I don’t know about you, but the Game Genie did more to change my video gaming experience than any other device with the exception of the Nintendo itself. Once I got my hands on it, it was in use every single time I played a Nintendo Game. My best friend at the time, Geoffrey, was one of those kids that got whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it. He saw the commercial for this thing and went nuts. I still remember the conversation we had on the phone that fateful night. He said he had pitched such a huge fit wanting it, that his Dad drove him the half-hour to the nearest department store and bought it for him.
The next day at school, he looked like a hungover zombie, as he had stayed up all night playing Nintendo. I knew that I just had to make the trip to his house that weekend for a sleepover and check it out myself. Sure enough, I had the chance that weekend and was blown away by just how awesome that thing was.
I started saving my allowances immediately and doing chores for folks around the neighborhood to earn extra money. It actually didn’t take too long to get enough scratch together to go get one of my own. Man, that thing revolutionized my gameplay. Games that had previously had parts that I got so frustrated with that I quit playing the game were now easily navigated, and I pulled those old suckers out and gave them new life.
It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent in my life. And yes, I can say that still today. It was revolutionary to be able to have unlimited lives, or unlimited ammo, or be able to make super jumps. Now I know in all reality, it was cheating, but it made crappy games fun and made fun games incredible. Even now when playing ROMs on an emulator, I still google those old Game Genie codes and put them in play.