The relative simplicity of the Game Boy consoles (at least compared to modern portables) means they’re now infinitely hackable and customizable, but one modder has come up with a Game Boy Color upgrade for gamers tired of constantly swapping cartridges. It’s both brilliant and ridiculous.
If you know what to look for and don’t mind wading into legally gray waters, there are already many solutions out there for gamers looking to solve the biggest downside of the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. The handhelds themselves might have been very portable, but the game cartridges weren’t, and even carrying just a handful of them was often a pain.
Instead of opting for a custom cartridge that can hold thousands of ROMs on a tiny memory card, YouTube’s Solderking opted to hack together a multi-game solution that still uses original Game Boy and GBC game cartridges.
Built from three stacked custom PCBs that can rotate like a Ferris Wheel, the contraption is essentially an over-engineered bridge, with hand-soldered wire extensions that connect the metal contacts inside a Game Boy cartridge with the contacts in the cartridge slot on the back of the Game Boy Color. Turning the wheel of carts requires the physical connection to be separated and then re-attached, which means this is a manual solution with no hot swapping capabilities. You can’t pause a game and quit to a main menu to select something else: you need to completely power down the Game Boy Color before every game swap.
Surprisingly, the Game Boy Color is still very much playable even with the added weight of four game cartridges hanging off the back, while the rotating adapter sits far enough way that the handheld remains very comfortable to hold. It’s a testament to how resilient and adaptable the Game Boy’s hardware is for something like this to work, even if all that custom hardware looks anything but durable.