The Game Genie is a video game cheat device that is added to most video game consoles. The game can cheat an entire cartridge, but if the game uses more than one Game Genie add-on device, it uses the one with the lowest amount of add-on ports. If the Game Genie is removed, the game will revert back to its intended state. Game Genie cheat programs function by modifying game data, allowing the player to do things intended on the game's creators to be impossible. Game Genie cheat codes are prevalent in the video game industry, as developers are sometimes able to improve the gameplay by allowing the player to manipulate or bypass flaws, and other developers often allow players to obtain more resources or weapons, even allowing them to progress faster or avoid certain obstacles. There are varying degrees of cheating that vary depending on the game's challenge, ranging from simple to almost unplayable. There is a limit of up to six codes on a cartridge, however this is not always enforced. Different versions are available for various devices such as NES, Super NES, Game Boy, Genesis and Game Gear which allow more or less codes to be entered and can also differ in appearance. The cheat software is usually supplied in a game's instruction booklet and sometimes in a game's case, and the player buys an additional add-on device for on-screen use.
The first console to be released with a game-hacking device was the Robopoint 2000; it was able to bend the cartridge sides and in some cases was able to reverse-engineer the game. However, it had no access to any of the graphics or sound data which meant that the cheat codes had no effect on the game. The console was released to handle emulation of earlier Nintendo Game Paks that would otherwise not be compatible because of a redesign in the cartridge edges. Such cartridges are not compatible with newer versions of the Game Genie. The Game Genie was released to address this issue by being able to read the ROMs and alter the data contained there. For example, while the standard cartridge requires a cartridge edge which is not present nor likely to be on a system without replaceable faceplates, the Game Genie alter the data to make it look like the cartridge is a replacement faceplate and allows games to be played on systems without this feature. d2c66b5586