So when we saw this appear on ebay, we had to investigate. It arrived on Obsolete Island via Spain this week, sadly a little worse for wear and with broken parts rattling around inside it. After some tinkering we finally got it working again and now have to ask one question.
What on earth is this?
Unlike the Gameking II, cartridges are inserted into a slot in the left, although there appears to be some doubt over whether or not they actually contain any data or are simply triggering something built into the system's internal memory, as with many of the gimmicky methods used in YD Company's similar handhelds.
Anyway, let's have a look at what we found inside, shall we?
Now let's look at what the system actually does.
Further evidence that the games in question are probably built into the unit rather than the 'cartridges' comes in the appearance of five little icons at the top of the screen: A jet plane, some blocks, a man with a gun, a race-car and finally the same 'Bomber' found on our cartridge.
Oddly there are slots for both 1 and 2 players as well as some screen rot that we might be able to remove with the old soldering iron trick. The 2 player mode might explain this port being on the back of the console:
Anyway, from the menu screen you can adjust contrast and volume with the relevant buttons on the face of the device.
Next step: playing a game on it!
And Bomber? Well, it's a Bomberman clone isn't it. Quite a primitive one, very similar in style to the Gameking games 'Popper' and 'Miner'. The sound effects and some of the graphics definitely feel familiar to seasoned Gameking veterans.
Why manufacture such a technologically inferior system in the era of the PSP? Who made and coded the near 80 titles available for it? Why did Timetop keep releasing so many iterations of it? Who was buying them all?
Now, with the discovery of this odd clone, we have a new riddle to solve. Why was anyone attempting to clone one?
If anyone can help us solve this mystery then we'd love to read your thoughts.