Epilogue GB Operator – Review
It didn’t take long for the Epilogue GB Operator to grab my eye. It’s a piece of hardware that allows you to connect your Gameboy, Gameboy Color, AND Gameboy Advance games to your PC. But what does it, and doesn’t it do?
First off, this GB Operator is really gorgeous to look at. It has clear plastic letting you see the internal chips and status light. On the bottom, a rubbery pad that allows for it to stick to whatever desk you’re using to game on. On the back, a simple USB-C port that allows a single connection to the computer. If you want to see it in more depth, I have an unboxing video here:
Got the visuals down? Awesome let’s move on. Once you have your GB Operator plugged in, software opened up, update ran if needed, and now it’s finally time. Drop that cartridge in. Almost instantly the software will give you a ton of information on that cartridge. It will show the name, cover art, and game description. You will also get a little green light saying that this is an Official cartridge (if it is in fact legit). And if this is a “read-only cartridge”, which means that you are unable to overwrite the game that is on that cartridge. If you had a flash cart I assume that would change. I, unfortunately, did not have a flash cart or a bootleg cartridge to test at the time of this review.
Also on the front screen, you will see a few options to choose from. I am reviewing version 0.71, so these may be live when you read this. You have Gamepad controls and Keyboard controls, which will allow you to map your controller or keyboard to how you want. I used an 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ and had absolute 0 issues configuring or playing.
Now on 0.71, I have two grayed-out options. One being Emulator Settings and the other being Device Settings. I can only speculate what those could mean in the future. Maybe speed up gameplay, maybe online multiplayer? One thing I would love to see is if you can emulate it being a Gameboy Advance hardware when playing some Gameboy color games. For example, The Legend of Zelda – Oracle of Seasons gets a few more items and secrets if you are playing on a Gameboy Advance rather than a Gameboy Color console. Oracle of Seasons was the game I mainly tested with, so it’s the first thing that game to mind.
There are also some options up top. There is Play, Data, and Photos. To get the quickest one out of the way, Photos is if you have a Gameboy Camera and attach it to it, you can save your photos directly in the software. It would be a slick option to allow screenshots and have a library of your pictures here. Play is the default view. You pop the cartridge in and hit “Launch” that’s it. You’re off playing in seconds.
The Data section is a fairly advanced, but important one. There are four options, I’ll go through each one individually. “Download Game”, does exactly what it sounds like, it will download the game directly to your computer. In either .gb or .gba format. This will allow you to play on other emulators besides the GB Operator software. A Data Integrity Test will also run while you are downloading your game to make sure everything is accurate. “Upload Game” is if you had a flash cartridge in the GB Operator and you wanted to push a game onto it, this is what you would use. This will work for homebrew games as well! “Download Save”, will take your save file and save it onto your computer as a .sav file. This is great if you want to use your save elsewhere, or more importantly, replace a battery and want to reload your save back onto your cartridge. The last option “Upload Save” would do just that. Take the .sav file and move it back onto the cartridge!
From what I gather, when you hit Launch game, it will load the game onto the computer quickly. You will be able to see the status light change on the GB Operator. You will also notice it change when you push the save back onto the cartridge. Through my gameplay on multiple cartridges, I had 0 lag from what I could tell, from either the player or my inputs from the controller.
I think is a MUST HAVE for any Gameboy collector. For $49.99 it’s a solid device with great features right now, and the future looks to be bright for this little device. I’m looking forward to some of the newer features looking to release soon. Check out the software roadmap here: https://support.epilogue.co/hc/en-us/articles/4405966582674-Operator-Roadmap. Streamers that would love to use their old cartridges should definitely look into this and leave the wear and tear off of your actual consoles. Once the borderless fullscreen option is released, this would be perfect for you retro streamers out there.
Oh and a small surprise, check out epilogue.co in a mobile browser. If you click the menu and a SNES Operator is listed as (Coming Soon). If that is anything like the Gb Operator, you’re going to want to stay tuned!
Note: GameOctane received this device for the purpose of reviewing. Any code or product intended for review is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience. All opinions therein are from the author alone.
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+ Great looking device
+ Easy to use and manage your cartridges
+ Great for testing your collection for authenticity
+ Perfect for backing up saves and replacing batteries on cartridges
+ $49.99 price looks to be quite worth it.
- Limited emulator features (Coming)
- No borderless full screen (Coming)
- In a dark room, that LED light is quite bright, but settings coming soon as well