Forget Angry Birds or Candy Crush – for those moments of boredom on a train platform or for passing time while waiting for your date/friend/colleague to return from the bathroom, wouldn’t it be better to have a Gameboy Advance ported onto your mobile phone? Granted, it’ll drain your battery life far too quickly, but there is something pretty awesome about having a fragment of your childhood in your pocket for whenever you feel like regressing into your younger self.
If you’re looking to relive the days when you had nothing to do but play video games, or just fancy a crack at one of those games you remember obsessing over, then have a go at these old classics:
Available from Gold and Silver though to some colour that was way past my time, this generation of Pokémon games have aged surprisingly well – and the updated Fire Red and Leaf Green editions are a welcome return for old gamers. I still find most versions past gold and silver a bit too absurd for my tastes, but then again, I used to think Mr Mime was perfectly normal, so I guess I can’t say anything.
Sonic Advance 3
I remember really, really wanting my own copy of Sonic the Hedgehog when I was younger. It was just incredible on the Sega Mega Drive – fast paced, slick and smooth, with bright lights, rings, weird turtle things and an awesome robot professor baddie. I just can’t get into the GBA edition – it feels like it’s missing a few buttons somewhere. Perhaps it’s just the phone layout.
Super Mario Bros
Mario has aged badly though, to be fair, as a game it is older than me. Its 8-bit graphics look as bad as they really were, while the inability to play with the music up like I used to (my headphone socket doesn’t work) takes some of the fun away (the Mario theme is, after all, perhaps the best ever). It seems petty to complain about it, but the lack of a save function now really gets to me. How times have changed.
Zelda – A Link to the Past
Zelda was perhaps the greatest of all the games I used to have on Gameboy, but I found Link to the Past almost impossible to get into. Generic baddies and really confusing controls – I keep using magic when I mean to stab, and die far more than I used to – makes it really tough to play when on a moving underground carriage. Perhaps I’m out of practice – more likely the limitations of the screen are causing issues with my thumb dexterity.
While not strictly authorised by Nintendo (okay, not authorised at all), the app shows that there is a huge market that the company is missing – and you wonder why it hasn’t moved into the mobile gaming market yet. Until they do, GBA4iOS remains the best way to relieve boredom on a train platform or at a bus stop– as long as you can handle the curious looks from the suited bystanders on your commute into work.