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Genre(s)Action role-playing
Developer(s)Konami, Kojima Productions
Platform(s)Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
First releaseBoktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand
July 17, 2003
Latest releaseLunar Knights
November 22, 2006

Boktai[a] is a video game series created by Hideo Kojima and published by Konami. The series consists entirely of portable games for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, and is notable for its unique inclusion of a built-in solar sensor required for gameplay. The final game in the series made use of the solar sensor optional, and did not include one by default. The series revolves around vampire hunters who must use sunlight-based weaponry to combat evil undead creatures. Critics praised the games' unconventional design, although the requirement to play the game outdoors, in order to bring the most color out of the screen of the Game Boy Advance, ensured that it had only a niche audience, with the third game in the series not receiving a release outside of Japan.[1]


Release timeline
2003Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand
2004Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django
2005Boktai 3: Sabata's Counterattack
2006Lunar Knights

Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand[edit]

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django[edit]

Boktai 3: Sabata's Counterattack[edit]

Boktai 3: Sabata's Counterattack[b] was released on July 28, 2005, in Japan with a retail price of ¥4980. In it, Django is able to use both a gun and sword, and action elements were increased, with a corresponding decrease in the amount of puzzles. The game has motorcycle-riding sections in which the player avoids obstacles and defeats enemies. Motorcycles can be customized and raced against other players via Game Link Cable.[2]

The game was never officially released in the West, but received a complete dialog fan translation in 2007, enabling it to be completed in English.[3]

Lunar Knights[edit]


Jeremy Parish of USgamer called Boktai similar to a mash-up of Metal Gear and Castlevania, although remarking that there was more to it than this, as the games also drew heavily on spaghetti westerns. He called the requirement to charge the player's gun using actual sunlight "baroque and complex", and an "extreme solution", but "perfectly fitting coming from Hideo Kojima, a man known for his love of manipulating audiences and breaking the fourth wall". Citing how he found memorable real-life places to play Boktai, he stated that "the lengths to which I went to complete Boktai made it one of the most memorable gaming experiences I've ever enjoyed".[1]

Lean-Karlo Lemus of Ars Technica called the Boktai series "ultimately a victim of Konami's fickle nature", citing their decision not to release Boktai 3 outside of Japan. He also stated his wish for other games to use similar techniques, saying that while "the Switch Joy-Con and its powerful built-in infrared sensor puts Boktai's UV sensor to shame [...] outside of Nintendo Labo, precious few titles have used it in any meaningful capacity".[4]


  1. ^ Known in Japan as Bokura no Taiyō (Japanese: ボクらの太陽, Hepburn: lit. Our Sun)
  2. ^ Known in Japan as Shin Bokura no Taiyō: Gyakushū no Sabata


  1. ^ a b Parish, Jeremy (2013-08-16). "Making Bad Hardware Design Fun: Remembering Boktai". USgamer. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  2. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2005-04-21). "Boktai 3 Dated in Japan". IGN. Retrieved 2023-02-19.
  3. ^ "Shin Bokura no Taiyou: Gyakushuu no Sabata". Retrieved 2023-02-19.
  4. ^ Staff, Ars (2020-03-27). "Kojima's GBA experiment—and the sunny island childhood it changed forever". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-01-01.