In our upcoming Nintendo Showcase Auction, occurring August 24, we’re offering all the usual suspects for sale, including various Super Mario games, everyone’s favorite Heroes in a Half-Shell, and several Pokémon titles—beloved releases all. However, we’ve also got a bunch of rarities, hidden gems, and obscurities that deserve more love.
Here are nine such games that savvy bidders, curiosity seekers, and hardcore collectors may want to check out:
1. Donkey Kong Hockey (Game & Watch)
Years before Nintendo fans started gaming on the go with the Game Boy, the company released a series of Game & Watch handhelds, including Donkey Kong Hockey, released in 1984. In addition to being fun, the game is important historically as it was the last Donkey Kong release until the character monkeyed his way onto the Game Boy a decade later.
2. Action 52 (NES)
As the title for this unlicensed release suggests, Action 52 contains a whopping 52 games, mostly shooters and platformers. Surely, they must all be great, right? Not exactly, but this is an interesting compilation cart containing such oddly named games as Megalonia, Dedant, Atmos Quake, Cry Baby, and Streemerz. Most importantly, it contains Cheetahmen, which is a fascinating footnote in video game history thanks to the lore surrounding its rare sequel, Cheetahmen II.
3. Devil World (NES)
While it has ports of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, along with a few other maze games, the NES was never a prolific console for the genre. However, European NES owners were fortunate enough to play Devil World, the first console-only game created by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto, who served as the title’s director and co-designer. It’s a compelling take on the genre, but its religious imagery kept it from receiving a US release.
4. Thunder Spirits (SNES)
“Shmup” fans are a devoted bunch, and we’d love to sell a copy of Thunder Spirts to the many collectors who need the game for their Super Nintendo library, but this is just the fourth example we’ve had the privilege of offering. It’s the highest graded of those four, so bidding will likely be fierce. A side-scroller, the game is a port of the 1990 Sega/Technosoft arcade classic, Thunder Force AC, which was a modified port of Thunder Force III for the Genesis.
5. Toys (SNES)
There are only three copies of Toys for the Super Nintendo on Wata’s June 2023 population report, but the example we’re offering is exponentially harder to find than the standard retail release of the game that the pop report is referring to. It is a prototype cartridge, meaning it was created during the production of the game for testing and demonstration purposes. The typewritten label on the cart says it all: “For Demo Use Only.”
6. Bubble Ghost (Game Boy)
Remember Bubble Ghost for the Atari ST? Probably not, but it was ported to the Game Boy in 1990. In fact, it was the first French game adapted for Nintendo’s handheld console. Gamers use a ghost to guide a bubble through the halls of a haunted house, dodging such obstacles as candles, electricity, and fans. The copy of Bubble Ghost we’re offering is the highest graded of just three on Wata’s June 2023 pop report.
7. King James Bible (Game Boy)
Nintendo of America has a history of being reluctant to include religious or satanic themes or visuals in its games, but like all the other Wisdom Tree titles, King James Bible for the Game Boy is not licensed by the company. Years before smartphone apps, users could read the entire text of the book electronically in the palm of their hands. The cart includes a couple of minigames as well. The copy we’re offering is the highest graded across both variants on Wata’s June 2023 pop report out of just two total.
8. Wacky Races (Game Boy)
I grew up watching Wacky Races, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. I always wondered why Dick Dastardly would stop to set traps for the other racers when he was way ahead—why didn’t he just race to the finish line!? Regardless, it was a fun show featuring a quirky assortment of racers that were fun to cheer for. Unlike the NES game, which is a platformer, Wacky Races for the Game Boy Color is actually a racing title. And a fun and rare one at that! We’re offering the highest graded of just two copies on Wata’s June 2023 pop report.
9. Clay Fighter: Sculptor’s Cut (N64)
I have fond memories of playing the original Clay Fighter for the Super Nintendo. The game was a Claymation take on the fighting genre established by such classics as Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat. My favorite fighter was Blue Suede Goo, an Elvis impersonator who was the most talkative character in the game. I remember seeing Clay Fighter: Sculptor’s Cut at my local Blockbuster Video, but never for sale anywhere. That’s because it was a rental exclusive. As such, it’s incredibly rare today!