Gomoku Narabe Renju (Famicom) Retro Review

Gomoku Narabe Renju is a connect five type game for the Famicom developed and published by Nintendo. It is one of the first ever games released on the system. Note this game doesn’t have any unofficial translations.

Very simple title screen as suspected of a game released so early in the Famicom’s lifetime. Using the Google Translate i worked out the 3 white options are difficulty selections (Elementary, Intermediate, and Senior levels), you can also choose to play against AI or another person. As you’d guess the writing at the very bottom is Nintendo. I obviously chose elementary to start off with.

While being called a connect-5 game makes it sound easy to work out i kept losing for a reason i had no idea about and had to look it up although it claimed it was just as easy as i first thought, i did find out they awkwardly set B as a surrender button which would make much more sense on a hardly used button like Select. It took almost forever to finaly work out what i was doing wrong, turns out the game will call it a loss if it already knows the player/AI is going to win (4 in a row with both sides empty).  The amount of times i lost did annoy me but i decided i’d try playing it differently by going entirely for the pieces instead of trying to get a 5 myself.

I tried to stop the AI from getting 5 in a row but i couldn’t help but feel as i was being led into a trap and that the AI’s victory was inevitable. Considering i was playing on what was meant to be the easiest difficulty i couldn’t help but feel like a idiot. However i didn’t hate the game for it, i merely felt that perhaps this isn’t the type of game that i am suited for. At least i can say i got close to victory alot.

Overall its not an amazing game but its not bad either, the only problems it really has is the fact its japanese only and even if it wasn’t it probably would only interest a small amount of people (outside of japan).


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