Behold, the low point of Virtual Boy's history

The rare Virtual Boy game that's actually as bad as the system's reputation.

Everyone hates Virtual Boy. Well, not everyone. But Nintendo's least successful gaming venture ever has gone down in history as an easy punching bag. It really wasn't a great system—but as we've seen over the course of Virtual Boy Works, it was nowhere near as bad as its reputation would suggest. Nintendo stuck their foot in it bringing the system to market, but many developers still did their best to make sure Virtual Boy owners had plenty of good to great games to enjoy. Despite the Virtual Boy's reputation as a colossal flop, its games weren't nearly as terrible as you might have been led to believe

And that makes Virtual Lab a precious gem of a game. It actually is every bit as bad as the collective conscious would expect from a Virtual Boy game. In fact, it's so terrible its developer doesn't even seem to have finished programming it.

Like Japan's other "four kings" of Virtual Boy collectibles, Virtual Lab shipped in Japan in December 1995 in vanishingly small numbers. Everything about this game suggests it was a rush job to get the game out the door before the manufacturing and distribution pipelines for Virtual Boy shut down once and for all. Consider:

  • The game appears to feature placeholder graphics and animation
  • The game mechanics are unbalanced and seem incomplete
  • What little music appears here sounds unfinished
  • There's a password system but nowhere to input passwords
  • Nintendo's name is misspelled on the packaging... twice... in two different ways.

Huge thanks to Chris Kohler for taking the hit on this game and spending what was probably an ungodly sum for an absolute pile of trash so that it could be documented here. The good news is that I've provided a pretty thorough overview, so you never need to suffer through it yourself. From the bottom of my heart and Chris's: You're welcome.