I think most people are at least somewhat aware of these games because of Mr. Game & Watch in the Super Smash Bros. series, but I never really see people actually discuss these games. I was too young to have grown up with any of the original games, but I have a lot of the Game & Watch Gallery collections on Game Boy, and they're really a lot of fun. They're very simple; possibly even more so than stuff like the Atari 2600, but they're also really addicting, and it's always fun to see how high a score you can get.
The Game & Watch Gallery collections are especially awesome. You get as close a rendition of the original games features as possible, along with an updated "modern" version, featuring various Mario characters. The modern versions also have improved graphics, and they often feature different/new gameplay features.
One example in Game & Watch Gallery 2 is Parachute. Here's an original Parachute machine:
The gameplay is centered around the person rowing the boat, who moves back and forth to catch the millions of passengers on the plane to keep them from being eaten by the sharks in the water. Where all these passengers can find room in either the plane or the boat is a good question, but ignoring that, it's a cool game. It, like most Game & Watch games, starts out ridiculously easy, but soon ramps up the difficulty. The highest score I've ever gotten is 798 points in Easy mode (Game A). I was so close to getting 800 points there
I haven't tried Hard mode (Game B), but one addition I know of to it is that the parachutists can sometimes get caught on a palm tree, which can throw off your timing of catching them.
Now, here's a screenshot of the "modern" version of Parachute, in G&WG2:
You now play as Mario in the rowboat, saving Toads, Yoshis, and DK Jr.s who are parachuting from a burning airship. Toads, Yoshis, and DK Jr.s all weigh less or more than each other, and their weight affects how quickly they fall through the air. Knowing this is essential if you want to get a high score. In place of the tree featured in the original Parachute, there's now a cannon, which shoots one of the parachutists into the air back over the surface of the water. This again can throw off your timing, and it's something to be aware of. My highest score here on Easy mode is 902 points, which is again close to a landmark of 1000 points >_> My highest score in Hard mode is 587 points, which is near the 600 point barrier! I haven't had much luck progressing further
Parachute's a pretty simple game. You can only move to three different spaces, and the game focuses entirely on how quickly you can move between the three spaces to catch all of the parachutists. It may not sound like much, but it's still definitely worth playing. It's also a great way to pass the time when waiting for something, or you can simply focus on getting as high a score as possible. It's a very versatile game in that way, in that you can play it wherever you want, whenever you want. The music in the modern update is also really nice ^_^
One other thing I haven't mentioned yet about the Game & Watch Gallery collections is that they feature various tidbits and facts about the Game & Watch games, as well as sometimes letting you unlock hidden G&W games depending on how well you perform in the featured games. The level of polish shown in these collections is high, and they're worth it to anyone who's a fan of old school/score-based games.
Are there any other Game & Watch fans here?