McDonald's Unveils A Retro Grimace Game Boy Color Game Online And We're Loving It

grimace birthday mcdonalds game hero
The iconic McDonald's character Grimace celebrated his 52nd birthday earlier this week (feel old yet?). The hamburger chain has decided to earn geeky PR points by using this occasion to launch a brand new Game Boy Color game. While the retro platform choice might be confusing, it is good to see that the full game is freely playable online via desktop or a mobile browser. Meanwhile, we enviously glance towards McDonald's customers in China, who can buy a new Tetris Nugget handheld device for the equivalent of $4 USD.

grimace birthday mcdonalds game loading

So, Grimace is over half a century old but definitely isn't the first mascot character many would recall of when thinking of this iconic burger chain. The pear-shaped grape colored Grimace originally started as a villain in the McDonald's universe, but somewhere in time transmogrified into a friendly and fun skateboarding character with a profound commitment to quaffing milkshakes.

We tested the Grimace’s Birthday platform game on a modern PC browser, using keyboard controls (Z and X are the action buttons, Enter is used for start/pause, Shift for select, and the cursor keys for directions). Action was pretty slick, with Grimace skateboarding, jumping and grinding through a horizontally scrolling scene. You soon get up to speed and learn to avoid the obstacles dropped by the Hamburgler, while collecting milkshakes. Getting enough of these purple shakes through the levels allows you to complete the object of the game - freeing your friends, so they can come to your birthday party!

grimace birthday mcdonalds game action

The game was created using a drag and drop development tool called GB Studio, and it runs pretty smooth in the browser (try it out!), with better colors than we remember from back in the day (modern PC monitor vs ancient GB Color display perhaps). Interestingly, though McDonald's hasn't released a ROM file for owners of the old hardware (or new handhelds with emulators) to play using a flash cart or similar, netizens unearthed a playable ROM which is now available on the Internet Archive.

Tetris McNugget Handheld

As mentioned in the intro, the Grimace game is a welcome freebie from McDonald's, but we are envious of the retro Tetris McNugget handheld being distributed by the burger chain in China.

The nugget shaped and colored device apparently only costs the equivalent of $4 in China. If you want to learn more about this device, with the hope that perhaps McDonald's US will create something similar, it is worth checking out ETA Prime's video, embedded above, for some insights. The YouTuber also mentions that these Chicken McNugget form factor gaming devices can be grabbed via marketplaces like eBay US for around $30.