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What’s on this $10 Handheld? Two: My Arcade Go Gamer Edition

Johnny Unusual


89. Colliding
Feeling like an album cover. "Colliding" by Start


Son of The Answer Man
Feeling like an album cover. "Colliding" by Start
...now I kinda want to go back and see which other title screens could be part of Start's no-doubt-extensive catalogue.


91. Eggs
The bootleg wiki refers to this as “Nice Code's most infamous title,” which feels like a high bar to clear. On the surface it’s another Kaboom clone: You need to get the robot to catch the eggs the bird drops. The robot’s catching area has a very small hitbox; but there’s no lose condition, so whatever. The weird part is that each time an egg is caught, a picture of what was inside the egg is shown, and the pictures are really weird: The very first thing I got was an elephant, but the bootleg wiki notes such choice contents as House, Camera, Bleb and Saturn (labeled as “Earth”).
Apparently there’s also a version of this game starring Pikachu wearing a Santa outfit. And to top it off, the game's music is stolen from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.


92. Assault Force
Another clone of Vigilant; we saw this as #50 Poleaxe. The triple-shot is the only power-up, and you need to collect “gas” to get through each stage before the meter runs out.


93. Teleport
Originally called Gate, you maneuver your character (a glowing dot) around the maze through the teleportals, collecting the prizes and avoiding the dangers. The particular color scheme and odd artwork makes it hard to tell what’s going on—your glowing dot doesn’t readily distinguish itself from any of the obstacles or prizes. The original apparently had hearts to collect, which seems easier.

This was also released as Bean Kids, Convection, Teleport, and Trans-Mission.

(That last one reminded me of the joke, "Do robots have brothers? No, they have trans-sisters.")


94. Deerstalking
This is a first-person shooter where you rotate in a circle looking for deer in the woods and then shoot them. I’m very much reminded of the “3D” tank/turret battle games, like Frontal Fire (#26), that were based on Battlezone; it’s functionally the same game except the deer run away rather than shooting back. Apparently there’s a lightgun version of this as well, which makes sense as ports go.


95. Tennis
It’s a tennis game with a first-person view and an invisible racquet and arms; very similar to Ping Pong and the games on the Family Sport that we suspected it was related to. Amusingly, it’s got fairly intelligible voiced calls!


Son of The Answer Man

96. Twin Cards
This is a pretty straightforward flip and match memory game, with no penalties or lose conditions as far as I can tell.

This was also released as Ilk Cards and Two Cards (VT02). Apparently different versions include such additions as Pikachu (or a plane) flying at the bottom of the screen; and Waixing's VT03 release uses a rendition of the Peter Gunn theme. (Do I recognize the Peter Gunn theme? No. The last time I heard it was playing it in marching band ~20 years ago.)


97. Twin Fish
It’s another memory game, but it’s really unclear what you’re supposed to do, because flipping a matching card doesn’t award points or stay flipped. The fish at the bottom seems to matter somehow? So you just try to flip them all and eventually something changes? This was called Piranhas, Mask, Twin Boar, and Twin Copters. I can only assume the latter versions had you matching masks, boars and copters.


98. Aether Mission
This is based on Nice Code’s port of Atari’s Planet Smashers and was also released as Impossible Mission. I collected a bunch of power-up-looking things with different letters on them, but none actually seemed to do anything. I’m wondering if the bar at the bottom was intended to be the “earth shield” from the original game, which depletes as enemies get through. I don’t think it was properly implemented here, though.


99. Pillar
Stack up the pieces on the side to make six full 10-height pillars. Another game that would really prefer a mouse. I think this is “Build Pillar” from Nice Code’s Brain Games compilation pack.




100. Magic Jony
And then, a special prize for making it to game #100: A story opening sequence!

This game was previously seen as #9 Enchanter. I noticed in this version that it’s very easy to get Jony “stuck” on a ladder where an enemy will just ram into him; and that you can’t summon a plant too close to the edge of the screen despite the fact Jony and the monsters can walk there.

And with that, a few notes:
• I’m running out of steam for this project and we still have 200 games left to go, but I suspect the majority of them are going to be hacks of games we’ve seen before. So I’m probably going to try to change up my format and condense this down a bit more.

• The Family Sport handheld went through three sets of batteries over the course of my logging it. I’m 100 games in on this one and I’m still on the original batteries I put in. I’m not sure if it’s the system drawing more power or I just got a crappy bag of batteries the first time, but I thought that was an interesting note.

• When I’ve finished this project, I plan to give away both My Arcade Go Gamer handhelds, because I currently own 16 emulator devices and I really need to address that. If anyone has a good argument why they should be the lucky recipient of a gently-used Family Sport 220-in-1 or a My Arcade Go Gamer Retro (with box!), I want to hear it.


Summon for hire
97. Twin Fish
It’s another memory game, but it’s really unclear what you’re supposed to do, because flipping a matching card doesn’t award points or stay flipped. The fish at the bottom seems to matter somehow? So you just try to flip them all and eventually something changes?
A lot of the fish seem to have slightly different facial expressions. Is it possible that instead of finding pairs, you’re just supposed to find one that matches the fish at the bottom?


Son of The Answer Man
All right, we’re going into high-speed mode, because I’m burning out on this project but leaving it unfinished causes me angst.

101. Seething

A top-down racing game. Also called Extreme Racing and Speed Crisis.

102. Aether Cruiser

A hack of Nice Code’s port of Atari’s Solaris. Also hacked to create Galaxy War and Through Lonely.

103. Aim Cruise

Shoot the spaceships in an open playfield. There is a variant under the name Aether Coptor. Aim Cruise seems to be partially derived from Activision's Seaquest for the Atari 2600; but it’s heavily altered, with only the player/enemy movements and the scoring system being retained.

104. Animal Blocks

A Mahjong matching game with simpler characters that we saw as Symbol Puzzle (#63).

105. Animal Contest

Two animals are hidden behind a curtain; the player bets on which one weighs the most.

106. Balloon Shoot

Exactly what it sounds like: You shoot balloons before they reach the top of the screen.

107. Brother Ball

A variant of Team Star (#64) on you control three balls, which must rescue other balls and collect items along the way.

108. Bug Catcher

You need to collect worms that match the color of your character. This was also released as Blob Man and Experiment.

109. Busy Bar

Serve the bar customers the drink they request, Tapper-style.

110. Candy Workshop

A clone of Activision's Pressure Cooker for Atari 2600, which was also released as Hamburger.


Son of The Answer Man
Oh, the Nice Code names continue to be wonderful.

111. Climbing

Another skin of High Tower and Tower (#65); you need to climb the tower.

112. Contest

The Atari game Saboteur had two level variations, and Nice Code split them into two different sets of games. This is based on Level 2, which was edited to be easier and then hacked to create Butterfly, Contest 2004, Masked Man II, Spider-Man 2, and Unwonted Space.

113. Devil Palace

Originally Cub Adventure, you have to collect all the objects in the level while avoiding enemies. Also hacked into Grot Kid and Polar Cub.

114. Crystal Blast

You control a plane who must destroy crystals from above. There’s also a variant called Gem Game.

115. Danger Bridge

We saw this as Homing Chicken (#33), which had better graphics and also penguins.

116. Dejectile

So, Nice Code made an original Bomberman game, somewhat based on Bomberman '93. As in the original games, the player must bomb all enemies on the playfield before escaping through a door. That game was heavily cut down to create Bomber Man 2002, which in turn was hacked into Bomb Kid, Bomb Time, Bomb Time 2004, Dejectil), Dejectile, Detonation, two versions called Parkinof, Undersea, and Undersea 2004.

117. Difference

The compare-the-pictures game we saw as Distinction (#22).

118. Egg Contest

A chicken is laying eggs onto a conveyor belt, and a rat must catch them. The direction the conveyor belt goes can be changed via a switch. Some graphics are used from Alfred Chicken. Hacked to make Bear vs Thief.

119. Escapeway

The player controls three Nature Clans, whose goal is to go through levels and jump over its obstacles such as bombs. Also released as Rushing Brothers.

120. Fairy's Treasure

A Gold Miner game. The fairy must collect a specific amount of money or above within a time limit.


Summon for hire
Dejectile is a spectacular name, and Danger Bridge is pretty good. On other games the alternate versions are better... Unwonted Space and Grot Kid in particular.


Son of The Answer Man
121. Fated Pirate

Fated Pirate - A (very) cut-down version of Age of Sail. It is a strategy-based game where you must shoot your missiles at other ships before they land on the grid space where your ship is located. Also called Corsair.

122. Final Blood

This is a Battlezone hack. Several games clearly based on Nice Code NES/VT releases were produced by Shenzhen Niutai Technology on Sunplus SPG hardware; it is unclear if these ports were actually licensed by Nice Code or not.

123. Fruit Pig

Move the pig to catch the right amount of falling fruit. This is another “unconfirmed” Nice Code game.

124. Fling Ball

A variant of Puppet Show (#53) where you try to get the ball past the robot.

125. Fruit Gift

A fruit-based variation of Patternmaker (#49).

126. Ghost Castle

Level 1 of Saboteur was hacked to create this, also known as Clown's Mission, Danger Mansion, and Hell.

127. Gin Rummy

Another card game I don’t actually know the rules for, though I was once forced to fake it on stage as a bit of background business.

128. Go Fish

The AI provides three players to play against, correctly understanding that one-on-one Go Fish is terrible.

129. Golden Bird

A game similar to the final level of Donkey Kong, without a jumping ability; you must climb up ladders and rescue birds from cages while avoiding enemies.

130. Hammer and Nail

We saw this as Irrigate (#35); this premise makes a lot more sense.


Son of The Answer Man
131. Hang Man

The classic elementary school time-waster: Guess the right letters before the hanging man is fully assembled.

132. Happy Match

A six-card matching game also released as Match Cards. This is another game that appears to designed for the Techno Source "Elmo's World" plug & play, with a character that looks like a reskinned Elmo.

133. Highcard

As far as I can tell, this is the purely-random game I learned as “War”, a game of getting your children to waste time with a deck of cards, because it’s very hard to win (or lose) and there’s no strategy.

134. Ice Ocean

Another variation of Invincible Girl (#34).

135. Island

The Nature Clan character must kick eggs off the island. Also released as Kicking Now. I know which title is more appealing to me!

136. Jump Jump

Jump on the logs falling down the waterfall until you reach the top.

137. Lattice Winner

A variant of the dots-and-boxes game Fruit Boxes (#27).

138. Lightning

A Street Racer clone variant, just like Deformable (#21).

139. Little Witch

Clone of Activision's Chopper Command for the Atari 2600. The player controls a witch on a flying broom and must shoot oncoming enemies. The game is set up like a side-scrolling shooter, but you are stuck on a single screen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chopper_Command

140. Magic Egg

Destroy the evil creatures while letting the innocent stars pass through a funnel. Also called Hitting. (“Hitting”, like you need a $10 video game system to play that in the back of the car. Don’t these people have siblings?)


Son of The Answer Man
141. Meccano

Place the shapes where they fit on the grid to form a picture.

142. Table Tennis

Though this shares the same name as #24, it is a radically different game: A Pong clone with barely anything to it.

143. Mirror Devil

A clone of Kickle Cubicle for the NES (starring the Nice Code Nature Clan balls) that was also released as Cursed Pond.

144. Forest Kid

A platformer (which is unusual for Nice Code, as you might have noticed) where you play as a jungle boy that has to swing on ropes and jump on platforms to finish the level. There are captured gorillas you can save for bonus points, and hunters with guns you have to avoid. (Oddly, you have three hearts, but one hit from anything seems to kill you.) Also known as Kong King.

145. Mowing

A lawn mower must fully mow every inch of the lawn. This uses graphics from Wacky Races. I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll see it again; it was also released as Agile Mice, Gem, and Lawn Mower.

146. Nut Cracky

A hack of Nice Code’s port of the Atari game Food Fight.

147. Pindable

Properly known as Pindable Crystal Ball; we saw this as Worm Dream (#69).

148. Pizza Boy

We saw this as Merry Christmas (#43); in this version you’re delivering pizzas.

149. Warrior Lemon

Nice Code ported the Intellivision game Night Stalker, and then hacked it to create Battlefield, Doom, Devildom Doom, Hobbs Voyage, Warrior, and this game, Warrior Lemon.

150. Police vs Thief

We saw this as Monster Chaser (#45). This is the original Police vs Thief - Violent Chasing.


Lapsed Threadcromancer
Want to share this neat video where someone got PS games and such running on a $10 calculator


Son of The Answer Man
I though that video was just going to be "Oh, look at this thing we can run Doom on", not "I turned this $10 calculator into a better emulator than half of the ones available on AliExpress." Goddamn.

151. Masked Man

Originally designed as Spider-Man, we saw this as Warrior (#68).

152. Pulveration

This was originally released by Inventor as Alienis. It’s an advanced hack of Battle City, with scrolling levels. It was also released as Bugs, Ice Age, Monster War, Pulver, and Pulverize.

153. Badminton

As opposed to the other Table Tennis game, this is very clearly a clone of Table Tennis (#24).

154. Road Worker

The original variant of Repair Urgently (#54).

155. Seamaid

Also written as Sea-Maid, in this game you dive for gems under the ocean but need to take breaks to grab air from above the surface. According to the Bootleg Wiki, this uses music from Shoukoushi Cedie. Some versions of the game have small one-sceen levels and some feature larger, scrolling levels. The variations were titled Frog, Jewel Dive, and Sea Man.

156. Video Poker

Another of the Nice Code card games. This is a very simple “poker” variant in that there aren’t other players, just set payouts for each hand you can get in a game of five card hold ‘em.

157. Sea Wolf

This is a first-person shooter where you use the radar to detect enemy ships and shoot at them. It was also called Warfront. Sea Wolf shares some similarities with the (Tele-Games) Atari 2600 game Submarine Commander, including what seem to be imitation sound effects based on said game. This may suggest that it is based on a scrapped Atari-licensed title.

158. Solitaire

Klondike solitaire, like we all played too much of on Windows 95. You’ll wish the pointer was a mouse.

159. Dice

Match your die with the die in the middle of the playfield by rotating it correctly. Also called Dice Legend, Play Dice, and Snaffle. The Play Dice variation features Hwang Shinwei music.

160. Spring World

Another Nature Clan original; we saw this as Swing (#62).


Son of The Answer Man
161. Submarine

The submarine-based game we saw as Prey (#52).

162. Toad in the Hole

This is a whack-a-mole game with nine holes, controlled with a virtual hammer, which is clearly based on hit-mouse because you hit mice (or many they're moles?) instead of toads. Also released as BugBear, Hit-Mouse, Plush Dog, and Papa Zuma.

163. Toy Factory

This is a game where you must line up colored pots correctly so that the item falling from above lands in the pot that it matches. Also known as Fruit Tree.

164. Utmost Warfare

A well-named top-down space shooter, with a slight 3D perspective. There’s a variant called Interstellar.

165. Vigilant

We saw this shooter as Poleaxe (#50) and as Assault Force (#92).

166. War Zone

The player can choose to either attack or defend, while the computer will play the other side. When attacking, you send out soldiers to attack a base from a plane (though I’ll admit I’m not entirely clear how to do that); when defending, you shoot at the soldiers from tanks.

167. Water Pipe

A clone of Pipe Mania that was also called Pipe Link and Road Mould.

168. Wild Worm

A gobbler game that we haven’t seen before, where you play as a worm that goes around the level eating food and avoiding larger creatures.

169. Wonder Ball

There are two “cheerleader” monsters of different colors; when their ball gets into a correctly-colored hole you need to press A or B to have them cheer to get points. Also called Monster Ball; and oddly both names are accurate.

170. Enchanter 2

The actual title screen just calls this “Enchanter.” This is another variant of Polar Bat (where you shoot up at bats while trying to avoid icicles and spiders); we also saw one as Ghost Palace (#77).


Son of The Answer Man
171. Aquarium

The player controls a fish and must only eat the safe food thrown into the fish tank, while avoiding dangerous food and rocks. The seems to be another of the Elmo’s World reskinned games.

172. Arena

Original released as The Farmer, where you had to collect specific colors of sheep. This reskins it as a battle against a never-ending horde. There are also variants called Fisher and Trojan.

173. Assart

The “step on each space once” game we saw hacked into Crystal (#72).

174. Burbles

Another variant of the Astrosmash-like Bubble we saw as Falling (#75).

175. Burrow Explorer

Navigate through a dark maze, which is only partially visible from the character's helmet light. Also called Angler Fish, Burrow, and Labyrinth.

176. Cannonade

Another hack of Astrosmash, which we previously saw as Earth Fighter (#74).

177. Close Quarters

And a hack of Space Battle, which we saw as Harbor (#81).

178. Coast Guard

Nice Code did a port of Atari’s Air Sea Battle, and then turned Game B into this and Pounce.

179. Cub Adventure

The original collect-a-thon game we saw as Devil Palace (#113).

180. Hallihoo

And another “go through the maze and collect things” game we saw as Balloon Labyrinth (#14).


174. Burbles

Another variant of the Astrosmash-like Bubble we saw as Falling (#75).

I'm going to assume it's a mistranslation of the Thundercats' Ro-Bear Berbils, the cutest deadly robot koalas known to Third Earth.


Son of The Answer Man
It's a crime that the Ro-Bear Berbils never got a video game.

181. Tactful

You need to place landmines (which you can only drop behind you, and only one at a time) in front of enemy soldiers so they step on them and explode. It’s a single-screen game that runs on the same engine as Cub Adventure; and it was also released as Jungly Guy.

182. Devildom Doom

A different hack of Night Stalker, the game we saw as Warrior Lemon (#149).

183. Trojan

Another variation of The Farmer, which we saw as Arena (#172).

184. IQ Champion

Another hack of Buzz Bombers, which we saw as Man in Red (#42).

185. Frantic Mouse

The original of the cloud-jumping game we saw as Penguin (#88).

186. Freecell

Another card game you probably only know about because it was standard with Windows.

187. Fruitdish

Fruit slowly drops from the top pipe to the bottom, and you need to press A to change which fruit it is. If you change it to the fruit pictured on the bottom pipe, you get points. There’s a variant called Falling Fruit.

188. Gate

We saw this maze game as Teleport (#93).

189. Goal Keeper

A rudimentary soccer game where you play as the goalie and have to block the ball when the CPU shoots it, which is very hard to do because the goal is wide and you have no clue where the ball will rocket to when the timer runs out. According to the bootleg wiki, two versions with different music exist (this one has exceptionally repetitive music!), as well as one with no music at all.

190. Fishing

A particular complicated fishing game, with multiple modes (Freedom and King Fish) and areas, including a day/night option.


Son of The Answer Man
And then, buried in the middle, we really need a few more pictures.


191. Strong PJCC
This is a block-pushing puzzle game that I think (especially given the title screen) is supposed to be “Strong Pill” or “Strong Pull” and whoever made the menu got confused by the font. But I can’t find any mention of it on the bootleg wiki and it doesn’t seem close enough to any of the other Nice Code block-pushing games to be a clone.


192. Primitive Man


193. Primitive Woman
Primitive Man and Primitive Woman are hacks of Dragon Co.'s Tom and Jerry 3. Primitive Man separates Jerry's levels from Tom's, while Primitive Woman does the opposite. There is a glitch in Primitive Woman where after getting a game over, the game switches to Primitive Man. Both games received Nanjing cartridge releases as "Primitive" and "Primitive II" respectively.

194. Extreme Rally
A two-car racing game at a side angle, where there are two tracks but both cars appear on each (which is confusing!). This was also called Highway Rider and Racing Rivalry.

195. Frontline Gallop
This is a scrolling, top-down war game. You control a tank armed with soldiers (and every time you die, you have to wait while new ones climb into your tank), and must shoot enemy tanks and bases while also strategically releasing your soldiers so they can attack. (It’s another of the games where a manual would have been really helpful.)

196. Highway Rider
Remember Extreme Rally (#194)? This is it again, only each car only appears on its own track.

197. River Jump
In the original version of this, Elmo must cross the river when the shape he is standing on flows down the stream. The version on this replaces Elmo with a generic grass-skirt-wearing hula-dude.

198. Frantic Fishing

A fishing game we haven’t seen before, but it’s just as unclear as any of the others. I figured out how to change lures but not how to actually cast.

199. Speed Challenge
A top-down, 4-car racing game, vaguely similar to Micro Machines for the NES.

200. Runner Car
While this isn’t on the list as either Pobble or Lightning hack, I strongly suspect that’s what it is. It’s a top-down car racing/runner game where you dodge obstacles until you explode or run out of fuel.

And that’s 200 down! I might finish this yet.


Summon for hire
FWIW I also parsed that first title screen as STRONG PILL. I think maybe they’re going for a Dr. Mario-like skin on a block pusher?


Son of The Answer Man

201. Wonder Rabbit

So, this is a much more complicated platformer than most of what we’ve seen, and I felt that this fun mess also needed pictures. You can switch between five different-color dragon/rabbit things, each with their own power. And boy, is there a story here.

This was originally created as Pikachu, also referred to as "Pikachu5", and was built as a Pokémon-themed platforming-adventure game. The player controls five characters, each of which have different abilities: Pikachu can shoot, Nuzleaf can climb, Combusken can fly, Marshtomp can swim, and Hariyama can punch. The player must use a combination of said abilities in attempt to find a key hidden in the stage. The key lets you open a locked door to reach the stage’s boss. The original game used music from Devil World, and graphics stolen from Super Mario Bros. 2 and Bubble Bobble 2.

It's unconfirmed but theorized that the original Pikachu5 was based on an unreleased (and possibly unfinished) Dragon Co. production of some other game, but the “original” has never been found. The original Nice Code Pikachu variant itself was missing for years until it apparently resurfaced on an 1280-in-1 plug & play.

Other variants of the game include Diveman, Five Kids, Gardman, Monster Brother, and Teamboys. The original game had four levels, but apparently only Gardman contains all four and the other variants cut it down to two.

202. Rural Goblin
A whack-a-Mole game with twelve holes, controlled by moving with the D-pad pressing the A button. This was also called Knock Time and Slap Goblin. (The “moles” look vaguely goblin-ish?)

203. Masked Man2
Originally released as Spider-Man 2, this is the “level 2” variation of the Saboteur Atari port I mentioned some ways back.

204. Lunarian
A hack of the shooter game Gallagant (#28)

205. Panzer Attack
A hack of Polar Bat, which we originally saw as Ghost Palace (#77). (In this version, your tank only moves side to side and there aren’t any obstacles that roll and require you to jump over them.)

206. Pobble
The original of the racing game we first saw as Speed Man (#60); it’s a plane instead of a race car.

207. Polar Bat
And hey, the original Polar Bat! I believe it’s currently in the lead with 4 different versions.

208. Season Garden
The nine-hole whack-a-mole game we saw hacked into Knock It (#40).

209. The Archer
The shooting game we first saw as Hunter Alone (#81). This series of games is extremely similar to the Polar Bat series.

210. Undersea Arena
Originally published as Bug's War, this is a one-sided game of Battleship, in that you don’t have your own board and are just attacking the computer’s ships blindly.


Fearful asymmetry
I can't wait for Beowulf's sequel, "What's on this three hundred dollar handheld? Nothing, unless you've purchased a five hundred dollar Playstation 5 first."