a week early over on My Patreon so if you like being on the cutting edge of this nonsense by all means throw a couple bucks in there!

Looney Tunes

Welcome back, everybody! A new themed block is upon us, and it was (somewhat hastily) decided to be the Warner Bros block! This, of course, means we’re going to for the most part be experiencing titles from developers Sunsoft. Sunsoft is a bit of an interesting “company” with an interesting lineage. Namely in how much of it is just adaptations and ports? Even as recent as 2018, Sunsoft has been handling ports for titles like Obduction, and even releasing games on the Switch! A quiet constant in the industry.

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Howdy folks! It’s time for another uncut session posting! Another double feature, but probably the last one for a while. Things got a lot longer from this point onward. Enjoy the descent into madness!

Also, happy birthday to Super Mario Land 2! Not to mention our boy Wario. Truly a momentous day in Game Boy history.


heLLOOOOOOOO thread! Hope you’re ready for another proper entry! We’re continuing our Warner Bros block with…the Warner Bros [sub]and the warner sister[/sub]! This will be our only Sunsoft free entry for this block, a surprising entry from Konami and Factor 5. I always found it odd that Animaniacs had completely different versions per game console, and equally weird that the Genesis adaptation moved to the Game Boy. I think it was the right move, overall, even if some of the wilder set pieces were lost to the smaller tech. A lot of fun detail was still put into the game despite everything!

Snake count: 8


Progress on this weeks full episode might be a little halted, worst case scenario is it comes a week later. in the meantime please enjoy another uncut stream!