Game Pack 4 in 1 – Reviewed

When I first got my greedy little paws onto a GameGear courtesy of my sister in the glorious Christmas of 1994, this curious Game Pack 4 in 1 was bundled with it. I was more than a little disappointed that I didn’t obtain a Sonic title with my new handheld, however, this was the later years of the GameGear. Sega had made the decision not to package the blue spiky one with this sexy, sleek battery muncher anymore.  So how did I fare with this variety bundle?  Read on and find out!

Image result for sega 4 in 1 pack game gear

Gameplay

After a fairly attractive and colourful title screen, we are invited to select one of four available game types. There are no names present in the Game Pack 4 in 1 under any of the game select images however these are generally believed to be – ‘Columns Flash’,’Penalty Shootout’,’Rally’ and ‘Tennis’. The first game I booted up was the Rally title, I’ve always been quite partial to racing games since the days of the Amstrad CPC and ‘Burning Rubber’. The game plays a little like Outrun, the palette is rather limited as it’s made from mostly red and brown hues. It’s a fun 8-bit racer that sees you skidding around corners as you move from stages ranging from Forest, Desert, and City. Sometimes you will come in contact with other racers but there’s no positional goal here, just get to the checkpoints in time.

Penalty Shootout is an incredibly basic game, it could be a recreation of an old game and watch title. The interaction is at a complete minimum. You first take the role of the striker and choose from three options of directions to shoot and how high you want to kick the ball. Press a button and its handled automatically. The next half features a little more control over the player as you take on the role of the goalie and have to leap in the appropriate direction to save the ball. It’s not an inspiring game and probably the worst in the pack.

Image result for sega 4 in 1 pack game gear

Columns Flash features some toe-tapping tunes, bright visuals and all the puzzling fun you would expect from Columns. It’s great to be able to play this addictive title on the go, challenging and fun, this may be the star of the bunch. For those who have never played a version of Columns before, it’s a form of Tetris which asks you to match up the icons of the same colours and block types as they travel down the screen in a column configuration. You have to match three in a row to clear them from the screen. You need to keep clearing them before the blocks fill up and reach the top of the screen, as then, it’s game over. As the levels continue, it begins to speed up, taxing your brain cells and promoting some fast, furious movement around the screen.

Tennis is fast-paced, addictive and the title I spent the most time playing. There’s admirable attention to detail and the animation is smooth. Sonic makes a cameo appearance as the umpire to keep the Sega stamp firmly on this little gem of a game. It’s not a game that would have been strong enough for a full title release but it’s a fun tennis game that delivers a sense of satisfaction as you smash the ball towards your opponent in the knowledge there’s no way they can return it.

Overall

The visuals in each of these titles are nothing spectacular, they are functional and it’s clear that each of these games is best viewed as demos of the capability of the GameGear. There’s no longevity in the title but you may find yourself returning to Tennis and Columns on occasion. As a free bundle for a new handheld, it was an above-average series of titles.

Review Score
  • 7/10
    Gameplay - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Graphics - 6/10
  • 5/10
    Sound - 5/10
6/10

Summary

The visuals in each of these titles are nothing spectacular, they are functional and it’s clear that each of these games is best viewed as demos of the capability of the GameGear. There’s no longevity in the title but you may find yourself returning to Tennis and Columns on occasion. As a free bundle for a new handheld, it was an above-average series of titles.

 

DrChris

Chris McAuley is a Northern Irish born author, comic book and gaming columnist who has now branched out from talking about comics to helping create them. An acclaimed colourist for 2000 AD and Marvel he has worked on flagship titles such as Judge Dredd, Roy of the Rovers and Hulkverines. Chris also has a commitment to the Indie scene being an inker and colourist for 'The Lang Way Hame' a Scottish comic which is tipped for an award later this year. With close ties to heroes of the industry such as the 'Godfather of British comics' Pat Mills and Spawn creator Todd McFarlene,

%d bloggers like this: