Berlin no Kabe (or “The Berlin Wall”) is a puzzle platform game for Game Gear originally developed and published by Kaneko for Arcade before being ported by Inter State. The goal of the game is to break the ice so that the patrolling enemies fall in the gap and then hit them with the hammer or fall on them from above whle they’re still in the gap to defeat them.
Getting to the menu it is odd that most of it is english and it in fact has an english title as well despite never leaving Japan, however leaving it on this screen for a surprisingly short time gives you a bit of story and without knowing whats its saying it seems weird. From the few pictures above the text the child aka the player was with his mum then he went to a normal looking but tall brick wall before finding a hole in it which led him to a sage looking old man who gave the kid a magic hammer.
As for options theres a sound test (in hexidecimal to 2A), a lives toggle up to 5 per continue and a continue toggle up to 9 so while there wasn’t a difficulty toggle you could make it far easier for yourself (the default lives is 3). Do note that I can’t play 2 player as usual but it doesn’t matter as this game uses the ‘Take Turns’ type and therefore is no different from single player other than being a bit more competitive.
Getting into the game you can see the graphics are alright and the music is tolerable but with no grasp of the story finding yourself in a weird platform level surrounded by penguins is incredibly weird. Controls are quite simplistic though, break the ice with either button and then when the enemy falls in the gap you have to hit them with your hammer (which somehow took me ages to find out) or fall on them from above to squish them and then collect what they drop for points. Note that the penguins sort of explode so they can take out the other enemies adding a layer of strategy to the game.
On top of that though the game is very quick in introducing new types of enemies, for example the blue penguins are the normal type while you are shown a green confused one in the 2nd one who can change its patrol and a red angry one (pictured above) in the 3rd level that will run at you if it sees you.
The game does seem to get difficult quite fast as you can see above but there are also powerups that the enemies can drop instead of the mysterious pieces of cake they somehow have. From what I’ve seen the most boring one is the one that increases your time by 30 seconds which you didn’t really notice before, the second being a hammer upgrade which I believe just makes you a bit stronger and the 3rd being an awesome current level suit seemingly inspired by Godzilla that lets you shoot fireballs which can be so satisfying when you were stuck on a level.
In fact as you get used to the levels and how they patrol it does get a bit easier and you also have to wonder if there is speedrunning potential on top of the obvious leaderboards and high scores and stuff. Not that I could do any good at either of those but it did interest me.Maybe I’ll give it a go again later (and replace the short video of me being an idiot at it).
Overall its quite a nice little game that Non-Japanese people like me (and likely you) never heard of before but since you can still play it totally fine without knowing the backstory I recommend giving it a try.