Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nintendo Color Screen (Game and Watch Table Top) - Leaflet

The most spectacular games in the Nintendo Game & Watch series are the Panorama and Table Top games. Combining the excellent LCD based game-play that shines throughout the entire series with full color images, these were innovative as well as fun to play.

The Table Top games were shaped like mini arcade cabinets, with joystick and all. In the 80s, owning one of these must have been close to being in handheld nirvana.

Nintendo Color Screen (a.k.a. Table Top) from 1983

The original name under which these games were sold in Japan was Color Screen (カラースクリーン), with strangely enough no reference to Game & Watch, although they are clearly part of that family. They were introduced in the rest of the world as Game & Watch Table Top.

Four Color Screen titles were produced in total. The first two, introduced in early 1983, were Donkey Kong JR (ドンキーコングJR) and Mario's Cement Factory (マリオズセメントファクトリー), pictured in this leaflet.

Later that same year, the range was extended with games featuring Popeye and Snoopy.

Even though the Color Screen had a bright (color!) screen, it consumed very little energy. It cleverly used a combination of regular black liquid crystals with sunlight projected through a mirror to create the images. According to this leaflet, it was able to run for three years on two C batteries without ever being switched off. It did not even have an on/off switch.


  1. Yes! I was hoping on this blog for Game & Watch family posts! One of my favourite Nintendo brands ever!

  2. The Table Top games were shaped like a mini arcade cabinets, with joystick and all. In the 80s, owning one of these must have been close to being in handheld nirvana.

    I had these!

  3. @vittorio you can expect more G&W in the future. I also love them!

    @christopher did you have both of them? it must have been special at the time. i remember only few children had them, as they were quite expensive.

  4. OMG I had the snoopy, and my cousin had popeye! Totally loved this, I was fairly little the Christmas I received it, but it was sooooo much fun!!!! I wish I still had it, it just stopped working one day :(
    Awe being a child of the 80's god I miss those days!!!!

  5. @Lo - Thanks for sharing the memory. The day that nice little machine stopped must have been sad.

    As you no longer have the Snoopy, this info comes a little late, but - unlike the usual Nintendo quality standards - the battery connectors are a bit flaky for these, and the batteries tend to get loose easily. Just fiddling with these often does the trick bringing it back to life.

  6. Yes i grew up having these and kept so my lil ones can experience the same joy as a youngster!