By Andrew Liszewski
Not only was the Game Boy the first true game console I ever owned, but it was also the first big purchase I had to ‘save up’ for as a kid. And to ensure that I didn’t spend the first few weeks only playing the included copy of Tetris, I made sure to budget a few extra dollars so I could also pick up one of the Game Boy’s original launch titles. This ended up being Konami’s Motocross Maniacs and in hindsight I’m still pretty happy with the decision, since the game is one of my favorite Game Boy titles to this day. Because it was one of the first third-party games available for the new system, the graphics and gameplay in Motocross Maniacs were pretty simple, but the game was still extremely challenging and addictive.
Motocross Maniacs is basically a 2D sidescroller, but instead of running around and shooting at enemies, you’re riding a dirt bike through a series of jumps, loops and other physics-defying obstacles. And all the while you’re racing the clock trying to complete the course in the allotted time. (Harder difficulty settings simply meant less time on the clock.) The courses were also packed full of different power-ups including the all important nitro ‘N’ block which provided you with a burst of speed that was actually necessary to make it across certain jumps later in the game. And like I said, while Motocross Maniacs might have been a simple game in concept, I can remember it being quite difficult at times. But it’s amazing how you’re able to overcome the urge to frustratingly whip your Game Boy against the wall when it represents months of your own hard-earned money.