15 Essential Homebrews that run on Half Byte Loader
People keep asking for lists of homebrew games that work with HBL. I believe making a full list is an impossible task, especially since we fix bugs on a daily basis, but today I want to showcase 15 homebrews that work great in HBL. These homebrews are of great quality and will give you hours (if not hundreds of hours) of gameplay. I’ve tested them myself on a 6.20 psp go. These games are presented in no specific order.
Please keep in mind that emulators usually require bios files and/or roms that I cannot legally provide. Don’t ask for those here, thanks.
1. Wagic 0.12.1
Ok, I lied, there is an order… at least for the first game 🙂 . Wagic is an heroic fantasy card game in which you fight against the CPU. As you win battles against your opponent, you earn credits that will allow you to improve your army, unlock sets, and play new game modes. Highly customizable (you can create your own cards, even your own rules and campaigns), Wagic can easily bring you hundreds of hours of gameplay (heck, I’ve been playing it on a daily basis for the past 3 years!), and has already won several homebrew contests.
2. Doom 1.4
Do I need to introduce this game? As mentioned on hackaday.com, Doom is a “prerequisite for any cracked device”. This game is a legend, and you can play the shareware version for free on your PSP through HBL. Works flawlessly once you get used to the controls (triangle+select to show the menu, don’t forget this one!)
3. Picodrive 1.35
With HBL R95, sound is finally available in this great Sega emulator. You’ll love to see Sonic running on your portable device! (Note: version 1.51 has also been reported to work)
4. T.O.M.E. 2.3.5
Tales Of Middle Earth is a PSP port of a famous RPG on the PC. The graphisms are not what you are looking for here, but rather, a deep RPG experience with lots of possible customizations and quests. Think of it as a Diablo… with way more customization. Old school people like me who used to play RPGs with a pen, a piece of paper, and a pair of dice (errr… ok, a pair of cars filled with dice if you were playing the Starwars RPG) will definitely enjoy this game. Historically, T.O.M.E was the first “big” game to run on HBL, so it holds a special place in my heart 🙂
5. CSPSP 1.56
Although this is not the latest release (which requires Kernel access), CS PSP is a nice 2D version of Counter Strike. We still have hopes to enable network on this one (hopefully the programmer of the game will come back from the deads and update the sources of the latest version to be less restrictive with Kernel access), but for now, even the single player mode is very entertaining, and an extremely nice way to spend my time on the train. Excellent for casual gaming. Stupid bots, DIE! DIE! DIE!
6. Gpsp Kai
Newer versions of this emulator might work, I must admit I haven’t tested them. GPSP is a brilliant Game Boy Advance emulator, but so far only this unoficially modification (the “kai” versions) seem to work with HBL. The GBA has some very decent games, and if you’ve never tried Advance Wars I highly suggest it! A known issue with this emulator is that HBL crashes when you exit Gpsp…hopefully we’ll fix that soon.
What, another emulator? Yes, but for the Super Nes this time. Some of the best games were made on this console. I can still remember full afternoons playing Street fighter 2…aaah…It was so good to be a kid in the 16bits era!
8. ScummVM 1.1.1
ScummVM feels and tastes like an emulator, but it’s a project specifically aimed at old-school point and click adventure games such as Monkey Island. A great thing about scummVM is that some of the games it allows to play are now freeware. I highly recommend Beneath a Steel sky that you can legally download for free on scummvm.org.
Bookr is an ebook reader that supports pdf and text files among other formats. A must have if you read a lot and are not lucky enough to own a Kindle… I don’t recommend to read pdf files on a pspgo though, I think the screen of the psp go is way too small for this…
10. Daedalus (R13?)
I have mixed feelings about Daedalus. Sure, the emulator starts, but I can’t say I’ve seen any game running at full speed on this with HBL. Lots of people requested it, so I’m adding it to this list, but if you know of a more recent version (from the deadalusX64 team) that runs on HBL, please let me know and I’ll gladly test it. For Daedalus, you might want to try and set the override_scePeekBufferPositive to 0 in the hbl/hbl_config.txt file.
11. Cave Story
Probably the most famous platform freeware game, cave story is the result of 5 years of work by an independent developer. This is the psp port.
12. Spider Solitaire
The definition of casual gaming! This game has a graphical glitch in HBL, but it doesn’t prevent it from being playable.
13. Geometry wars
By far the most adrenaline-packed homebrew there is. If you can survive more than 5 seconds you probably beat my personal high score. You probably know the original game that inspired it, or its psp clone polygun war.
It seems we broke compatibility with the Game Boy emulator “Homer’s Rin” in a recent update. But fear not, Emumaster is here for you. This is a great emulator for both the Sega Master System and the Game Boy color. So, technically, while we try to understand what happened to Homer’s rin, you can still play your favorite GBC games! (emumaster seems to crash on me when I exit the game).
15. Zombie Crisis
A gore FPS based on the Duke Nukem 3D port for the PSP. If you like 3D and zombies, you’ll like this game 🙂
There are of course many other good homebrews available for the PSP that run on HBL. The ones above are a mix of “often mentioned”, “personal favorites”, and “I tried this one randomly, it works and I like it”. If you know other cool homebrews that work with HBL, don’t hesitate to share links!