With a Little Hacking, the Game & Watch Is Doom-ed to Play More than Just Super Mario Bros.

by Jason Venter

At some point, someone will probably run Doom on a smart toaster. If someone hasn’t managed such a feat already, it’s just a matter of time. Until that day, though, such industrious individuals are content to instead run the popular FPS on other underpowered hardware. Today, that hardware is the Game & Watch that Nintendo released to celebrate 35 years of Super Mario Bros.

Priced at a manageable but not terrific $49.99, the curious device already comes loaded with one of the only games you ever really need to play: the original Super Mario Bros. As a nifty bonus, you can also play its sequel, which originally released in North America in upgraded form as part of the Super Mario All-Stars compilation. It was known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels at that time. Finally, there’s Game & Watch: Ball as a similarly unexpected bonus.

Why would you be satisfied with just those games, though? Is a game system even genuine if it can’t play Doom? A YouTuber named stacksmashing asked those questions, and the answer–reached a full day before the hardware even officially released–is a hacked unit that does indeed play Doom.

Naturally, Doom on the Game & Watch doesn’t play quite like Doom on your PC, or Switch, or Xbox, or PlayStation, or whatever else. Compromises had to be made, for science! Specifically, the gifted hacker removed a lot of textures, disabled audio, lowered the resolution slightly (imagine that), and says there is still a lot to do before you can enjoy the full game. However, it is running, and it is playable.

If you want more technical details, watch the video embedded in this article. Clearly, there exists the possibility of a bright future for the Game & Watch in the hands of the passionate homebrew community. It will be interesting to see what else those folks accomplish as they attempt to 1up one another. Or fire flower one another. (Sorry, but you know we had to go there!)

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