21. Tails Adventure
Tails Adventure was a slower, more puzzle-oriented side-scroller than the games he usually co-starred in. There were tons of items to collect, all of which granted new abilities. Stages were selected via a world map, and you could backtrack and use your new powers to uncover previously inaccessible secrets.
20. Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe
Ax-Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe was Segas second effort to expand the sword-n-sorcery brand beyond its Final Fight-style roots, following on from Master System action RPG Golden Axe Warrior. While that game bore undeniable hallmarks of Nintendos original Legend of Zelda, this Game Gear sequel--released in the same year as its predecessor--takes shameless cues from the more divisive Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Mixing top-down role-playing and side-on platformer-style combat, the richness of Golden Axes world keeps Ax-Battler from being a total Zelda clone; in fact, at times it looks and feels positively ActRaiser-esque, hardly the worst game to draw comparisons to.
19. Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble
The gameplay featured a few tweaks not seen in most Sonic games. Our heroes could attack after bouncing off a spring, which was essential in many boss fights. Also, getting damaged didnt send all your rings flying. Just 30 or 50 of them, if you touched an enemy or spikes. The game was released as Sonic and Tails 2 in Japan, where Nack was known as Fang the Sniper.
18. Super Monaco GP
A Japanese launch title for the Game Gear, Super Monaco GP aims to impress, and succeeds. The Game Gears speedy little processor delivers a satisfying feeling of speeds up to 195 MPH, with more screen space given over to the action than that of its Ayrton Senna-endorsed sequel.
The games 16 courses run the gamut of worldwide Formula 1 tracks, and the vehicle customization is as deep as youd expect from a Super Monaco title--which is to say, youll be able to fit your little racer out with more bits and pieces than you could ever find a use for. Link-up two-player races provided further proof to players of 1991 that this new Game Gear gadget was probably going to be good for some fun.
17. Spider-Man vs The Kingpin
The fantastically popular Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin was a huge hit for Sega and rights-holder Marvel. Legend has it that the latter renewed its license with Sega on the strength of this title, which is impressive considering that shortly beforehand, the developer had added Spider-Man as a defeatable enemy to Shinobi without so much as asking Marvel if thatd be okay. What made this game such a barnstormer?
As with later Spider-Man titles, its the combination of exhilarating web-swinging; exacting photography challenges to break up the combat; and a steady roster of freakish enemies to throw sticky goo at, including Dr. Octopus, the Lizard, Electro, the Sandman, and of course the absurdly formidable Kingpin himself.
16. Sonic Chaos
Designed by frequent Sonic collaborators Aspect with the Game Gears strengths and limitations in mind, this scaled-down equivalent to Sonic 3 offers handheld players their first chance to control Tails as well as Sonic himself, with play considerably different between the flighty fox and the heavier, turbocharged Sonic.
In place of the Master Systems dwarfish little sprites, this Game Gear installment offers big, brightly colored characters who zip through the games varied set of challenges, offering arguably Sonic and Tails most Genesis-esque outing on the portable platform.
Domarks Formula One was one of the fastest, most feature-rich Formula 1 simulations of its day, managing to put even Super Monaco GP to shame on occasion, and this Game Gear conversion is a hugely impressive achievement from the developer. Offering high-speed, full-screen play across a worldwide assortment of courses, the games full F1 license means drivers and tracks alike can be recreated as authentically as the little Game Gear can manage.
The high level of presentation extends from gameplay into the full-featured car-tuning mode, which puts an attractive front end on the business of tweaking your spoiler for the 20th time as you fret over that last race.
The order of the first four levels was up to you, but going Highway, Harbor, Valley, Woodland was the optimal route. Luckily, if you didnt follow that order, the game wasnt designed to make you backtrack, like in Shinobi II.
13. Jungle Strike
Electronic Arts top-selling Strike series continues with Jungle Strike, the sequel to its desert-bound original. Whereas the first installment tasked you with turning several deserts worth of enemies into corpses, this sequel goes south of the border for a saga of drug trafficking, revenge, and several rainforests worth of baddies who also need turning into corpses.
The Game Gear performs admirably here, throwing enemies your way as fast as you can eliminate them, and rendering what could be a confusing jumble of pixels clearly thanks to solid downscaling work by conversion developer Unexpected Development.
The Game Boy had Tetris to sell it, and when it came time to launch the Game Gear, Sega wasnt too proud to throw in a falling-blocks challenge of its own. Columns is perfectly suited to the little machine, with sparkling brightly colored gems showcasing the colorful small screens impressive palette while the speed slowly ramps up.
Early adopters of Segas handheld were rewarded by the titles immediate system-selling appeal, and the quickfire gameplay made it ideal for a speedy challenge while you were waiting for the bus with your backpack full of batteries.