A Game Boy Advance emulator for Windows, written by Gollum et al. Although earlier versions were unplayably buggy, in its current form BoycottAdvance is able to run the majority of commercial ROMs reasonably well. Graphical glitches are commonplace in games that use more advanced effects, but in many cases these are only a minor inconvenience. One exception to this is GT Advance, which draws garbage to the screen during the race. MarioKart Advance and Konami Krazy Racers seem to work, however.

For all games there is a varying amount of control latency, that is usually bearable but occasionally makes a game harder or more frustrating to play (especially menu-heavy games). Saving and loading game state is also supported. Sound is excellent, significantly better than the weedy speaker built into the machine, in fact. It makes me realise I must be missing out by not using headphones to play my GBA.

Even for games that are emulated near-perfectly, BoycottAdvance is not as much fun, in my opinion, as playing on the original hardware. The graphics, while much clearer on notoriously dark games like Castlevania, generally suffer from over-saturated colours and look too blocky when blown up on a 17" monitor. The framerate occasionally craps out and the controls definitely need some work as well.

I think that Boycott's (or any working GBA emu's) primary use will be to allow people to try before they buy*, and possibly to check out games that they otherwise wouldn't have bothered with. (Remember that GBA games cost £30 or more in this country, and game rental isn't very widespread.) I look forward to future versions offering more of the machine's functionality, and a greater level of customisation. But it's no substitute for the real thing.

*bearing in mind that pirating game software is illegal, and you do so at your own risk. Always buy original copies of games you want to play.

Version tested: v.0.22bR3

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