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"I don't believe it myself. Imagine reading your e-mail on this thing and you'd have to hook it up to a modem, so you couldn't leave your house anyway... WHY NOT JUST USE A COMPUTER!?"
The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of the handheld.
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The Game.com (pronounced "game com") was a 1997 handheld system made by Tiger Electronics, famous for making low-quality LCD games long beforehand. The system can be seen as revolutionary for its time, as it had a touch screen and rudimentary Internet functionality long before other video game companies tried their hand at it, along with other curious features like having two cartridge slots (initially). Perhaps this was for the best, as the router used to connect the game.com to the internet was a nightmare to hook up, and both the instructions that came with the system and the ones on Tiger's site were incorrect.

Unfortunately for Tiger, it was far too ahead of its time and failed to catch on with consumers, though its infamous advertising campaign insulting Tiger's potential customers certainly did not help, but that was probably the least of the Game.com's worries. While the system's CPU is theoretically on par with the Game Boy released almost a decade earlier, it was crippled by the Operating System's constant processing overhead. This meant that games ran notoriously slow. What also didn't help was that the much anticipated (and technically superior) Nintendo Game Boy Color would come out the following year. Tiger would attempt to respond with a smaller budget version of the Game.com called the Game.com Pocket Pro in 1999 with an added frontlight and the second cartridge slot and internet capabilities gutted, to no avail. Tiger would discontinue the Game.com line in 2000, having sold less than 300,000 units total.

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Nonetheless, it's still an interesting little nugget of video game history, and it got a decent amount of games with recognizable brand names on them (though the games themselves were rarely up to snuff).


Games:

    Released 

In addition to the above, Game.com Internet and Tiger Web Link were released as part of internet-connection accessories.

    Unreleased 

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Tropes:

  • Awesome, yet Impractical: The Internet link function and touch screen were ahead of its time, but in function they were lacking. The touch screen was not very functional, and the Internet function negated its portability, since you needed to hook it up at home to use it.
  • It's Pronounced "Tro-PAY": The dot in the name isn't pronounced.
  • Take That, Audience!: One of the ads for the game had an angry midget shilling the handheld, yelling that it "plays more games than you idiots have brain cells!" The midget is immediately swarmed by the angry crowd. And given the handheld only had 20 games released for it, and that not even a successful console could ever hope to achieve a number of games larger than the number of human brain cells because the human brain has, on average, 86 billion cells, no wonder they were so angry!

Alternative Title(s): Game Dot Com

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