Grand Theft Auto Advance

Grand Theft Auto Advance featured image

GTA arrives for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance with Grand Theft Auto Advance. The game is officially titled simply Grand Theft Auto and also known as GTA Advance, in order to identify it as being developed and released only for the GBA.

GTA Advance is played from a top-down perspective similar to Grand Theft Auto 1, but with additional features first introduced in Grand Theft Auto III, such as vehicle-based side missions (Vigilante side missions), heads-up displays, and sets, and similar weapons introduced from GTA III.

Plot and location

Intended during development to be a direct port of Grand Theft Auto III to the Game Boy Advance, GTA Advance is set in the series' 3D universe timeline. Instead, it would serve as a prequel of Grand Theft Auto III, which took place a year earlier.

As the prequel to GTA III, the game features both new and returning characters. The protagonist is an original character named Mike who, in his quest to clear the suspicion of his partner Vinnie's death, meets several high-profile criminals who offer to help him.

These allies in the criminal underworld include 8-Ball, a demolitions expert and arms dealer, King Courtney, leader of the Yardies, and Asuka Kasen, co-leader of the Yakuza. Characters that previously appeared in GTA III are modified to reflect the events in GTA Advance occur one year prior.

The game is set in Liberty City, but while landmarks from the original game return and the general street layout remains the same, some areas received updates. Certain hills and tunnels in the Portland areas were not included in the world map, but the land area itself is considerably larger than in GTA III.


The controls for GTA III, as well as the general gameplay, were carried over to GTA Advance. Vinnie, 8-Ball, and Jonnie are the primary mission providers. Later on, other NPCS in Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale will also provide missions.

There is also a Street Race game set in the various locations in Liberty City.

Visuals and other features

Due to the technical limitations of the Nintendo GBA, GTA Advance lacks some features established in GTA III. These include voice actors, animated cut scenes, pedestrian dialogue, and radio channels. However, there are certain sound bites and snippets that carried over from GTA III, including the police radio chatter indicating the player's location and vehicle.

Pedestrians also lack any audible dialogue and cut scenes only use text to convey the character interactions.

Release Date

Oct 26, 2004


Play Time

7 hours


Mature 17+: Blood, Sexual Themes, Violence

Interesting Facts

  • GTA Advance is the only Grand Theft Auto game that was not developed by a Rockstar Games studio, although Rockstar Games was still the publisher.
  • It is also the only GTA III era (aka 3D Universe era) game that did not have a Sony PS2 port.
  • Aside from GTA: London 1961, Grand Theft Auto Advance is the only GTA game that is exclusively on one platform, made primarily for a portable system, and only for a Nintendo platform.
  • The game is played from a top-down perspective, similar to the style used in Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2.
  • GTA Advance is set in the 3D Universe timeline of the series.
  • The game is set in 2000, one year before the events of GTA III, and it is set in Liberty City.
  • The game’s protagonist is called Mike.

Mod Support


Cheats support


Game Engine

Eclipse Engine

Protagonist sex


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