McDonald's just released Grimace's Birthday on the Game Boy Color.
It’s nice to see that Nintendo’s Game Boy Color system isn’t dead, more than 30 years after it entered the market and more than 15 after it left. In fact, some underground indie developers are still making games for the system since Nintendo Game Boy is pretty much alive. And in the latest news, McDonald’s just released a Game Boy Color game in honor of Grimace’s 52nd birthday—aptly calling the game Grimace’s Birthday.
The report published by IGN promises that the news isn’t a dream. McDonald’s, a famous fast food restaurant, teamed up with Krool Toys to develop Grimace’s Birthday in order to commemorate the debut of the Grimace Birthday milkshake, a purpose drunk sold exclusively with the limited-edition Grimace Birthday Meal at McDonald’s.
The game is currently accessible for play through a web browser or as a smartphone app for those interested in giving it a shot. But the most interesting thing about the game is that it was released for Nintendo Game Boy Color.
Yes, that’s right; if you happen to have a working Game Boy Color collecting dust somewhere in your home, you can download the ROM file for the console since the game was actually designed to run on 25-year-old hardware. If you don’t happen to have Game Boy Color, you can easily obtain one for around $130 on Amazon—we encourage you to do so; the GBC was and still is a fantastic color with a very lively community. Alternatively, Nintendo Game Boy Advance is backward compatible with Color, so you can play the game on that console as well.
In Grimace’s Birthday, which really looks and feels like a Game Boy Color game, Grimace throws a birthday party at a McDonald’s restaurant. Unfortunately, none of his friends, including Birdie the Early Bird, the Hamburglar, and the McNugget Buddies, have shown up, and with only 30 minutes to midnight, Grimace has to find his friends before it’s time to blow out the birthday candles.
This means that players have to help Grimace traverse through four levels of the game, either on a skateboard or on foot, and collect 40 milkshakes on each level before the time runs out.
The game is very similar to Burger King’s Sneak King, in which the company’s mascot, the King, sneaks around various settings like a construction site or a suburban neighborhood to deliver Burger King meals to hungry people. The aim is to deliver food to the characters without being seen, using elements of stealth gameplay. The game emphasizes comedic and over-the-top scenarios while also serving as an unconventional advertising vehicle for the fast-food franchise. However, that game came out three years after Game Boy Color was discontinued.
Ultimately, it’s actually nice to see game makers making games for older systems, even those that have been discontinued for more than a decade now. As stated above, Game Boy Color is an iconic handheld console with a very lively community of gamers and hardware modders who restore broken consoles and even mod them with newer parts to make them whole and functional again. It not only keeps them out of a landfill but also keeps the retro gaming community alive, especially since Nintendo doesn’t really care.