Review of my new GB Boy Colour

gbc Kong Feng GB Boy Colour GBC clone

A while back I got a Game Boy Color at an automotive parts swap meet (go figure). Now I have never been a Nintendo fan, when I was coming up I was an Atari and Sega guy (like all the really cool kids), but for $15.00 I thought I would give the GBC a try. Amazingly, I liked it.

A little about the GBC. The Game Boy Color was shaped like the original Game Boy; screen on top, buttons in the middle. Like the NES the hand held had two buttons, nicely placed, and a D pad. There was a IR transmitter for multiplayer games and an ear phone jack.

The GBC was powered from two AA batteries and had a very respectable battery life. I don’t think I replaced the batteries the whole time I had it.

My purchase came with two games; Mario Tennis and Wacky Races. Mario Tennis turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The tennis play was a bit cartoonish and hardly realistic but never the less was fun. Wacky Races I absolutely adored. Game play was a hoot and seeing the cartoon characters from my childhood on a game system was great. You know, I find it funny that they choose to create a game on a cartoon that had been off the air for about 20 years at that time but whatever, it was a blast from my past I duly enjoyed it.

I think I played with the GB Color for about a couple months before it’s one huge flaw finally made my get rid of it. The flaw, the screen. The GBC has one of the worst screens of any handheld. The lack of a lighting and poor resolution made the games almost unplayable.

First the lit screen problem. The original Game Boy didn’t have a lit screen and was a huge success. So Nintendo must thought, just add color and ‘bingo’ it’ll be great. But there is a big difference between a black and gray unlit screen and an unlit color screen. Part of the problem comes down to your eyes. We can see B/W is much lower light than color. So a lot more light is needed to see color screens and no back light meant you really need a good light source, say the sun. Another problem with the screen came down to the technology of the time. You had to get the screen at just the right angle to see the colors properly. Angle it this way or that and the colors just looked, wrong. B/W screens of the era were much more forgiving. To really view the GBC screen correctly you had to be standing outside on a sunny day with it at just the right 45 degree angle at about foot and half from your face. Uggh.

So, I got rid of it. I don’t like having things around I don’t use.

Well, a couple months ago I was watching the Youtube channel ‘This does not compute’ with Collen Howzitgoin’. Collen did a review https://youtu.be/Ro4npBMKdmU of a Chinese GBC clone called GB Boy Colour (not color, this is made in Hong Kong after all). Collen gave it a rather positive review, which was odd as most Chinese clones are actually crap. One thing he did mention in the review, that gave me some interest in the unit, was that it came with a nice sharp screen with modern back light. Humm.

Fast forward to a week ago and in a drunken eBay buying binge (Never drink and buy. It’s the law.) I purchased a nice Pokemon yellow (I hate Pokemon) GB Boy Colour handheld game unit from a US re-seller. It came in the mail today. Hurrah. Nice positive review to seller for fast delivery.

So here it is, a GB Colour packed in a bag which is made of the type of plastic you can’t tear open with your teeth, I know, I tried. So, I mercilessly slash at the bag with a knife and expose a Chinese and English labeled purple box with the words GB BOY COLOUR splashed across the front. I just love these Chinese imports. You can tell they got the English translation off of Google translates. Here is what it says on the back:

Fifty-six colours is mixed to 32,000 colours. (which amazingly look like just 56 colors)

The new style construction and economy power technology. (looks like GBC & batteries last long)

Support multi-person games. (not IR)

More colours for choice. (huh?)

New front light screen much more better. (It has a back light not a front light which is even much more better)

Here are some pictures:

For a Chinese knock-off this unit is rather well made. It feels substantial in the hand and the buttons and D-pad all have a nice click to them. The response of the buttons is quick in most of the games. For example the Pac-Man game installed (more on the installed games later) is very responsive. In fact, I played one of my better games of Pac-Man on the unit. There are though some of the installed games I did find a few games a little bit unresponsive. But this may be due to the game translations themselves and nothing to do with the unit.

The screen is very bright and fast. It’s a modern screen after all. Collen Howzitgoin mentioned that the aspect ratio is slightly off from the original GBC. I couldn’t tell. There is no adjustment for screen brightness, which would been a nice to have. The speaker is loud and adjustable just like on the original GBC. There is a headphone jack and a place for a 3 volt power adapter (micro sized).

This is a fun bit I learned from ‘This does not compute’. The red IR lens at the top is a fake. It’s there just for looks. No IR for you!

There is a EXT port for GB to GB communications. I have no other friends with Game Boys (probably the age thing) so I haven’t tested it. I assume it works. Another thing I have no idea if it works is GB & GBC accessories such as the camera and the printer.

On the box it claims 166 installed games. Well, not really. They are, at most, 60 games that are duplicated multiple times on the menu and the menu has no order. Another thing about the games is that almost all the installed games are GB games not GBC games. The only true GBC game I came across was the GBC port of Yar’s Revenge (not a bad port).

There is a mix of games released in the US and games only released in Japan (or China). Something I find interesting about the Japanese games, they usually have a mix of English and Japanese. The menus are usually in English but any in game messages are in Japanese. Very odd. I would think they would be all in Japanese.

The list of games has some impressive inclusions. Here are some of the notables:

Contra

Super Mario Land

Donky Kong

Mario & Yoshi

Pac-man

Yars Revenge

Bubble Ghost

Othello

Space Invaders

Asteroids

Bomber Jack

Tetris

Castelian (Tower Toppler)

Centipede

Crystal Quest

Dr. Mario

Hyper Loderun (Lode Runner clone)

Klax

Mine Sweeper

Missile Command

Pipe Dream

plus many others that I just don’t recognize or too lazy to add to the list.

And of course it also has a slot for GB and GBC carts. I tested a few games and they all worked. But this being a clone, there might be some games out there that just might not work, I don’t know.

The cost mine off eBay was about $40.00. The fancy colors usually cost more and you can order it from China for slightly less but expect a month or so delivery time.

Bottom line, is it worth the price? Yes. It you like GB and GBC games this is the way to go just for the screen alone.

And thus ends the review of the Kong Feng GB Boy Colour from China.

Ta, Field Mouse

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