So I've covered a cart-based handheld, an all-in-one handheld, a multicart and a clone; you may be wondering at this point, is there an area of obscure low-budget Chinese console gaming I haven't yet poked my nose into? why yes of course there are several of them. but today I'll be taking a look into the magical world of the plug & play controller, a class of devices that predated (and have now been mostly displaced by) those aforementioned all-in-one handhelds.
Some consoles get cloned a lot. Others don't get cloned at all. A rare few occupy the strange middle ground where they were cloned maybe once or twice, but the clones never really caught on; one of those is the Game Boy Color. Strange, given how popular it was, and how much pirated software exists for it - the original Game Boy saw a few clones (though still not many) but the Game Boy Color had... two, that I know of. Both of these were from the same company, which is either called Gangfeng or Kongfeng Industries depending on how they feel like romanising it, and both saw a brief production run in China but were never really exported. Today I'll cover the first, and I'll come back to the second some other time.
So I've covered the Game King previously as an example of a Chinese handheld with its own proprietary cartridge format - a bona fide almost-Gameboy in the tradition of the mighty Gamate and various others littering the pages of gaming history - but much (much) more common these days are the all-in-one type affairs, those which usually take the sort of hardware previously found in plug and play TV systems and forgo any kind of cartridge slot in favour of bundling a selection of pre-loaded games. One of the more successful in this field has been Jungletac, the company behind:
Multicarts! For the Famicom! If you have any experience with these things, you no doubt know the perils of high stated game counts, where just about anything above a 50 in 1 is likely to contain repeats, and anything above 10 frankly could still be suspicious. But not anymore! A welcome trend coming out of China recently has been to release Famicom multicarts with game counts running up to the 100s that actually have the stated number of games on them! (more or less) And I have a couple of them here - let's start with this 198 in 1:
Here's something I picked up from China recently - brought to you by the fine people of Time Top/TimeTop/Timetop (hey they're just as inconsistent as me!), aka Guangzhou Daidaixing Tec. Electronics Co., Ltd., it's...