It’s not worth succumbing to nostalgia sometimes, but that’s not the case with the 2021s Analog bag(opens in a new tab). It’s not just a handheld that plays classic Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games — it’s a marvel of gameplay and a shining example of how something old can be refreshed in a way that amplifies it , what makes it so special the first place.
To be clear, the Analogue Pocket is not an emulating device. The pocket actually works classic Game Boy cartridges that bring that retro experience to a brand new console – one with a much better build quality, a stunning display and a bunch of fun extras.
The Pocket’s screen is extremely sharp, has 10x the resolution of the original Game Boy and rivals some other handheld gaming devices today. It even looks great on a TV when you connect it to the Analogue Dock (sold separately for $99.99) à la the standard Nintendo Switch, which pleasantly surprised us. The audio quality is pristine and has expertly recreated some of our favorite gaming moments from the past. The hardware itself is also incredibly well made – it has a real “premium feel” and each of its buttons is super responsive.
The Analogue Pocket also offers a lot of cool extras, like the ability to develop your own games with openFPGA and even create 8-bit music. We don’t have any game development experience ourselves, but knowing that anyone with a Pocket has access to free programming software is an exciting prospect for us as gamers. You have the option to apply on-screen filters that make your games look like they did on original Game Boy consoles and pair the device with separate adapters for Game Gear, Neo Geo, Atari Lynx and TurboGrafx-16 cartridges. We wish the cartridge slot wasn’t fully exposed, but at the end of the day that’s not a huge issue. (Just leave a cartridge in – easy fix!)
The Pocket is truly a unique device and one that you must get your hands on if retro gaming or game storage is of any interest to you. Now the debate can finally be settled: the best Game Boy is indeed the Analogue Pocket.
Pokemon Red, BlueAnd Yellow
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Any old Game Boy cartridge you can get your hands on