What am I playing?
No, seriously: WHAT am I playing?
This is Warau Inu no Bouken GB: Silly Go Lucky!, a game that not a single person remembers and not a single person has played in the past twenty years. Well, except for one person: me. "Silly Go Lucky!" is a Japanese variety show aired on the Fuji Television Network and is similar in tone to Saturday Night Live in the United States, in which the cast performs a variety of random sketches in every episode. As for the rest of the game's title, we know "GB" is short for "Game Boy", but "Warau Inu no Bouken"? Errrm...
...that proved fruitless. Actually, in Japan, the show is called "Warau Inu no Bouken", which means "The Adventures of Laughing Dog", and sure enough, there's a portrait-style image of a blue dog wearing sunglasses strewn across the game's cover art and can also be found in-game. WHY that's the show's mascot, I have no idea. Let's just assume the answer is, "Because Japan." Either way, this game is based off a comedy program that probably wouldn't make much sense to you or I. So I'm going to have to base my opinion solely on the game itself — and isn't that the right way to review something?
Not much is found online about this particular game, so it's up to me, the loyal and mighty Defender of Obscurity, to decipher this game's subtle intricacies. Warau Inu no Bouken GB, however, is far from subtle. Immediately after the copyright screen, a tuxedoed figure is shown playing the trombone, followed by the rest of the "band" (and remember: this is a Game Boy Color game, so the band looks like an aquatic creature after a pontoon boat sliced through it), and soon, some plump-headed grump in a white suit points directly at me (who, me?) and shouts in stark Japanese while two other men in dark suits do the Jitterbug on the couch in the background. That's a tad frightening and intimidating, wouldn't you say? And then we are shoved into the title screen, where the menu is a dog.
A random man in a suit gives us the official rundown of our situation: we need to do something so that there's a video game! The music at this point is so heavily littered with white noise percussion that I need to take two Aspirin and lay down for a few hours. Eventually, after fiddling around a bit, you're presented with — initially — eight different scenarios, with the possibility of up to twenty upon their successful completion. Each scenario leads to a different mini-game, and oh my, what a selection you're given.
In one scene, you're a man wearing earmuffs at the top of a volcano while a Michael Jackson impersonator throws articles of clothing in the air, which you need to catch (but only the green ones, for some reason). In another, you have to answer the trivia questions of a man clutching a giant gas canister. If you give an incorrect response, he twists the knob, and a kidnapped fellow's chest balloons up with more of the stuff until either you win or he explodes in agony. I can't read Japanese text, so you can probably guess how that game went. In a third situation, there's someone squatting in front of a soda machine as a man on the left gives you grief while a woman on the right shouts something lovely at you. The squatter has to crab-walk back and forth and react to each message. How? I really don't know. It's just interesting to see his movement animation.
Inflate your honey, go where lava's runny — get lucky in the game of Life!
This insanity is too much for an old man like myself to handle.
Ultimately, this is a mini-game collection based on a TV show starring a dog with sunglasses. As it is heavily text-based, only those with the ability to read Japanese are going to get much enjoyment out of this. Some games are pretty clear in their objectives, while others left me scratching my head. (Or was that dandruff?) But I have to admit, I'm allured by its pure peculiarity; nothing makes a lick of sense in Warau Ino no Bouken GB, and that's probably the angle they were going for. Still, a bunch of mini-games that last less than a minute won't entice even the most fervent disciples of the genre. (That means, all the major gameplay comprises less than twenty minutes of gameplay time.) It's a curiosity but not a necessity. And, considering that it's a Japan-only release, good luck finding the thing. You're better off just doing something else, like dusting the coffee table.
I'm going to pretend I didn't see this cow person, too.