Mario's Cement Factory
As far as I knew, the
LCD-handheld market was home mainly to Tiger Electronics and a few
smaller players. I didn't know that Nintendo had any presence in that
particular market until I received Game & Watch: Mario's Cement Factory
as a Confirmation gift during the dinner celebration at the Italian
restaurant New Corner. My father reserved for our family one of the
establishment's back rooms, which I didn't even know existed! "A whole
room just for us?" I thought. "Wild."
Specifically, it was a gift given to me by my uncle from New Jersey (the guy who informed us about Adventure's
Easter egg). I remember being quite surprised to see Mario's name on a
game that wasn't related to his arcade or NES properties. I'm actually
surprised that I didn't immediately dismiss it as something archaic;
instead, I found the whole idea of this simple device kind of neat and
messed around with it all during the downtime between dinner courses. In
the year that followed, the game did its job to keep me occupied for a
few minutes here and there, and I was genuinely interested in setting as
high a score as I could. Moreover, its existence was more fuel for my
fascination with this Mario cat's versatility--a reminder that he wasn't
always "super" and had to take on a lot of odd jumps prior to earning
his well-established plumber credentials.
can't really speak of many great memories as tied to its gameplay
because it was so simple and fleeting--merely a matter of running from
one side of the screen to the other and dropping layers of cement down
from one truck to the next and finally into a mixer. Though, I was
always high on its quality: Judging by my future interactions with Game & Watch devices, I consider myself lucky that Mario's Cement Factory was the one that caught my uncle's interest, since it looked to be one of the better ones (and I still think it is).
Sadly, I haven't seen my copy of Mario's Cement Factory since I moved to Long Island seven years ago. It's still laying around somewhere
in this house--probably in an unpacked box in the garage--but I don't
know if it still works or if they even make those round batteries
anymore. As I've found myself saying a lot lately in regard to old
systems and games: I wish I'd taken better care of it. Perhaps more for
sentimentality's sake, I download it from Nintendo's DSiWare service a
few years ago; I was impressed with how well they replicated it and hope
they continue the practice, perhaps including these recreations in the
more-focused category of "Virtual Console," where I feel Game & Watch belongs.
For now, Mario's Cement Factory remains on my 3DS as another important reminder, and I hope for its future transference.