You probably can't tell by looking at the cover art below, but my latest acquisition, Ganbare Gorby!, is an action-puzzler that stars Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev--aka the guy with the port-wine birthmark who served as president of the Soviet Union between 1988 and 1991.
As odd as that likely sounds, the end product's actually pretty darn fun. Of course, how could it not be? Not only does it put players in ol' Gorby's shoes, but it tasks them with racing through one Russian factory after another in order to provide the poor with such basic essentials as food, medicine and, er, Game Gears, while avoiding violent soldiers and guards.
Thankfully, the factories you and Gorbechev spend so much time in are far from drab. On the contrary, they're bright and colorful, with red and blue floors giving way to green and purple walls that are topped by orange and yellow minarets.
Ganbare Gorby's gameplay is similarly striking, despite the fact that it often involves stepping onto and off of switches--or moving conveyor belts to and fro--that help deliver the above-mentioned staples to the awaiting masses. (To see what I mean, check out this video. Just make sure your volume is turned down, as the sound quality in this clip is terrible.)
By the way, I can't write a post about this game without mentioning two things. First, it was released outside of Japan (in 1991) as Factory Panic, with Gorbechev being replaced by some random blond brat. (Strangely, everything else remains--including the minarets and the Soviet soldiers.) Second, I have to thank the proprietor of the VGJunk blog for turning me on to Ganbare Gorby!, as I'd never heard of it before reading this post. Afterwards, I traipsed on over to eBay and searched for it on a whim. To my surprise, I discovered an auction for the rather pristine copy you see above and promptly picked it up.
Now I just need to pick up a (refurbished) Game Gear so I can play it the way it's supposed to be experienced (as opposed to doing so via emulation), don't you think?
See also: Previous 'Acquisition #123' posts