The Frog Boy Color Is The Game Boy Nintendo Never Made

The modder LeggoMyFroggo (aka Chris) recently released an entirely open source project called the Frog Boy Color.  This project is a completely original design that reimagines the Game Boy Color as a horizontal form factor handheld in much the same vein as a Game Boy Advance.

This project requires the removal of several unique components from a donor Game Boy Color console such as the CPU, RAM, Crystal, Cartridge Connector, and the Link Port Connector.  Once they are removed you need to install them onto the Frog Boy’s custom designed motherboard.

Now Chris has not only made this project completely open source, but he also listed the project on PCBWay allowing you to order pre-assembled boards, which is what I did in my video linked above.  This makes the project a whole lot easier by having PCBWay solder in all the tiny components onto the board for you.  All you need to do is solder in the parts that were pulled from your donor console, which definitely saves you a lot of time.

Of course, he also lists all the other parts that need to be 3d printed, such as the battery brackets and shell, on both his GitHub and PCBWAy Project page.  Additionally, you’ll need to pick up a few other parts like laminated Q5 IPS screen kit as well as buttons and membranes for a Game Boy Advance SP.  Yes, that’s right this uses tactile buttons similar to what’s used on the GBA SP.

The finished build in my opinion looks absolutely gorgeous, and it’s a sort of missing link between the Game Boy Color and the original Game Boy Advance.  The horizontal form factor is fantastic and feels great in the hands.  There is only one thing that has been a major source of division on how people feel about the project, and that’s the volume wheel.

Chris decided to make this a feature by putting the volume wheel front and center on the face of the Frog Boy as opposed to the side where one would normally reside.  I have to admit, it isn’t the most comfortable position for a volume wheel, but it’s also not the worst thing in the world and I can appreciate the bold and quirky design choice.

Other than that, I think it is a fantastic project and I am looking forward to seeing how it evolves.  Chris is treating this like an ongoing project so we are bound to see improvements down the road.  As of March 29th, he has already published an updated shell model that incorporates some changes one of which is a fix that allows the cartridge to sit flush.  The original shell had a tiny flaw which caused the cartridge to not sit flush and actually protrude a bit from the console.

Little tweaks like this over time will definitely make this an incredible project and a fantastic option for those what want a Wide Game Boy Color.

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