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What's On This $10 Handheld 3: There Are More. Blame Ixo.


Son of The Answer Man

We can once again blame Ixo for making me inflict this thing on the rest of you. Apparently this came from a Goodwill Outlet before getting sent to me. (I feel like one of those Youtubers who get sent things to review. It’s flattering and also mildly disturbing.)

Oh boy, it’s a clamshell handheld with clear “we want to be a Game Boy but cooler” design elements. Ladies, gentlemen and those who know better: The Pro 200 Gaming System.


Developed by Pro Tech and published by International TV Concepts Limited and released in 1998. This monstrosity has an LCD screen that is only slightly fancier than a Game N Watch.

Curiously, it looks like the lower screen is supposed to be a built-in calculator, but I’m guessing it’s either broken or runs exclusively off the button-cell battery. The original might have come with a manual, but that’s long gone and honestly this doesn’t need it—it has few enough buttons and actual functions that you can pretty much figure it out on your own.


The title screen reminds you what you're playing.

The buttons are crappy and tend to stick (it’s much easier to move left than right) which might be a function of age, bad engineering, or both.

A wonderfully bad TV commercial for it is available on YouTube, and that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about it: The “over 200 games” claim is absolute horseshit, which you’d guess from the fact that they name four of them. At $20 plus likely exorbitant shipping and handling fees, this was aimed at know-nothing parents who had been buying NES, Game Boy and/or SNES cartridges for twice that and could be fooled into thinking this was a good deal. For reference, $20 is $37 in today’s money in general inflation terms, but this is basically the equivalent of the My Arcade Go Gamer $20 Walmart handhelds, because electronics have gone drastically against inflationary trends. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s the My Arcade Go Gamer handheld’s exact market niche!

There’s also a magazine ad captured on this blog post.


Son of The Answer Man

In reality, there are 16 games, each with assorted modes…and as we’ll see, half of those games are just variations on Tetris. Each game also has 16 levels and 16 speed choices that don’t actually impact much of anything. The menu here lets you choose the game; as far as I can tell, the letter G is just for “game” and the second letter (A-P) is specifically the game you’re playing. I’m not certain what the big number is (it seems to be “game mode” for each game), but you can change it with the up and down keys. Left and right control the level and speed (and are labeled as such). Rotate/mode (the big button) controls the game letter, and you need to press the little red start button to start a game.


Game A is a tank shooting game, which that wiki article calls “Fire Tank Attack.” (There are no in-game names or labels). I don’t see any difference between the two modes. You start in the center and other tanks come in from the sides, and if they ram or shoot you, you explode. If you shoot them first, you get points. It’s like an extremely primitive take on Battle City. (I’m going to go ahead and reveal that most of the games on here are going to have the sophistication of an Atari 2600 game with calculator graphics—even simpler than what Nice Code was putting out, and without the wonderful title screens. I think people were writing better games for the TI-86 around the same time.)


Game B is a racing game (actually a dodge-em-up) that I’m guessing is “Race Car”. You need to move side to side between lanes to dodge the other cars as you pass them, and get points for how long you survive. In this, the number determines if there are two or three lanes of traffic, and whether you race up from the bottom or down from the top.


Game C is a shooting game; clearly an attempt to make something Space Invaders-like that I’m pretty sure is titled “Shooting Attack”. The patterns of blocks creep down from the top and you need to shoot them before they reach the bottom. The thing is, you have turbo-fire and the blocks don’t move side-to-side, so you basically just rotate through each line knocking out all the blocks until you get bored. This game has 8 modes, but the only difference again seems to be that some come from the top and some from the bottom.


Game D is “Frog-A-Log,” a Frogger clone that’s really hard to play because it’s unclear whether dark or light lines in each row count as the safe space. Like, I don’t know if I’m looking at logs or trucks in any give row, and it seems to vary.


Game E is “Ping-Pong,” a simple Breakout clone. At level 1, I actually didn’t have to move the paddle at all to clear half the screen because the ball just kept bouncing back to the middle.


Game F is "Swallow Snake’s Egg," a "snakes" game where you have to maneuver the growing snake to the flashing ball. In theory, this is actually a great game to put into this form-factor, because it’s already grid-based and doesn’t need any other bells and whistles. In practice…the controls are terrible. You know what game can never support a delay in control input? Snakes.


Game G is the other top-down shooter, “Flying Bees.” In this case, the bees peel off from the “hive” block at the top two at a time and you need to shoot them before they hit you. It’s a marginally better game than Shooting Attack.


Game H is supposed to be a boxing game called “Hammer Attack,” but as far as I can tell it’s not boxing, it’s whack-a-mole. I think you need to press the direction and main button when one of the four dots changes, but either due to bad input or me not fully understanding the game I couldn’t manage to score any points.


The other games are all “Brick Games,” aka Tetris clones. I’m not going to bother with more pictures; they all look the same.

Game I looks like normal Tetris until you put down the first block, and then the entire stack rotates one space to the left (with the left edge wrapping to the right). This is actually a really clever Tetris variant that I’d love to see from a more playable system! (If anyone knows of a real game that uses it, please tell me.)

Game J adds broken lines to the bottom of your stack every few pieces…but changes the active piece when it does so, which is a betrayal of my trust and should never be allowed.

Game K…seems to be the same as Game I, with the rotating stack.

Game L has an odd quirk that when you clear a line, it inverts the rest of your stack.

Games M, N, O and P are four more variations of Tetris, but I love Tetris and the bad controls on this thing are making me hate it.

The takeaway here is that there are nine games on this system, not 200, and if the inputs were better 25 years ago on a brand-new device, Tetris would be playable and the others would be worth 30 seconds each.

What it really comes down to is that this system only exists to make your grandparents think you’re an ungrateful spoiled brat. It sounds like a “great deal” only if you know nothing about video games at all, and no one who actually plays games would ever buy one. It’s the same market niche occupied by the My Arcade Go Gamer handhelds. I would argue that there’s a secondary niche for things like the 500-in-1 Famiclones, because anything with actual commercial NES roms on it can appeal to those of us with nostalgia value and/or possibly be entertaining to children for brief periods. But in order for something to be both 100% legal and cheap, they have to cut corners somewhere, and that’s always going to be in actual quality.

(Thanks, @Ixo!)


space hero for hire
(He/Him + RT/artee)
I love how this thing is shaped --- it's a very unique form factor for one of these brick game things.


Son of The Answer Man
I don’t actually have anything else for this thread at the moment—I spent a morning on this device and that’s literally more than it ever deserved. But I feel like there’s a greater topic of conversation here: There were a lot of devices like this, that were aimed at exasperated parents or grandparents who meant well and wanted to get their game-loving kids something nice but didn’t know enough to realize what they would actually get. I would argue that the Facebook ads for marked-up Famiclone consoles or handhelds are filling that same niche, with the added bonus that there are plenty of people my age (40-ish) who have nostalgia for NES games but didn’t keep up with gaming at all, so they’ll pay $100 for a piece of crap somebody got in bulk from AliExpress for $10 each. (When they could pay $60 for a Miyoo Mini+ or RG35XX and get the actual experience they want!)

On an only vaguely-related note, I have an ever-growing box of handhelds that need new homes now that I’ve reviewed them. I’m starting to be tempted to put them as a lot on eBay to see if someone will take them. (Alternately, they’re free to a good home if you want them.) At the moment these include the Pro 200, the two My Arcade Go Gamer handhelds, a PowKiddy V90 (which is actually a half-decent GBA clone running openDingux) and potentially one or two others.

(Random edit to this for posterity: I sold the four mentioned handhelds plus an old 9X-S as a bundle on eBay and cleared $75 for it. So I basically got my money back on the lot and hopefully whoever bought it has a big box o' fun.)
Last edited:


"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
Something Beo didn't mention: I put batteries in this thing and it immediately sprang to life with the absolute loudest rendition of Ode to Joy.



Son of The Answer Man
Folks who appreciate my threads on this topic might enjoy this Youtube video I found, "I bought knock off game consoles. it was a huge mistake". The dude bought a bunch of the really cheap handhelds and consoles from Amazon (not even AliExpress, the big spender!) and demos them for our amusement. Most of them are the 200-in-1 NES variations with various bootlegs we've seen (Super Bros 6 and NES Angry Birds get called out), but there's a Wii knockoff console that uses at least part of the games list from the Family Sport 220-in-1, with crappy-but-existent motion controls. That's pretty neat, right?

(For my part, I gave into temptation and ordered a combination battery pack/gaming handheld from AliExpress for $30. If there's anything entertaining on it, you can expect to see it here.)


Son of The Answer Man
The Lexibook Compact Cyber Arcade


Two weeks ago, Ixo sent me a Lexibook Cyber Console Center, yet another in a series of cheap handhelds that I’d never seen before. I’m getting the distinct impression that Ixo likes when I do these threads.


Unfortunately, that device was broken. I pulled in a friend to help try to get it working, but we couldn’t save it. Not only were both battery wires detached (theoretically fixable—we’d just need to strip them and solder them back to the battery connections) but there was significant corrosion on the battery connections themselves and white build-up on the boards—implying water damage. So even if we got power to the thing, it might just be dead-dead.


Fortunately, eBay came to the rescue. I bought a second one for nine whole dollars (including shipping!), so this should be pretty cost-effective.

The Lexibook Compact Cyber Arcade has a d-pad and three buttons, with the power button doubling as a reset button. As far as I can tell, there’s no pause feature. This desperately needs a hard reset button (or a manual power switch that is disconnected from the reset button). The most reliable way I’ve found of turning it off is to leave it for a minute and let it shut itself down. Otherwise…there’s always popping out one of the three AAA batteries it runs on.

As one might expect from something of this caliber, there are no ports, no headphone jack, no SD card, nothing like that. There’s a volume wheel tucked into the lower-right corner.

The system automatically boots to the selection screen, which is very bare-bones. Up and down to choose a game, left or right to jump ten titles at a time. No music plays on the selection screen. Pressing the power button within games drops you back to this screen.

There are a lot of variations of this device—two button, four button, 100-in-1, 200-in-1, TV-required Wii knockoffs, branded Frozen, Barbie and Paw Patrol versions. I think the “JL2375” is the closest thing from the Amazon link to the one I got.

The bootleg wiki doesn’t have much on these things, just a stub article about the console version (which was a Wii knockoff, similar to the original Family Sport 220-in-1). It does confirm what I suspected, though: These games were mostly made by JungleTac, as Lexibook is a distributor for them.

As far as I can tell, there are 250 unique titles, at least. Some of the games are clearly hacks of each other (so my comments on the may get sparse as this goes on), and we’ll see if any of them are outright copies. I’m going to start posting, hopefully y’all will be amused, and we’ll go from there.

Oh, and I got to tell you guys, we’ve got some great names on this. Like, OG Nice Code style names. You’re gonna love those.


Son of The Answer Man

1 Mr. Runner
Fairly simply side-scrolling runner game that I’ve never seen before. You need to jump over and duck under obstacles, or alternately tab the A button to swing or grab things. The graphics tend to “jump ahead” when you pass an obstacle, giving the whole thing a more jerky movement that you’d really want.

This, like many other games we’ll see, was apparently a new game developed for JungleTac’s VT3xx hardware. I’ll distinguish “VT3xx originals” from other games as I find them.


2 Money Go!
Money falls from the sky and you need to collect coins and bills and avoid confusing words (that reverse your controls), bags (that stun you) and declining stock charts (that give you a Game Over). Each stage involves a time limit to catch a certain amount of cash. A Kaboom! clone if ever I saw one. (VT3xx original)


3 Bomb Hero
Classic Bonberman clone. Your hitbox is enormous and the flare from your bombs lasts much longer than you’d think (or the graphics would indicate). Also it uses stolen Kirby sprites—and I think the other monster might be a recolored Jigglypuff. (VT3xx original)


4 Fruit Killer
A very entertaining approach to Fruit Ninja knockoffs: You move the ninja side to side and press the button to swing your ninja sword and chop falling fruits. Each stage has a certain number of fruits you need to slice before time runs out. (VT3xx original)


5 Bubble Master
The same red scarf silhouette dude from Mr. Runner has to shoot upwards at the bouncing bubbles to split them into smaller bubbles and ultimately destroy them. You have a life meter (and the dude makes a weird “heh heh heh” noise when he gets hit), but if you shoot a bird that passes, it’ll drop bread to restore your health. Destroying all the bubbles gets you to the next stage. Some stages have boss UFOs that drop lots of the smallest bubbles.

This apparently originated as Pop Ball, a clone of Pang!/Buster Bros starring Ness from Earthbound. It was hacked into this and also Magic Ball; I think both are on this device. (VT3xx original)


"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
You’re gonna hate me asking, but Cyber Console Center = Compact Cyber Arcade as far as game lineup content goes?


Son of The Answer Man
From what I can gather from videos like Let's Play: The Lexibook Cyber Console Center and LexiBook Cyber Console Center 200-in-1 (JL2050) (some games, brief gameplay), the Cyber Console Center was the earlier version with fewer games, but I think everything noteworthy on the 100-in-1 and 200-in-1 versions is going to end up on this 250-in-1. In the case of the second video, I think that one is running older VT03 hardware because the games look more NES-like, so we may have upgraded versions but probably the same games, given everything I’m reading about the way JungleTac churns these things out.

Though if somebody wants to get a branded Frozen version of the handheld and see how they hacked the games on that, be my guest.


Son of The Answer Man

6 Sprint
A vertical runner game where you’re running up the wall. This features a number of obstacles, but also a light blue force field bubble that lets you take a hit, dark blue bubbles you can collect (three gives you a big height boost), and possible some others. The bootleg wiki thinks the protagonist is Zool on Luigi's body. (VT3xx original)


7 Swing Fall
Same scarf-ninja dude, and this time he’s swinging to the targets on the lower-down buildings. Press the button to let go as you swing back and forth; you get points for how close to the target you get. If you fall off, Game Over. (VT3xx original)


8 Skytrooper War
I’ve definitely seen this before (because it’s a clone of Pooyan and there are a bunch of those!). You can move up and down the right wall and shoot horizontally; you need to hit the parachutes because the soldiers are invincible (and you can also shoot down their missiles). If the soldiers land, they start climbing up the wall and reduce the space you can safely move in.

JungleTac made this for the VT03-09/UM6578 line of hardware as Monkey 'N Fox, but then it was hacked into Homeland Defence, Rabbit's Defence, and this. And again, I think we’re getting all the versions on this device.


9 Final Ninja
Move the shuriken cursor to throw ninja stars at the straw hat guys while avoiding the ninjas in red. Each throw is accompanied by a high pitched “Hi-Yah!” I’m not certain the first stage is actually beatable, given the number of dudes you need to kill in the time limit. (VT3xx original)


10 Dodgeman
Scarf dude appears again in what I’m certain I’ve seen as a Wario Ware minigame: You need to move him to the safe squares before the ceiling crashes down. Apparently the voice sample when you die is Fred Flintstone saying “Yabba-dabba-doo!” but it doesn’t actually render particularly clearly through the speakers. (VT3xx original)


Son of The Answer Man

11 Kitchen War
Apparently you win the kitchen war by throwing objects at the chef. Probably still easier than whatever bullshit Gordon Ramsey wants to put you through. The A and B buttons throw “slightly to the left of center” and “slightly to the right of center” as the chef moves back and forth. The weird “heh heh heh” from Bubble Master is one of the noises the chef makes, though it’s just a random sound, not when he’s hit. (VT3xx original)


12 Ghost Buster
Shoot out your pumpkin grabber to catch blue ghosts and catch a certain number before time runs out. Red ghosts are a FAIL and make you lose hearts.

This was created as a VT03-09 game called Fish Catcher and hacked into this. I can definitely see it.


13 Hamster Fighter
I’m not sure where hamsters figure into this. It’s four-hole whack-a-mole but you’re hitting red birds. The birds wearing helmets are actually the best, because you can pound them like 5 times and get ten points each time, as opposed to the normal birds you can only hit once. (There are also eggs, but I only saw one and couldn’t figure out what it did.) You need a certain number of points before time runs out to clear the round. (VT3xx original)


14 Ping Pong
A first-person ping-pong game similar to the ones we saw on the My Arcade Go Gamer, with an invisible player and timing your presses of the B button being the only strategy. And if you weren’t already convinced it’s a Wii Sports knockoff, the Mii in the background might do the job. (VT3xx original)


15 Boxing
This first-person boxing game freezes the device and forces me to pop the battery. I’m guessing it’s another Wii clone game, but I can’t find it on the wiki.



4 Fruit Killer
A very entertaining approach to Fruit Ninja knockoffs: You move the ninja side to side and press the button to swing your ninja sword and chop falling fruits. Each stage has a certain number of fruits you need to slice before time runs out. (VT3xx original)
This looks fun!

I'm still just astounded by how good the screens are on these things. Despite owning a Switch and seeing the improvements over time my brain still fundamentally thinks handheld screens won't be as good.

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
The scarf ninja seems to be Lexibooks equivalent of Mr. Game and Watch; I propose we call him The Scarf Ace


Son of The Answer Man

16 War of Mummy
Clearly influenced by Plants Vs. Zombies, you’re the plant and you’re trying to spit bombs at the mummy. You have a fighting-game-like health bar, but the attacks are dependent on watching the wind and powering up your throw with sufficient timing.

This was created as the VT03-09 game Pet Shop, where you had a cat fighting a dog.


17 Bird Hunter
You’re not going to guess this one: The bird can move left and right (but not jump or fly) and shoots out its whip-like tongue diagonally left or right to catch the fruits before they hit the ground. If the fruit hits the ground, it explodes and makes a hole, and falling into a hole is Game Over. Catching a white fruit causes lightning to strike and refill a hole. The game is endless, but records your high score.

This is a VT3xx original and a clone of the Bird & Beans minigame from WarioWare, Inc.


18 North Salvation
This has three difficulty levels: Normal, Advanced and Professional. You’re a fuzzy-headed “Driller” trying to dig down as far as you can without getting crushed when the level collapses on top of you. And yes, you’ve probably already guessed that it’s a clone of Mr. Driller. (VT3xx original)


19 Fire Fighter
We’ve seen this before: You need to bounce your firefighter on the trampoline to retrieve people from the windows of the burning boat/building/hut. Bonus cash sometimes drops from windows to distract you from bouncing your dude. There are apparently two versions of this clone of Flying Hero; I’m pretty sure this is the VT3xx one.


20 Mr. Onion
Mr. Onion (who looks like a recolored Kirby) has to walk, climb and shoot to collect all the keys in each level to rescue Ms. Onion from the cage at the top. The slightest hint of touching one of the Final Fantasy bomb sprites kills him, so you need to be careful. (The bootleg wiki notes that the character sprite is actually a modified version of Tiki from The NewZealand Story, redesigned to resemble Kirby.)

This was originally a VT09 game called One Day of Mr. Potato, and the switch to Mr. Onion seems to have been a game of translation telephone. There’s a hack of this called Defender, too.


Son of The Answer Man

21 Pop Ball
This is the original version of Bubble Master (#5), which indeed stars Ness from Earthbound, who needs to knock out the bouncing balls with a slowly-raising rope.


22 Hero Legend
The legendary hero (who looks like a recolor Minish Cap Link with a hammer) needs to hit rabites to flatten them and then throw them to turn them into generic video game fruit sprites, which he can collect. (Enemies unflatten if not thrown fast enough). This is stage-based; clearing each level moves to the next one.

This is a clone of Don Doko Don!, because apparently JungleTac liked cloning Taito arcade games. (VT3xx original)


23 Final Escape
Maneuver your little dinosaur through the maze, kicking and exploding blocks and avoiding blob-monsters and fireballs. This is a clone of Pengo, which I’m not particularly familiar with. (VT3xx original)


24 Delivery Man
There’s nothing on the wiki about this game, and I had a hard time figuring out exactly what I was supposed to be doing: You use a grabber to put items on the store shelves, and people come in and buy them, and you seem to need a certain amount of money in a time limit to pass the stage. But I can’t figure out if there’s any strategy: People only seem to buy one item at a time and it’s generally the first thing you put out. Can you make patterns on the shelves? Are some items worth more? Can you skip items or toss them out? Or is this game just as stupid as it seems and there’s nothing else to it?


25 Homeland Defense
Another variant of the Pooyan clones we first saw as Skytrooper War (#8). In this version, you’re a monkey shooting down foxes who float down on balloons. And clearly you’re defending your homeland, right?


Son of The Answer Man

26 Climbing Challenge
This is a clone of Donkey Kong Jr. starring what appears to be a badly-drawn Funky Kong, trying to avoid various scorpions and lizards that emerge from an interdimensional portal on his way to a key and treasure chest. Apparently this recreates the original levels and just swaps levels 3 and 4. (VT3xx original)


27 Code Eagle
This is a clone of the arcade game Intrepid, which is also new to me. You need to explore the multi-room castle, steal the items from each room, use an item in the top room to get the safe, and then escape the castle. Guards spawn rapidly and randomly, and sometimes spawn right out of doors so that you die before the guard sprite even appears. Also, the main character appears to be a modified version of Bomberman. (VT3xx original)


28 Dangerous Zone
This is apparently an original puzzle game, a cross between Wario’s Woods and Tetris. You play as the little worker who needs to pick up the blocks and make them into lines that disappear when completed. But if a block lands on you, you’re squashed and it’s game over. This apparently also appears titled Danger Zone and Zone Danger in other places and was originally made for VT03-09.


29 Balloon Man
You’ve got a little dude holding a balloon and need to collect other balloons while avoiding tiny sparks that will pop yours. It’s like the Balloon Trip mode in Balloon Fight (including the physics), but on stage-based single screens; collecting enough balloons gets you to the next level. This was a VT03-09 game.


30 Football Kid
You’re trying to kick your soccer ball into the net, but the real goal isn’t what you think at all: You’re trying to intentionally hit as many people walking by as possible, and you lose energy if you miss them. And it doesn’t seem to matter if the ball goes in the goal or not. You’re just the neighborhood asshole! The bootleg wiki notes that the graphics appear to be strange mish-moshes of characters from other games, like Mario from Super Mario World and the Kiteretsu Daihyakka characters. And I’m glad I’m playing an upgraded version, because the wiki says the VT09 version also features somewhat racist blackface stereotypes.


Son of The Answer Man

31 Baby Arms
The wiki tells me this is a clone of the Game & Watch game Donkey Kong 3 (and a VT3xx original), but unfortunately it freezes my device and forces me to pop a battery. No, I don’t have a goddamn clue where the title came from.


32 Ball Clash
This is apparently a clone of Penguin-kun Wars, which was new to me. It looks like it’s supposed to be dodgeball and getting hit with a ball stuns you, but the real goal is to get all the balls to your opponent’s side of the field. (This version doesn’t have it, but the wiki says there’s a rarely-seen title screen that features a picture of Bugs Bunny.) This is a VT03-09 title.


33 Paint Master
You need to paint as much of the stage as possible before various bugs and snakes are released and kill you. This is not an easy task and may actually be impossible because of the size of the stage and the player-seeking behavior of the enemies.

This has a complicated lineage: It’s a hack of a game JungleTac originally made for VT03-09 as Paint Quest, but that was a clone of the bootleg game Brush Roller, which was itself is a clone of Make Trax/Crush Roller.


34 Bubble Hero
Scarfy needs to run back and forth and jump to avoid cannonballs and bombs while he snags stars. It’s yet another in the timer-and-points-per-stage style of game. (VT3xx original)


35 Explorer
There’s nothing on the bootleg wiki about this, but it stars Scarfy, so we can safely assume it’s another of JungleTac’s VT3xx originals. This gives you Google translate-mangled clues for the stages like “A key jump up”, which means “Grab the diamond and jump over the box.” In each of the single-screen levels, you need to press jump at the right time(s) to get the diamond and avoid any obstacles. Hey, at least they were trying with the instructions, right?


Son of The Answer Man

36 Ball Blaster
This is a pretty solid Zuma clone; making it one of the first games we’ve hit on this that I genuinely want to play more of. Apparently JungleTac has a different, worse Zuma clone called Bubble Blaster which appears to be up in the 200s on this device. (VT3xx original)


37 Jewel Master
Another perfectly respectable clone; this is a hack of the bootleg game Jewel Master (or possibly a really close clone), which was itself a clone of Columns. Apparently this was first made for the UM6578 hardware and then ported to VT09. This was re-hacked to create Fruit (upcoming) and Fruit Master. According to the wiki, Fruit Master uses a modified sprite of Pac-Man from the Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures intro.


38 Ultra Doggy
A Frogger clone with the added gimmick that you need to collect keys as you cross so you can unlock the gate on the other side (and you have to go back for them if you miss them). There are also power-ups, but I can’t figure out what any of them do—you’d think the roller skates would speed you up, but they don’t seem to do that or anything else. Originally for the VT09, this was hacked to create Wild River, which we’re also going to see. (Nice Code produced enough different hacks of games that a 500-in-1 device won’t feature them all. JungleTac is clearly more shameless in reusing games to pad out the count on a device.)


39 Push the Box
A Sokoban clone. (Originally for VT09). You push the box. It tracks your score. It has a reset button. The music isn’t totally maddening. What else could you want?


40 Magic Ball
Another Pang! Clone we first saw as Bubble Master (#5). This one doesn’t have the health meter; if you get hit the game freezes and then restarts. It swaps in a random girl for Ness, but keeps the slow-moving, badly-animated rope. Clearly the worst of the lot.


"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
Worrying, but unsurprising, that there are multiple entires here that freeze up at one point or another.


Son of The Answer Man

41 Hard Win
Use the d-pad to move the pipe left, right, or straight and direct the falling balls into the appropriately-colored bottles. Like so many of these, you have limited time in each stage to get a certain number of points in order to continue to the next stage. JungleTac really loves that mechanism in a way I feel like Nice Code didn’t. (VT09)


42 Block Out
A Breakout/Arkanoid clone with a decent power-up system, but also “power-downs” that shrink your paddle. (VT09)


43 Spring Bros
The dino in the upper left will toss fruits, and you need to move your dinos to bounce them into the wagon. Interesting in that you can only move to three locations and pretty much every fruit bounces all three times; and that this isn’t stage-based, it’s just endless until you mess up enough.

This began life as a TV3xx original called Firefight Bro., which was a clone of the Game & Watch game Fire. It was hacked into this and also Air Circus, so I can talk about both of those when we get to them.


44 Catch the Egg

Catch the strangely-colored eggs dropped by the Angry Birds and avoid the bombs; your basket moves a bit more loosely than one would hope and this feels like it was originally made for the Atari paddle controller. The wiki tells me this is a clone of a minigame from Panic Restaurant. (And made for VT09.) My take is that it’s basically another different Kaboom! variant.


45 Fish Adventure
You’re a fish. You need to collect the bubbles (or just pop them?) and get the rocks into the holes in some configuration I couldn’t quite work out. You can press the B button to explode at any time. (It resets the stage. Dropping a rock on yourself gives a Game Over message but also resets the stage.)

This started life as on VT09 as Bean's Adventure!, which was similar to (but not a direct clone of) Flappy. As I don’t think that game appears on this device, I’ll note that according to the wiki, “Bean” in that game was a modified Kirby from Kirby Super Star.


Son of The Answer Man
We’ve got a streak of originals today!


46 Manic Troll
The wiki calls this a Gold Miner game, but it’s more “manic pirate” from the graphics. As the hook slowly moves side to side along an arc, you have to press the button to shoot it out and snag coins. The large coins are worth more, but take longer to reel in. I think you need to clear the screen for enough points to continue to the next stage, regardless. (VT3xx original)


47 Flame Beetles
The beetles slowly rotate, and when you press the button they all jump forward whatever way they’re facing. If two of them touch, one disappears. The goal is to clear each stage by only having one remaining. (If one falls off the edge, game over.) The wiki tells me that the "sunflower counter" graphic (seen when losing a level) is taken from Hamtaro: Rainbow Rescue. (VT3xx original)


48 Puzzle Pop
Stage-based match-3 puzzle game (though you’re limited by time, not moves). Move the bracket and swap what’s inside of it to match the bubbles by color and make them disappear. One of those rare games where the levels are actually different as you progress. (VT3xx original)


49 Super Rabbit
You have an arrow (carrot) and a force meter you can control with the d-pad, and need to aim in the right direction with the right force so the rabbit can land on the next bottle. Also you can collect carrots for points. (VT3xx original)


50 Go Soccer
This was originally created (as a VT3xx original) as Farm Pinball, then hacked to make this. It’s a cute idea—instead of bumpers there are soccer players who kick the ball around. It’s not a particularly great pinball game (it’s too small, the hitboxes are kinda wonky), but it’s cute.

That puts us at 1/5th of the way through the 250-in-1, and only 3 games were hacked repeats. (And only two games were unplayable and froze the system necessitating a hard restart.) This is a pretty good start, despite my notes that there are at least 10 more repeats coming.


Son of The Answer Man

51 Fossick Underground
I’m not sure what a “Fossick” is; maybe the guy’s name? You need to guide the long arm of the machine to collect all of the coins while escaping to the other side, but you can’t turn around or cross yourself. So it’s a pseudo-snakes game with really lousy tiling that makes it very hard to tell whether you can pick up a coin and still have clearance. (VT3xx original)


52 Smart Frog
This is a “step on all the squares once” puzzle game starring a frog and lilypads. There are only 11 stages, but these are some real brainteasers (mostly because it’s not clear what the frog can do—you can’t turn around, but you can jump over gaps). The wiki tells me that the graphics are used from an unidentified Frogger game. (VT3xx original)


53 Fruit Fall
This was originally a VT03-09 game called Move Fun and it was hacked to create this; it’s a mediocre match-3 game with a bar that limits the time you have to move and match something. Triggering chain reactions doesn’t seem to benefit you. Getting enough matches puts you at the next level but doesn’t even reset the board.


54 Win or Lose
You control the paddle at the bottom and need to bounce as many balls as you can before the time runs out and get a high score. Extremely simple. No penalties for balls that fall beyond not getting points for them. Also it has the most obvious title in the history of video games...that doesn’t even apply! You’re going for a high score but there literally is no win or loss condition. (VT3xx original)


55 Worm Catch
Catch the flying bugs and bring them to the chicks; avoid the hawks. The physics are a pain and it’s really annoying to land on the branch with the chicks, but the hawk has a giant hitbox. This is a clone of Bird Week, including stolen graphics from the original (and some background graphics stolen from the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2). Originally made for VT03-09.


????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)

51 Fossick Underground
I’m not sure what a “Fossick” is
As I have come to learn it is an Australian slang word which means 'rummage' or 'search'. But I'm not sure where they got that from. Could it be a mistranslation of fossil?

Is this related to this monster?
Fossicker from Chrono Cross. You go exploring some sandy caverns on an island and suddenly you encounter this thing:

This weird, three-eyed, four-armed alien turd with explorer gear who can take a lot of damage the first time you can actually go fight them in-game. And if you don't break its pot, it throws out a cartoon bomb with a creepy smiley face that plays Hot Potato and can only be defeated after the rest of the enemy team is dead...and upon said defeat explodes all over the unlucky party member it's in front of.

(It helps if you imagine the following lines in an Australian accent.)

Fossicker. Terminan for weird, prospecting, bomb-throwing, three-eyed turd tube monster. Fossicker.

(OK. You may stop with the Australian accent and go back to however you normally imagine my voice.)

Fossicker was #8 on my list of favorite monsters. Everything about it is just so absurd and bizarre and silly and video gamey. Even if you don't love it I still feel like you have to respect it. It's like some early 80s D&D Monster Manual level shit.

(Here's another pic of Fossicker.)


Son of The Answer Man
As I have come to learn it is an Australian slang word which means 'rummage' or 'search'. But I'm not sure where they got that from. Could it be a mistranslation of fossil?
That's actually not a bad theory at all--somebody was looking for a cool name for a mining game and their translation software found Australian slang that gave the game a unique title.


Summon for hire
Just caught up on the new batch - seems like this machine has a higher percentage of interesting/playable stuff so far compared to some of the others, though part of that may be the cute graphics winning me over. If you're gonna steal graphics you can't go wrong with Rabites!

47 Flame Beetles
The beetles slowly rotate, and when you press the button they all jump forward whatever way they’re facing. If two of them touch, one disappears. The goal is to clear each stage by only having one remaining. (If one falls off the edge, game over.)

This one seems like an interesting and novel concept, but it's hard to tell if it'd be fun or infuriating in practice.

49 Super Rabbit
You have an arrow (carrot) and a force meter you can control with the d-pad, and need to aim in the right direction with the right force so the rabbit can land on the next bottle.

.... I think someone just invented turn-based platforming? I'm not sure that was a thing we needed, but here we are.

50 Go Soccer
This was originally created (as a VT3xx original) as Farm Pinball, then hacked to make this. It’s a cute idea—instead of bumpers there are soccer players who kick the ball around. It’s not a particularly great pinball game (it’s too small, the hitboxes are kinda wonky), but it’s cute.

This is a cute concept that seems like it could be a lot of fun if executed a bit better. We got Metroid Prime pinball but there's a lot of other things you could mash up.