Helldivers 2 is now on the Game Boy Color, sort of

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Helldivers 2 has been seeing all sorts of media attention recently, most of it relating to the PSN controversy. However, amid all the controversy, a demake developer turned its Stratagems into a fun little mini-game that can be played on the original Game Boy Color hardware.

Stratacombo is available on itch-io, from which you can download an original GBC rom, or a version also compatible with the Analogue Pocket instead. If you’re handy with your tech, you can dump the ROM onto a clean and empty GBC cartridge, though you can also buy a pre-dumped copy from eBay.

A screenshot taken from Stratacombo, captured by VideoGamer.

The game is extremely simple. You’re going to see little arrows pointing in certain directions, and all you need to do is press the corresponding D-Pad buttons to build a combo. In a much simpler format, it harks to the 8-bit aesthetic that you’ve come to expect from the Game Boy Color, and you’re going to be able to scratch that Helldivers Stratagem combo itch on the go, wherever you are.

A look at the actual gameplay, captured by VideoGamer.

As you’d expect from a demake of a mini-game, there’s not a whole lot of content to explore in Stratacombo, though I will admit it’s not an easy game to nail. The simple mechanics require quick thinking and nimble reflexes, though it’s ultimately worth it in the everlasting struggle to spread democracy.

The game will flip between different Stratagems in Helldivers 2, with unique combos assigned to each one much like in the actual game. It makes me think a lot about the interactivity of Stratagems in Helldivers 2, and how such a little feature can become so beloved. I think this is mostly down to the fact that most other games, combos and power-ups are instanced with a single click of a button. The fact that you can only call them with accurate combos enhances that interactivity, much like pulling off a Hadouken in Street Fighter, and really cements the game into your muscle memory.

I’d recently been digging into the world of Game Boy demakes, so seeing this little project pop-up was a very pleasant surprise. The responsible developer, Mogwais, actually made Stratacombo as their first game on itch.io, and the fact that it works on physical hardware is all the more impressive.