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What the heck is on this $10 Retro Game handheld? Let’s find out!

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
62. DEFLOWER
63. BINARY LAND
64. BIRD WEEK
65. BITHA
66. BLACK WHITE CHESS




67. BLOCK PUZZLE

A Tetris clone, though according to the bootleg wiki, it’s actually a hack of BugTris, which is in turn an unlicensed Tetris clone published by South Korean publisher Game Line.

68. BRUSH ROLLER
69. BOMB SWEEPER
70. BOUNCE
71. BOX WORLD
72. BUBBLE




73. HEXAPOD NEW

This appears to be one of Nice Code’s variants on their Buzz Bombers port, which we saw as Fighter (#483). I think your character there is supposed to be a can of bug spray, that you're shooting up at the insects that creep down, Millipede-style.

74. BUG S WAR
75. BURBLES
76. BURROW EXPLORER
77. CHAKN POP
78. CUB ADVENTURE
79. DORA BROS
80. CITY CONNECTION
81. PAC PACLAND
82. CLOSE QUARTERS
83. RUMBLE AND FRENZY
84. GALAGA PLUS
85. VIGILANT
86. NINJA KUN




87. CRISIS

Another variant of the Nice Code Galaga clone we first saw way back as Fire Base (#10), then again as Defensive (#439). None of that scenery impacts the game in any way--the enemy cars and your tank can move and shoot through all of it.



88. CRYPTCAR

I wasn’t sure if this had come up before, but it was #420, an Inventor hack of Dig Dug.



89. CRYSTAL BALL

This one is also just a renaming of a Nice Code title we’ve seen before: Pindable (#424).
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
Cryptcar should be the genre name for games where you take a vehicle underground imho
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
90. CORRIDOR
91. CUTE FISH
92. DEFENDER
93. SLACK MAN
94. DANGER BRIDGE
95. DEPTH BOMB
96. DEVILDOM DOOM




97. JOUST

Here’s our best one in a while: Joust! I had this on the Atari 2600 growing up, and I remember it being a particular favorite. (It’s actually one of my few favorite Atari games that you can sometimes find on Atari collections—the Atari Vault and Flashback stuff never has games like Superman, Ghostbusters, Pac-Man, Mario Bros., California Games, or Rampage). This is a lot faster-moving than I remember that one being; there’s also more screen real estate relative to the sprite sizes.

Also of note: The touchgameplayer.com title screen hacks are appearing on this device, too. They must be all pulling from a common pile of roms that gets passed around in the bootleg handheld circuit. I wonder why nobody spends 20 minutes online pulling new ones?

98. DEVIL WORLD
99. DADA
100. DIG DUG


And that’s only 11 new games as we zoom past #100. Inauspicious!



101. SMALL DINOSAUR

We saw this Nice Code Kaboom clone as #380, but I wanted to stop and note that it wasn’t Super Mario 16.



102. DISCUS PUT

Another Olympic game clearly pulling from the same source as Archery (#GP56). I have to guess from the character design that it’s also where Long Jump (#342) and others came from. I wonder if there's a hacked-together version of Track & Field and Caveman Games that I just haven't found references for yet?
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
103. BURGER TIME
104. DOOR DOOR




105. CKAAAN18

This bizarrely-named game seems to just be another copy of Antiquarium (#GP52).

106. DUNE WAR
107. DOUGH BOY
108. MAHJONG
109. MAKING LOVE
110. UFO RACE
111. EXERION
112. METRO MENIA
113. MALUEX
114. FIELD COMBAT
115. NAITOU9 DAN SHOUGI




116. FIRE BASE

Shout out to the very first Nice Code game we saw on the other machine (#10). I think it runs slightly faster here.

117. FIRST DEFENDER



118. THE NEW QUEST

We saw this before, but I wanted to note that it’s the “Spiffy Version”. It doesn’t seem different to me, though. Interesting that this particular SMB hack got picked up for both collections.

Kinda boring set today, but tomorrow's batch looks a lot more interesting.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
119. FISH WAR
120. FIVE DAYS
121. FORMATION Z
122. FRANTIC MOUSE
123. OPTIMUS MINOR
124. SOLDIER
125. GALAGA
126. GALAXIAN
127. GRADIRS




128. GARDEN WAR


One of the standard Nice Code shooters (seen as Fire Base #10, discussed as Defensive #439), but with the hilarious new skin that you’re a tank shooting down insects to protect the flowers.



129. GATE

This appears to be another skin of Nice Code’s Convection (#106), but it’s archways instead of portals and hearts as the collectable.

130. SPELUNKER
131. GLOMMY CHESS




132. GOAL KEEPER

A soccer game I haven’t seen before! It’s pretty simple: You’re the goal keeper, and on each count of 3, you need to move and jump to block shots into the goal.

Down the rabbit hole, this was apparently made by Waixing as a hack of Hummer Team's Soccer of the World. This is apparently half of the game, as Waixing also made Penalty Kick; they separated the kicking and goalkeeping portions into two different games. Hummer Team was also a bootleg developer; they apparently specialized in NES ports of games from later systems.




133. GOBLET TOWER

A Tower of Hanoi puzzle game, involving stacking goblets and trying to move the stack to a different table. It has the feel of another of the Windows ports, where you’re moving a mouse pointer. Given the sensitivity of the D-pad on this device (especially relative to the small screen), that’s doesn’t make things easy. This apparently appeared on several multicarts and one page of the Bootleg wiki claims it’s by Nice Code, but it doesn’t bear their hallmarks and isn’t mentioned on their page.

134. GOLF
135. SPRING WORLD
136. SPY VS SPY




137. HALLIHOO

You’re an octopus? Jellyfish? Something like that. The purple thing. You need to collect all the bells while avoiding the blobs and spinners. The bootleg wiki claims it’s an owl; I’m guessing they were looking at a different version of the game because that’s definitely not an owl. This is a Nice Code game we haven’t seen before, and it was also called Balloon Labyrinth, Ghost Collector, and Magic Place.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Magic Place has a certain kind of simplistic charm, but it’s Ghost Collector that captured my imagination
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
One of the standard Nice Code shooters (seen as Fire Base #10, discussed as Defensive #439), but with the hilarious new skin that you’re a tank shooting down insects to protect the flowers.

Having dealt with Japanese Beetles before, I can sympathize with the premise.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


138. HEXAPOD WAR

This is a different version of Nice Code’s Fish War (#489), and a significantly graphically weaker one, at that. You’re a fish and need to eat smaller fish but avoid larger ones. (Also, that title screen really doesn’t seem to fit, does it?)

139. SQOON
140. SQUEE




141. HIT MOUSE

This is another version of Nice Code’s whack-a-mole game, which we first saw as BugBear (#185). The beepy version of “Darlin’ Clementine” used as the background music is particularly special.



142. HOODLE

This is Pinball, which was saw as #365 and we’ve also seen various hacks of. I’m not sure what the menu title was going for.



143. STACK UP

The title screen calls this Robot Block; I had never seen this before and that’s because it was one of the two R.O.B. games! I don’t think you can actually play it without R.O.B., though, so it’s useless on this handheld.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)


138. HEXAPOD WAR

This is a different version of Nice Code’s Fish War (#489), and a significantly graphically weaker one, at that. You’re a fish and need to eat smaller fish but avoid larger ones. (Also, that title screen really doesn’t seem to fit, does it?)
So you've got a title that basically says it's about fighting insects with a poorly drawn generic anime bug catcher on the title screen...and it's a game where you're a fish eating other fish.

Okay then...
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
144. HYPER OLYMPIC



145. HYPER SPORTS

The menu name indicates this is the sequel to Track & Field / Hyper Olympic, though this copy of it doesn’t seem to have the title screen. It opens with skeet shooting; apparently you can’t choose with event you want to play first. (I wonder actually if this is only the skeet shooting piece—I couldn’t figure out any way to get past it or to a different event.)



146. IKKI

We saw this as Ninja2 (#357). At least here it’s listed under the correct name.

147. STAR LUSTER



148. IQ CHAMPION

Whatever you were expecting, I bet it wasn’t anther Nice Code hack of their Buzz Bombers port. (First seen as Fighter, #483.) Your IQ Champion needs to shoot up at birds to turn them into hearts. The robot kid sprite looks familiar and I’m wondering if it was stolen from someplace.



149. JAVELIN

Here’s another of those pieces of Track & Field we keep finding periodically. I feel like these could really benefit from an onscreen tutorial—something as simple as “B to run, A to throw” would make getting into each minigame so much easier.

150. JEWELRY
151. LUNAR POOL
152. TINY TOON
153. SUBMARINE
154. KARATEKA
155. SPACE INVADERS




156. LEVIN ACTION

Clearly a hack of Defender with helicopters swapped in as the vehicles. This seems to be an Inventor hack that's appeared on other multicart devices.

Did I ever post that the Abernic Retro FC has a Bootleg wiki page? It's for the 168-in-1 version, which clearly has a different game selection from the one I had. I should probably break down and set up an account on that wiki at some point and put in all my findings.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


157. LINK

I think this is a port of a Windows version of Klondike Solitaire, complete with pointer.

158. LONG JUMP



159. LUNAR BALL

This appears to be a simple title screen hack of Lunar Pool (#343).



160. LUNARIAN

Yet another Fire Base (#10) variation from Nice Code! Interestingly, spinning hearts (seen in a number of their other games) are included in the enemies flying in from space.



161. LUNATION

Whereas this is a Nice Code racing game—specifically, one of the hacks of Awful Rushing (#315). I think there was an idea to add sci-fi elements to it or something to make it seem different? It doesn’t seem different.



162. MAD XMAS

Yet another Nice Code Kaboom clone (Care Bear #240). The elf there trying to catch the presents Evil Santa is dropping is probably holding a bowl or bag, but because it’s the same color as his clothes, he looks like he’s holding open his pants at the waistband to catch presents in.
 

WildcatJF

Red After Image
(he / his / him)
Lunar Ball is the Japanese name of Lunar Pool. I've seen it quite a few times as I've been amassing Famicom games.

 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Raging Sky Santa might be my favourite Nice Code sprite, even if “Mad Xmas” is well below the standard they’ve set for themselves for titles
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
I'm getting a strong sense of deja vu that I played a completely different old game also called "Lunarian", but I suppose it's a pretty easy name to come up with.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
163. MAGIC BUBBLE
164. TAG TEAM PRO WRESTL




165. MAN IN RED

Looks like another variation of Nice Code’s Buzz Bombers port, which we first saw as Fighter (#483). The Man in Red can only shoot upwards, but he at least has an animation for doing so.

166. MAPPY
167. MARIO BROS
168. MARS
169. THEXDER
170. THROUGH MAN
171. TOAD IN THE HOLE
172. MILLIPEDE
173. MINER1
174. MOTOBOAT
175. MOVE BOX
176. NIBBLES
177. NIGHT ARROW




178. WARPMAN

And then we have something we haven’t seen before! This is an arcade-style level-based game; in half the levels you’re in space and can shoot in four directions. In the other half you’re in corridors and can only drop bombs (that explode after a delay). In both cases, you need to defeat a certain number of enemies to clear the level and move on. It’s apparently an updated version of the arcade game Warp & Warp.

179. PUZZLE
180. NUTS MILK




181. TO TO


Astro Robo Toto is an Inventor hack of Astro Robo Sasa (#151). In addition to changing the name, it looks like Sasa was replaced by Milon from Milon’s Secret Castle.

182. MUSCLE
183. PAC MAN
184. TOY FACTORY




185. PANZER ATTACK

A variant of the Nice Code game Enchanter (#468). In that game, you were a wizard fighting bats and ghost spiders; in this you have a tank and shoot the non-moving bunkers that shoot fireballs at you. (Missiles also drop in from above.) It’s fascinating how the exact same game engine can feel like such a different game.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


186. PATHWAY

Instructions on the title screen! How cool is that?

Otherwise, this is Nice Code’s Miner1 (#352). You can break three rocks and need to cover as much of the field as you can without retracing your steps.

187. TRUMP TANK
188. THE PENGUIN SEAL
189. PENTA BASE
190. PILLAR
191. CRYPT CAR
192. UTMOST WARFARE




193. BASEBALL NEW

I don’t think this is a “new” baseball. I think it’s just Baseball (#73) with a little hacking done.

194. POKER



195. HEXA

Here’s another one we haven’t seen before…well, sorta. Hexa is a clone of Columns. We saw a different clone of Columns called Jewelry (#124) that doesn’t seem related. This one was really big in Korea in the 90s. I haven’t been able to figure out who made the Famicom port, but my money’s on a Korean developer.

196. POOYAN
197. POPEYE




198. PYRAMID

This is a Tetris clone using triangles and similar angled pieces rather than tetrads, which makes it much harder. This is the original game; but we actually saw a hack of this called Benthal (#163) that was made by Inventor.

199. WAR ZONE
200. RAIDON BUNGELING BA


And as of #200, I count 33 games we hadn’t seen before. (And again, that’s counting the Nice Code sprite hacks of games we’ve seen!)
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


201. RESCUE KUCK

That’s quite a title! This is an Inventor hack of Donkey Kong Jr. (#450). I think it’s using sprites that also appeared in Conte Enegy (#406).



202. RESISTANT

Yet another Nice Code variant of Fire Base (#10)! This is another of the more “active” ones, where there’s a variety of enemies with an assortment of movementpatterns to them.

203. WATER PIPE
204. ROAD FIGHTER
205. POWER ROBOT
206. WILD WORM
207. WONDER BALL
208. DONKEY KONG JR




209. SALVER

I’m going to guess this is supposed to be “Solver”; though the Bootleg wiki says that it’s a game from Nice Code’s Brain Games collection, and the full title is Salver Balance. It’s pointer-driven and you can move numbers around, but how you actually balance things (or salve them) isn’t terribly clear.

210. MOUSE SNARE
211. MOWING




212. BALLOON SHOOT

Here’s another we haven’t seen before: You can move that targeting reticule, and fire at the balloons that float up from the bottom of the screen. That’s all, though. You need to shoot “Exit” to reset the game, because there’s no losing condition. It was made by Nice Code but doesn’t seem to have any variant titles.



213. SHOT PUT


Yet another Olympic / Track & Field piece.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Now we're back in the Nice Code all-star titles. Though I'm genuinely surprised Resistant isn't bug-themed. You've got "Ant" right in the title Nice Code! Come one, get your head in the game!

Rescue Kuck just manages to beat out Salver for the best game of this update
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
214. MS PAC MAN
215. SKY DESTROYER
216. SKY INVADER
217. MUSIC MOMENT
218. SNOW BALL




219. SPACE ET

Aww, it’s just Space Invaders (#382). I was hoping for a port of the terrible Atari E.T. game.



220. SPACE BASE

A Nice Code game we’ve never seen before! You’re the tank in the center and can’t move but can rotate the full circle. The squadron of orange jets flies around you and you need to shoot them down; there are also individual jets that will fly in and fire at you. (This also doesn’t seem to have variants.)



221. SPAR

Hey, it’s a hack of Urban Champion (#396)! Another hack by Inventor, this one turns your street brawl into a battle between orcs; including an orc-lady who drops things out of the tree’s windows at you. (If there’s an equivalent of the police car, I didn’t see it. That may have been taken out.)
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
... you know, in a very different timeline, I could totally see that as an NES licensed Shrek game.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


222. STAR

This is the same “Star” where you play as a dragon in a side-scrolling shooter (#383), but I haven’t been able to find any new info on it. (There are a bunch of other bootlegs and hacks called Star; I was hoping for a change-up.)



223. AETHER KAVASS

This is an Inventor hack of Macross #344, the one with the transforming ship. They definitely changed the title screen, and I don’t think the enemies in the original were helicopters…

224. STAR FORCE
225. STAR GATE
226. STRAFE




227. STUB GAME


A pointer-based (and therefore hard to control) Tower of Hanoi puzzle game that we haven’t seen before.



228. SURFACE FIRE

An Inventor hack of Millipede (#351) that changes the title screen and a few of the creature sprites.



229. TACTFUL

A Nice Code title where you need to place landmines in front of enemy soldiers and tanks so they step on them and explode. (Not an easy task, let me tell you.) I thought it felt familiar, and the bootleg wiki confirmed that game runs on the same engine as Cub Adventure (#321). This was also released under the wonderful title Jungly Guy.
 
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