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

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
"Well, 'Aether Kavass' has a nice sounding title, I think that's going to be the best name this update" said I, before I saw the game about planting landmines called TACTFUL
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
STUB GAME sounds like it needs a wiki update.

And yeah, the original Macross didn't have helicopters, I assume they're a reskin of the Regult battle pods or something similar.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)


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.

It's ok to use weapons that violate international law, so long as your tactful about it.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
230. NUT CRACKY
231. TENNIS




232. AETHER

This is an Inventor hack of Warpman (#GP178), and as far as I can tell it’s purely a sprite hack. You’re a ship instead of a dude and fight a lot of mushrooms.



233. THE FARMER

This is another of Nice Code’s variants on Arena (#314). Sheep and wolves run in from the top; apparently they’re trying to escape your land by running through that fence behind you. You need to touch the sheep to prevent the sheep meter from decreasing; touching the wolves makes you lose a life. (I’m not sure why this particular premise broke my suspension of disbelief, but apparently it did.)

234. OBAKE NO Q TAROU



235. TRANSMISSION

This is another variant of the Nice Code warp-maze game we first saw as Convection (#106). You’re a mysterious glowing orb in this version and it has a vaguely “inside a computer” feel.

236. TRIPLE JUMP
237. TWIN BOAR
238. TWIN CARDS
239. URBAN CHAMPION
240. WORLD CUP SOCCER
241. ICE HOCKEY
242. ALADDIN3
243. BURAI FIGHTER
244. SPARTAN X
245. SODOKU
246. AQUARIUM
247. ARENA
248. AIR ALERT


For the record, the battery life on this device is really rather terrible. I think I’m on my third charge since starting this logging and I’ve only actually tried around 50 games.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
And now for the saddest part of this list: The next 170 games are just doubles of earlier games on this device. I had warned you there were only 330 unique entries…at least they strung all the duplicates together and hid them in the middle.

249. CRYPTCAR
250. CRISIS
251. NINJA KUN
252. VIGILANT
253. GALAGA PLUS
254. RUMBLE AND FRENZY
255. CLOSE QUARTERS
256. PAC PACLAND
257. DEVILDOM DOOM
258. DEPTH BOMB
259. DANGER BRIDGE
260. SLACK MAN
261. DEFENDER
262. CUTE FISH
263. CORRIDOR
264. CRYSTAL BALL
265. DOOR DOOR
266. BURGER TIME
267. DISCUS PUT
268. SMALL DINOSAUR
269. DIG DUG
270. DADA
271. DEVIL WORLD
272. JOUST
273. METRO MENIA
274. EXERION
275. UFO RACE
276. MAKING LOVE
277. MAHJONG
278. DOUGH BOY
279. DUNE WAR
280. CKAAAN18
281. FIVE DAYS
282. FISH WAR
283. THE NEW QUEST
284. FIRST DEFENDER
285. FIRE BASE
286. NAITOU9 DAN SHOUGI
287. FIELD COMBAT
288. MALUEX
289. GARDEN WAR
290. GRADIRS
291. GALAXIAN
292. GALAGA
293. SOLDIER
294. OPTIMUS MINOR
295. FRANTIC MOUSE
296. FORMATION Z
297. SPY VS SPY
298. SPRING WORLD
299. GOLF
300. GOBLET TOWER
301. GOAL KEEPER
302. GLOMMY CHESS
303. SPELUNKER
304. GATE
305. HYPER OLYMPIC
306. STACK UP
307. HOODLE
308. HIT MOUSE
309. SQUEE
310. SQOON
311. HEXAPOD WAR
312. HALLIHOO
313. TINY TOON
314. LUNAR POOL
315. JEWELRY
316. JAVELIN
317. IQ CHAMPION
318. STAR LUSTER
319. IKKI
320. HYPER SPORTS
321. LUNARIAN
322. LUNAR BALL
323. LONG JUMP
324. LINK
325. LEVIN ACTION
326. SPACE INVADERS
327. KARATEKA
328. SUBMARINE
329. MARS
330. MARIO BROS
331. MAPPY
332. MAN IN RED
333. TAG TEAM PRO WRESTL
334. MAGIC BUBBLE
335. MAD XMAS
336. LUNATION
337. NIBBLES
338. MOVE BOX
339. MOTOBOAT
340. MINER1
341. MILLIPEDE
342. TOAD IN THE HOLE
343. THROUGH MAN
344. THEXDER
345. TOY FACTORY
346. PAC MAN
347. MUSCLE
348. TO TO
349. NUTS MILK
350. PUZZLE
351. WARPMAN
352. NIGHT ARROW
353. UTMOST WARFARE
354. CRYPT CAR
355. PILLAR
356. PENTA BASE
357. THE PENGUIN SEAL
358. TRUMP TANK
359. PATHWAY
360. PANZER ATTACK
361. RAIDON BUNGELING BA
362. WAR ZONE
363. PYRAMID
364. POPEYE
365. POOYAN
366. HEXA
367. POKER
368. BASEBALL NEW
369. DONKEY KONG JR
370. WONDER BALL
371. WILD WORM
372. POWER ROBOT
373. ROAD FIGHTER
374. WATER PIPE
375. RESISTANT
376. RESCUE KUCK
377. SKY INVADER
378. SKY DESTROYER
379. MS PAC MAN
380. SHOT PUT
381. BALLOON SHOOT
382. MOWING
383. MOUSE SNARE
384. SALVER
385. STAR FORCE
386. AETHER KAVASS
387. STAR
388. SPAR
389. SPACE BASE
390. SPACE ET
391. SNOW BALL
392. MUSIC MOMENT
393. AETHER
394. TENNIS
395. NUT CRACKY
396. TACTFUL
397. SURFACE FIRE
398. STUB GAME
399. STRAFE
400. STAR GATE
401. WORLD CUP SOCCER
402. URBAN CHAMPION
403. TWIN CARDS
404. TWIN BOAR
405. TRIPLE JUMP
406. TRANSMISSION
407. OBAKE NO Q TAROU
408. THE FARMER
409. AIR ALERT
410. ARENA
411. AQUARIUM
412. SODOKU
413. SPARTAN X
414. BURAI FIGHTER
415. ALADDIN3
416. ICE HOCKEY


That was really upsetting, right? They didn’t change the titles or replace them all with Super Mario 16 or anything! Fortunately, the back end of the list (which you can wrap around to from the first page) does still have a few things we haven’t seen before.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
417. AWFUL RUSHING
418. TOWER OF DRUAGA




419. STAR

Remember how I said there were a bunch of different games called “Star”? Here’s one! This appears to be a copy of Nice Code’s Fish Story (#227), where you need to eat fish smaller than you and grow; in this case you need to touch various fireballs and blobs to grow, and eventually collect three green blobs to advance to the next level. Amusingly, of all the Star games listed in the bootleg wiki, this isn’t one of them!

420. MAGIC MATHE MATIC
421. TRANSFORMERS




422. BOMB KING

This is a Battleship clone by Nice Code, and we saw a variant as Depth Bomb (#446). Remember how this device doesn’t have a Select button? That means you can’t use any of the special area bombs, but the CPU still can!

423. CANNONADE
424. COAST GUARD
425. DONALD MAGIC
426. WRESTLE
427. DIAMOND
428. EIGO ASOBI
429. FRONT LINE
430. MECCANO

431. DEFENGDER2

(This is Defender II; it’s just misspelled on the selection screen.)



432. LODE RUNNER2

Not a hack! This is, as far as I can tell, the actual Championship Lode Runner, the sequel to the original game. (I didn’t even know such a thing existed.) It seems like they went for the difficulty-based sequel—gameplay is unchanged, but boy are these levels hard.



433. GALLAGANT

Yet another Nice Code variant of Fire Base (#10), with nothing to it but a good title.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


434. PIKA CHU

Nice Code’s Tetris clone, but with a Pokemon theme. This one gives you the option of traditional tetrads or variant ones when you start a game. (Falling Blocks, #220, didn’t give you the option.) Note that Nice Code made two different Tetris clones and then forked them both into an assortment of other games—this is definitely not the same code base as Magic Bubble (#345).

435. GLAXY PATROL

Galaxy Patrol (#334), misspelled on the selection screen.



436. GOMOKU

I believe this is the five-in-a-row game played on a Go board that we saw as #121.

437. CONTE ENEGY




438. FRUIT DISH

…This is #192. I got fooled because it didn’t have a space in the other list. There are a couple of other games coming up that got misspelled on the list so my screen didn’t catch them as duplicates.



439. LABYRINTH

A Nice Code game we haven’t seen before: You need to guide the girl through the labyrinth by choosing to turn or not ay the “face” squares; she’ll otherwise go straight until she hits a turn sign. If she rams a wall, you lose a life. This is a title hack of a game called Maze Maid, originally released by "Gameventer" (possibly an alias of Inventor). This was also called Girl, Robot, and Way Out.

440. FINALY LAND
441. WIZZY
442. DONKEY KONG3
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)


443. POBBLE

Nice Code dodge-em-up; it’s a variant of Awful Rushing (#315), through in this case you’re in a jet of some sort and need to avoid storm clouds and other planes. No, I have no idea what the title is supposed to mean.



444. POLAR BAT

The three doors drop snowballs and icicles drop from the ceiling; you need to dodge them and shoot up at the bats to score points. Another variation of Nice Code’s Enchanter (#468). I think, if I was fighting polar bats, I'd want to wear sleeves.



445. RURAL GOBLIN

A Nice Code whack-a-mole game that’s new to us. Creatures pop out of the twelve holes, and hitting them seems entirely to be just timing your presses of the A button. This was also called Slap Goblin.

446. PORTER



447. SEASON GARDEN

And speaking of whack-a-mole: This is yet another new Nice Code game; but this version has nine holes and a virtual hammer you need to move around. The seasons change as the game progresses (changing the colors, mostly), though the gameplay doesn’t. This was also called Knock It.

448. SHREW MOUSE
449. PULVERATION
450. STAR FIGHTER
451. RABBIT VILLAGE
452. TELETUBBIES
453. SILENT HUNTER
454. RIVER JUMP
455. SCORING




456. UNDERSEA ARENA

We saw this Nice Code clone of Battleship (attacker side only) as Bug’s War (#209). In this case, you’re trying to drop bombs on underwater ships. Or possibly into underwater caves? The animation is kind of unclear.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Tough call this time, Pobble has a nice mouth-feel to say out-loud, and Polar Bat has the confusion angle going for it (bats are not known for being especially polar), but I got to give the nod to my good buddy Rural Goblin.

Wouldn’t even be up for debate if we got Slap Goblin as well
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)


444. POLAR BAT

The three doors drop snowballs and icicles drop from the ceiling; you need to dodge them and shoot up at the bats to score points. Another variation of Nice Code’s Enchanter (#468). I think, if I was fighting polar bats, I'd want to wear sleeves.

They stole the Kunio image from the Technos splash screen on later Kunio games, but not his in-game sprite? What the hell, Nice Code (or whoever made this version)?
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
Our very last batch! And we open with a big row of repeats.

457. WARRIOR
458. ABSCONDEE
459. AETHER CRUISER
460. AIM CRUISE
461. ANIMAL CONTEST
462. BLOCKS WORLD
463. CONTEST
464. MAD XMAS
465. SEPORT GUARL
466. DEFORMABLE
467. DEJECTILE
468. EGG CONTEST
469. ESCAPEWAY
470. FAIRY S TREASURE
471. FALLING BLOCKS
472. FATED PIRATE
473. FINAL BLOOD
474. FISH STORY
475. FLING BALL
476. BUSY BAR
477. FRIUT GIFT
478. GHOST CASTLE
479. GOLDEN BIRD
480. GREEDS
481. HAMMER AND NAIL
482. HAPPY MATCH
483. ICE OCEAN
484. ISLAND
485. JUMP JUMP
486. JUMPING KID
487. LIGHTNING
488. LITTLE WITCH
489. MAGIC EGG




490. SPIDER MAN

Spider-Man can shoot web-balls to blow up enemies, and use a webline to jump up to the higher platform. This appears to be a Nice Code original, rather than a port or clone, and it was released as Cowpoke, Masked Man, Rocketman, and Warrior.



491. MASKED MAN

And speak of the devil, this is the same game, just without the Spider-Man sprites!

492. MIRROR DEVIL WORD
493. MICKEY MOUSE




494. MOUSE HERO

Our final all-new Nice Code game, where you control two mice holding a parachute that have to catch all the mice falling in the level and let them down to safety. Also called Heroes Mice and Mice Mission; and apparently Mice Mission features Jerry from Tom & Jerry on the title screen.

495. SEAMAID
496. POLICE DOG
497. POLICE VS THIEF
498. PONG PONG




499. SPIDER MAN 2

This is the hack of half of the Nice Code Saboteur port we first saw as Contest (#193). (As a reminder, Saboteur has two distinct types of levels; Nice Code split it into two different game branches.) I think it works better as Spider-Man and Doc Ock crawling over a building than as ships firing at each other.



500. CHESS

It’s actually Othello (we saw this as #83). That seems fitting, somehow.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
And that’s everything on the GamesPower device! By my tallies, that’s 61 games (or, at least, hack/variations of games) that were new to us on this device. And not a single one of them was Super Mario 16! It was cool to get a better look at some of the Nice Code variant games and a greater variety of Inventor hacks. But the Retro FC is actually a pleasant system to play on (it’s not in the league of a RG350 or the like, but you can’t beat it for the price) and the GamesPower…really isn’t. I don’t care that I can pass the security check; I wear cargo pants and can put plenty of better things in my pocket.

There are probably plenty of obscure NES and Famicom games that I haven’t encountered and there are certainly dozens (potentially hundreds) of Nice Code game variations that we didn’t see here, but I think we’ve gotten a fun little overview. And I think I’m ready to be totally done with this project now.

Thank you, Talking Time, for supporting my ridiculous whim and helping me learn lots of new and interesting things about Famicom and Famiclone history. (And this was definitely something I needed to help me through my late-pandemic depression lows.) Maybe I’ll do a proper LP next? I’ll get there when I do.

And now that you’ve all read this far: I don’t feel a strong need to keep the FC500 or the GamesPower, since I have better devices that support things like savestates. Anybody have something ridiculous they’d like to trade me for them? Pokemon cards, old comic books, weird tabletop rpg 3rd-party supplements, undone craft kits—what random stuff do you want to get out of your house in exchange for these toys?
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
This was a super cool and super entertaining thread. Thanks for going through all these games and showing us something weird!
 
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