Feb 7, 2017
The Big Game
Tiger Electronics, Ltd.
I had a few of these handheld LCD games when I was a kid. Most of them were Christmas presents that I had circled in my grandmother's copy of the Sears Wish Book. In addition to the game pictured above, I remember that I had the Top Gun, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ironsword games, and my stepfather's brother once gave me a Super Mario World LCD game/watch that was especially memorable for two reasons: it had a headphone jack, and the artwork on the face of the watch had the words "Super Mario Bros. 4".
The Tiger LCD Electronic Football game was the most frequently played of the group. I wasn't a football fan at all, but this was one of the better games. Most of them were simplistic and involved your character moving from one side of the small screen to the other while dodging obstacles. This was no different, except your character had almost a 3-D effect of running down the field (by pressing up) and dodging the members of the opposing team (by pressing left and right). You also had a teammate who appeared from time to time at the top of the screen, not unlike the enemy spaceship from Space Invaders. You could pass the ball to this player to move down the field faster.
Considering its limitations, it was a pretty fun little game to play for 20 minutes here and there. Even my Grandpa would pick it up and play it once in a while. Shortly after this photo of my grandfather was taken (which was June, 1989), the Nintendo Game Boy was released. Although Tiger Electronics would continue to make LCD games for the next two decades, they didn't hold the same status in elementary school after that.
My fourth grade teacher once remarked that the Game Boy was a waste of money, and that kids should instead just get a bunch of these Tiger games instead. Not an avid Game Pro reader, Mrs. James assumed that the games were the same, and that for the cost of a Game Boy which came with one game (Tetris), we could have six Tiger LCD games. I didn't bother trying to counter this logic. No amount of eight year old hysterics about the qualities of the Game Boy were going to crack through that adult logic.