Krool Toys, a small game developer from New York, has now released a game called Grimace’s Birthday. The highlight: The game is an advertising measure for the fast food chain McDonald’s.
The game is intended to be played on smartphone or PC. But on the hardware of a truly time-honoured but no less outdated piece of hardware. We’re talking about Nintendo’s Game Boy Color. At least almost.
McDonald’s goes Game Boy
The colleagues from Ars Technica managed to get the game to run on an »Analogue Pocket«. The Analogue Pocket is a portable gaming console that was released just a few years ago.
By the way: There’s more retro gaming with the classic Super Nintendo
So no Game Boy Color after all? Somehow yes. Because in the Analogue Pocket you will find a so-called
Game Boy Color FPGA Core installed; this circuit allows game developers like Krool Toys to replicate the classic Game Boy Color on modern hardware.
If you have an Analogue Pocket handy, the Grimace’s Birthday ROM is available from the Internet Archive.
All those who don’t give a damn about authentic retro gaming can plunge into the fast food experience that has become a game via the Internet browser.
How does the restaurant game work?
But how does Grimace’s Birthday play now? Well, you play the eponymous Grimace in a 2D platformer. True to form, Grimace looks like a purple blob of milkshake.
Your mission in the game is: cruise around on a skateboard to collect milkshakes; and meet other mascots from the McDonald’s family (including crime genius Hamburgler, oversized bird Birdie, and of course Ronald McDonald himself).
Who is Grimace?
Who at the mere mention of the name
Grimace not happily flapping his ears: Behind the ominous name is a fictional character from an advertising campaign for the fast-food chain McDonald’s. The character, who looks like a blue chicken nugget, was born in the 1970s.
Appropriately for his name (“Grimace” means “grimace” or “grimace” in German), the blob-like character was initially conceived as a villain in – let’s call it that – McDonald’s franchise universe.
However, over the years, Grimace has shed its bad guy image; most recently, the responsible marketing department cobbled together positive qualities. In recent years, Grimace, like many other advertising characters from McDonald’s advertising, has no longer been used.
Or when was the last time you saw Ronald McDonald stumbling across your TV screen?
Ultimately, Grimace’s Birthday is a short game. It consists of just four levels. There are only two people behind the small indie developer Krool Toys.
Tia Chinai and Stefan Cohen. So far, the two have mainly developed retro-style games for musicians or media brands.
What do you think of a promotional game like Grimace’s Birthday? Is that a marketing gimmick you’re celebrating? And anyway: When was the last time you went to McDoof’s to drive your cholesterol levels through the roof? Write us about it in the comments.