It’s 1991, and a sense of hidden excitement is floating through the air. People are starting to call trainers ‘sneakers’ and painting them red and white, dying their hair blue and sticking it up into spines, and trying to convince their mates that they should start going by the name of ‘Tails’ or ‘Knuckles’ while walking about. Yes, fellow gaming friends, we’re talking about the release of the SEGA Game in North America and Europe. No longer did SEGA fans have to stay inside while playing Sonic the Hedgehog or Streets Of Rage; they could be out on the streets themselves playing under their favourite tree or magical castle retreat with a pocket full of batteries in tow and all of their ‘return to level’ passwords scribble down in the back of their maths book. It’s almost 28 years since gamers held this little beauty in their hands, and while 28 years isn’t a usual milestone it’s still pretty impressive (and we need a good excuse for an article). So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best SEGA Game Gear games that you’ve loved and lost your marbles over during the past 3 decades!
10. Castle Of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse
You’d have to be pretty ‘Mizrabel’ not to have enjoyed seeing Mickey Mouse on a handheld device for the first time (if you’ve played the game, then you’ll know that was a perfect joke right there). He might not be Sonic or Liu Kang, but Mickey used his own skillset in this epic adventure quest and won the hearts and minds of thousands. Using a jump and squash attack made famous by a certain Italian plumber and armed with an arsenal of marbles and apples. Mickey must battle the Masters Of Illusion and defeat the witch Mizrabel to rescue Minnie from a lifetime of being imprisoned with a hook-nosed old hag.
Critics widely appreciated Disney’s take on the classic Mario style 2D adventure game as a great success, and Castle of Illusion was one of the games that helped to push the SEGA Genesis to great heights. I know people tend to think that Disney is a little bit childish, but you have to admit that seeing the most famous mouse in the world holding his own in Enchanted Forests and eerie Desert Factories is pretty impressive. If you haven’t played this game then we strongly recommend you give it a go; it’s a classic and a must add to our best sega game gear games list!
Before Minecraft and other digger-happy puzzle games arrived on the scene, Lemmings was the ultimate underground brain tickler. We’ve spent countless hours messing trying to get from one end of a level to the other without losing our minds in the process, and occasionally we’ve actually managed it! These little green-haired explorers knew no limits, though trying to get the optimum recipe for success was often difficult, to say the least. The GameCube game Pikmin always reminded me of Lemmings; it’s games like these that probably account for why I’m bald at a young age.
Players have to choose from eight different traits in a bid to get their lemmings to work together to find the hidden exit at the end of the course. Your chosen lemmings can pull different techniques from underneath their blue robes such as climbing, floating, digging etc, but you’ll have to watch out for the rest of your mindless horde as they walk backwards and forwards into pillars, up mounds and, (sorry folks) down into fiery pits and off the edge of cliffs. If you’re a SEGA Game Gear fan, then you’ve probably already experienced the pain/pleasure of nuking all of your lemmings in frustration; Retro Dodo offers a counselling course for anyone who still has flashbacks.
The Tetris of the SEGA Game Gear world is another puzzler that has seen our daytime hours fly by in the blink of an eye. Instead of matching different shapes in this downward tumbling puzzler, you, the Columns Master, are charged with linking three different coloured gems together in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line.. As long as they are touching, they’ll disappear and give you points. Now, I know this sounds easy, but with a possible high score of 99’999 points to get up to, there’s always room for improvement.
Sometimes the simplest games are the ones that keep us hooked the longest. How many hours did you spend playing Angry Birds on your phone instead of listening in class or doing the work that you get paid to do day-in-day-out. How much time have you put into winning every gold trophy on Mario Kart? The same addiction drives people back to play Columns again and again, itching to try and beat their high score and explode that all-knowing super jewel to clear their boards ready for the next glittery onslaught. If the last part of this paragraph seemed a little out there or hard to read, It’s because I’m playing Columns while writing. GOD DAMMIT; now I have to start all over again Thanks guys!
7. Dragon Crystal
Even though Zelda on the SNES and GameBoy was amazing and will always retain incredible play-time value, there comes a time when you don’t want to carry multiple consoles or handhelds around with you while you’re heading out to meet friends or pretending to walk the dog for your parents. Dragon Crystal filled the top view adventure title needs. If you’re new to Dragon Crystal, then imagine an
After finding yourself down a dark alley in a mysterious neighbourhood, you, the player, discover a strange looking crystal in an abandoned antique shop. Too nosey for your own good, you end up getting dragged into a strange world where a giant egg is continuously following you. I know it sounds a little like a trippy dream, but it’s the actual premise of the game! Use potions, unlock items, and equip armour to help your survive in this treacherous new land, all the while trying to work out what the heck the egg is doing!
6. Prince Of Persia
I can’t imagine turning this SEGA Game Gear game for the first time and being able to run, jump, fight and climb like the fabled Prince of Persia. It must have been mind-blowing to have had such amazing features to play around with when most things characters that came before could only jump up and down. You have just 60 minutes to save the Princess from the evil Jaffar (not of Aladdin fame, although they look as though they could be closely related).
The graphics are based around grimy looking dungeon scenes in dark colours; you won’t see any Halo style explosions or BOTW cutscenes here folks, but the gameplay is exquisite for its time. Unlike other retro games where you’re constantly failing to jump or run because the controls are so laggy, Prince Of Persia is super smooth and a joy to play. If you like your ancient Persian adventures filled with spikes, traps, sharp blades, big walls, and magic mirrors, then this is one title that you need to keep in your backpack at all times!
5. Streets Of Rage
I still remember trying to convince my friend to let me borrow his SEGA Game Gear for a couple of weeks so that I could carry on playing this after I went round to his house. It was button mashing heaven and a
Having the ability to take S.O.R out into the open changed gaming for a lot of people and made it easier to carry on playing when you had to go home from your mates or head out to the supermarket. With the SEGA Game Gear in tow, you didn’t have to admit defeat when your TV time was up, you could carry on playing in secret and keep the fight alive. I often think about Adam, Axel, and Blaze trying to clean up the streets and rid the world of Mr X’s henchmen, and I wonder how many other ex-police officers have looked to Streets Of Rage as a light at the end of the tunnel after their career. Probably none; no one in their right mind would try and take down bosses that big!
4. Road Rash
Before we had the luxury of whipping out Cro Mag Rally on our iPhones or kicking back with Mario Kart 8 on the Switch, good handheld racers were few and far between. Road Rash is a beastly little game based around Motorcycle racing, with many road
Instead of contending with bananas and chain chomps, places have to watch out for baseball bats and chains as they swerve in and out of the other racers, all while trying to avoid causing too much damage to their bike and themselves (which is harder than it sounds). This is one of the most high-octane racers on the SEGA Game Gear and a title in which anything can happen at any given time. It’s not just enough to be able to know the course like the back of your hand, in fact, you can’t see the back of your hand because there’s a chain wrapped around it. Electronic Arts, you are too good to us!
3. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
I was considering just writing ‘because who doesn’t love Power Rangers’, and leaving it at that, but I figured you might be hoping for something a little bit more informative. I lived and breathed Power Rangers growing up; I had the figures, the zords, the swords, but I never had the game! I know it’s shocking, but I can only hope that putting it in this list of top SEGA Game Gear Games as an adult will make up for the mistakes that I made as a child. The Game Gear version was one of only two versions that allowed you to use the Green Ranger and the Dragonzord too, which makes it instantly better than the un-green SNES version. Take that, Nintendo!
Using a variety of classic and signature moves, you can work your way through a story mode, a link-up battle mode, or a single-player button mash battle mode. You can play as your favourite character (or colour if you’re not a nerd
2. Mortal Combat II
If Streets Of Rage takes the crown for the best scroll-along fighter on the SEGA Game Gear, then Mortal Kombat II takes the prize for the most addictive punch ’em up on the console. Sub Zero, Kitana, Reptile, Liu Kang, and the rest of the motley crew are all ready to battle their differences out in Mortal Kombat in an attempt to try and determine who is the ultimate warrior. Hearing the words ‘FINISH HIM’ or ‘FATALITY’ from the sonorous voice in the sky will never get old; it still gives me chills when I think about it!
If you could remember all of the secret moves in Mortal Kombat II, then you were a SEGA Game Gear god. Pulling out moves that no one else could do made you the king or queen amongst your mates, with an endless stream of ‘tell me how you do it’ following you everywhere you went. All of the moves for the game were actually recorded by actors in front of a screen using a hi=tech Sony Camera and then morphed into the game that you can still play today. Pretty neat, huh?
1. Sonic The Hedgehog
If you’re surprised that SEGA’s hero is topping our ultimate SEGA Game Gear games list, then I suggest that you go and lie down and rethink things through a little bit. Sonic is and will always be up there with the likes of Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Link,
For anyone who has been living in a cave since 1990, Sonic is a super-fast hedgehog who runs around a 2D world collecting rings and freeing animals, all while trying to stop the evil Dr Robotnik and his arsenal of flying crafts. It’s a super-speed fast-paced game that never gets old and retains its play value due to the fact that you can pretty much pick it up and put it down without worrying about how far you managed to get during a session. I never actually obtained all of the Chaos Emeralds, heck, I don’t think I even got past that futuristic Casino world, but it didn’t matter. You could run through the Emerald Zone all day long without getting bored, and that’s the sign of a great game.
Have we missed your favourite SEGA Game Gear game? What would you list as your favourite 10 titles on this classic handheld console? Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and let us know!