Pokémon fans, prepare yourself for the coolest Apple Watch hack to date.
One of the most popular titles from the original Pokémon series has been reborn on watchOS. This Game Boy Color emulator hack dismisses the idea that Apple’s wearable is no good for gaming by running fan-favorite Pokémon Yellow.
Pokémon seems to be one of the few Nintendo franchises that have continued to grow in recent years, despite the decline of its home console business. That’s partly because everyone loves Pokémon, and partly because the best Pokémon games are made for Nintendo portables, which have remained insanely popular.
Now the series is more portable than ever, thanks to this insane Game Boy Color emulator for Apple Watch that runs Pokémon Yellow.
Launched in 1998, Yellow was one of the games in the original Pokémon series, and it offered much the same experience as Pokémon Red and Blue. However, it was the only one that allowed players to start with Pikachu, the most iconic creature in the game.
To breathe new life into the title, iOS developer Gabriel O’Flaherty-Chan has brought it to Apple Watch using an emulator called Giovanni — named after the head of Team Rocket, the villainous gang that uses Pokémon for evil.
To combat the tiny screen, which doesn’t provide enough space for all the control buttons required in a Game Boy came, O’Flaherty-Chan had to get inventive. A simple tap on the display triggers the A button, while swipe gestures are used in place of a d-pad.
The only buttons displays on-screen are start, select, and B, which leaves the vast majority of the screen space free for the game itself.
The emulator is mostly just a proof-of-concept, and plenty of work is needed to improve performance. However, you can try it out for yourself if you’re willing to put in the effort. Redmond Pie explains the steps you’ll need to follow, and the download links you’ll need.