I bought a Funkey S and I love it

A photo of my hand hovering over my desk, holding a tiny purple Funkey S, which looks like a 2003-era Game Boy Advance SP and a tamagotchi had a love child. 

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Not too long ago, my friend Eleanor was listening to me ramble on about how much I missed the Game Boy Colour and Game Boy Advance games of my youth, and suggested I check out the Funkey Project.

I admit I didn't take a careful enough look at the spec information before purchasing the Funkey S. Specifically, I probably should have paid much closer attention to the size of the thing I was buying. In retrospect, however, it's a good thing I wasn't looking all that closely at how small the shiny was, as then I probably would not have purchased it, as that is one tiny screen! Let's just say that my eyes are aging faster than the rest of me.

Turns out, tiny screen and all, I am having a ton of fun being able to stuff the Funkey S in my pocket and take it everywhere with me. So far I've played it in the park, on the métro, and numerous waiting rooms. The battery life is best if you keep the backlight low, and the volume down or off, and in my experience out in the wildnerness the battery life tends to run between 2-3 hours. That's actually really not bad considering how tiny this thing is, and the memory & emulator software that it's running. It can emulate games from the original Game Boy to the first generation PlayStation, so the sky's the limit (as well as your tolerance for the 40 mm x 40 mm screen).

An advantage relating to its size that I wasn't expecting? It's so lightweight that I barely need to put any pressure into holding it up or pressing its buttons, so I'm finding it very easy on the tendinitis in my hands and wrists! (Tendinitis being the primary reason I don't play any games that require a controller or too much button smashing.)

The Funkey S is ✨ open source ✨ and the hardware and software has pretty in-depth documentation, linked here for your perusal. I am really impressed by the OS and the responsiveness of its emulator, it's one of the best one's I've played on.

I've been playing on it every day since it arrived in early June, and I've only scratched the surface really of what's possible to do with it. I really adored my turquoise Game Boy Colour when I was a kid, and I remember the joy I felt when the Advance SP was released with a backlight (playing games! at night! on endless car rides!) Among others, Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and Oracle of Ages, Pokémon Silver and Sapphire were some of my absolute favourite games growing up.

If you love hobby electronics (especially the kind that work right out of the box!), or retro gaming, or spending hours fishing for a Dratini that you're then going to need to spend an even longer amount of time levelling up but damn Dragonair is still your favourite Pokémon, check out the Funkey S.

Gersande La Flèche

Gersande La Flèche

By day I am a writing coach & freelance English-French translator. By night (or rather by dawn because I'm an early bird) I scribble away at poetry, prose, and essays in one of my many notebooks.
MTL // Tiohtià:ke