Teddy Boy was one of the very first games to make it on to the Sega Master System and just like Hang On came initially on one of the very short lived Sega cards. The game title came from a popular Japanese song released by a Japanese pop star called Yohko Ishino who was hitting the Japanese charts hard in 1985. The original Japanese version had the full title of Teddy Boy Blues and actually featured an 8-bit instrumental version of Ishino’s song. However because Ishino was not known outside of her home country when the game was exported all references to her were dropped including the music and the name shortened to Teddy Boy.
The game is simple enough in its premise; you are Teddy Boy (I presume that’s his name) and you have to go around a series of some 50 mazes with a small gun shooting bugs, guppies, snails and the dice in which they hide. Shoot any of these things with your gun and the creatures turn in to small immobile versions which you have to then collect. Failure to do so will eventually see it zip down to your time bar and take a chunk out of it thus reducing your point scoring ability. If you plan on hiding and waiting for the bad guys to come to you be warned – stand still for too long and the ground starts to break away before you fall through.
This is a simple enough game but boy is it tough. The enemies are relentless as they swarm all over you and it becomes a real button bashing affair as you try to take out all of them. It is a challenge therefore but to be honest it is not a very entertaining one. It is very repetitive and the most important factor of any challenging game, the feeling of progression, is missing. Although I personally am not good enough to see it myself I have learned off the internet that the levels go on forever. After the 50 mazes are completed the game goes back to the first and continues through it again for another 49 since the counter only goes up to 99 and stays there. This game never ends!
It is very early Master System in it’s appearance in that while it is an improvement over Atari 2600/5200 and Sega SG-1000 games it is still quite primitive looking. The colours are very bright looking like an early Simpsons episode at time. Teddy Boy looks like the happiest little monster hunter in town even when death is near as he runs around with his machine gun and a green cap that looks like a Jewish yamaka. When he gets killed he totally emulates Alex Kidd as he becomes an angel and flies up the screen to heaven.
I am sure in 1985 this looked good and if you were Japanese and a fan of Ishino then it would appeal to you. As a retro gamer this lacks any of the charm earlier games had like Space Invaders which lets be honest has many similar traits to Teddy Boy when we break it down except your gun platform has more freedom of movement. Unlike Hang On this was not a good launch title for the Master System because it was too simple in premise and to produce but just so tough and unexciting in any way.
Not recommended by me I am afraid.