Nintendo has already seen great success with its first three Game & Watch releases on the DSiWare download service, leading the company to unleash a whole new batch of the thirty-year-old line-up unto a new generation of gamers. However, considering the quality of Judge, Chef and Mario's Cement Factory, whether the next few games are worth looking at is now in question.
Nintendo is continuing to roll out its classic Game & Watch series on the DSiWare service, using the download channel as what appears to be a sort of Virtual Console, since there have been no changes made to the original products at all. As Nintendo itself states, "Each title is a perfect recreation of a classic LCD game from the early 1980s," and it is certainly not exaggerating in the slightest. Game & Watch: Vermin, as with the other releases so far, can work merely as a digital clock if you should so desire. However, obviously the majority of people will be more interested in what the actual game element has to offer.
Unfortunately, the short answer is 'not a lot.' Anyone that has had the misfortune of throwing 200 Points on Game & Watch: Chef will find that this is almost the exact same game, except flipped vertically. Whilst Chef had players moving the main character left and right to flip ingredients into the air, Game & Watch: Vermin takes the same principle, but is linked to hitting moles digging their way up from the ground below.
Vermin has the gamer take control of a gardener who is attempting to protect his valuable plot of land from the pesky moles that are burrowing upwards on a frustratingly frequent basis. In true 'good ol' days' fashion, his disposal technique is a simple bonk on the head to the moles, sending them hastily packing. This hitting process is automatic, though, meaning that the player has to do nothing other than move the man left or right so that his mallet connects with the appropriate part of land. There are four 'tunnels' where moles appear from and the gardener can cover two adjacent ones at any time.
The aim is to achieve the highest score possible, with 999 achievable (unlike in Game & Watch: Judge, where 99 was the limit). However, only the most patient of people will bother to obtain a score this high. On one sitting, for example, after easily reaching the 400 points mark, a purposeful mistake had to be thrown in due to boredom. Choosing the increased difficult of the 'Game B' mode did not make a considerable difference either, disappointingly. This is another example of a 'classic' that should have remained in the past.
Whilst the gameplay may well have been addictive nearly thirty years ago, merely moving a character left and right is most definitely not enough to keep the attention of even most youngsters these days.
Whilst Nintendo is taking pride in how accurate a representation this is of the original Game & Watch hardware, this means it looks incredibly basic compared to today's standards.
The main menu theme is pleasant enough, but there is nothing more than a few simple sound effects included.
Players will quickly grow tired of the repetitive nature of the gameplay, and the lack of challenge, even in the harder Game B mode, really kills Vermin off very quickly.
Game & Watch: Vermin is yet another entry into the DSiWare series that should simply be avoided. With minor interaction even required from the gamer, and barely any challenge overall, your 200 Nintendo Points should be retained for something far more worthy in the future.