When people discuss the best Game Boy and Game Boy Color emulators, they rarely mention Gnuboy. In fact, more than likely, most of you have never heard of this emulator. But that is not surprising because it has a muted online presence.
It doesn’t attract as much attention as modern emulators even though it isn’t so bad where the performance and compatibility are concerned.
What is Gbuboy?
Gnuboy plays Game Boy Color video games on a computer. It allows your PC to run the same games you would normally play on a GBC, which is why some modern gamers use it. They want to relive their childhood by playing GBC games, but they don’t have a console.
Gnuboy solves that problem. The program is open-source. It isn’t particularly advanced. Initially, it could only work on Windows. However, these days, you can find versions that run on everything from Windows, DOS, and Linux, to FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and SunOS, to mention but a few.
It emulates most aspects of the original console, including the scanline-based LCD engine, CGB double-speed CPU mode, four sound channels, ten sprites per scanline limit, and more.
The application doesn’t emulate everything. Don’t expect obscure maps like TAMA5 or Super Gameboy extensions. It can play many GCB games. But some titles don’t work.
The reasons vary. For instance, with ‘Fighting Phoenix,’ the game uses the HuC1 memory controller, which is a problem. Pocket Bomberman has a similar issue. Final Fantasy Adventure works, but the fade between screens has issues.
Many of these games are Japanese versions, which is why most gamers are unlikely to care about them.
- Key binding and configuration
- Saving and loading save states
- Support for the Joystick
- Hardware-based screen scaling
How To Install Gnuboy?
This is a simple emulator that comes as an executable file. If your download arrived in a zipped folder, extract the executable file and run it to launch the emulator. The portable program doesn’t require installation.
- Size: 73KB
- Date: 14/Aug/2003
- Platform: Windows
How To Use Gnuboy?
The emulator has a simple interface with a basic menu list that includes ‘Load New Game,’ ‘File Management,’ ‘Emulator Options’, System Menu,’ ‘Play Game,’ and ‘Game Infos.’
You cannot press ‘Play Game’ until you load a game. As you might have guessed, you load a game by clicking ‘Load Game’ and selecting from a list that includes ‘Load Recent,’ ‘Load from SD,’ ‘Load from USB,’ and ‘Load from DVD.’
Gnuboy is not a perfect emulator. There is so much it doesn’t have. That includes screenshots, debugger, support for the Super Gameboy, the ability to record audio, serial link over the internet, and more.
Don’t expect rumble support, plugins, or compressed ROMs. While the development team continues to refine the emulator, they have no intention of competing with modern Gameboy Color applications.
Their goal is to improve the emulator’s compatibility and performance. They want the program to play GBC games as efficiently as possible. For that reason, people that prefer an emulator with sophisticated features and functions should look elsewhere. Gnuboy is not the only GBC emulator on the market.