Game news Game Boy: These 10 Crazy Accessories Really Existed
The Game Boy rocked many gamers’ childhoods. From Pokémon to Tetris, via Super Mario Land and Zelda, Nintendo’s portable console has scored with its games, but not only. Many accessories also made the Game Boy’s heyday. Today we’re not going to talk about Light Boy or Game Link, but about other lesser-known accessories that you might have forgotten about. A look back at the 10 most unlikely Game Boy accessories.
The barcode boy
If today we know the amiibo, these figures that allow you to get new characters in the game on Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch, we know that the genre’s experiments date back much longer. In fact, at the time of the Game Boy, Namco offered us the BarCode Boy. Attached to your console, this little peripheral allowed you to scan special cards to get more in-game content. As you can imagine, some Namco titles took full advantage of this accessory, such as Monster Maker: Barcode Saga. This strategy game was first released in Japan in 1993. As you can imagine, few games were compatible with BarCode Boy, and even fewer made it to Western countries, preventing BarCode Boy from gaining much fame.
Boom Box Boy
Already in the early 2000s, a new accessory came on the market: Boom Box Boy. EWhen you connect this little device to your Game Boy Pocket or Game Boy Color, along with a special pair of headphones, you can listen to the radio. A little gadget that allows young people who don’t have a radio to get one at a lower price… at least in theory. Because in practice the Boom Box Boy is not the most functional. Very fragile, it offers few features for many limitations. Suffice it to say, the device quickly loses interest, especially as the era of walkmans and CDs arrives, sweeping this little portable radio in its path.
The Booster Boy/Handy Boy
The whole point of a portable console is that you can easily take it with you wherever you want. But it often rhymes with the need to compromise the performance of the console, and that was obviously the case with the Game Boy. Various companies have tried to remedy this problem, such as Saitek, who launched one of the most impressive unofficial accessories: the Booster Boy. This large machine that (slightly) increases the capacity of your Game Boy took away its most important asset: its portability. Despite the very paradoxical side of this accessory, Nintendo was seduced by the idea and gave its famous Licensed by Nintendo stamp to another device of its kind: the STD Handy Boy.
The Game Boy Camera (and its Game Boy Printer)
Who said taking selfies and other souvenir photos was a new fad? 30 years ago we certainly didn’t have Instagram and consorts, but at that time who didn’t have the right to a small disposable camera to immortalize their most beautiful vacations? And for the lucky ones, you just had to bring your Game Boy and your little camera. Known as the Pocket Camera in Japan, the Game Boy Camera began to be marketed in 1998. Its purpose? Increase the sales of a console that is gradually reaching the end of its life. In which way ? By allowing you to take and save 40 photos. And if you had the Game Boy Printer extension, you could even print them like on a Polaroid!
Game Boy Pocket Sonar
Playing on your console in the middle of a fishing session while waiting for a fish to bite the hook is a pretty standard usage. But using your console to fish is still pretty unlikely. And yet this was actually possible on the Game Boy. No, the console did not act as a bait or fishing rod, but allowed, thanks to the Game Boy Pocket Sonar, to detect fish swimming around. Thanks to an ultrasonic sensor and mini-sonar connected to your console, your Game Boy can therefore guarantee you an extremely fruitful fishing session. Note that Bandai has marketed the same kind of accessories for its Wonderswan.
You may have already heard of games aimed at the little ones and trying to get them to enjoy brushing their teeth or taking medicine. But do you know the Glucoboy? If not, its name may put you on the right track as it resembles the glucometer, this blood sugar meter used mainly by diabetics. You will no doubt begin to understand where we are taking you. Glucoboy is actually a Game Boy gadget that allows kids to check their blood sugar using their favorite console. The idea comes from a father, Paul Wessel, who one day made a brilliant observation: if his diabetic son often lost his glucometer, he never let go of his Game Boy. Thus was born Glucoboy, a glucometer that allows you to unlock mini-games on your Game Boy Advance if your blood sugar levels were good.
We’re going back to the health side with the PediSedate, a very special accessory indeed. If you love etymology, you can no doubt see where we’re going. PediSedate is truly an accessory for children (pedi) and allow them to be anesthetized (calm). If it is said like this, it may seem strange, the accessory was intended for purely medical and controlled use. So as not to panic with a child undergoing surgery or fiddling with his jaw, we let him play his favorite game on the Game Boy while wearing a cute little colorful helmet… who gives him anesthetic gas as if nothing had happened. Despite renewed interest in the late 2000s, however, PediSedate has not become more popular.
The singer Izek
This accessory is so unlikely that it has probably become one of the most famous: Singer Izek, which is nothing more than a sewing machine. The result of a partnership between the Singer company and Nintendo, this great accessory allowed you to do some sewing thanks to your Game Boy Color. By inserting it into the machine, you can actually control it using the keys on your console. Singer Izek allowed you to sew predefined patterns as well as imagine your own creations. Surprisingly, the machine had some success and pushed Singer to release 3 versions: two Japanese (Jaguar JN-2000 and Jaguar JN-100) and one American (IZEK 1500). As for games, at least five of them were compatible, including a certain Jaguar Mishin Sashi Senyou Soft: Mario Family that allowed you to stitch your favorite characters from the Mario universe.
Do you know the Naki company? If today ecology is taking more and more space (a big reason for the next Zevent in particular), this company already made it its hobby horse in the 90s. Its aim was actually to sensitize the players to a more ecological one. With its batteries and all its small components, the Game Boy was not exactly an example in terms of carbon emissions. In order to limit the breakage a little, Naki has therefore released a somewhat special battery to put on his Game Boy. To recharge it, you don’t need electricity, only the power of the sun. Small inconvenience, and not least, far from this energy source, the battery only lasted seven short hours.
We end with a rather special accessory, as it has never been marketed. It was in 2020 that video game historian Liam Robertson discovered a strange keyboard whose utility he had trouble understanding. But the man perseveres and goes so far as to meet the creators of this strange WorkBoy. They then explain that to him The WorkBoy was designed to connect to a Game Boy (via Game Link) and allow it to run office applications such as a calendar or an address book. Fruit of the collaboration between the company Fabtek and Nintendo, it had been especially shown at CES 1992. But then, after that, we no longer hear about this accessory. This is particularly the case for far too high manufacturing costs. The WorkBoy therefore never saw the light of day and only two prototypes exist today.