Could I have chosen a more exciting GameBoy title to help us get back into the swing of things? I guess so, but I went with this one anyway because it's a Japan-only game that rarely seems to be discussed outside of its country of origin (and probably isn't discussed there all that often either) and because it features a pretty sweet cover illustration.
This game is a portable conversion of Sega's Doki Doki Penguin Land, by the way--and if you've never heard of that one, well, the gist is that players are placed in the shoes (feet?) of the titular penguin and then tasked with guiding a rather large egg from the top of each vertically scrolling stage to the bottom by destroying or moving any ice blocks that are in the way.
It's a pretty simple puzzler-platformer, really, but for me that's its main draw. Well, that and its adorable protagonist.
That said, I might've preferred if publisher Pony Canyon had held off on releasing this one until the GameBoy Color hit the streets, as I definitely think it could have benefited from a bit of visual pizazz.
Still, it's a fun little time-waster, and as we saw earlier, its packaging (as well as its instruction manual, a sample of which can be seen in the photo above) is easy on the eyes, so the lack of color isn't as off-putting as it might be otherwise.
Sadly, the back of the Penguin Land box is pretty par for the course when it comes to Japanese GameBoy games. I guess publishers at that time believed most folks would buy their wares based solely on the product's cover art?
One additional photo (of a cute illustration that graces the backside of this game's manual) can be found on my Flickr photostream, by the way, in case any of you are interested.
See also: previous 'Year of the GameBoy' posts