Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe is the name for polished simplicity. Made by Tangram Games it’s the
enhanced version of the original high-score chasing platformer (working with the original Game
Boy all the way up to the Super Game Boy). The controls are intuitive, the graphics charming,
with a low barrier to entry but high skill ceiling. It’s one of the best Game Boy games of the
system, almost two decades late.
I got Tobu Tobu, as we’ll be calling it from here on out, as an addictive game to be playing on my
newly modded DMG through Krikzz’s imfamous everdrive. The story’s concept is much like
Balloon Kid, something has floated away on balloons and you’re out to get them back.
In that game it was your brother, in this game it’s your cat.
Simple d-pad controls and the dash on A means you’ll be zipping up the scrolling screen in all
eight directions. Flapping your arms with B, getting back your energy by dashing down into
It’s a deceptivley simple system, and if your experience was like mine you can near complete
the game without realising you can get your flapping energy back until nearly the last stage.
But that’s a credit to the game’s simple controls, it’s intuitive, and something that will really put
your d-pad to the test.
You unlock stages by reaching the top portal of each screen. The flag on the side shows your
highest point. It’s a great motivator to keep going.
“I was so close that time,” you’ll think.
And then you’ll keep coming back in order to get a better time, that’s the skill curve, the more
advanced techniques and quicker reflexes means a better time and score. But the game isn’t
unforgiving, a quick respawn puts you right back into the motions.
In the Deluxe version are different modes, such as the endless mode. Unlike the other stages
where your score is based on how many enemies you’ve stomped and time, endless mode is
scored on the amount of “waves” you get past. The gameplay loop compliments playing while
your attention is elsewhere, like a show or podcast. With such satisfying movement across the
game it’s fun just moving around.
The different art of stages is enough to maintain variety, themed like an area to a park. There’s
the first stage plains, where another stage is outright space. And as you climb the background
shifts to show your progress. It’s beautiful, especially with the well-matched chiptune soundtrack
There’s a strong difficulty curve, where plains was difficult once you’ll soon be revisiting it to get
the best time by chaining together the more advanced techniques you’ve learned. Dashing into
enemies replenishes your energy as we’ve said, but it also keeps up momentum as you zip up
to the top.
In fact, I challenge you.
This is the first zone, can you get a better time than me? It’s a great game, well worth your time,
mastery will only feel natural. A fun challenge to end on, give it a crack, you won’t regret it!