This is the seventh post in a series called “Hungry Goriya Used Acquire” that serves to highlight the contents of a large game collection I procured from an old high school friend of mine, Joe. Read here for the backstory.
“Engage. Wait, N-Gage? N-Gage? What’s an N-Gage?”
That was my initial reaction when I was talking to Joe about what mysterious things awaited me in his collection and he mentioned the Nokia N-Gage. We got a box for the second release of the unit called the N-Gage QD, which apparently corrected some issues and complaints about the first version of the gaming console/phone.
That’s right, I said the box. The box was devoid of the actual device, and it never did turn up after we finished looking through the many, many boxes that housed Joe’s video game collection. Joe had been upfront in saying that he didn’t know where it was or if it’d turn up at all, but even in anticipating the worst, I was still pretty disappointed. The likelihood of me buying one to complete this collection at the moment is slim since they’re fairly expensive online. Maybe I’ll find one at a yard sale this summer, but my hopes are not too high. Here’s a lovely photo of the box and all of its contents.
Though we didn’t get the console, we did get a lot of games. Because I had never heard of the N-Gage previously, I wasn’t sure what the games released for this system were. Were they ports from other systems? Were they released especially for this device? The truth is that the games are a mix of the aforementioned: some remakes/ports, some exclusives. Because the entire N-Gage library is only comprised of 58 games, we’ve put quite a dent in that number with what we ended up with in this purchase. All but one game was complete, and a few were even still sealed.
We got quite a few sports games for the handheld. There’s a nice variety in sports types here, though I don’t know why anyone would ever want to play another golf game after experiencing Neo Turf Masters. Unless that game of course is World Class Leaderboard for DOS. Then I’m all over that.
Among the bunch were also many games from pretty popular franchises that could be classified as shooters or action games. I was really surprised to see games like Call of Duty and Splinter Cell released for such an obscure little device like the N-Gage. We’re talking tiny handheld phone screen for playing on here! I’ve watched some game capture videos from this thing, and the quality is pretty grainy.
As usual there were some RPGs in the mix, and these included some pretty exciting titles. Many of you probably know of my deep, undying love for Faxanadu on the NES, and Xanadu was its predecessor on the MSX. These games are part of the Dragon Slayer series, which has seen many games released. Unfortunately not many of them ave been particularly popular in North America. Xanadu Next was actually rereleased for PC in 2016, so if I can’t track down a console I might have to try it out that way. Pocket Kingdom: Own the World also looks pretty neat.
The most expensive game according to the Unholy Interwebs is the N-Gage-only release of an Elder Scrolls game, The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey. Unfortunately for me, this was the only cartridge missing, but you can see the game case below. It did come with its manual. Joe said that the game is probably with the N-Gage, wherever it ended up. Schmoo.
Lastly, here a bunch of colourful, fun-looking games that I’d absolutely love to try out sometime. The Sonic the Hedgehog series is one of my favourites, and Sonic N is an N-Gage exclusive. Need to find actual N-Gage… rising…
Obviously there’s some great puzzle games like Puyo Pop and Puzzle Bobble here, as well as classics like Bomberman, Rayman and a Crash Bandicoot game as well. I haven’t done much research on those so I’m not sure if they’re ports of games for other systems or also exclusives, but I’m absolutely loving the diversity of games for this handheld console/phone thing.
It’s nice to have an instant collection for the N-Gage, but it breaks my heart a little to know that it never did well on the market. The manuals were all beautifully done with lots of colour and detail, and each individual game came with a carrying case for cartridges (the plastic thing on the right side of the case in the photo below folds into a little holder.) The people that worked on putting things whole endeavour out there clearly put a lot of time and care into the products. I feel like I owe it to them to try to track one of these things down and give these games a whirl.
So there it is. Another come-and-gone console that I never knew about, but now seemingly have a lot of stuff for. I am planning to keep my eyes wide open yardsale-ing over the next few weekends for one of these, though if I’m unsuccessful, I’m hoping to run into one at a swap in the future. Who knows? There might be one of these babies waiting for me for a good price!
Thank you very much for reading!