10 Retro Nintendo Games That Had Surprising Features

Nintendo is one of the big names in the video game world. They’ve been making games and consoles for quite some time and have some very popular games with some really unique gameplay elements. Some of these games that have been released over the years have included unique features that are exclusive to these games and that many gamers may not be aware of.

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From accessories that only work with one specific game to games that have an unusual feature that doesn’t appear in other games, Nintendo has gotten creative with secret features in some of their games over the years. This was especially true with their more retro consoles like the Game Boy and the original Nintendo DS.

To see 10 retro Nintendo games with unique features, keep reading!

ten Nintendo DS Memory Expansion Pack


The Memory Expansion Pak is not a feature, but an accessory that worked exclusively with a single cartridge for the Nintendo DS. This cartridge is the Nintendo DS Navigator. This accessory could be plugged into the Nintendo DS when the Nintendo DS Browser was plugged in and would add 8MB of RAM to the device.

It is the only software capable of using this accessory, which makes it quite a unique feature for this cartridge. Considering this was during a time when on-the-go internet browsing wasn’t as common as it is now with smartphones and tablets, this was a pretty neat accessory for the DS.

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9 Learn with Pokémon: Strike Adventure


Learn with Pokémon: Strike Adventure is an educational typing game released in Australia, Europe and Japan for Nintendo DS. It teaches the player to type on the included Bluetooth keyboard by having them type different phrases and words that appear on the DS screen.

This game is the only one released that uses the wireless keyboard. The DS itself didn’t actually have Bluetooth connectivity, so this game is unique due to the fact that a Bluetooth adapter is built into the cartridge itself.

8 face training


face training is a game that was released for the Nintendo DS exclusively in Japan with a port to the Nintendo DSi in other regions later. This game would use a camera to scan the user’s face and guide them through facial exercises, designed to help strengthen and tighten the user’s facial muscles to give them a more youthful appearance.

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If you’re familiar with the Nintendo DS, you’ll know that this portable console didn’t actually have a camera. While the DSi did, there was no port of this game to this console until later. So how did this game work on the original DS? It used a device called Faceningscan which was only released in Japan. It was plugged into the Nintendo DS and then had an external camera that only worked with face training.

7 Pokemon Stadium


Players who are big fans of the Pokemon franchise probably played Pokemon Stadium on their Nintendo 64. One thing that only the most dedicated fans of the series will know is that the game would also let you play other games from the franchise like pokemon yellow via your Nintendo 64 on the big screen.

After visiting the Game Boy Tower and plugging in his Transfer Pak, the player could plug in his various Game Boy Pokemon games and play them on their TV instead of just on their little portable console.

6 Morita Shogi 64


Morita Shogi 64 is a virtual board game version of the ancient Japanese game Shogi. This game was released exclusively in Japan on the Nintendo 64 and is unique due to the small port on the top of the game cartridge.

Even though this game was released in 1998, this game is unique due to the fact that it allows players to play competitively online. Playing online with other people around the world wouldn’t become commonplace in the gaming world for quite a while, so this game was definitely ahead of its time. This feature was optional, but the port at the top allowed players to plug an Ethernet cable into their modem to connect to game servers.


5 Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island


The Super FX chip is a processing chip that has been installed in a few different SNES games like star fox in order to help it have more powerful processing and better graphics. games like star fox were quite open about using this chip and even used it as a selling point to attract customers.

But, there is one game that used a later version of the Super FX chip that didn’t mention having it at all. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is well known to fans of Super Mario franchise due to its unique graphics and pseudo-3D effects. This was all possible due to the fact that it used a Super FX 2 chip, but for some reason Nintendo didn’t use it as a marketing ploy like they had with previous games.


4 Gyromite


Gyromite is one of only two games to support Nintendo’s ROB While that might already sound a bit interesting to some Nintendo fans, it’s not the only thing that makes some copies of this game special.

Related: 10 Biggest Mistakes In Nintendo History, Ranked

Due to Nintendo’s rush to release this game in time for the holiday season, Nintendo decided to just ship Japanese Famicom copies to North America to meet their October release date without any delays. But Famicom games do not work on NES consoles. To solve this problem, Nintendo integrated a Famicom to NES adapter into some early cartridges. This makes these cartridges sought after by collectors and people who want to use this adapter in other Famicom games.


3 space invaders


space invaders is a Game Boy port of the arcade classic of the same name. This game is one of many that could be plugged into the Super Game Boy accessory and then played on the big screen on the SNES.

Instead of just playing the Game Boy version of the game on the big screen like most other games connected to the Super Game Boy accessory, this game is completely different. When the player starts the game on their SNES, they have the option of playing the Game Boy version or the SNES version of space invaders.

2 Pokémon Crystal


The Mobiel Game Boy adapter was released in 2001, exclusively in Japan. This device would allow the player to connect his Game Boy Color to a compatible mobile phone. It would effectively work as a modem for the Game Boy Color and somehow allow them to play their games online.

Unfortunately, this peripheral was not so popular or successful due to the fact that it was mostly only major compatible with one game: Pokémon Crystal. Players were able to trade and fight with other people this way.

1 Singer Izek 1500


It’s less a unique feature of a single game than a unique feature of an entire console, but it’s so unusual that it simply can’t be left out of this list. The Singer Izek 1500 is a sewing machine that could be controlled by the Game Boy Color for people who had a specific cartridge and all the cables to plug it into their sewing machine.

Nintendo was working on a similar knit cartridge for the NES, but it doesn’t look like they ever moved forward after some early announcements. Still, this unusual accessory that allowed gamers to plug in a game and use it to save sewing and embroidery patterns through their Game Boy Color was definitely interesting.

Next: The 10 Rarest Nintendo Consoles (And How Much They’re Worth)


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Timothy C. Mayo