McDonald’s has just released a brand new Game Boy Color game that plays on actual hardware in 2023. Yes, you read that correctly.
Twenty five years after the release of the Game Boy Color, McDonald’s is still attempting to deliver a worthwhile Micky D’s video game.
This is quite a surprise to many of us hardcore Game Boy enthusiasts.
But with McDonald’s having just released an official Tetris handheld in China, it seems that they are really showing the retro scene some love.
We do know that the creation of this game coincides with Grimace’s fictional birthday of June 12th. And McDonald’s has also released a limited edition meal as part of this celebration.
Perhaps somebody internally was not happy with the infamous McDonaldland game for the monochrome Game Boy (1992). And they hoped to offer something redeeming before their retirement.
Whatever the reason McDonald’s decided to commission an official Game Boy Color game now, we are happy they did!
And it was developed using GB Studio, a really wonderful program that makes Game Boy development much easier in 2023.
I was surprised to see that the game was developed by somebody in our small niche community: Gumpy Function.
Tom Lockwood (aka Gumpy Function) is the developer behind one of the absolute best homebrew Game Boy games, Unearthed.
It is very cool to see that they helped bring us this new McDonald’s game.
From the moment you start Grimace’s Birthday, you can tell that this is a top notch game for the Game Boy Color.
Grimace’s Birthday is a fun little platforming experience with really cool graphics and simple but effective game play.
You play as Grimace attempting to locate his buddies so his birthday party can begin. And the game play primarily involves you skateboarding your way through some unique platforming levels.
From personal experience developing a Game Boy Color game, I can tell you that this project took quite a bit of time and talent to complete.
Gumpy Function did a great job producing the game, and it’s wild to imagine them receiving the call from McDonald’s requesting them to make a brand new Game Boy Color game.
If Grimace’s Birthday were released 20 years ago, it would have been a pretty solid title for the Game Boy. And we would have paid $20 to pick it up on a physical cartridge.
But today, twenty five years after the Game Boy Color was released, we can play Grimace’s Birthday for free on our web browser.
It is unclear if McDonald’s hoped to keep the game locked on their website or if there’s any particular reason they wouldn’t want us to have a ROM.
But needless to say, the internet was very quick to rip the file and share it online.
So many of us emulation fans grabbed a copy and loaded it onto our handhelds to give it a spin.
Grimace on a skateboard playable on the Game Boy in 2023. I mean, what more do we need to say. It’s pretty much the epitome of coolness.
If you’d like to grab a digital ROM of Grimace’s Birthday, it’s currently available here.
Just be sure to order some McDonald’s to support them. Who knows… if we keep eating McDonald’s, they might keep producing these oddball retro gaming related projects.
I, for one, will NEVER stop eating McDonald’s. You have my word.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.