The Nintendo Game Boy has had some strange accessories over the years, but perhaps the weirdest is the Pocket Sonar, a fishing accessory that allowed its users to plug a sonar into their handheld to help locate fish in bodies of water.
It recently came to our attention again, after the Twitter user @DJ_Link, posted about the device online, drawing a few more eyes toward Bandai's forgotten Game Boy peripheral.
According to an October 1998 issue of the gaming publication Tips & Tricks, in a section called Japan Report!, the Pocket Sonar had three modes: an encyclopedia to tell you about different types of fish, the sonar screen itself, and a fishing mini-game to kill time.
The writer of Japan Report! Anatole Brown remarked positively at the time:
"…the uniqueness of the product demonstrates how much potential the Game Boy has in incorporating non-game related software.”
How the device worked is that you would slot the cartridge end into the top of your Game Boy. You would then throw the attached sonar into the water, with the length of the line measuring between 50-90ft (depending on the source).
As the Tips & Tricks article notes, it was intended as a Japan-exclusive product. According to a Chinese video game publication, it was released in parts of East Asia in July 1998 and retailed for around 14,800 Yen.
Interestingly, this isn't the only fishing-related peripheral that Bandai launched for the Game Boy, as in that same article, it also references a fishing reel attachment that was packaged along with a TOSE-developed game called Grander Musashi RV.
This game was based on the anime series popular in Japan about a boy and his friends who set off across the world in search of seven legendary fishing lures. In this case, players would be able to attach a fishing reel to their Game Boy or Game Boy Pocket and reel in fish using the device on the side. Below you can find a video unboxing of this rare product published on YouTube almost a decade ago: