The SmartBoy: Turn Your Phone Into A GameBoy

The SmartBoy: Turn Your Phone Into A GameBoy

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Did you know a soldier once had a GameBoy with him and when he was caught in an explosion it survived plus still turned on?

Thats the perfect story to lead in with because this handheld was really quite unstoppable.

It was launched in 1989 and was discontinued in 2004, it out lived consoles and other more advanced handheld consoles.

How did it do this? Well me personally I think it was down to Pokemon.

Sure it had other amazing games like Zelda, Textris, WarioLand but when Pokemon hit in the mid 90s it was huge and the GameBoy was right there with its awesome Red & Blue versions.

I remember being on the playground witnessing two GameBoys linked together engaging in incredible pokemon battles. You just couldn’t do this on the Sega GameGear or Atari Lynx as great as they were.

So here we are 2017, the GameBoy is gone but not forgotten and kids these days are now diggin the Nintendo 3DS. Enter an awesome little company called HyperKin.

These guys loved the GameBoy too and found a way to preserve it and yet make it relevant today with the SmartBoy.

What is SmartBoy

The Smart Boy Device

This is a gaming peripheral that you attach to your SmartPhone which allows it to emulate the Nintendo GameBoy.

It has a slot at the back to play actual GameBoy and GameBoy Colour cartridged games. Kids today or even adults who owned the gameboy can now buy or play these 20 year old games.

Its a bit fiddly to setup if your not used to downloading and configuring software on your Phone but once your going I can see this being hard to put down.

I really loved the look of this thing, it has a very sexy snap release feature for your phone. The button design and colour are right from the GameBoy but it keeps the sleek phone screen exposed which just adds to the experience.

So How do I use it?

Or a better question, “Can I use it?” because that was my first question and if the answer is no there are a few gameboy emulators out there you could use instead or buy one of the devices.

So heres the list of campatable devices, Sorry doesn’t support iPhones:

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 line ** featured**
  • LG Nexus 5x
  • Huawei Nexus 6p
  • Google Pixel
  • Google Pixel XL
  • OnePlus 3T
  • OnePlus 3
  • OnePlus 2
  • Huawei Honor 8
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe
  • Lenovo ZUK Z1
  • Lenovo ZUK Edge
  • OnePlus 2
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
  • LG G5
  • Moto Z Force
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe
  • LeEco Le 2
  • LeEco Le 2 Pro
  • Gionee Marathon M5 Plus
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
  • Motorola Moto Z
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
  • Nextbit Robin
  • ZOPO Speed 8
  • Huawei P9 Plus
  • Huawei Nova
  • Samsung Note 7
  • Samsung Note 8

Here is a short video I found from Hyperkin going through the setup:

As you can see it doesn’t take long you just need to install the Nintendo GameBoy Emulator called My OldBoy from the Google Play Store.

Gameboy Emulator

You then attach the hardware to your phone and configure your controls. Then just pop in a game and the emulator will create a ROM from it to play.
It has a well documented instruction manual if the video isn’t enough.

If you try to run a downloaded gameboy game it comes up with a red skull screen basically telling you not to steal games.

I’m sure Nintendo wouldn’t lose sleep or much money if someone was playing a GameBoy game from the 80s for free but I ain’t trying to rant here.

Who’s this thing for:

This is for those of you who either plan to collect classic GameBoy / Colour games or already have a tonne hidden away in your attic.

It can be a great way for young people to experience the gameboy without having to walk around in public with that good ole grey brick.

To be honest with the Phone backlight and not having to find x4 AAA batteries this is probably the definitive way to play GameBoy. If you have the original model it can continue it’s well deserved rest whilst your Samsung does the dirty work.


I think the SmartBoy is a fantastic idea, it makes the GameBoy relevant through current technology but at the same time preserving history by enabling you to play its games again.

Thats what this blog is all about simply helping spread the word about software or hardware that preserves gaming history.

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