Stargate [Game Boy]
December 1, 1994
For a franchise rooted in interdimensional space travel and acclaimed for its visual portrayal of such in the 1994 Stargate film, a virtually static Tetris-like puzzle game may be the last thing one would expect from a cartridge based on the film. However, considering so much of the story’s plot is based on decryption of hieroglyphics and unlocking ancient clues, it actually makes perfect sense to derive a handheld puzzle game from the Stargate universe.
Stargate the Game Boy game is one of those puzzlers that is endlessly repetitive but not altogether mindless. After selecting a stargate portal, the player is tasked with figuring out the pattern of icons that descends from the top and reducing stacks in order to avoid a pileup to the top of the screen, not unlike Tetris. While the pattern isn’t hard to figure out (and won’t be divulged here), it’s nevertheless challenging enough and satisfying to expunge a threateningly tall stack and find some temporary escape until they start piling up again.
Despite the simple gameplay and correspondingly simple graphics, there are some nice 8-bit renderings of the film’s characters and the music is adequate enough not to add to the drone of such a repetitive process.
All in all, it’s a simple but effective game that requires enough thinking to satisfy the Sci-Fi nerds but has an ease of gameplay to add variety to the general Game Boy gamer’s inventory. It doesn’t hold a candle to the breathtaking visuals of the film on which it’s based, but the puzzle style play and ease of understanding give Stargate a replay value few Game Boy games of its time could muster.