Submissions open from 2023-09-15 11:00:00 to 2023-09-25 11:01:00
Submissions due in

What is GBJam?

GBJam is about making gameboy inspired games. The jam lasts ten days and covers two weekends, with allowances of 12 hours each end of the jam for different timezones.

The Theme

This year's theme is Gameboy and...


You can interpret this theme however you like. Maybe it's outer space, maybe it's the space inside of us, the space around us, the space between us, the space on a keyboard, the space to live and breathe, organising a space, a space where something is missing, how you got the space between your teeth...
Whatever you pick to make your game about, this year you'll need to write about how your game includes the theme "space" on your submission form. This is mostly to prevent people adding their unrelated games to the jam.



The themes are "GameBoy" and "Space". You can interpret the theme "Space" in any way you like.


Keep the original GameBoy screen resolution of 160px x 144px. You are allowed to scale to viewport, but must keep the aspect ratio.

160 x 144

160x144 with a margin or a static decorative border

160x144 upscaled by 2x (320x288 with a native resolution of 160x144)

160x144 with four colours

160 x 214

160 x 144 with five colours


Color palettes must consist of up to 4 colors. (Only 4 colors can be displayed on the screen at a time)


Use the same control limitations as the GameBoy (D-pad, A, B, select, start). These can be mapped any way you like.


All assets must be created during the jam.

AI art / AI tools

AI art, AI code generation and AI tools are not allowed to be used in this jam. If you need assistance, please team up with a human with a matching skillset - there are plenty on our Discord and itch forum.

Join the community and find team members here:


Only people who submit a game can rate the other games. You must rate three random games before you can rate other games. The criteria for ratings this year are:

  • Gameplay

    How fun and unique is the gameplay?

  • Graphics

    How does the game look?

  • Soundtrack/SFX

    What does the game sound like?

  • Gameboy Soul

    When you play the game, do you feel that it represents the idea of the gameboy well?

  • Secondary Theme Interpretation

    Does the game contain the secondary theme well? Is it particularly original, true or inventive with the restriction?


  • Is there a theme?
    Yes. There are two themes - one is "Gameboy", the other theme will be announced on the first day of the jam.
  • How do we find out what the second theme is?
    The theme will be announced on the first day of the jam, posted at the top of this page. It'll also be sent out via email to everyone who has joined the jam.
  • Can I work as a team?
    Yes, it is encouraged.
  • Where can I find a team?
    You can join the Discord or make a post in the "Looking for Team" thread here on
  • What engine or programming language should the game be made in?
    Any engine or programming language is allowed. Jam games which are playable on the website are played more often, so you might want to make sure your engine outputs HTML5, but it's not a requirement.
  • Can I submit multiple games to the jam?
  • Can I use a resolution which isn't 160 x 144?
    You may use a smaller resolution if your game engine of choice does not produce 160x144. The play area should fit within a gameboy screen. Black bars or 'super gameboy' frames around the outside of the gameplay area are fine.
  • What are the rules on audio?
    There are no specific rules, but making it feel like gameboy sound is encouraged
  • What can I work on before the jam?
    You are allowed to set up your tools and your game engine. Tools include: palettes, fonts, tracker instruments and code libraries.
  • Can I use public domain assets?
    No. Music, art and programming must be provided by the people entering the jam. This is to encourage teaming up with other users to make the best game you can!
  • Can I use a public domain font?
    Yes. You do not have to make your own font for this jam.
  • Can my entry be a remake or a demake of an existing game?
    No, games must be original and not use existing intellectual property.
  • Why are the rules and color restrictions so arbitrary?
    While we appreciate the artistic restrictions of the original gameboy, we are more interested in encouraging an interest in the platform than requiring entrants to code assembly or making functional ROMs. This is an open jam for all participants, both advanced and beginner. As such, the restrictions are arbitrary to encourage creativity, and not a definition of actual gameboy functionality.


Jam hosting and moderation, page design and build by Polyducks.

With thanks to the helpful moderators who have joined us for GBJam11: Tatltuae, Timconceivable and Traslogan.

Jam icon by Khalmoon

Jam started by Retroshark

With thanks to 2HitMatt for gathering the links for previous winners.