Review by Shinnokxz

Reviewed: 03/21/03 | Updated: 05/19/03

Nostalgia!

With failed systems like the game.com, the most you can do is explain was it could've been. The game.com, Tiger's answer to the immensely popular Gameboy, was a small portable system that had the physical appearance of a Game Gear; only it is an inch thick. It had a 3.9xy inch black and white screen, with one speaker located towards the top-left, four face buttons, and two cartridge bays for games.

Not only did it play games, but it would perform as sort of a bare bones pocket PDA. It had a calendar feature that you could record dates and notes in, a calculator, which I rarely used, and a built in game of Solitaire. To make your way about these features the system has its own Stylus (small plastic pointer) that you can point out and select icons on the screen.

Tiger put the emphasis on upgrading the game.com in their marketing scheme. Plenty of features were planned, but due to the system's overall failure in being a handy worker and a fun gaming machine they were all never released. The most hyped feature, like the title of the system implies, would that you'd be able to connect to the internet on the handheld system using a modem you'd buy. Essentially, you'd exchange high scores and even play multi-player if things evolved accordingly. The schematics and specs were not well addressed to the public. Long story short, a lot of people never heard about it, and the modem was never released.

In game.com's short lifespan, it only spawned about 20 titles. Interestingly enough, some were ports of popular games that had already made home on other popular consoles. Duke Nukem 3D, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, and even a mini-port of Resident Evil 2 made it to the game.com. Sega also contributed to the selection of games with an adequate port of Fighters Megamix and Indy 500. Of course, the four or five games that were fun to play could not save the system. Also, the game.com had a disturbing amount of quiz/game show games (like Wheel of Fortune and Quiz Wiz) which all were not worth the 40 dollar price tag.

Others believe that there are other aspects that killed off the game.com. Poor marketing decisions and crummy advertising on Tiger's part were mostly to blame. But others just thought the small PDA/Gaming handheld just could not keep up with the success of the Gameboy.

Aesthetically, the system was capable of showing off 3D esque graphics like those found in Duke Nukem for the computer (as you might see with the port of that game for the game.com). But don't get too far in front of yourself. The system had trouble with showing fluid animations (such as the choppiness in Mortal Kombat Trilogy). And of course, the underlying problem with trying to show impressive visuals on the game.com was that the screen was just a monotone black and white. The sound is crisp, however, and gets the job done.

The game.com is just a little handheld that tried to deliver the helpfulness of a PDA and the fun of a gaming console but fails in both aspects. Tiger pulled the plug on the year old handheld before they could lose any more money. -Shin (3/21/2003)

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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