Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand Game Boy Advance

  • Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Sep 16, 2003

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
Buy On
  1. 100
    Boktai couldn't have been done on any other system; it is uniquely Game Boy Advance, yet not at all like any of its other titles. A paradox, a conundrum, and creativity incarnate.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    Sorry, shining a flashlight is about as effective as garlic against Dracula. [17 Oct 2003, p.L2T 20]
  3. An exciting and challenging game that will bring a whole new generation of gamers out into something they might not have seen in a long time, the sunlight.
  4. GameNow
    If you like your games with a crazy twist, then you'll totally get into this one. [Oct 2003, p.52]
  5. The levels are well designed, and the placement of enemies and their movement paths add to the difficulty, and unless you live in a sunny location, Boktai will prove to be more challenging than other adventure games.
  6. Contrary to some expectations, Boktai is a complete and satisfying game that could hardly be called a gimmick. The sun sensor is actually very cleverly integrated into many aspects of the gameplay, and it ends up adding more to the experience than it takes away.
  7. Pocket Games
    Everything controls well, the graphics are of the highest GBA quality, and the story is engaging. [Fall 2003, p.39]
  8. Cheat Code Central
    You won't be disappointed with a purchase of this game unless you live underground or in a perpetually overcast environment like England or Vancouver in the winter.
  9. It is true that it isn't the longest, or most difficult game in the world, but for the few hours it takes to complete Boktai, players will have in their hands not only the sun, but pure enjoyment as well.
  10. Nintendo Power
    The most impressive thing is the quality of the sound. The voice-overs are clear and rich, and the music leaps out of the speaker. [Oct 2003, p.139]
  11. One of those gimmicky games that actually innovates rather than rely on it's gimmick alone.
  12. My pick for most original GBA game of 2003. The built-in light sensor coupled with a world full of dynamic environments that actually change depending on the amount of sunlight the game pak detects ensures that the game's most interesting bullet-point feature is more than just a gimmick.
  13. 85
    A very special and unique Game Boy Advance adventure with interesting and successful gameplay elements, and the only thing holding this game back is its time-restrictive gameplay and its use of unoriginal and redundant level challenges throughout the adventure.
  14. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    A surprisingly captivating little adventure. Its main selling point - the sun sensor - is one of the most original ideas to come along in years, although it's not always practical. [Oct 2003, p.164]
  15. Thoroughly enjoyable on its own, but there is something very satisfying about finding a warm spot outdoors and annihilating vampires with the power of the sun.
  16. At its core, this is a first-rate action adventure game that features a good story, challenging puzzles, memorable battles, and some of the finest graphics and sound, to date, on the Game Boy Advance.
  17. Play Magazine
    Playing a game outside isn't something I feel an affinity for, or even enjoy, but it's something I will do again, because Boktai is a game worth replaying. [Oct 2003, p.66]
  18. Edge Magazine
    Boktai re-invigorates almost every aspect of the tired dungeon-and-items formula. The light-sensor technology works flawlessly and opens up a host of possibilities for future games. A beautiful game in almost every respect. [Oct 2003, p.92]
  19. GMR Magazine
    Boktai finely fuses the action with the role-playing, so it's well suited to fans in either camp. [Oct 2003, p.78]
  20. We can't help but be wary of the fact that the game requires direct sunlight in certain situations, as it restricts when and where you can play. However, a skilful player can negotiate much of the game without the need for sunlight so we can't be too negative. [Nov 2003, p.115]
  21. For all of you Castlevania followers out there, be prepared for yet another intriguing story of vampires, the undead, and the supernatural.
  22. 80
    While the controls and game mechanics are completely sound and the overall game itself is pretty fun, the act of having to sit outside on a hot day with a GBA and a thermos of water is not my personal idea of fun.
  23. 75
    While Boktai is a solid game in its own right, the game itself has been done before and whole sun thing (read: "The Point") undermines the game experience more than it enhances it.
  24. 70
    Gimmick? Perhaps, but Boktai does enough, and achieves enough, to argue the point otherwise. Besides, sometimes it can just be enjoyable to give into that inner child, or imbecile, and embrace the novelty.
  25. A beacon of innovation to be held aloft for others to follow in its ideals. But the trouble is it doesn't always shine (the game or the weather) and the result is a rather limited and gimmicky appeal.
  26. It exposes what a chronically under-explored medium portable gaming really is, and demonstrates the potential that exists when a creator is given some space to indulge his vision. Sure, it's unbalanced and at times inconvenient, but I'll take Boktai and games like it over Super Nintendo Entertainment System ports any day.
  27. How ironic: without the solar sensor, Boktai would be much more enjoyable... but then again, without the solar sensor Boktai wouldn't even exist in the first place.
  28. 70
    Boktai may not usher in a whole new genre of environmentally powered games, but it is a very cool merging of technology and gameplay in one sweet package.
  29. 60
    A fairly standard action/puzzle game. The environments are very detailed -- albeit with the minor visual hiccups endemic to the isometric perspective. The sunlight adds an unusual strategic challenge, but players must resign themselves to sometimes having to wait for the break of dawn to resume gameplay.
  30. netjak
    The puzzles are easy, the game gives you more health power-ups than you will ever use, and there isn't a single enemy that's remotely challenging after you pick up the second gun frame in the Prologue. All the "innovation" that this game was supposed to entail amounts to nothing but a big pile of Company Dinner-Fed, Marketing Grade manure.
  31. Game Informer
    This innovative concept proves to be very frustrating in real life. [Oct 2003, p.142]

Awards & Rankings

#25 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
#27 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jun 11, 2013
    This game is original and fun. You will fall in love with the characters and the story. This is my favorite GBA game and the series is now oneThis game is original and fun. You will fall in love with the characters and the story. This is my favorite GBA game and the series is now one of my favorites as well. Full Review »
  2. Hazwin
    Sep 19, 2005
    I love it ! Yeah !
  3. SeanT.
    Mar 28, 2004
    Gimmicky and yet astoundingly innovative! A unique title that not only wins over people with concept alone, but furthers the idea with their Gimmicky and yet astoundingly innovative! A unique title that not only wins over people with concept alone, but furthers the idea with their first taste of gameplay. It's a little weird, but the fun doesn't stop! Full Review »