– Hi! Do you also port GameBoy games?

September 2023.

– I’m afraid I can’t help with that, sorry. It’s beyond my capabilities.

There’s no way I can write by myself a GameBoy emulator. I’m no low-level hacker, just a tinkerer.

– But…

FOSS licenses are amazing, and their developers are awesome too!

– What if…

Sameboy: Game Boy and Game Boy Color emulator written in C.

– Mmm…

MIT licensed. SDL2 based.


Within a few hours, leveraging my past experience porting an SDL2 based game engine, I had a GameBoy game up and running on my developer kit! 🤩💪

It was far from perfect but I achieved something I thought was impossible. And yet, it happened!

– There are a couple of things I need to fix, add a bezel too and it should be good to go.

What? Just “add a bezel” and ship it? No way. Not my style.

But… what if we… mix it WITH A GAME ENGINE?

OH YES! Now you can game your GameBoy game while you game a game game.

And so, “THE WRAPPER” was born!

My tool for porting GameBoy and GameBoy Color games to the Nintendo Switch and Steam is called “The Wrapper”. It’s based on BennuGD2 and SameBoy and powers “A Cat & His Boy“, coming to the Nintendo eShop TOMORROW! 🥳

– A Cat & His Boy, developed by Howdyriceball, is a short heartwarming narrative adventure about a cat that helps a young boy cope with his parents’ divorce. Nintendo eShop link: https://rwr.es/nlink/catboy

It currently lacks many features commonly found in other emulators, because making UIs for everything is a pain in the I believe the game should be experienced as the developer envisioned it. 👀
(Don’t worry! In future patches The Wrapper-based ports will include many more features and options!)

Here is a list of The Wrapper’s current features:

  • Dynamic customizable menu
  • Saving & Loading savestates
  • Autosaving
  • Vibration
  • Borders (a la Super Game Boy)
  • Songs and sounds can be played by The Wrapper instead of the emulator (for enhanced songs, or freeing GB audio channels)
  • Many extras
    • Art gallery
    • Manual
    • Music player
    • Level select
    • Alternative ROMs (demo, languages, beta, etc…)
    • Achievements (Steam & internal)
    • Unlock everything (art, music, extras, etc…)
    • Credits & Staff roll (Want to add everyone from a Kickstarter? No problem!)
    • Other custom interactions with the game engine
    • … and more!

For one game we’re even using the controller’s gyroscopes! OK, keep walking, nothing to see here 🚨🙃

And I’ve only just begun! I’m incredibly proud of this experiment, and I never expected it to reach this point. I look forward to port many fantastic neo-retro GameBoy and GameBoy Color games!

Many thanks to GB Studio’s main developer, Chris Maltby, and all the contributors for creating such an amazing and user-friendly tool! Additionally, heartfelt thanks to Lior Halphon, the developer of SameBoy, and SplinterGU, the developer of BennuGD2.. 🙇‍♂️🙇‍♂️🙇‍♂️

The Wrapper would not exist if it weren’t for their altruistic efforts!
They all helped spread the story of A Cat & His Boy so far and wide!

Thank you for your time reading this ♥ I hope you enjoyed it!
Yours truly, Pablo Navarro.

PS: If you would like to know a bit more of the amazing GameBoy homebrew scene, get started in:

PSPS: Yes, I didn’t use Godot this time, but in my defense I will say that BennuGD2 is also made by a developer from Argentina 🙃

PSPSPS: Following my usual practice, I’ll donate 10% of my profit share to the developers of the tools used in creating The Wrapper. It’s not much, but I hope it treats them to a nice dinner!

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