Pingudroid: pixels, music, videogames and stuff (and penguins)
  • Let’s Talk Game Boy: Homebrew and modding

    A few days ago, I did something that I hadn’t done in a number of years: I had a look at my “Memories and screenshots” folder, tucked away in a corner of a hard drive, and looked for gamedev screenshots.

    I seem to have misplaced or deleted most of my earliest gamedev projects; however, in 2012, for some reason (?), I compiled screenshots of my previous games to post then on my (now defunct) DeviantArt account. Thanks to this, I’ve been able to, at the very least, remember what these projects were and when I made them, and save the screenshots as a memento (and for a bit of a laugh, I won’t lie).

    It has also convinced me that this new entry of “Let’s Talk Game Boy” should be about homebrew and modding, since why not? Making Game Boy games today is more relevant than ever, and I like how my earliest experiences in games can be tied to the present in such a delightful way. We’ll talk a bit about Pokémon romhacking and modding, about current solutions, GB Studio and repro carts, and the Game Boy as an old-new kind of virtual console.

    Are you interested? Read on, then!

    Pokémon romhacking and modding

    A few days ago, I posted a picture on Twitter of my “earliest” gamedev project, a Pokémon Ruby mod (we call them “romhacks”, but in most cases they’re actually just mods, particularly back in the day) titled Pokémon Diver Legends. I made it in 2005 and, like most of my game projects, never actually got around to finishing it, but I remember having a lot of fun and a few headaches playing around with maps and tilemap editors.

    I was 12 back then and knew nothing about programming, so I had to rely on third-party programs and fumble around until I got stuff to work, which it didn’t more often than not. Weird times.

    The setting of this mod was some weird parallel dimension where Hoenn was flooded with mud and red water (?), which somehow made sense to my pre-teen brain.

    I say “earliest” because, in fact, this isn’t my first contact with game development. I started modding games much earlier, around 2002. I was 9 and I had just gotten my hands on a couple of very peculiar programs: they were called Pokémap and Gold Map, and were meant respectively to edit the maps of Pokémon first generation and second generation games. They were Game Boy map editors, basically.

    Pokémap screenshot. Source:
    Gold Map screenshot. Source:

    My “games” back then consisted mostly of broken versions of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Gold with modified maps and absurd wild Pokémon encounters, but still, not bad for a 9 year old, back when game development tools weren’t as accessible to children as they are now (no stuff like Scratch, GDevelop or Roblox, and most people in the west had never heard of RPG Maker yet).

    These programs were like a game in themselves and allowed me, from an early age, to undestand important concepts like tilemaps and tilesets, the difference between sprites and tiles, tile passability, and how you might integrate events and NPCs into a scene, for example. (I also like to say that my gamedev journey started with the Game Boy because it makes me look cool :B)

    To be fair, though, I keep no screenshots and basically no memories of my earliest Game Boy and Game Boy Color attempts; most of my game modding experience, and what I really focused on for a respectable number of years, came from the Game Boy Advance platform. The flagship map editor, in that case, was AdvanceMap.

    AdvanceMap in action. Source:

    Tools like AdvanceMap, Gold Map and Pokémap have been replaced nowadays with better alternatives, and in many cases are actually unnecessary. The Pokémon modding scene has changed quite a bit over the years, particularly since the original games began to be decompiled. It’s no longer needed to mess around with hex values and edit an existing ROM: you can just take the disassembled source code (available on Github), make the necessary changes and compile it yourself. That’s how amazing fangames like Pokémon Prism have come to exist. These aren’t “romhacks” or simple mods per se, but quite literaly new games made by repurposing part of the original code.

    Similar things have happened with other games, like Mario games, although the Pokémon romhacking and modding scene has always been particularly active. My teenager self would be very impressed with what can be achieved today.

    Pokémon Prism titlescreen

    Homebrew and game development

    To make Game Boy games, though, you don’t need to rely on third-party code and stand on dubious legal ground (if you’re working on a Nintendo fangame, let met tell you, from a former fangame dev to another: it’s probably not a good idea). It is now perfectly possible for anyone to create Game Boy games “from scratch”, and not only that, but publish physical editions and have them playable in original or repro hardware.

    Most of that is thanks to an amazing tool (seriously, I can’t say enough good things about it) called GB Studio. It’s always been possible to make Game Boy games, of course, thanks to resources like the GameBoy Developer’s Kit (GBDK, now rebooted as GBDK-2000), but this platform didn’t become truly accessible to the general public until this all-purpose visual editor by Chris Maltby was first published back in… 2019, I think? Not that long ago, truly.

    GB Studio has improved at a steady pace over the past few years and is perfectly capable of making almost all kinds of Game Boy games. It also includes its own music tracker/sequencer (you can switch between the two) based on hUGEtracker, and exported games can be played on real hardware.

    Personally, I’ve only messed around with GB Studio, no serious project yet, but I definitely plan on using it for a game further down the line, once I finish a couple of projects I’m working on first. It’s a very capable tool and working with true Game Boy constraints can inspire a lot of creativity, as can be seen when browsing all the available Game Boy homebrews in the storefront. There’s also a steadily growing number of GB Studio-ready assets (graphics, as well as music and even code extensions) available for devs to use.

    GB Studio game world editor. Source:

    It truly is a marvel to see so many new Game Boy cames come out now, more than 30 years after the release of the first Game Boy, and more than 20 since the Game Boy Color appeared in the market. As a Game Boy nerd, I’m delighted!

    Whether made with GB Studio or by other means, plenty of lovely-looking Game Boy games have been making an appearance in the last few years, some of them even with great success in their crowdfunding campaigns. One such example, which I myself backed, is a reboot of the Game Boy Color RPG game Infinity, which is currently being worked on by Incube8 Games, and was originally cancelled back in 2002 when the Game Boy Color finished its life-cycle. It’s lovely to see that games that were before considered unpublishable have, once again, found the necessary public support and funding to be able to see the light.

    Infinity screenshots. Source: Infinity’s Kickstarter page

    All in all, I have a feeling that the Game Boy (other platforms too, like the NES, but perhaps the Game Boy more so) is becoming something that goes way beyond its original scope and time: it’s recycling itself as a new-old platform, kind of a virtual console of sorts (like the Pico-8) where people can work with very specific hardware limitations, playable basically on any device thanks to emulation, but with the benefit of also having preexisting physical hardware to run the games on.

    And I’m not only talking about the original, aging, Game Boy consoles and cartridges, but the constant replicas and improved versions that have kept steadily coming out over the years, designed and manufactured not by Nintendo, but by other independent creators: things like Game Boy flashcarts, for example, that let you transfer games to a cartridge and play them in original hardware (the most popular in this case would be the Everdrive carts); or stuff like the Epilogue GB Operator, that lets you play your cartridges on a PC or a Steam Deck, as well as transfer your saves and even overwrite cartridges, if they’re rewritable (tip: most modern Chinese repro Game Boy cartridges can be overwritten!).

    My own GB Operator and a bunch of rewritable repro carts.

    There’s also consoles, like the luxurious Analogue Pocket, or the modest GB Boy, that let you play original cartridges in a portable format, very similar to the original Game Boy; or console mods and parts, that allow you to “refresh” the original consoles with better screens, buttons, audio or what-have-you, basically turning them into different machines altogether.

    I’m happy because I feel we’ve reached a point where, even when the original consoles and cartridges all die out, the Game Boy as a platform will live on – thanks to emulation, renewed hardware and software and a genuine interest by a respectable number of players and devs.

    There’s also another aspect of the Game Boy that I’m not covering here, and it’s its use as a music synth. Thanks to software like LittleSoundDJ, and to physical mods that enhance the Game Boy’s sound output quality, this console has become a staple of electronic music and “the” chiptune synth by default. So there’s a lot of cultural value given to the Game Boy sound as well. I’ll talk more deeply about that in another blog post, sometime in the future, since my “beginnings” in music tie back to the Game Boy as well (did I mention that I’m a Game Boy nerd yet?).

    Meet my lovely, pro-sounded, backlit modded DMG Game Boy, running LSDJ. I love this thing

    All in all, it seems that we’re all as equally taken by this little brick of a console as people where back when it came out, even if it’s for different reasons. I’m really looking foward to seeing what the future brings, what lovely games come out and what interesting gadgets people come up with. 💚❤️️

    Thank you so much for reading! Best wishes, and until the next time,


  • The joy of exploring and creating voxel worlds

    Hi everyone! I hope your enjoying the weekend.

    Today I wanted to talk about something a bit different, something that has been quite important to me during the past year: voxel worlds! I’ll talk a bit about Minecraft, modding, Minecraft alternatives and, finally, programs that let you create voxel assets and even entire voxel games in an easy and user-friendly way. Today it’s all voxels, voxels, voxels. So let’s get to it!

    Modded Minecraft, a constantly expanding experience

    I must admit that I was late to the Minecraft party. I knew of it, of course (who wouldn’t? It’s the best selling video game in history after all), but I didn’t see the appeal of it, mostly because it’s just EVERYWHERE and it’s owned by Microsoft and its original creator is meh, so I didn’t pay it any attention for the longest time.

    Like many others, it was after seeing people play it on streams and YouTube videos that I saw its potential. One day, I thought to myself “Hey, maybe I will like this after all” and gave it a try, and oh boy, that’s a pit from which I hope to never climb out.

    I got Minecraft almost exactly a year ago. Since then, I’ve played aproximately 500 hours of it (which is a lot, considering that I usually play it only for a couple of hours a day), distributed through half a dozen different worlds. During this time, I’ve learned to love the voxel aesthetic, to which I had never paid much attention to before, and what it can bring to the table, both for players and for creators. I’ve also come to realise how important a wide and varied modding community can be for sandbox games, where players appreciate being able to customise the game to the smallest detail, and I’ve had infinite amounts of fun playing around with mods (and admitedly some frustration when trying to get them to play nice with each other, but that’s just to be expected).

    Screenshot from “Explore”, my first serious Minecraft playthrough, in modded survival Minecraft 1.17 (October-November 2021)

    I don’t think I’ve played more than an hour or two of vanilla Minecraft, for a very simple reason: in my opinion, what really makes Minecraft shine is its modding community. I’ll explain it with a metaphor: vanilla Minecraft is like the base of a pizza, a really, really nice one. It’s an amazing ingredient, pizza wouldn’t be pizza without it, but you wouldn’t eat it on its own: it needs the right toppings, sauce or spices to come to its full potential. That’s where mods (toppings) and resource packs (sauces and spices) come into play.

    The Minecraft mod and resource library is the most insane, incredible thing I’ve ever seen in the videogame world. The sheer variety of it, the fact that most mods can work well with each other against all odds, the way they expand the base game in all directions and provide customization options for all kinds of gameplay, the generosity of it all… it blows me away. I can’t put Minecraft down because, whenever I get tired of playing it, I can just go have a look at the mods available and choose an entirely new modset for my next playthrough, where I’ll have completely different creatures, biomes, tools, building materials, graphics and UI. Modded Minecraft is an ever-expanding game of games and I love it.

    Top view shot of a rustic/medieval-ish island I built in modded survival Minecraft 1.18.1 (July 2022)

    But isn’t this too good to be true?

    Modded Minecraft is amazing, but it still suffers from a huge, insurmountable drawback: it’s privately owned (by a big corporation no less), which means closed source, which means that mod integration isn’t the best, which means low optimisation and, also, that this incredible wealth of community-made resources (mods, modpacks, resource packs, etc.) is, in the end, all tied to a product that doesn’t belong to the community. Which isn’t exactly fair or future-proof.

    Minecraft Bedrock, Microsoft’s own take on Minecraft, built from scratch, is a much more closed ecosystem than the original Java version: it has its own micro-transactions and inbuilt marketplace and it’s much harder to mod. Amongst many of us, there exists the (perfectly reasonable) fear that Microsoft will eventually shut down the Java version and keep only Minecraft Bedrock, which would basically kill the modding community as it stands today. The only reason they haven’t done so already is probably the fact that most content creators who play Minecraft use heavily modded Java versions, and those content creators bring a lot of visibility and traffic to Minecraft and get lots of people (not only children, but also adults, like myself!) to buy it and try it out. Still, it’s unclear if this Nirvana of “buy the game once, get infinite mods for free forever” will be sustainable in the future, and I wouldn’t exactly bet on it.

    Minecraft mods and resource packs can really change the appearance of the game. This is a screenshot from a world I played in January-Febrary 2022, using FishyMint’s Mythic texture pack.

    For this reason, personally, I’m rooting for an open alternative to eventually replace Minecraft down the road. This won’t be happening any time soon, I don’t think, but I believe that eventually, once such an alternative becomes robust enough, many content creators, modders and players will see the benefit of having better control over their virtual worlds and make the switch. Hopefully. Or perhaps there will come a point when they won’t really have a choice…

    So… are there any alternatives?

    My first approach to a somewhat “Minecraft-ish” experience was not Minecraft itself, but an open-source Minecraft clone called Minetest. Minetest has been around for a long time, since 2011 according to Wikipedia, and right now it’s the best candidate for a fully-featured open Minecraft alternative in my opinion. It still has a ways to go, particularly on the visuals: for example, it desperately needs a UI overhaul (this is the main reason why I don’t play it, to be honest) and proper shadow/shader support. However, after these years all the basic funcionality is there, and the Minetest game Mineclone, which is an almost exact replica of Minecraft, has most of the features of vanilla Minecraft already present and can be an excellent free replacement for educational purposes, for example. It also has the advantage of being better optimised than the original Java Minecraft and allowing for higher worlds (Minetest’s block height limit is 60000, while Minecraft’s latest version is aproximately 400 blocks high. The difference is… something).

    Recent screenshots taken from Mineclone 2 (a Minetest game). Currently Mineclone is almost an exact replica of vanilla Minecraft, lacking just a few features.

    The Minetest team is finally working on improving the UI and on implementing shadows, which is excellent news, and there’s also a quite impressive library of Minetest games and mods available already, so the project is definitely headed in the right direction. I’ll keep an eye on it and you should, too!

    Perhaps it will be Minetest, perhaps it will be another project, but I sincerely hope that we get a fully featured open-source Minecraft alternative sooner than later.

    Regarding commercial clones of Minecraft, most of them aren’t of much interest, but I would like to give a shoutout to the Vintage Story team. Vintage Story is a voxel game inspired by Minecraft, made by former Minecraft mod creators, which focuses much more on the “survival” aspect of the game and turns it into a more immersive, detailed, hardcore experience. It’s not my preferred kind of gameplay (I fit more into the “easygoing fantasy-mining-building” part of the Minecraft userbase), but I’ve been having a lot of fun watching Vintage Story playthroughs and the game is incredibly solid, well-crafted and constantly updated. It also has interesting lore and a horror/lovecraftian aspect to it that makes it special and separate from Minecraft’s more cute, cartoonish aesthetic. If that sounds like your cup of tea, go have a look at it!

    If you know of any other interesting Minecraft clones, please let me know in the comments.

    Vintage Story is beaufitul and it even has a semi-realistic season system. Like Minetest, it’s also much more performant than the original Minecraft. Source: Vintage Story feature trailer 2022

    I love voxel characters and worlds… how do I make my own??

    Minecraft, Minetest and other such voxel games aren’t the beginning and end of voxel world creation. Voxels aren’t as popular amongst game devs as pixel-art, but there’s already many tools available that allow you to create voxel assets and even entire voxel worlds with relative ease. In particular, I’d like to mention two tools to create voxel assets and one tool to create voxel games from scratch that I find interesting and user-friendly.

    If you want to make characters, items, environments, etc. by using voxels, by far the most popular tool available is MagicaVoxel, a free tool by ephtracy that has been in development for many years and is really feature-complete. You can make truly intricate voxel art – it’s incredible the amount of detail you can get when you create a high-enough resolution voxel piece!

    An amazing example piece made in MagicaVoxel. Source: MagicaVoxel’ls main page

    For less flexible but much easier voxel asset creation, I find that Kenney’s Kenney Shape is great and very cleverly designed. It allows you to create voxel art by drawing a pixel-art piece and assigning variable “depths” to different areas of it, to get a resulting 3D model. The software isn’t free but it’s very affordable, at a price point of 3,99$ currently. You can do no wrong with Kenney-made software.

    KenneyShape in action. Source: KenneyShape’s page

    Finally, I wanted to talk about a tool that I find really fascinating and that isn’t discussed enough in my opinion. I’m talking about RPG in a Box, a fully-featured game engine created by Justin Arnold, built on top of Godot engine. RPG in a Box is a passion project which has been in constant development for the past seven years and already has a pretty impressive feature set, allowing you to create adventure and RPG games using voxel assets that you can make directly in the engine or import from MagicaVoxel. Besides voxels, it can also use pixel-art 2D sprites as characters and objects, à la Paper Mario.

    RPG in a Box supports different camera types (first person and many variations of third person), which lets you make games in 3D and also in faux-2D. In current versions, movement is grid-based, but right now Justin is working on incorporating free movement, which will allow for a more Minecraft-like first person experience. I’m really looking forward to it!

    RPG in a Box interface. Source: RPG in a Box’s main page
    RPG in a Box can use 2D/”billboard” sprites as characters or objects. Source: RPG in a Box’s Twitter
    Rpg in a Box has an in-built voxel editor. Source: RPG in a Box’s main page
    RPG in a Box camera options. Ortogonal and isometric cameras can be used to simulate 2D games. Source: RPG in a Box’s Twitter

    RPG in a Box is user friendly and with a growing library of tutorials available (for example, a beginner-friendly tutorial series has just launched featuring the new engine mascot, Stumpy the Squirrel). The engine is affordable, at a price point of 29,99$, and you’ll be supporting an indie creator by purchasing it. There’s also a fully-featured free demo of the engine available, where the only limit is that you can only create two small maps, in case you want to try it out first. If you’re interested in creating voxel worlds, I really recommend that you give it a try!

    I’m currently working on a pixel-art game, but my next project will be voxel-based and made with RPG in a Box. I’m really looking forward to playing with it.

    Voxels, voxels, voxels

    I love voxels! There’s something fascinating about them – they’re easier to build and less computationally taxing than regular 3D models, and they engage a part of our brain that likes to keep things simple and stylised and leave details to the imagination, much like pixel-art but in a three-dimensional form. I’m very excited for the future of independent projects like Minetest, Vintage Story and RPG in a Box.

    Let’s keep creating and inhabiting voxel worlds together 💜

    Have a nice October and best wishes,


  • Let’s Talk Game Boy: Boxed Games and Manuals collection

    Hi everyone! I hope you’re well. As promised, I’m coming back today with a part 2 of our previous blog entry, where I talked about my Nintendo handheld console collection and showed you some nice pictures.

    Today I was actually planning on showing you my entire physical game collection, but after trying (unsuccessfully) to make it all fit into a dining table for about an hour and a half, I’ve finally given up. Instead, this time I’ll focus on the games that I have a manual and/or game box for, and the next time I’ll show you all of the cartridges, which make up most of the collection.

    Sooo without further ado, this is an overview of my entire boxed/manual-only game collection:

    Overhead picture showing a bit collection of game and console boxes and manuals, particularly Game Boy and Nintendo DS games.
    Feet reveal!

    That’s a big table xD Before we go any further, I’d like to point out a couple things:

    1. The last time, when I showed you my console collection, I forgot to include my two original Game Boy Color boxes + manuals (which you can see at the top left of the picture) and the boxes for the Game & Watches. I also forgot my Nintendo DSi box, Nintendo DSi XL box and New Nintendo 3DS XL box, which I have also not included in this picture today, but since these consoles are relatively new I guess they’re not as juicy as some of the other stuff. If you really do want to see them, though, just ask and I’ll add them to the post!
    2. As you can see, in the pic there aren’t only handheld games, but also games from other platforms. Most of my physical games are for Nintendo handhelds, but I also own a few NES games, as well as games for PC and Playstation 1 and 2. I decided to include them here because why not, and many of them go together with Game Boy or DS games I own.

    If you want to get a better view at some parts of the picture, here you have three closer shots (click or press on them to make them bigger):

    Phew! Putting those on display wasn’t easy xD I was surprised myself by how many boxed games I own, since I had never put them together like this before… the boxes really shine when you put them on a table like this instead of having them hidden away in a shelf.

    Now I’ll walk you through some parts of my collection that I find particularly interesting for whatever reason, and talk about them a bit. If you’re interested, read on! If not, just scroll past the text and look at the pictures ;P

    Game Boy Color boxes and manuals

    You might remember from a few weeks ago that I own every Game Boy Color model that exists (the normal ones, excluding expensive special editions) as well as one modded copy:

    Collection of Game Boy Color consoles in different colors

    It’s no secret that I’m a huge Game Boy Color nerd, and that’s why I’m particularly happy that, not too long after I started collecting in 2016, I was able to get my hands on a couple of complete copies of the console (including the box and manuals) for cheap prices. The market was definitely very different then, since prices have gotten a lot higher over the years. I’ll hold onto these forever. ❤

    Two Game Boy Color boxes and some manuals.
    The magenta one is in excellent state, the yellow one has some writing on it, but both are beautiful. I really like the fact that the yellow box is holographic! That “Gotta catch ’em all!” flyer (¡Hazte con todos! in Spanish) was included with the yellow console.

    Game Boy Pokémon games

    Pokémon were a staple in my childhood (and many others’, back then and now), so of course I had to get my hands on some boxed games. Nowadays their prices are absurd, but back when I got them, not so much: that boxed Pokémon Gold copy only cost me 40 euros and it’s in pristine condition, and the Crystal one has a slightly battered box but I was able to buy it for the absurd price of 25 (!) euros.

    Several Pokémon Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games, including their boxes and manuals.
    Yeah! Pokeymans.

    Unfortunately I have no boxed first generation games; back in 2016 they didn’t interest me as much and they were harder to find than 2nd and 3rd gen ones, so I never bought them, and now they’re so expensive that I’ve passed on more than one occasion. However, if I ever come across a reasonably priced one, I’ll make sure to snatch it. I do remember owning a Pokémon Red/Blue manual though, but for the life of me I was unable to find it so I could put it in the picture. It’ll eventually show up, I hope. 😅

    As you can see in the overview pictures, I also own a variety of NES and 3DS Pokémon games. I still have to play some of them, actually (haven’t touched Sun/Moon, and I’m halfway through Alpha Sapphire). I’m still missing Black and White 2, which I never played back then, as well as X/Y, which people don’t seem to like for some reason but I’d love to try. I’ll talk more about my Pokémon game collection once I show you all of my cartridges – there’s quite a few that I don’t have a box and/or manual for.

    Tetris games

    I love Tetris. I love puzzle games in general, but Tetris-like ones in particular, both the classic “Tetris” and the match-3 “Tetris Attack” variant. When I was little I was really hooked on Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, which is just Tetris Attack on steroids. More recently, since I started collecting, I’ve spent countless hours playing the Game Boy version of Tetris, and a respectable number of hours playing Tetris 2 (which has nothing to do with Tetris, but is a nice puzzle game anyway) as well as Tetris DX and the NES version of Tetris. You can see them all in the picture! I have the box and manual set for Tetris 2 and the manual for Tetris DX.

    Collection of Tetris games for NES, Game Boy and Game Boy Color.

    I also own, for some reason (?), two copies of Game Boy Tetris, one in good condition that I never use and another in a really battered condition that I play with. You can’t see them here because I don’t have a box or manual for them, but I own several Tetris DS/3DS games too. Tetris forever!

    Eragon games

    In case you don’t know, “Eragon” is a very bad movie slash fantasy book series that came out when I was a kid/teenager; that is, between fifteen and twenty years ago. For some reason I really liked that series, and perhaps the main culprit was the Eragon GBA game, which is a pretty interesting turn-based RPG with faux-3D graphics that I’ve played several times over the years. It certainly wasn’t because of the quality of the writing or the acting in the source material, to be sure.

    Several Eragon Games for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP and PC.
    These covers are so cringe.

    I don’t know why, but over the years I’ve ended up owning almost all Eragon games that came out back then, even though the only version I like is the Game Boy Advance one. I think I’m only missing the PlayStation version. I even have the PSP one, which is the only PSP game I own (I rarely even use my PSP anyway, just for emulating stuff years ago). Eragon for PC was also the first game that I ever bought, when I was like fourteen, and I remember being unable to play it for a long time because my computer didn’t have the required specs. My relationship with these games is very weird.

    PowerPuff Girls

    I got these games very recently and I’m so glad that I could snatch complete copies of them at a great price! (I guess because no one wants them haha…) The PowerPuff Girls (translated, for some reason, as “Supernenas” in Spain, which basically means “Super Babes”(??)) were very important to me when I was little, and I remember playing these Game Boy Color games on an emulator back then. They’re side-scrollers where you play as one of the three PowerPuff Girls, a different one depending on the version, and keep on advancing, defeating foes and stuff. Not a kind of game mechanic that I find particularly interesting today, but having these games on my shelf is very satisfying. They look really nice and bring good memories.

    Three PowerPuff Girls games for the Game Boy Color, including their boxes and manuals.

    Beyond Good and Evil

    Beyond Good and Evil, despite not being a handheld game or a Nintendo game even, deserves a special mention because it is the only game ever that I own three times.

    Two boxed copies of the game Beyond Good and Evil, one for PC and one for PlayStation 2.
    Now that’s a badass cover.

    Here in the picture you can see a sealed French PC version of the game that I got for one euro (??) at a gloomy second-hand store five years ago or so, and the PlayStation 2 version of the game. I also own it digitally on, but for some reason that version won’t work on my computer, so I ended up getting the PlayStation 2 version to play it on console, since the games are basically the same. I still haven’t gotten around to playing it, though (my backlog is huge), but I hear great things about it.

    Game Boy Camera

    What’s a Game Boy collection without a Game Boy Camera?

    I’ll always remember that time that I almost bought a Game Boy Camera on a second-hand store (now closed) with its original box and everything, for a very good price, but backed off because I didn’t really know what it was… such regret 🥲 Over time I ended up buying the Game Boy Camera and its manual separately, I still don’t have the box but it’s OK. Now I even have a way to transfer the pictures to my PC (more on that in future entries 👀) so I might start experimenting with it more.

    A green Game Boy Camera and a Game Boy Camera manual.
    The Game Boy Camera, a quirky webcam in black and white and a 160x144px resolution.

    Harry Potter games

    Now… my relationship with these games is particularly sad and bittersweet. I used to love the Harry Potter Game Boy Color games as a child, as well as the three first Game Boy Advance games (the fourth, not so much, since it declined greatly in quality). I liked that they were turn-based RPGs, in the case of the GBC games and the third GBA game, or nice puzzle RPGs, in the case of the first two GBA games. They weren’t low quality games, like other games based on movies: there was clearly love put into them, and the soundtrack was amazing.

    However, over the years I’ve found out not only that the original creator of Harry Potter is a bit on the transphobic, fatphobic, misogynistic end of the spectrum (which would be passable I guess, since these games were made many years ago by dedicated teams and without her input afaik, and I’ve bought them all second-hand), but also that the composer for these games’ soundtracks is an abuser and overall horrible person. Which has sullied my view of these games forever. I used to listen to the soundtrack fondly, but now can’t anymore without feeling sick. So yeah. I’m keeping them because I love them but I’m not playing them again.

    Many Harry Potter games for different consoles, including their boxes and manuals.
    My Harry Potter game collection. I mostly focus on the first three games (I also own the third game for GBA, it just isn’t in the picture because I don’t have a box for it) because they were better than subsequent entries. I also own the PSX games (missing from the picture, my bad: you can see them in the general overview pic), PC and PS2 versions, but I’ve never played them and probably never will.

    Also, an interesting tidbit: the Game Boy Color box of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that you can see in the photo is a knockoff that I found in a flea market a few years ago, not the original. I own the original cartridge but not the original box. Bellow you can see the original translucent cartridge and the black knockoff, side by side:

    Several Harry Potter games, including two boxes and two manuals. One of the boxes and one of the manuals are fake, as well as one of the cartridges.

    NES games

    Okay, I know that the NES isn’t a handheld either, but I only own four NES games so I figured, why not put them here?

    As I mentioned in a previous entry, for many years the NES (well, actually a NES clone) was the only console we had at home, and I believe that the original The Legend of Zelda is the only game that my parents have ever bought. I still have their (boxed, with the manual) copy, as you can see in the pic, which is nice because if I wanted to buy it today I’d probably spend hundreds of euros on it.

    Four NES games: Super Mario 3, The Legend of Zelda, Tennis and Tetris.

    I have an original NES that I bought a few years back, but I don’t use it much, preferring instead to emulate the games in a Raspberry that I have set up for that purpose. I used to have a SNES too, but I sold it because the games are ridiculously expensive. The NES, though, I’m keeping for sentimental reasons and so I can play that Zelda family heirloom.

    Code Lyoko

    Code Lyoko is a (pretty bad and niche) French animated series that came out almost twenty years ago. I used to like it then and for some reason I still like it now, so I thought it would be fun to own a couple of games set in that universe. I haven’t really played them for very long, but they seem interesting enough. Also they’re very cheap because no one wants them. I think I’m missing a few, perhaps I’ll go hunting for them some day…

    Two Code Lyoko games, one for Nintendo DS and the other for PlayStation 2.

    Cool posters and stuff

    I have plenty of cool posters, flyers, adds, manuals and stuff that didn’t make it into the picture because they simply didn’t fit in the table, but there’s one I particularly like for the Game Boy Color that I managed to fit. I’m not sure which of my games it came from, but I think I might put it up on a wall or something:

    A beautiful Game Boy Color poster featuring several Game Boy Color models and games, as well as different Game Boy Cameras and a Game Boy Printer.
    So cool *.*

    Also for many years I’ve had another Game Boy poster decorating my room, in this case quite older, from the DMG days. I think it came with my Tetris 2 box. It’s pretty awesome:

    A Game Boy poster including different games and merch.

    Final words

    OK, so I think that’s enough today! There’s many more games that I could talk about, but perhaps I’ll wait and go deeper into that once I show you my entire cartridge collection, in the next entry. I’ll rest for now. 😴

    If you’ve read this far, thanks! I hope you had fun with this tour. If you have your own stories to share, you can do so in the comments!

    Best wishes,