Bitterroot is the story of the cursed Bitterroot Mansion, and the secrets it holds.

Created in the classic game boy style, and available as a ROM download that can be played on the original hardware, Bitterroot is an exercise in seeing how far the limitations of the Game Boy can be pushed to create a true atmospheric game.

You take on the role of a stranger stranded, who tries to find help but instead end us trapped in the web of the Bitterroot curse. 

Use your investigational skills to find key items that may help you escape the dark powers of the mansion. Fight off its otherworldly inhabitants, and try to piece together what caused this anomaly to occur.

Arrow Keys / D-Pad - Left Right Move/ Face away/towards

Z Key / A Button - Interact

X Key / B Button - Use Camera (when prompted)

Enter / Start - Bring up key item inventory checklist

Shift / Select - Bring up Save menu

Bitterroot really was a challenge in creating something that felt perhaps a bit more mature than what was readily doable on the original Game Boy. I wanted to attempt larger sprites, more elaborate and detailed backgrounds, and a clean UI.

Deluxe edition featuring concept art, sprites, and .pdf manual and box art coming soon!

Spanish translations thanks to Jorge Fernandez! Check out his games as well at!

Game was built using the GBStudio software.

Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(52 total ratings)
Made withGB Studio
TagsGame Boy, Game Boy ROM, gbstudio, Horror, Retro


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Bitterroot 66 kB
Bitterroot(ESP) 66 kB 24 MB
if you pay $3 USD or more

Development log


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Would one of the rom files work in a retro handheld?

they should all work yes. It’s game boy color only so preferably on a color console :)

I have a few handhelds that run a gbc emulator so I was wondering what one do I need. I'll try both I guess.

Should run on any gbc emulator :)

I purchased the deluxe version, the game seems to be in Spanish.  Any advice to run game in English?  Do i need to mabey download a different rom?

There aren’t two roms in there? If not you can download the bitterroot rom by itself from the free version and that should be English. I will double check the deluxe package but it should contain both language roms

ok thanks

I’m having some graphical errors where screenside doors aren’t showing up. I only noticed after I got stuck and looked up some gameplay footage and saw that you can clearly see a light cast by screenside doorways. Yeah that just doesn’t show up on my DMG for some reason.

yes that is normal. The game is built to be played in color mode only to account for some of the graphical trickery

Can this be played on an emulator?

Yes. Anywhere that can play game boy games, including everdrive. Just make sure you’re using color mode 👍

It's awesome ! Thank you so much. You are a dev ‘s model for me. I begin gb studio thanks with you 

Aw thank you so much! Glad you decided to start making games!!

my first little Game ( short demo ) is online. 

Thank you for your inspiration 

will have to check it out!

so cool thank you very Much 



I enjoyed this game quite a lot! And my thanks to the Spanish translator as well, is always nice to have the option available :D 

indeed. Very grateful for the translation 🙏

Lovely game... how do i equipped an item???? on PC

items are auto equipped and will prompt when needed to be used :)


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Very cool concept here, I plan to try your other games too! I uploaded a gameplay video  :)

thank you so much for playing, excited to check out the video!

Very cool! Love the atmosphere this game creates.Though I’ll admit it took me forever to realize there were doorways in the foreground 🙃

Glad you enjoyed it :)

Super fun! I love this kind of gameplay, it's a super cool way to translate the sort of Resident-Evil-style exploration into the constraints of the Gameboy. Very very well done!

thank you so much for the kind words! Glad you dug it!

great vibes, great art, great gameplay, a classic horror story put on gameboy. Just really really fun.

Thank you so much for the kind words, glad you enjoyed it!

What great game, I was thoroughly immersed in the atmosphere, the story and the puzzles. One of the best games I have played for sometime. For those of you that are interested I have posted my play through here, please watch it and spread the love so more people can enjoy and experience this game :)

Thank you so much for sharing and the kind words! Excited to check out your play through!

Is this work on pocket?

no pocket file yet, hopefully soon


With the newly released Analogue Pocket, and the newest update for GB Studios, are you planning to publish the .pocket version of this game? I’d love to be able to play this on my Pocket, so I hope so!

not totally sure yet how to do that, since I’m still using 2.1, but definitely will if it’s a possibility!


I created a fork a GB Studio 2 that export natively game in pocket file.

So it should be easy to port your game without the pain of migrating to GB Studio 3.0 :)

If you have any issue with it, don't hesitate to contact me.

that’s awesome!! Will def have to take a look, that’s awesome of you to put together!

Can you build this for Analogue Pocket? Thanks!

loving all your work so much! I featured your games in my “Indie GB Halloween” art prompt over the last 2 weeks!




that’s so awesome! thank you!!

Had fun playing 🎃

Thank you for playing :) glad you enjoyed the game!

I tried to play it via a flashcard on my Super Game Boy 2. The doors facing towards you aren't visible. Just skip to 45 Min of my stream:
I used the latest Rom I found here. To bad I haven't an og Game Boy to try it out.

was it playing it as a game boy color game? The outward facing door is created using color swapping palettes only available through a game boy color, so that may be the issue. I believe that is the issue but I’ll take a look at the twitch vid as soon as I get a chance. Thank you for giving the game a look :)

Ah, that may be the reason. The Super Game Boy (2) can only play GB games, not GB color games. Now I'm suprised the game even started :D


Sounds like that was the issue. Yeah a lot of effects in the game (lightning, etc) were achieved through the game boy color palette swapping


all GB studio games are technically backwards compatible with both GB and GBC consoles, so there may be issue in cases where the design is specifically leveraging color mode features

hello! I really enjoy your games, but I can't seem to find the candles. I was looking in the comment section earlier to find answers but nothing there. ( I really do enjoy the games you make, this is most definitely not a hate comment!! )

once you get the camera you can remove the ghost lady that’s in the way of the cabinet, hopefully that hint helps. And thank you for the kind words! It means a lot :)

I truly an sorry for being so complicated but where do I find the camera? 


it’s in the closet in the room with the head in a jar

i enjoyed this game aswell as the neighbour.

Thank you so much for checking them out :)

you are welcome

hoW do I uSE Da LIGhteR


it’ll auto use to combine with candles when you get them

After playing this game and Neighbor, I can really tell that you love the genre. Keep up the good work, I am really looking forward to future games from you. (:

Thank you for the kind words! Working on getting better and better at it!

Hoi! Thanks for making a spooky GB game! I love the gb style & I love horror games. Good job. Are you working on any more games?

hey there! Thanks for checking the game out! I also put out the game Neighbor which you can find on my page, and working on another game now called AF+ER, hopefully releasing sometime in the near future!

Trying to keep the spooky GB dream alive haha


i enjoyed the hell out of this game i cant say i was interested in many horror games before i found this thank you!!

so happy to hear that! Glad you enjoyed it :)

I accidentally paid 2 dollars, so i paid one more dollar. Then i find out that it only counts for a one-time purchase. So I paid 6 dollars for the deluxe version. Please don't let my math teacher see this. He will be so mad that 2+1 equals 0.

I’m sorry this happened! I believe you can request a refund from, so you can get the money back :) 

if you were trying to get the deluxe and something messed up just let me know via email and I’ll make sure you get it. 

Haha, don't mind me. That's just me being stupid. I got the deluxe version anyway ;)  No coke for today though lol

Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself while playing your games (I just finished playing Neighbor). And I'm really interested in your future projects. BTW, the game AF+ER, is it still a gb game?

All the best.

I really appreciate the support! Truly means a lot! Especially since I’m just one guy doing this for the love of the hobby, gives me energy to keep going :)

And yes, AF+ER is going to be a game boy game as well. It’s going to be an open world-ish game so it’s taking a bit to create everything but hoping to have it out soon. 

NP. I totally understand. I use to develop games too. Unlike you, I can't draw well, even by using computers. So I needed someone to do the artwork. Even so, it is still quite uneasy. Hope you can continue your hobby and keep surprising us with your wonderful work.

An open world-ish horror game sounds really appealing. Will definitely support you! 

you have no idea how much the support means! Thank you! And can’t wait to share the new game, working as fast as I can to have something out soon :)

This was really great. Compelling story. Great music + visuals.  Loved it.

Thank you so much for playing! Checking out your video now :)

Small bug: If you re-enter the bathroom after the devil disappeared there, he will reappear and just stand around there.

thanks for catching that! Will fix!

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Keep up the great work!


Thank you! 🙏

You should make a discord server for your fanbase to keep on touch and to announce more games! This was extremely well done!

if there was an interest I certainly would. Being a solo hobbyist making games after work late at night it’s super hard to juggle everything at times haha

You should when you get the chance man! Unless someone creates a server for you, who knows 

i love your game... 

I just finished it and soon the series will be uploaded on my youtube channel

Thanks for playing! Will def check it out 🙏

Amazing story!

thank you 🙏

Which development tool was used to design this game?

GB Studio

Just got to know about that tool now. Thanks for your response.

it’s a great program if you find the challenging limitations fun. A lot can be created out of the framework!

Thanks, man...ill surely check it out.

Is no one going to point out that the animation for opening a door and walking up the steps are almost like the animation in Resident Evil the first one for ps 2.!?!?!?!?


Yes, I noticed

I can't get past the monster that seems to be guarding the breaker, I am playing on mobile gba in browser emu, but spamming be does not work, I have the lighter so far(whatever that does)

you need the camera. Hint: the breaker is near the kitchen. Let me know if that helps 


WOW!! Outstanding!

Are you using the child actors method for the larger sprites?
How did you make the cutscenes of the doors opening? Is that separate actors working with each other?
So good, really am impressed.

Hey there, yeah child actors stacked for larger sprites. The doors are nine actors in sync going frame by frame. Glad you dug the game!

This was so cool! Love the retro vibe!

Thank you so much for playing! Glad you enjoyed the game!!

Show post...

im stuck idk what to do after the monster

Which monster are you stuck at? You need the camera in order to help ;)

Show post...

im stuck at when you press B and as im SPAMMING B it doesnt work

that’s strange. Are you on a computer or playing it as a rom on a console? The B button is X on a browser

Show post...

ooooooooooooh yes i was playing on a computer that explains it. ok thanks bro 👍

no prob happy to help!

I loves this! I’m a big fan of the horror adventure style of gameplay, and Bitterroot does a great job of creating atmosphere in a GameBoy environment, which isn’t so easy to do. More creepy than dangerous, Bitterroot tells an interesting, scary story through finding newspaper clippings and its bizarre imagery. It’s soundtrack is simple yet effective. The only trouble I had was that there were times I had trouble navigating the environment during the 3D- like spaces. At times I wasn’t sure if I was going in or out, up or down. But that’s more me than the game. I’d recommend all horror fans to give this one a go. 


Thank you so much for the kind words!! I’m glad you enjoyed the game, checking out your play through video now :)

Made a video


Awesome! Can’t wait to check it out! Thanks guys!!

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