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Way back in June this year, our own Tom Phillips pointed out the SmartBoy, from Hyperkin – a peripheral for Android phones that will let you play Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges on your phone, with a rather on-the-nose name. The SmartBoy goes as far as to add a physical D-pad alongside face buttons and a familiar shade of grey paint in order to evoke your childhood memories further.
Several months later, the time has come for the Hyperkin SmartBoy to be unleashed onto the world; it’s now available to buy from a few different online retailers. If you happen to have a surplus of Game Boy games taking up space in some storage box somewhere, it may just be time to break them out once more.
Currently, the cheapest way you can get one of these is over at FunStock Retro, where it’ll cost you £49.99. After that, you can pick one up at Amazon UK, for £52.98, though GAME is selling them for the regular RRP of £59.99. In a strange turn of events, if you’re in the US, you’ll only have to pay $49.99 for the pleasure – it’s safe to say exchange rates are all over the place at the moment.
As previously stated by Hyperkin itself, both PAL and NTSC cartridges will work in the system, so you should have minimal worries about region locks. Games running through the SmartBoy will benefit from resolution upscaling to match your device’s screen and this time around, you’ll have a backlight, which is nice. There’s currently no iOS version on the cards, likely due to Apple systems being a lot more locked-down than Android.
In the UK:
In the US:
While it might be easy to suggest the original Pokémon games are the ideal uses for this device, there will always be a small space in my heart for the Darkwing Duck game. Perhaps I’m just biased because that show had a superb theme song.