Prepare to be charmed by the cutest Game Boy obscurity

You may never have heard of Astro Rabby, but it loves you anyway.

Game Boy Works giveth, and Game Boy Works taketh away. Some weeks I have to slog through terrible, shoddily programmed platformers or mundane puzzle games. Every once in a while, though, something fun comes along. Something like Astro Rabby.

Astro Rabby isn't totally unknown in or outside of Japan — I managed to find some English-language commentaries on the game, at least, which is a whole lot more than I can say about something like Card Game or Pachinko Time. Alas, though, this game never made it to the U.S., even though it's well-made and pretty entertaining, most likely because its publisher (I.G.S.) didn't have the capacity to bring a little niche release like this into the wider world beynod Japan. Our loss!

Astro Rabby plays a lot like Bounder for Commodore 64, and with its "cosmic bunny leaping through space" theme would seem to hint at Jumping Flash! for PlayStation. As a Game Boy release, however, it's a singular creation. Definitely worth tracking down — it's pretty inexpensive, and it's worth playing. Note that it gets really hard later in the game… even with infinite lives cheats, I found I hit a wall toward the end due to the insanely harsh level design and enemy placement. I wouldn't say it feels unfair, exactly, but for such an adorable little platformer it sure does have fangs. 

Which, I suppose, is the running theme for this phase of Game Boy Works. There are more cute-but-deadly games on the way…