2Game.com (Tiger Electronics, 1997)
In the 90s, Tiger were synonymous with licensed LCD games. These single-game handhelds came in a multitude of licences from Aladdin to X-Men. In 1997, Tiger took the plunge into the cartridge-based multi-game handheld market with the awkwardly-named Game.com.
The Game.com offered a touchscreen and stylus that slotted snugly into the front of the device. Along with a suite of built-in office features like a calendar and an address book, as well as an optional modem for internet functionality, Tiger hoped to increase consumer value over Nintendo’s Game Boy. The hardware, however, just wasn’t up to scratch. Its screen suffered a painful amount of ghosting, more so than the Game Boy, and as a result offered slow, stilted gameplay.
As with its LCD games, Tiger managed to secure big name titles for the Game.com. 20 games were released, featuring ports of Duke Nukem 3D, Batman & Robin and Mortal Kombat Trilogy. They all managed to push the boundaries of common decency, but nothing is quite as offensive as the severely-truncated ports of Sonic Jam and Resident Evil 2. Coupled with a marketing campaign that actively insulted gamers, and Tiger was facing an uphill struggle the whole way.
After being bought by Hasbro, Tiger did try to revive the dying console – the Game.com Pocket released in 1998 and a backlit version, the Pocket Pro Light, arrived a year later – but to little success. Nowadays, Hasbro is re-releasing some of Tiger’s more popular LCD handhelds and the Game.com, one of the worst consoles we’ve ever seen, is all but forgotten.