Check out this retro Pokemon style demo on this Raspberry Pi Handheld

im_designing_a_topdown_gameboy_style_game_using from r/raspberry_pi

The tiny Pimoroni PicoSystem is a miniature handheld console with a Raspberry Pi powering its little beating heart. It has a cool retro look and aluminium casing, complete with a tiny button layout that makes your hands cramp a little just by looking at it. Though it’s still a Raspberry Pi, it’s a bit different compared to a lot of retro-styled handhelds on the market in that it won’t play your favourite old games. 

Of course Raspberry Pi mini PCs are no stranger to old games with the RetroPie emulator remaining one of the more popular uses for the device. Though, their prices went up for the first time this year thanks to the global chip shortage. But the Pimoroni PicoSystem isn’t about emulating your favourite nostalgia, and instead focuses on helping you create your own new nostalgia styled games.

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One such cool program is currently in development by Reddit user Gsephelec. As Tom’s Hardware tells it, the Pimoroni PicoSystem is designed for deploying your own specifically made games coded in something like C++. Gsephelec’s current demo is exactly this, and looks full of that sweet Gameboy nostalgia. The top down game’s art strongly resembles Pokemon games from the Gameboy Color, and immediately sent me back to exiting Viridian forest out into Pewter City.

Gsephelec’s game may be just a demo for now, but it shows the potential of this little machine. They explain that in its current state players can traverse through different maps and move around the currently built world. It’s a bit stuttery in the video but this is also explained as something that can be fixed with extra maths. It looks like a great foundation for people looking to code some simple old school style RPGs straight onto this little system, and helps to show what can be achieved. 

Of course, if you’re wanting a little bit more power out of your handheld console you’re probably better off casting your eyes towards the hot new SteamDeck which should start shipping in about a week's time. You could always try overclocking your Raspberry Pi in the meantime, though it seems a bit impractical for the results. 

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here. No, she’s not kidding.