reviews\ Mar 23, 2003 at 7:00 pm

GBA Halo Light - GBA - Review

From insect lights to magnifiers that add a ton of glare, I've tried every GBA light accessory there is.  None of them can even begin to compare to Halo.

One hundred dollars.  That's the retail price of the Game Boy Advance SP.  Many gamers spent $80 to $90 to buy the standard, extremely-dim GBA at its June 2001 launch.  Last year, millions more spent $70 on the same exact unit.  After spending that much cash, most gamers are not going to be overly excited about the idea of spending another $100 just to have a built-in light.  Sure, it works fabulously, but cost is a major issue, and no one really likes the idea of owning two game systems that, aside from the light, are identical in performance.

There is an alternative though: the Halo light from Innovation Technologies.  Not to be confused with Microsoft's multi-platinum first-person shooter, the Halo is a front light attachment that covers the entire screen and surrounds it with light.

For those of you who don't know, a front light is just that -- it goes in front of the screen.  A backlight is generally preferred, but is technologically impossible to produce due to the Game Boy Advance's design.  Even Nintendo couldn't produce one (which is why the GBA SP uses a front light).

How does it stack up?  Amazingly well.  I tested the light with a lot of games, including Sonic Advance, Bust-A-Move, Super Mario World, Tekken Advance and Street Fighter II.  The light lit up the whole screen and increased the visibility by 100%.  Sonic Advance has a couple of really dark levels, and during those the visibility was not as good as if the game were hooked up to a television screen.  But it was still an improvement over the other GBA light devices, and a huge improvement over not having any light at all.

Pokemon fans will be thrilled to know that of all the games I tested the Halo light with, Pokemon Ruby turned out the best.  Its blend of bright, colorful levels and simple animations made it easy for the Halo light to brighten up the screen.  Never once did I have a problem -- no eye strain, no need for a desk lamp, no need for any additional lighting at all.  Furthermore, with the Halo light, you can even play games in complete darkness!

There were times when I'd forget the light was on.  So I'd turn it off to remind myself of what the GBA looked like before the Halo light arrived.  It was awful.  I will never understand how I actually managed to play through a game like Castlevania without the Halo light.

Intrigued?  You should be.  And if not, then just wait, because I haven't even told you the best part yet.  The Halo light retails for around $30-$35.  So if you paid $70 for a Game Boy Advance last year, your total cost for a GBA and a Halo light will be the same as one GBA SP.



  • The price is super-cheap!

  • It's easy to install

  • The light securely attaches to the front of the GBA

  • Covers entire screen with a good amount of light

  • Brightness dial allows you to decide how much light is necessary for each game


  • Games with really dark colors become more visible, though not as much as those with brighter colors.

Overall: 8.9
Want to light up your GBA, but don't want to spend a hundred bucks?  Then look no further than Innovation's Halo light.  It's by far the best alternative.  I know this for a fact because I've used every other light attachment out there -- from insect lights to magnifying lights that add a ton of glare, drain a lot of batteries and don't light up the whole screen, nothing compared to the Halo.


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