All in one handheld retro gaming consoles
All in one retro gaming consoles on the move
So with retro gaming getting more and more popular at home, it is inevitable that this would carry over to mobile gaming as well. With advancements in portable devices with more processing power, better screen technology and lower power consumption, mobile retro gaming has really taken off. After our list of all in one retro gaming consoles here, we have added to this with a selection of all in one handheld retro gaming consoles.
Again, this is the tip of the iceberg and there are lots of others available as well. There are other no name handheld game consoles, but they include loads of generic games from no particular machine. The handheld consoles here are all based on a certain game console and play those games, with a few exceptions.
Sega Master System
So first up is the At Games Arcade Gamer Portable, which is a portable Sega Master System / Game Gear. These were very popular 8 bit consoles from Sega and had a huge following with a large library of games. There are 30 popular games built in with all of the Sonic ones present. It has a 2.4″ LCD screen and needs 3 x AAA batteries ( not included ) to power it.
The first thing you will notice is the small size of this console. If you have large hands, then this might be too small to comfortably use, but it should suit most people. At 2.4″, the screen is quite small, but it is very clear and easy to use. There is no motion blur that the original Game Gear suffered from. The controls are of a good quality and work well. The built in speaker is a little tinny in use and there is a headphone jack to use your own headphones. An A/V jack is also provided which will allow the console to output to a television. There is no provision to add more games over the built in games.
The included games are Alex Kidd in High Tech World, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars, Assault City, Astro Warrior, Aztec Adventure, Baku Baku Animal, Bomber Raid, Columns, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Dragon Crystal, Ecco: The Tides of Time, Fantasy Zone, Fantasy Zone 2, Gain Ground, Global Defense, Golden Axe, Kung Fu Kid, The Ninja, Penguin Land, Putt and Putter, Quartet, Ristar, Snail Maze, Sonic Chaos, Sonic Drift 2, Sonic Spinball, Sonic Triple Trouble, Super Columns and Tails Adventures.
Sega Mega Drive / Genesis
Next up is the At Games Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player, with Genesis being another name for the Mega Drive. This is similar to the Master System portable above and there are a few different versions and this one is the 25th anniversary with 80 built in games.
It has a 3.2″ screen which is much nicer to use than the Master System portable screen above. It is very clear and there is no motion or ghosting issues with moving graphics. A rechargeable battery pack sits in a compartment on the underside and charged via a USB lead using a regular USB mains adaptor ( not included ). The controls are not bad and seem nice to use without any issues.
The speaker is not the best and if the volume is turned up too much then it can distort, but it is fine at lower levels. There is a headphone jack for using your own headphones and an A/V jack for connecting to a television. Not all of the 80 games are Mega Drive games, but a good proportion are. There is an SD card slot and this allows you to run other Mega Drive games not included.
The included games are Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, Alien Storm, Altered Beast, Arrow Flash, Bonanza Bros., Chakan: The Forever Man, Columns, Columns III, ComixZone, Crack Down, DecapAttack, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, ESWAT: City Under Siege, Eternal Champions, Fatal Labyrinth, Flicky, Gain Ground, Golden Axe, Golden Axe II, Golden Axe III, Jewel Master, Kid Chameleon, Phantasy Star 2, Phantasy Star 3, Ristar, Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Spinball, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog II, Sonic 3D Blast, Sword of Varmilion, The Ooze, Vectorman, Vectorman II, Mortal Kombat I, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat III, Adventure in the Park, Cross the road, Jack’s Pea, Jewel Magic, Curling 2010, Plumbing Contest, Wall-Breaking, Bubble Master, Break a Fireline, Mahjong Solitaire, Warehouse Keeper, Chess, Memory, Snake, Air Hockey, Spider, Naval Power, Mr. Balls, Cannon, Fight or Lose, Bottle, Taps Race, Bomber, Checker, Hexagonos, Whack-A-Wolf, Mirror Mirror, Panic Lift, Black Sheep, Flash Memory, Brain Switch, Mega Brain Switch, Hidden Agenda, Dominant Amber, Hide and Seek, Jura Formula, Lost World Sudoku, Meatloaf Rotation, Mya Master Mind, Skeleton Scale, T-Rex Memory Match and Yawning Triceratops.
If you like your handheld retro gaming a little older, then the next two are for you. Atari 2600 games can be quite basic and not all people will like them, but if you remember the console, then you will like this.
First is the At Games Atari Flashback Portable with 60 games built in and there are a few versions now with slightly different games. Like the Sega Mega Drive above, it has a 3.2″ screen which is really nice and clear to use, but the viewing angle is not the best and you need to look at it directly. It has a rechargeable battery pack and charged via a USB lead. There is no mains adaptor provided, but any generic one should work.
The controls are good and have a nice feel and work well and accurate. Like the others above, the sound is a bit tinny and can distort when set too loud, but it is okay at lower levels. There is a headphone jack and this gives better sound through some nice headphones. The menu system is nice and easy to use and shows the box art for each game being selected. There is an SD card slot to allow for additional games as well as the built in games. There are some games that would have originally used an analogue paddle and these can be a little tricky to play with the controls. Not all the games are Atari 2600 games, but most are. There is also an A/V jack to connect to a television.
The included games are Adventure, Adventure II, Air Raiders, Aquaventure, Asteroids, Astroblast, Black Jack, Bowling, Breakout, Centipede, Circus Atari, Climber 5, Crystal Castles, Dark Cavern (Night Stalker), Demons to Diamonds, Double Dunk, Fatal Run, Frog Pond, Frogger, Frogs and Flies, Front Line, Fun with Numbers, Golf, Gravitar, Hangman, Haunted House, Human Cannonball, Jungle Hunt, Millipede, Miniature Golf, Miss It!, Missile Command, Night Driver, Polaris, Pong (Video Olimpics), Radar Lock, Realsports Basketball, Return to Haunted House, Saboteur, Save Mary, Secret Quest, Shield Shifter, Solaris, Space Attack, Space Invaders, 46, Star Ship, Star Strike, Stellar Track, Strip Off, Submarine Commander, Swordquest: Earthworld, Swordquest: Fireworld, Swordquest: Waterworld, Tempest, Video Checkers, Video Chess, Video Pinball, Wizard, Yars’ Return and Yars’ Revenge.
Last but not least is the PQube Atari Retro Handheld Console. This has not actually been released yet and should be available in the next few months. This is similar to the one above and has 50 built in games. The main difference with this one, is its looks. They have really tried to capture the original Atari 2600 looks with the buttons from the joysticks, a slotted front effect and the awesome 1970’s wood grain effect. This makes it really look the part and feel more retro than just a regular plastic handheld console playing the games.
It has a rather small 2.4″ screen and this might be too small to see and use easily. A regular joypad and buttons are provided to play the games. These look to be of a nice quality, but only when it is released, will we be able to know for sure. A regular headphone and A/V jack are provided to connect your headphones or to a television set. Unlike the ones above, this uses AAA batteries to power it, which are not supplied. Unfortunately there is no SD card slot, so additional games cannot be run if the 50 built in ones do not cover everything you want to play.
The included games are 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Adventure, Air-Sea Battle, Asteroids, Black Jack, Bowling, Breakout, Canyon Bomber, Casino, Centipede, Circus Atari, Crystal Castles, Demons to Diamonds, Desert Falcon, Dodge ’em, Double Dunk, Fun With Numbers, Golf, Gravitar, Haunted House, Home Run, Human Cannonball, Maze Craze, Millipede, Miniature Golf, Missile Command, Night Driver, Off the Wall, Pong – Video Olympics, Quadrun, Radar Lock, Realsports Football, Realsports Tennis, Realsports Volleyball, Sprintmaster, Steeplechase, Stellar Track, Street Racer, Submarine Commander, Super Baseball, Super Breakout, Super Football, Swordquest: Earthworld, Swordquest: Fireworld, Swordquest: Waterworld, Tempest, Video Checkers, Video Chess, Video Pinball and Yar’s Revenge.
Like the all in one retro gaming consoles in our previous list, these handheld ones can also be a bit hit or miss. It is basically the same problem and that is the included games might only have a handful that you actually like and others that you do not really care about. If you are unable to add more games via a memory card, then this can be quite limiting.
Also with the abundance of emulation software, portable Android gaming devices and smartphones, this might seem a more attractive option and far more versatile for your retro gaming needs. Using a smartphone for game playing will always have the problem of the controls being virtual buttons on the touchscreen, but the portable Android gaming devices are better suited with proper controls to use.
The beauty of emulation is that the software can be upgraded or changed and games can be added or removed as desired. But these all in one handheld consoles might be a cheap quick way for a casual retro gamer to have some fun on the move.