Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

Digitally Curious - A Vintage LCD Watch Blog

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  • Thursday, August 6th, 2009 - 2:09 pm
  • Casio GM-10 [165] Game Watch

  • The Casio GM-10 game watch is the "holy grail" watch for many Casio watch collectors, and it is easy to see why!

    While only moderately rare, the popularity of this particular model among collectors makes it very very pricey. I paid over $300 for mine and that was considered a bargain price!

    Because of its popularity, there are actually several websites that describe this watch, each with their own take. You can even find a youtube video of the gameplay. I'll let the interested reader google those for themselves.

    I'll use this blog to show my viewpoint.

    The GM-10 uses a composite case construction, using a plastic base topped with a painted metal (Al?) trim and regular watch-quality glass. As far as I can tell, it is not the tough mineral glass found on the 'marlin' models.

    It uses a simple snap-back stainless steel backplate. Note the "water resistant" sticker on the back, specifying its water resistance. Usually Casio watches with water resistance has those words stamped into the backplate and/or printed on the case. Perhaps Casio added the water resistance late in the production cycle and was forced to use a sticker instead of re-stamping their casebacks? Who knows?

    As with other "water resistant" watches, this watch is designed to survive the rain, but not a swim.

    And it uses metallic buttons.

    The case is actually identical to the AX series watches that I reviewed before. In fact you could interchange the modules since the case shape is identical, but that would be a strange thing to do.

    But the really important thing about this watch is the GAME! Get on to the GAME!

    Are you ready to pilot an interceptor and shoot down as many flying saucers as you can?

    Of course you are. Okay so the game is simple, and works like most other game watches of this era.

    Although the entire LCD is used in the game mode, the real action occurs on the dedicated game area on the top left. The rest of the display simply shows the score, level and remaining lives.

    You are the thing on the right, and the UFO is the thing on the left. It appears, and shoots a beam at you. You press the "aim" button until your ship lines up with the enemy ship and its beam, and shot a missile by pressing "fire."

    You can only shoot the enemy if you are lined up with them, but they can kill you whether or not their beam is lined up with you. In other words, if the enemy beam reaches the right side, you lose a life whether or not you were hit directly.

    Your "life" is indicated by a small line on the top right corner. In the picture above, I'm at "level 0" and I have 2 lives.

    You get scored based on the "zone" where you stopped the beam. If you stop the beam while it is still on the left, you get more points. In the picture above, I got 3 points for stoping the beam while it was in the 3rd quadrant.

    And then I died. (below)

    So there you have it, a simple game. Thankfully there is some complexity, such as increasing difficulty with the levels, bonus scores, etc. It is, in my opinion, one of the few games watches that you can play without removing the game from your wrist.

    Now, I'm a Casio fan all the way. I have some Seiko's and other brands, but Casio is my bread and butter. But after studying this watch, I started to really appreciate the novelty and supiriority of the Nelsonic Space Attacker game. WHY? Because in the Nelsonic watch, the entire LCD converts from time mode to game mode using a dual-layer LCD technology. Although Casio used this technology in the AX series, they didn't use it in the GM-10 and therefore the LCD is segmented. In addition, the spaceship actually moves in 2D in the Nelsonic game, whereas it only moves moves in 1D and very predictably in the GM-10.

    Ultimately, I like the GM-10 better as a watch. But as a game device, I think the Nelsonic space attacker wins. Argue with me if you wish, but I'll win this argument since I'm the admin on this site. :D

    In terms of functionality, it's got all the bells and whistles for an early 80's watch.

    It tells time and, when you hold down a button, shows the current day/month/date.

    The built-in light is just as small and useless as the light on the AX series watches, but it is there. The placement of the light makes it easy to read the seconds but not the hour/minutes. :(

    The alarm is nice and loud, but otherwise a very simple alarm. The stopwatch is a normal stopwatch, but it uses the game area to animate the stopwatch.

    The game area stays animated in normal timekeeping mode, using the advancing beam to represent the ticking seconds.

    It is a very satisfying watch to wear, cause you know that you'll never get bored.

    The GM-10 is only the first of a family of GM series watches, which includes:

    Interceptor game:
    Gm-10 plastic
    GM-20 metal

    Submarine game: (same as interceptor but the game is vertical)
    GM-30 plastic
    GM-301 metal

    Pyramid game: (kind of like Tetris with triangles)
    GM-40 plastic
    GM-401 metal

    As far as I know, only a handful of people in the world own all 6 models. I only have the GM-10, and have no plans to get the other ones unless I become filthy rich. Will you be the next GM collector?

  • Filed under: watch
  • Comments!
  • » Nice review.
  • by: FLEX, submitted Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 - 6:12 pm
  • » I'm looking for a watch that had 7 different alarm/melody for every day of the week. The watch could be the 82h108 but I'd like to be sure the melody of the watch are that I'm searching. Could you please send me a registration of the melodies (I do not care about the quality of the sound, but I want to be sure to buy what I really want
  • by: Andrea, submitted Friday, November 6th, 2009 - 5:11 pm
  • » Hi, I stumbled across your blog. I owned a GM-10 as a 12yr old in 1983. I don't know what happened to it. I might ask my mum whether she has it now... it was the best and I was the only one at school who had one! Great memories. Regards, Clive
  • by: Clive Dillen, submitted Saturday, December 19th, 2009 - 6:23 am
  • » I had a casio game-10 in 1982. I'd had a short spell in hospital and, so as a treat,my parents bought me this watch. It cost about £25,.. a lot of money in 1982. Loved it,.. spent hours going cross-eyed playing it. Can't remember what happened to it,-wish I'd hung on to it for posterity.
  • by: David Elliott, submitted Thursday, August 5th, 2010 - 2:31 pm
  • » I had this watch as a kid.
    Played it so much, we wore the stainless buttons flat, and had to make new ones on a jewellers lathe out of nickel along with a replacement phosphor bronze spring contact inside.
    Most of my friends used to purposely mess around in lessons to get sent into the corridor, where we used to have battles on the watch.
  • by: capribloke, submitted Friday, December 21st, 2012 - 4:52 am
  • » I won the GM-30 plastic from The Dandy comic in the 80's. Worth a small fortune now if I had it !

    game was epic back then
  • by: Mike McEntee, submitted Saturday, January 5th, 2013 - 9:38 pm
  • » Casio is a history not merely a watch company.
  • by: Tariq, submitted Thursday, March 26th, 2015 - 11:17 am
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