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28 May, 2024
Frog Boy Color

The Frog Boy Color is a Fusion of Game Boy Fun

The Game Boy has been around for over 35 years, and in that time, has become a titan of the portable gaming scene. The Game Boy Color iteration of the console injected notable vibrancy into the gameplay experience, elevating an already wonderful library of titles. Between amazing games like Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda: DX, and many more, hundreds of hours can be spent on this iconic handheld without fail. In the past, I’ve covered a slew of Game Boy mods and builds, but today, I’m tackling a very special mod that bridges the gap between two generations. You may not have considered it until now, but what happens when you take a Game Boy Color and make it horizontal?

The Frog Boy Color is a Fusion of Game Boy Fun

The Frog Boy Color is a custom Game Boy build that essentially functions as the missing link between the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advance. This console lets you play your favorite games with a comfortable form factor, fusing modern and retro design to make it one of the best Game Boys I’ve ever held. If you’re looking to create your own Frog Boy Color, it will take a bit of work, but the end result is definitely worth it.

The Frog Boy Color was designed by a thoughtful modder named LeggoMyFroggo, who has crafted an excellent mod that’s worth celebrating. To help you get started on your Frog Boy Color adventure, I’m going to break down the basics of this mod, detailing the parts required and the overall building steps. To see everything in action, I highly recommend that you check out my Frog Boy Color build tutorial video, as this mod will take a bit of finesse to complete.

How to Build a Frog Boy Color

Before you start building your Frog Boy Color, you’ll need several crucial pieces. In addition to a donor Game Boy Color console, the most important piece of this mod is the custom motherboard, which can be purchased from PCBWay. While it is possible to fully assemble this motherboard on your own, I highly recommend that you have PCBWay build it for you, as to avoid any unnecessary complications during the overall mod process. When doing so, make sure your board thickness option is set to 1 millimeter, and change the assembly side to the “both sides” option.

For the shell, you can either have it crafted out of machined metal or simple 3D-printed material, depending on your preference. If you’re going with the metal option, be sure to pick up a package of M2 screws, otherwise, you can simply use the screws from your Game Boy Color donor console. The Frog Boy Color also uses buttons and membranes from a Game Boy SP, so be sure to pick up a pack of those. Finally, you’ll also need to pick up a laminated Q5 IPS kit, serving as a flashy new screen for your console.

Frog Boy
Frog Boy Color GBA

The overall building process is somewhat involved, but should be achievable for those modders who have advanced soldering skills and feel comfortable working on portable hardware. For detailed steps with visual instructions, please refer to my Frog Boy Color tutorial video to avoid any mistakes. Simply put, you’ll need to remove all the components from your donor console, solder them to the new motherboard, and install the batteries, cartridge connector, and various ports. Once your motherboard is tested and ready to go, you can install the IPS kit, lay down your buttons and speakers, and drop the board into the build. If everything fits snug, you can solder in the speakers and batteries, prepare the back shell by attaching the cartridge cover, and then screw everything together. The final step is to snap your volume dial into its respective spot below the A/B buttons, and you’re good to go!

Frog Boy Color Features and Final Thoughts

For starters, the Frog Boy Color provides every feature that the Game Boy Color does, minus the IR Port. However, LeggoMyFroggo has indicated that this port might be added in a later revision. The most notable upgrade is its form factor and footprint, which feels like a sturdy, yet smaller version of the Game Boy Advance. The handheld is roughly the same size as a Game Boy Pocket but thinner overall, making it much more compact in comparison to the original Game Boy Color. The upgraded speakers and batteries provide an extra modern touch, leaving you with a smartly designed system that feels great to play.

I’m definitely impressed with the design of the Frog Boy Color, with its sleek and rounded form factor, aesthetically pleasing look, and compact button placement. Additionally, this is an open-source project, ensuring that other modders can make their own tweaks and adjustments. Speaking of adjustments, there are only a few things that I would change about the Frog Boy Color, but these aren’t deal-breakers by any means. For starters, the volume knob is placed in a somewhat unorthodox position, just below the A/B buttons, which can lead to unintended bumps during gameplay. Also, the power button is recessed slightly too far into the shell, and the lack of IR functions is slightly disappointing.

Frog Boy GBA
Frog Boy mod

That said, the Frog Boy Color is an impressive project that takes the joy of the Game Boy Color experience and translates it into a portable device that feels far more comfortable in your hands. Building this mod can be difficult if you don’t have the proper set of skills, but the result is worth the hassle. LeggoMyFroggo has done a commendable job with this completely solo project, creating a memorable mod with lots to love. I’m confident that updates will be made to the Frog Boy Color over time, and considering that it’s already an amazing project, I can’t wait to see what lies in its future.


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