Sponsored By

How did the Game Genie work anyway?

One YouTuber takes a look back at the programming wizardry that enabled the Game Genie hacking device.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

August 29, 2017

1 Min Read

If you played any of the early game consoles from Nintendo and Sega, you were probably at least aware of the cheat-enabling Game Genie, a device that used passwords to modify certain games and “enhance” gameplay (translation: it let people cheat like crazy).

But how did the Game Genie work? Why did it use such odd passwords that didn’t seem to correlate to anything in gameplay? For those who have been dogged by those questions since the ‘90s, the YouTube channel Retro Game Mechanics uploaded a video today that should help shine light on this niche device. 

We've embedded the video up above for your viewing pleasure. It’s an interesting watch, in part because it highlights how a third-party manufacturer managed to take advantage of the limited (and predictable) capabilities of early consoles. And in particular, it also explains why the limited memory of those devices made it somewhat risky to use the Game Genie with certain games. 

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like