Last week, I was feeling a little off, I honestly don’t know what went through me, but I had this huge urge to play a long forgotten GBA game. A game that came out in the last year of the portable, and although it raised a few eyebrows here and there, it flunked in the sales department. In a desperate attempt to scratch my itch, I went to Amazon, and to my surprise managed to find a brand new copy of the game for $15. I didn’t hesitate to hit the buy button.

Produced by Junichi Masuda and directed by Ken Sugimori, AKA the guys who gave birth to Pokémon, Drill Dozer couldn’t be more different than GameFreak’s flagship franchise. The game often labelled as the swan song of the last traditional Nintendo portable is simply unique in concept and execution.

But before proceeding with the unboxing of the game, some interesting trivia about the game:

  • Released in February 26, 2006. Two years after the Nintendo DS was released.
  • It was one of the two games using a built-in rumble pak in the cartridge, the other being WarioWare: Twisted!
  • The protagonist, Jill, and her Dozer appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as an Assist Trophy.
  • The 5th Gen PokĂ©mon, Drilbur and Excadrill are inspired on the design of the Drill Dozer, same as the gear PokĂ©mon, Klink, Klang and Klinklang.
  • Unlike PokĂ©mon who took the world by storm in the 90s, Drill Dozer barely moved 50,000 units back when it was released.

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Alright, time to unbox! Upon opening the box, which for the first time in years I’m actually opening a cardboard box instead of a case, I notice that the game cart color is... a bit off. Instead of the classic charcoal color of the classic GBA carts, we have this brown tone that is pretty icky.

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Also the cartridge itself is bigger than it usually is, that’s because inside this cart is the rumble-pak feature for the game. Unlike modern controllers, the GBA didn’t come with any force-feedback feature, heck, not even the portables of today come with it. I must say it actually feels pretty good. it’s not too strong yet not too subtle, it just has the right amount of oomph injected into it to add to the gameplay experience.

Inside the box there were pamphlets, promotions to the discontinued Nintendo Power magazine, a Safety Booklet, and of course a full color Instruction Booklet.

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But there was something extra on this game box, the game also comes with a six-page comic, explaining the events that precede the story of the game.

It feels pretty weird unboxing a game that was released 8 years ago, today. Heck, I am pretty fortunate that I managed to get my hands on a copy of this game for such a cheap price. My recommendation is... if you see a copy of this game in the wild, buy it, give it a try! It may not be the drill that will pierce the heavens, but in my honest opinion is a wonderful, under appreciated gem of the GBA.

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