Game Boy Will Be the Latest Classic Nintendo Console to Receive an Upgrade

Koisny, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In 2016, Nintendo delighted nostalgic gamers with the release of the NES Classic. The miniature console was too popular for its own good, selling out faster than stores could restock it. The success of the SNES Classic in fall 2017 proved that the retro console trend isn't limited to the NES. Now, peripheral manufacturer Hyperkin is revamping one of Nintendo's most iconic classic consoles before the Japanese gaming giant beats them to it. As Gizmodo reports, a new and improved Game Boy is currently in development.

Hyperkin announced the gadget, tentatively named the Ultra Game Boy, at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. It's modeled after the Game Boy Pocket and includes the same volume and contrast dials and 8-bit screen players remember.

But they will also notice some major upgrades. The body is made from sturdy aluminum, making it more resistant to dents and scratches if dropped. Hyperkin plans to add a third dial that will let users adjust the backlit LCD display, or they can turn it off completely if they want to play the way they did in 1996. Other new features include a built-in 6-hour battery, USB-C port for charging, and left and right audio output connections. Listening to mono sound through a fancy sound system may not make a big difference to most gamers, but the update will make it easier for musicians to use the console to create chiptunes.

The biggest feature that's missing is the built-in games aspect offered by the NES and SNES. Because the Ultra Game Boy is coming from Hyperkin, not Nintendo, users will need to provide the original cartridges to play it. But if you've been holding on to your game collection for the past 20 years, the new console may be a smart purchase. It's set to retail for less than $100 when it hits stores as anticipated in late summer 2018.

[h/t Gizmodo]

The 13 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

iStock
iStock

Horror lovers will feel right at home in New York or Ohio. Attractions in those states claim four out of 13 spots on Halloween expert Larry Kirchner’s new list of America’s scariest haunted houses. Drawing upon his 25 years of experience designing and installing Halloween attractions, Kirchner releases the list on his website, Hauntworld.com, each year.

This year, Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, New York, tops the list. A historic 18th-century manor provides a spooky backdrop to the haunt, which includes a theatrical hayride, corn maze, eight haunted attractions, and escape rooms. “Dr. Dark’s Circus Side Show” (with everyone’s favorite: creepy clowns) will be one of the new themes offered this year, and another new section called “Two Raven’s Manor” will feature stunt actors and a magician.

The runner-up on Kirchner’s list is Field of Screams in Mountville, Pennsylvania. The attraction promises its hayride will be “the most disturbing ride of your life through thick rows of corn.” Expect to see demented doctors, evil nurses, chainsaw and ax murderers, and miscellaneous monsters.

Check out the full list of attractions below, and head to Haunt World’s website for additional details.

1. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses: Ulster Park, New York
2. Field of Screams: Mountville, Pennsylvania
3. The Dent Schoolhouse: Cincinnati, Ohio
4. 13th Gate: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
5. Netherworld: Atlanta, Georgia
6. Nightmare on 13th: Salt Lake City, Utah
7. Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory: Akron, Ohio
8. Bennett’s Curse: Baltimore, Maryland
9. Haunted Overload: Lee, New Hampshire
10. Erebus: Pontiac, Michigan
11. Hell’s Gate: Lockport, Illinois
12. The Darkness: St. Louis, Missouri
13. Bayville Screampark: Bayville, New York

You Can Visit Any National Park For Free This Saturday

Mark Ralston, AFP/Getty Images
Mark Ralston, AFP/Getty Images

Looking for something to do this weekend? Within driving distance of one of the country's more than 400 national parks? The timing might work out. On Saturday, September 22, the National Park Service will be celebrating National Public Lands Day by offering free admission to any national park that normally charges an entrance fee.

Established in 1994 by the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. The day is set aside to recognize and encourage stewardship of green space in individual communities. If you see an opportunity to volunteer that day, you can get a voucher good for admission on a day of your choosing.

Admission to federally owned parks during peak season averages $30 at the 117 locations that require payment for access. Recently, the National Park Service had considered raising the fee to $70 at 17 of the busiest parks. The potential move would help address maintenance and other costs, but it's drawn criticism from conservation groups arguing the locations should remain affordable to visitors. In the end, the NPS decided to raise prices by $5 for one-time entry, or $5 to $10 for an annual pass, though some fees won't rise until 2020.

You can search for parks by state or by activity using the National Park Service Find a Park search engine here. Note that any additional charges for camping or other attractions aren't included in the promotion.

Can't make it this weekend? The parks are open for a fee-free day four times in 2018, down from 10 in 2017. The next date is November 11, in honor of Veterans Day.

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