Casio made a whole swag of game watches in the 1980s, but most of them looked liked games that told the time.
But there were four watches (although two were the same, just in different cases) that were the other way around — they were watches that just happened to include a game — called the GAME-10, GAME-20, GAME-30(1) and GAME-40(1).
When they were released in 1982 (some of them can be seen in the catalogue of the same year) their prices were quite reasonable – the resin versions (GM-10, GM-30, GM-40) were priced between USD34.95-39.95, while the metal versions were just $10 more. Fast forward to the present day and you’re looking at USD200-600 depending on condition!
Featuring time, date, daily alarm, hourly chime, and a chronograph, and housed in the same case as the AX series of watches, these watches looked good, and performed well. But it was the games where they shone.
The GM-30/GM-301 game is called Submarine Battle. You are a submarine that must shoot the depth charges being dropped by the cruisers on the water at the top of the screen.
The aim of the game is to shoot them at four specific intervals to light up numbers 1,2,3,4 on the left. Once this is done, you then have a few seconds to shoot the cruiser for extra points.
As the rounds progress it gets faster and more tricky. You have three lives and considering the size of the screen, the game is very playable and quite competitive.
The downside to this series of watches, is that the circuits seem to degrade over the years, causing erratic behaviour of the watch, and especially during the game which can cause it to lock up, or the display to disappear, requiring an AC reset.
If you find one, in full working order, it’s definitely worth buying (the value is only increasing). If you find one with the erratic behaviour it might be more frustrating than fun, so tread carefully.