More marketable versions of the same game

Solomon’s Club became retooled as Monster Rancher Explorer on Game Boy Color:


QIX became QIX Adventure

Panel de Pon GB became Pokemon Puzzle Challenge

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Those are just three examples that I’ve been thinking about lately while I’m on a Game Boy kick again. In the case of these three (well, six) titles, it really does show where the platform ended up in the tail end of the 90s, a decade after it came to be.

I’m not sure whether it’s due to changing development circumstances or just the GBC’s razor sharp focus on being marketed at a younger audience, but to me it feels like GBC’s software library is a lot more “marketable” than GB’s, which is a bit of a bummer.

At the same time, if Panel de Pon wasn’t a Pokemon spinoff, I wouldn’t have gotten it for Christmas back when I was a kid. If Vic Tokai’s fantastic Lucle on Game Boy had been rebranded a Pokemon title, it might have inspired a generation of younger players.

…what examples come to mind when you think of a game concept that has reappeared in a more marketable form, for better or worse?


I think the Crazy Castle games are a good example of this. There’s like billions of those and they all feature the exact same gameplay. Kemco just swapped out the sprites for whatever was popular in the region at the time.

Nintendo Life published an interesting article about this series:

It was Tetris Attack before Pokémon Puzzle League/Challenge/Collection, but of course not on GB.

Puyo pop becoming Kirby’s avalanche and Dr. Robotnick’s mean bean machine was the first that came to mind for me.

Would Doki Doki Panic to SMB2USA be the most famous example?

Agro Soar
Baby T-Rex
We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story

All the same game.

they also tried to do it as

The Smurfs

But didn’t get the licences.

My favourite is probably how the Game Boy Kunio game, Kunio-kun: Bangai Ranto Hen was re-done as Double Dragon II. Never before have I seen a game have most graphics and music changed but the gameplay left exactly the same.

The changes are pretty funny. The map screen is in exactly the same layout, but with school buildings and Japanese houses replaced by standard cityscapes. Both games have train levels where you fight on the same train, but in Double Dragon they’ve added broken windows and graffiti. And the bosses play identically but have all been re-drawn to match the Double Dragon Mad Max/Fist of the North Star post-apocalyptic aesthetic.

It’s really fun to play through both and compare the changes.

There’s also Blaster Master Boy which was a Bomberman game in Japan!

Bam Entertainment releasing an Elevator Action game as a Dexter’s Lab game:

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Which Elevator Action game is this?

I covered this one on Battle of the Ports a few weeks ago.

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Elevator Action EX


Some great picks here! I had no idea about Elevator Action becoming a licensed game which just seems crazy to me. Same with Kunio-dun becoming Double Dragon!

For sure. While the original game was already based on a licensed property, it’s crazy how much of an impact on the Mario canon its North American adaptation was. Shy Guys and Birdo are every day Mario characters while I can’t think of any new Mario characters since Galaxy’s Rosalina and Sunshine’s Piantas who have successfully established themselves in the universe since.

I remember playing Crazy Castle 3 and 4 as a kid, but I passed on Crazy Castle 5 because of the Woody Woodpecker theming (and to be honest, the really ugly prerendered sprites)…which is quite funny in hindsight because their use of licensed IP eventually backfired there.

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