In brief: Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the launch of the original Game Boy in Japan. In celebration of the event, London-based developer Chris Maltby recently published the first non-beta build of GB Studio, a visual retro game maker for Nintendo’s classic handheld.

GB Studio allows anyone to build a Game Boy game within minutes, even if they have no prior programming experience. The resulting ROM files can be run using an emulator or, if you have the means, you can flash them to a cart and play them on original hardware.

Maltby describes it as a simple version of RPG Maker but without the battle system.

Nintendo launched the Game Boy in Japan on April 21, 1989, and brought it to the US later that year along with smash hits like Tetris and Super Mario Land. The handheld was technically inferior to rival devices like the Sega Game Gear and the Atari Lynx, both of which had superior color screens, but that didn’t seem to matter as consumers scooped it up in droves.

The Game Boy (and Game Boy Color) managed to sell a staggering 118.69 million units worldwide, making it the third best-selling game console of all time behind the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS.

GB Studio is available to download free of charge over on GitHub. The version for Windows checks in at 171MB. Additional documentation can be found on the dedicated GB Studio website.

Lead image courtesy padu_foto via Shutterstock