Keeping one Game Gear out of the landfill

Game Gear and scratchy blue

I was sent a Zega Mame Gear kit by John Maddison, of Zarcade, in April this year. I bought a Game Gear shell off eBay for $15, some extra buttons, switches, screws, and a new glass screen cover from Handheld Legend, and I could finally find a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 for sale last month.

So I put all that together into a modern RetroPie handheld emulation build, and now I can play through games I only wish I could've played in my childhood. Being the third child, I was typically relegated to 'trying to cram in some time on the console before the game rental was due back' status.

Jeff and siblings on game console

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 powers the Null 2 RetroPie gaming handheld

As a kid, I never had a Game Boy, Game Gear, or any other handheld console. Heck, as luck would have it I've never owned a Nintendo Switch, either.

I've played console and PC games, I've only used handhelds twice: once in middle school, when a friend let me borrow his Game Gear for a day, and last year year when my dad brought over his Nintendo Switch—which my kids quickly commandeered.

I guess out of a sense of jealousy, I decided the first thing I should do with Raspberry Pi's latest hardware, the Pi Zero 2 (see my review here), is build myself a handheld retro gaming console.

Null 2 kit on Tindie

And what better way than with the Null 2 kit (pictured above, from it's Tindie page), a kit integrating off-the-shelf components on a custom PCB, wrapped up nicely in a custom acrylic case.