Game & Watch

From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
Game & Watch
Game & Watch.png
Released 1980
Discontinued 1991
Predecessor Arcade
Successor Game Boy
This article is about the Game & Watch system. For the character of the Game & Watch games with a similar name, and named "Game & Watch" in Japan, see Mr. Game & Watch.
Not to be confused with Nelsonic Game Watch.

The Game & Watch series is a series of handheld games developed by Nintendo from 1980 to 1991. Each Game & Watch had its own game built in, in addition to a clock and an alarm. The units are based on a 4-bit CPU from the Sharp SM5xx family, and they include a small ROM and RAM area and an LCD screen driver circuit.[1] Some of the titles available in Game & Watch format were games as random as Ball, a simple juggling game, to well-known games such as Donkey Kong Jr. The Game & Watch was Nintendo's earliest product to be very successful,[2] with the series selling a combined 43.4 million units worldwide.[3]

Most Game & Watch titles have two modes: Game A and Game B. Game B is usually a faster, more difficult version of Game A, but in some titles, such as Flagman and Bomb Sweeper, Game B is slightly different from Game A. In a few others, such as Judge and Boxing, Game B features a two-player mode. The titles Climber, Balloon Fight, and Super Mario Bros. do not have a Game B.

The Game & Watch games normally become harder as the player progresses, but the gameplay usually slows down every 100 points the player receives. The games usually end when the player receives three misses (generally meaning "lives that are lost"). In most games, misses can be removed if the player reaches a certain number of points; in some games, doing so with no misses will increase the score either temporarily or until a miss is made.


Mario Game & Watch games[edit]

Four of these were re-released in the Mini Classic series.

Game & Watch Gallery series[edit]

These games are Game Boy-era ports of the classic Game & Watch titles, most of which are also given "Modern" versions featuring Mario characters. The "Classic" versions remove the timekeeping functions from the original games, in order to allow the player to accomplish the compilations' goal of getting the highest score possible. There were plans for a Game & Watch Gallery series of e-Reader cards, but these did not surface due to the abrupt cancellation of the e-Reader overseas due to low sales.[citation needed]

Games with a Mario-themed "Modern" version[edit]

In addition to all of the games listed below, the Mario Game & Watch games also reappear, with their "Modern" versions featuring updated graphics and gameplay.

Alarm function[edit]

Starting from Gold Series' Manhole, the Game & Watch titles started to have an alarm function, which was accessible only by gently pressing the ALARM switch with a sharp-pointed instrument. Alarm time can be set by pressing the left buttons (hour set) and the right buttons (minute set). Games with two buttons in the same side use only the top button for time setting. Here is a complete list of Game & Watch alarm indicators:

Image Name Game Action at alarm time Location
Manhole MH-06 Bell2.png Alarm lady Manhole (Gold Series) Swing bell Upper left corner
Helmet CN-07 Bell2.png Alarm construction worker Helmet Swing bell Upper right corner
Lion LN-08 Bell2.png Alarm bear Lion Swing bell Upper left corner
Parachute PR-21 Bell ontest.png Alarm monkey Parachute Swing bell Left palm
Octopus OC-22 Bell2.png Alarm baby octopus Octopus Whistle trumpet Upper right corner
Chef FP-24 bell1.png Alarm kettle Chef Whistle smoke Left stove
Egg EG-26 bell1.gif Alarm bell Egg Be swung by the hen Beside the hen
Fire FR-27 Bell2.gif Alarm fireman Fire (Wide Screen) Swing bell Between ambulance and miss counter
Turtle Bridge TL-28 Bell2.gif Alarm crab Turtle Bridge Swing bell Between difficulty indicators
Fire Attack ID-29 Bell2.gif Alarm cowboy Fire Attack Sound bugle Below miss counter
Oil Panic OP-51 Bell2.gif Alarm policeman Oil Panic Swing bell Below lower screen's miss counter
Minidkgw.png Mini Donkey Kong Donkey Kong Jump and swing bell Below the difficulty indicators
Greenhouse GH-54 Bell1.gif Alarm cat Green House Be stung by a bee Beside the ladder
Donkey Kong II JR-55 Bell1.gif Alarm bell Donkey Kong II Be stricken by Mario Beside leftmost lock
Mario Bros Alarm Bell Artwork.gif Alarm bell Mario Bros. Ring Under time/score
Rain Shower PL-57 Bell1.gif Alarm dog Rain Shower Nod head Beside lower right chlothesline
Lifeboat TC-58 Bell2.gif Alarm man Life Boat Pour water from bucket Under time/score
Bombsweeper BD-62 Bell2.gif Alarm chicken Bomb Sweeper Nod head Beside difficulty indicators
Safebuster JB-63 Bell1.gif Alarm bell Safe Buster Flash Above difficulty indicators
DK Jr CJ-71 Bell1.gif Musical notes Donkey Kong Jr. (Panorama Screen & Table Top series) Be whistled by Mario Below miss counter
MCF Bell Artwork.gif Alarm driver Mario's Cement Factory (Table Top) Ring bell Beside upward lift section
Marios Bombs Away TB-94 Bell2.gif Alarm Monkey Mario's Bombs Away Swing bell Below time score
DK Circus MK-96 Bell1.gif Alarm bell Donkey Kong Circus Swing Below time/score
DK-Jr DJ-101 Bell1.gif Alarm bell Donkey Kong Jr. (New Wide Sceen) Be stricken by Mario Under Donkey Kong
MCF Alarm Bell.gif Alarm bell Mario's Cement Factory (New Wide Screen) Swing Beside upward lift section
Manhole NH-103 Bell2.gif Alarm woman Manhole (New Wide Screen) Swing bell Upper left corner
Tropical Fish TF-104 Bell2.gif Alarm cat Tropical Fish Swing bell Between miss counter and time/score
SMB YM-105 Bell2.gif Alarm Koopa Super Mario Bros. Nod head and spew fire Upper left corner
Climber DR-106 Bell2.gif Alarm bug Climber Swing bell Below time/score
Mario the Juggler MB-108 Bell2.gif Alarm Koopa Troopa Mario the Juggler Swing bell Beside the pipe
Spitball BU-201 Bell.gif Alarm bell Spitball Sparky Flash Upper left corner
BX-301 Bell1.gif Alarm bell Boxing Flash Upper right corner
AK-302 Bell1.gif Alarm bell Donkey Kong 3 Flash Beside Player 1's miss and spray value counters
HK-303 Bell1.gif Alarm referee Donkey Kong Hockey Ring bell Beside Player 1's score

Appearances in the Mario franchise[edit]

This section is under construction. Therefore, please excuse its informal appearance while it's being worked on. We hope to have it completed as soon as possible.

Wario franchise[edit]

9-Volt holding a Game & Watch in WarioWare: Smooth Moves

WarioWare: Smooth Moves[edit]

In WarioWare: Smooth Moves, 9-Volt holds up a Donkey Kong double-screen Game & Watch.

Wario: Master of Disguise[edit]

In Wario: Master of Disguise, there is a treasure based on the Game & Watch called the Game & Watch 9000.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

The icon representing elements of the Game & Watch series, as seen in the Super Smash Bros. series

Starting with Super Smash Bros. Melee of the Super Smash Bros. series, Mr. Game & Watch has made an appearance as a playable character, representing various games as his attack moves. The stages Flat Zone, Flat Zone 2, and Flat Zone X are inspired by the handhelds.

Trophy information from Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Name Image Game / Moves Description
Game & Watch Trophy188.png Game & Watch
This stage of Super Smash Bros. Melee takes its motif from the Game & Watch series. It incorporates settings from Oil Panic, Helmet, and Manhole, and it's sure to send a wave of nostalgia crashing over old-school gamers. If you want to truly reproduce the Game & Watch experience, try playing this unique level in Fixed-Camera Mode.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U[edit]

Trophies (both versions)[edit]

Name Image Appears In
(Wii U version only)
G&W Fire (7/1980) Many fans of modern handheld games will fondly remember the classic Game & Watch games they played years ago. Save people from a burning building using a trampoline, bouncing them to the waiting ambulance and safety.
G&W Lion (4/1981) Back in the day, there were a lot of kids into the Game & Watch series. Quite a few adults as well, honestly. This game was a popular pick, with players controlling two zookeepers as they tried to keep the lions from escaping. The built-in clock was great for keeping track of your time spent playing!
G&W Chef (9/1981) Back in the days of the Game & Watch and the early NES years, there were a lot of games with short and simple titles - and at just four letters and one syllable, Chef is a prime example. It's all about flipping food on a frying pan without dropping any on the floor. Whether any of that food ever actually gets served to customers is a mystery...
Oil Panic
G&W Oil Panic (5/1982) The Game & Watch Multi Screen series is the big, big brother of the Nintendo DS. One classic title was Oil Panic, which puts you in charge of a petrol station that's sprung a leak. As oil drips down on the upper screen, you've got to catch it in buckets on the lower screen or risk an angry customer with a face full of oil!

Trophies (Wii U version)[edit]

Name Image Appears In Description
Helmet HelmetTrophyWiiU.png G&W Helmet (2/1981) Better than a regular ol' watch is Game & Watch. One of the classic titles is Helmet. Move from left to right, avoiding the falling tools. If you get hit, you'll fall down and lose your helmet. What kind of helmet falls off after only one hit?! Good thing this game is so fun you'll overlook that.
Manhole ManholeTrophyWiiU.png G&W Manhole (1/1981) No scrolling, only one stage, only a few sounds, and the age of 3D was nothing more than a twinkle in someone's eye. Nevertheless, this game was a blast at the time. In the Game & Watch title Manhole, you move a manhole cover back and forth so that the pedestrians can safely cross the road. What a simple yet fun game!




Wide Screen[edit]

Multi Screen[edit]

Table Top[edit]

Panorama Screen[edit]

New Wide Screen[edit]

Super Color[edit]

Micro vs. System[edit]

Crystal Screen[edit]


See also[edit]

Game & Watch's page on other NIWA wikis:


  1. ^ MAME emulator source code, retrieved 3/21/2019
  2. ^ Iwata Asks: Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary, retrieved 3/10/2019
  3. ^ Iwata Asks: Game & Watch, retrieved 3/11/2019