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Trying Gameboy Games from Itch.io on My 2DS

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Written by   91
4 months ago
Topics: Gameboy, 3DS, 2DS, Nintendo, Retro gaming, ...

GameBoy was one of the most successful handhelds in history. The handheld wasn't powerful by any means even in the year of its debut, but it had a massive collection of fun games, some are still fun to play today, more than 30 years later.

Maybe that's the reason many people feel nostalgic for the graphical style of that handheld, enough that there's still an active community of developers that make games for this handheld or games inspired by its limitations.

One such community is based in Itch.io, since they had multiple Game Jams for GB-inspired games, there's already a huge library of Game Boy inspired games on Itch.io What makes it even more interesting is the existence of GB Studio, a tool to develop native GameBoy Roms that can run on real GameBoy devices or Emulators.

I never had an actual GameBoy. There's the modern device Analogue Pocket that runs these GB/GBC with native-level accuracy, but I don't have one. When I checked a review for Analogue Pocket I remembered I had something close I could try the games on: My Nintendo 2DS!

Getting The Emulators

I knew that a Nintendo 3DS system can run GameBoy Advance games natively. I thought it was the same for GameBoy & Game Boy Color but turns out even the virtual console titles were emulated. So I had to get an emulator for GBC.

I found two ways to emulate GBC games. Either by injecting them as virtual console apps via New Super Ultimate Injector (NSUI) or using an emulator app. More info about both methods is here.

I chose the emulator method. Didn't find a compiled version of PlutoBoy, so I got was GameYob 3DS instead. All images are taken using this emulator.

Getting The Games

My favorite thing about Itch.io is the ease of finding great free games. I checked the popular games with the tag Game Boy and almost all of them are free. Of course, not all of them are GB ROMs, some of the games are just inspired by GameBoy's aesthetics and those are great as well!

While writing this article, I found it's better to use the tag "Game Boy Rom" if you want to find actual ROMs to play.

GB Roms I downloaded include:

I was impressed by the polish of "Murder Mansion" art and the humor in it. I kept losing at Penalty Kick though I like the idea and art style. The title that intrigued me the most is Cookies Bakery, it felt like a good demake for Harvest Moon and Cooking Mama at the same time.

I noticed that the emulator I'm using doesn't offer color-scheme options. For GB games, the only available color scheme is the Greyscale one, even if the game could support other colors. This doesn't seem to affect Game Boy Color games. They appear in the correct color scheme as expected.

On an unrelated note, someone has made a GameBoy ROM for Chemicals Periodic Table that does exactly what it says. I downloaded & tried it because I can!

It Was a Nice Experience

After getting the games I only had to put them on my 2DS' SD card. It wasn't that hard considering I modded the device by myself, (you can see my process for that in this article.) Installing the Emulator was easy since it's a CIA file.

It was nice playing GameBoy games on actual hardware handheld instead of emulating them on PC or Phone. The best thing about this experiment is the fact that all these games I tested are provided free by their creators. So the integrity cost is zero.

With the rise of Analogue Pocket and the great reviews it's getting, I expect the GameBoy development space to get stronger, so I'm going to keep tabs on it. I'm sure we'll see amazing games in the future.

Don't You Agree?


  • This article is cross-posted here on Read.cash and Hive's PeakD.

  • All photos in this article were taken by me. The only games captured are the ones linked above.

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Written by   91
4 months ago
Topics: Gameboy, 3DS, 2DS, Nintendo, Retro gaming, ...
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Comments

I actually stole one from my friend and traveled with it just to play donkey kong 😂 😂 I use to love me some Gameboy.

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4 months ago

Cool. If you own Oculus Quest there's also a Virtual Reality Gameboy emulator for Quest 🥰 Link here https://sidequestvr.com/app/1199/gamebov

$ 0.03
4 months ago

nice device

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4 months ago