Sunday, 20 November 2011
Beauty & the Beast Handheld Game (1991)
I remember much of my years spent in Primary School playing through countless Tiger Electronic Handheld games with friends. Whether it be peering over the shoulder of a friend as they frantically button bash, or have a crowd of kids peering over my shoulders as I make my way through a (most of the time) Disney adventure.
Sharing this memory has reminded me of Beauty & The Beast, the Tiger Electronic LCD game based on the Disney film of the same name. Released in 1991, this handheld is a brief game that sees players sneaking Belle into the Beast's castle (whilst dodging out of the way of the Beast whenever he made a sudden appearance).
At the time I thought this game was amazing (in hindsight I imagine this was mainly due to my obsession with the film rather than the game itself). I recall the music, the beeping sound effects whenever the Beast makes an appearance, and the black and white characters that remained faithful to those in the film.
Yes, the game play is repetitive. After all, the majority of the game involves guiding Belle left and right down a series of paths (whilst pressing the dodge button when the Beast comes a-prowling), but there is a certain amount of charm brought to the proceedings. Whilst the graphics are very basic, with just the odd piece of scenery highlighted here and there (this is an LCD game remember), the characters presented in this handheld game look exactly like the characters in the Disney animation, and the settings are also familiar.
The game play slightly changes at the end when (spoilers ahead!) we play as the Beast. As the Beast, players will get to repeatedly press the "magic" button to defeat the antagonist, Gaston. Believe me, this hurts your hand by the end, and is the only challenging part of the entire game. If your fingers start to tire, and you slow the pace, Beast inevitably dies, leaving a short animation of Gaston claiming Belle as his wife, whilst the Beast depressingly lies at their feet. I remember finding this part incredibly intense as a child, as the speed in which you have to press the magic button is very fast. Or perhaps it wasn't that fast, and it was just how I remember it as a child...
Whilst this may not be the most amazing game in the world, Beauty & The Beast by Tiger Electronics is a somewhat faithful adaptation of some of the scenes in the Disney animated film. However, as it is so brief, we unfortunately miss key scenes, such as the spectacular "Be Our Guest" number with the enchanted teapots, pans and a whole host of other items.
There is no denying that the game was clearly aimed at girls. The pink and purple colouring of the plastic outer-casing confirms this already, but the advertising at the time only further proved this:
Like them or loathe them, there is no denying that so many people have fond memories of these LCD handheld games by Tiger Electronics. Me included.