I found the ideal old school Game Boy setup for GB/GBC/GBA games...

a few weeks ago, I stupidly damaged the screen of my old school Game Boy Pocket** (mainly for playing Tetris, i’m hopelessly addicted to Tetris and the classic GB implementation is darned good), so I was on the hunt for another GBP, as long as it had a good screen with no missing lines, I could swap the display over into the food host chassis…

…GBP in good condition are extremely hard to find, so I started looking for the SP101 Game Boy Advance SP (the one with the actual backlit screen, not frontlit), as the Advance series is backwards compatible with GB/GBC

I went to a local retrogaming shop (actually all kinds of old school collectibles, action figures, toys, old game consoles, everything we children of the Eighties/Nineties grew up with,Star wars action figures and ships, TMNT figures, old school G1 Transformers, gaming systems from the Atari 2600/NES up to the latest consoles…

then I saw it, a Game Boy Advance, that the previous owner had installed the screen from an SP101 in it, a very clean job, good soldering, it looked factory, even had a glass lens

I found the form factor of the GBA far more ergonomic than any of the portrait orientation GBs, so I tested it out, picked it up, and have been having loads of fun with my meager collection of cartridges, but i’m happy mainly that I can get my Tetris fix on a backlit GB screen now, the color is just a nice bonus

ergonomically, and play comfort wise, the GBA really was the best layout, heck, even my “New” 3DS XL is a little top heavy and ungainly for extended play, the GBA was the most ergonomically correct version, and with te backlit screen of an SP101, it’s what it should’ve been in the first place.

** those flex cables on the GBP are exceptionally delicate, I simply touched the cable with little more than finger pressure, and lost 50% of the center screen lines…)

The cables are pretty bad on the DS, too. I got a used DS with a broken hinge and wanted to swap it to a new case, and I wound up losing the screen entirely.

Fortunately, I was recently able to get a refurbished New 3DS™ from Gamestop for not much more than I paid for the used DS back in the day.