Saturday, October 5, 2013

Nintendo Mini Game update - Space Ball

For a long time, I believed there were 48 different games in Nintendo's 1970s Mini Game Series. Over time I managed to add 47 of these to my collection, only missing Diving Shot (ダイビングショット).

But this week one popped-up that I had not heard about before: a Mini Game version of Space Ball (スペースボール). Bringing the total for the series to 49, and increasing my wanted list to two.

Mini Game Space Ball
(Image from auction by Yahoo user szbh_suki)

This particular copy was tracked down by fellow collector Isao. The game is identical to the boxed version released earlier in 1971, except that it only includes one disc instead of two (the yellow one is not included, although it is shown on the package design.

Space Ball instructions on back of blister pack
(Image from auction by Yahoo user szbh_suki)

While most Mini Games are especially designed for this series (either original games or redesigned smaller versions of existing games), Nintendo also re-packaged some of their earlier games in this blister pack format. Two more are the Love Tester and Challenge Dice, both originally released in 1969 and repacked as part of the Mini Game series in the 1970s, most likely in an effort to offload remaining stock.

Mini Game versions of Challenge Dice and Love Tester

What these three repackaged mini games have in common is that they are rarer than most other Mini Games. Space Ball is the rarest, to the point of being unknown until this week.

So, I continue to look for the two remaining Mini Games to complete my collection. They must be somewhere out there. And maybe there are still more than 49 total in the series?

[An updated overview of all Mini Games can be found here.]

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