Indoor, Outdoor & Kids' Trampolines

9 Plug n Play TV Games Compared


Recently, I went to an estate sale in
Waxahachie, Texas. This place apparently belonged to an avid video game
collector. As you can see, they had quite a selection here and most of these
systems were $10 apiece. I ended up buying two original Nintendos
and some games but I also ended up with several of these little plug ‘n’ play TV
games that I bought for $1 apiece. Plus, I already had a few in my
collection. For those that aren’t familiar, these sort of games usually run on batteries and they plug straight into a TV or monitor and they’re completely self-contained. Some of these are designed to emulate
vintage video games but others are more similar to the arcades. There are probably 30 or 40 of these that
have been on the market over the last 10 years. So, I have like 9 of the more
popular units and I’m going to show you each one and tell you whether I think
it’s junk or treasure. I’m going to start with the Atari 2600 Joystick. It was made in 2002 by Jakks Pacific and
has 10 built-in games. The Joystick very much resembles the
original joysticks that shipped with the Atari 2600, so it does have some of the more popular games of the era such as “Adventure”, or “Asteroids”, “Centipede”, “Missile Command”, and “Yars’ Revenge”. These games look pretty close to the originals, but this thing does not actually have any Atari technology inside. Ironically, what it does have it is one of these. Yes, believe it or not, it actually uses
what’s called a NOAC, or a Nintendo-on-a-chip. It’s a single chip that emulates the
original Nintendo and somebody spent some time coding these games to look
very similar to the Atari versions. It’s almost convincing but not quite. For example, check out the victory scene
here in “Yars’ Revenge”. Now compare that to the authentic
Atari 2600 version. Now, I give this unit credit because it’s
one of the first, if not the very first of its kind; however, it does lack a little bit of
authenticity but that’s not even really the biggest problem with it. I think
the biggest problem is that it doesn’t really have any software outside of
Atari. Every game on here is from Atari. There’s nothing from Midway or Namco or
Activision. Despite that, though, I am still gonna give it a thumbs up. Next on the list is the Namco Pacman
game. It came out in 2003 and was also made by
Jakks Pacific. It only has 6 games on it but unlike the Atari, all of the games
on here are worth playing. So, you’ve got “Pacman”, of course. Now, keep
in mind this is not intended to mimic any specific game console but it does
mimic the original arcade pretty well. I’ve heard some people say that there
are slight variances in the behavior of the ghosts and whatnot from the original
but I do not believe the casual gamer will notice. So, it also has “Galaxian”, and “Rally X”, and “Dig Dug”, and lastly is “Bosconian” – probably the only game here that I don’t personally care for. The joystick itself is actually built really well and can
take a lot of heavy use – unlike the Atari Joystick – and I
definitely give this unit a thumbs up. Next on the list is the Commodore 64 DTV. It was made in 2004 by Mammoth Toys and DC Studios. It has 20 games on board. I could do a whole episode on this thing alone so I’ll try to keep it short. It starts off with a very 1980s BBS intro type look to it with your selection of games. So, this thing is a real Commodore 64
inside. Now what I mean by that is it actually executes the original code so
these games are more or less unmodified. That means they’re extremely authentic. Another great thing about this is it has…
the 20 games it has are actually all pretty good, important games that were
very popular on the system. I won’t show them all to you but here
are a few. This is “Cybernoid”. “Impossible Mission”… *Synthesized Voice*: Another visitor. Stay a while. Stay forever! …which was always one of my favorites growing up, and I never actually solved the darn thing
but it’s still fun to play. “Jumpman Junior”. “Pitstop II” – unfortunately no way to do a two-player on this one. “International Karate” – I spent many years
of my youth playing this. Someday, I may perform the music for this on my other channel. Here’s “Tower Toppler”, “Eliminator”, “Cyberdyne Warrior”, “Zynaps”, “Speedball”, and “Super Cycle”. Now let me show you a neat trick: if you
wiggle the joystick on power-up it will take you to a fake BASIC screen and you
can select several more hidden games such as “Splatform”, or “Minima”. Also, you can get a real BASIC prompt
with an on-screen keyboard. I imagine it would take quite a while to
write any software using this mode. Now, this thing is actually designed to be
hackable so that you can actually solder in a PS/2 keyboard and connect up a Commodore disk drive to it, at which point it becomes a full-fledged Commodore 64 system and then you can run any Commodore game on it you want. I definitely give this unit a thumbs up. Next up is the Atari Paddle game. It was made in 2004 by Jakks Pacific; it
has 13 games on board; but keep in mind, all of these games are Atari 2600 games
that were designed to work with the paddle. So, I’ll show you a few of them. So, you get “Breakout”, “Super Breakout”, “Circus Atari”, “Night Driver”, the original “Pong”, although it’s a single-player; “Warlords”, although this looks too
sophisticated to be the 2600 so I think this is from the later console; and “Demons to Diamonds”. So, what can I say about this thing? Well, on the good side, the paddle actually is
very responsive and it works really well. The problem is mostly just the game
selection; there weren’t really that many games on the Atari 2600 that supported
the paddle, and even fewer that were actually any good. As a result, I’m giving
this one a thumbs down just for the software aspect of it. Next up is the Sega Genesis. It was made
by Radica in 2003. It has 6 games on board. It looks like a tiny Genesis console
with a pretty nice little controller attached to it. Now, this thing is extremely authentic in
that it actually runs the original Genesis code and so the games are
unmodified, very similar to the Commodore DTV. In fact, if you take a look inside, you’ll
see a ROM chip here and you can actually remove this chip and solder in a
connection for real Genesis cartridges and play them on here. Now unfortunately,
from the factory, the audio sounds terrible on this thing but in a previous
episode, I showed exactly how to fix that and I’ll put a link to that down in the description. So, it has the original “Sonic the Hedgehog” – obviously a popular game for the console. Here’s “Golden Axe”. The graphics here just
scream of the 16-bit era, unlike all the others I’m showing you here which are
from the 8-bit era. Here’s “Kid Chameleon”, “Altered Beast”, “Mr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine”, and “Flicky”. I definitely give this one a thumbs up due to the great construction, the authenticity and the selection of games. Next up is the Space Invaders console. It was made in 2003, also by Radica.
It has 6 built-in games. This thing is very well made and as far
as comfort goes, it’s the easiest unit to play due to the
larger base. The primary game is “Space Invaders” and
I’m not sure which system they’re copying here, but it doesn’t look like any game console, nor does it resemble the arcade version
since the aliens are all the same color. It’s very playable but the graphics are
pretty rotten. It would be one thing if they were emulating an Atari 2600 or
something but they aren’t. So, the next game on the list is “Lunar Rescue” which almost looks like it was from the Sinclair or something. It really isn’t all that fun. The next game is “Colony 7” which is sort
of like “Missile Command”. Next is “Qix” which was always a
favorite of mine on the C64 and this version is decent. I can play this for a while. The last game is “Phoenix” which is,
ironically, a clone of “Galaga”, which is a clone of “Space Invaders” which is the
primary game and yet this one’s actually better looking
graphics and more fun to play than the primary game. So, what do I think? Well, as much as I
love the construction of this thing, I’m giving it a thumbs down based on
the selection of software and the poor re-creation of
the primary game of “Space Invaders”. Next up is the Tetris game, made in 2003
by Radica. It has one game on board which is, of course, “Tetris”. You can play one-player or you can connect the secondary
controller and play two-players. The graphics are good, the music is tolerable and is the original
“Tetris” soundtrack. So from a software standpoint, this thing’s actually pretty good but what really kills it is the controller. I mean, you know, “Tetris” requires a lot of left-to-right movement as well as a lot of rotation of the pieces which is easy to do on a Gameboy or just about any console.
These controllers are very stiff and require a lot of force to move them
and you have to rotate the knob to rotate the pieces. So, I consider myself,
like, a champion at “Tetris”. I could probably win some kind of tournament if
I were to ever enroll, but as far as this thing goes, I can’t
play it very well at all. I’m giving this unit a thumbs down
for the controllers. Next up is the Ms. Pacman game. This was made in 2004 by Jakks Pacific.
It has 5 built-in games. The primary game, of course, is “Ms. Pacman”.
It seems very authentic to the original arcade. There may be some slight differences but
the casual gamer wouldn’t ever notice. Here’s “Xevious”. I used to play the arcade for
this in a restaurant that my family frequented back in the 1980s. I would also say it’s very authentic; and of course, here’s “Galaga”; and here’s “Pole Position”. Now here’s a funny thing: I could not
figure out how to make my car turn. I thought there was something wrong with
the game but after doing a Google search I found that you actually rotate the
controller like a paddle. Although it seems awkward,
it actually works very well, giving much better steering than using a
binary-style joystick. So, the game is very playable once you
figure that out. The last game is “Mappy” and I’ll admit I’ve never heard of it and
I can’t even figure out how to play it but overall, at least 4 out of the
5 games on this console are classic games and very desirable and the
construction is also pretty good. So, I give this unit a definite thumbs up. And last up is the Atari Flashback. So, this is another one of those… I could
do an entire episode on this thing. Now, let me start by saying there’s
actually at least 6 different versions of this. I happen to have two of them:
the Flashback 2 and the Flashback 4. What I can tell you is that the first unit
was a Nintendo-on-a-chip. The second unit was a real Atari that
ran the original code. In fact, this one can be modified to take original
Atari 2600 cartridges, very similar to the Sega Genesis that I showed you earlier.
From the Flashback 3 and newer, they’re using some sort of ARM chip, I believe;
however, I think they may be running emulation of the original code
which works for me either way because it’s pretty authentic. All of the units can
use the original Atari or compatible controllers which is pretty cool. My Flashback 2 doesn’t work; I bought it
broken and I have been meaning to try to fix it. There’s an exploded capacitor inside. I think somebody plugged the wrong power
adapter into it but I’ll show you a few games from my Flashback 4.
So, here’s “Space Invaders”. Now, what’s weird about this is that it’s not
the 2600 version of “Space Invaders”; however, ironically, it is more fun and better
looking than the one that came on the actual Space Invaders console I showed earlier. Just for comparison, here’s the Atari
2600 “Space Invaders”. Now, here’s “Yars’ Revenge” and “Gravitar”. So, here’s the problem I have with all of
these Flashback consoles: they give you, you know, around 80 games on each one of these
consoles but 5 of them are pretty good games and 75 of them are just total
garbage. Now, it seems crazy to me that they would produce this thing with
80-some-odd games in there and yet leave out all of the games that more or
less defined the console, such as “Dig Dug”, “Donkey Kong”, “Frogger”, “River Raid”, “Galaxian”, “Montezuma’s Revenge”, “Ms. Pacman”, “Pitfall”, which is probably the most
iconic game on the platform, or “Pitfall II”, which is probably the best game on the
platform, “Pole Position”, “Qbert”, “Spy Hunter”, or “Xevious”. So, of all of the most important and
defining games for this console, they give you like 4 or 5 of them and then like 75 rubbish games, so as a result, I’m giving this system thumbs down, except for maybe the Flashback 2 if you
wanna modify it to take the original cartridges. Well guys, thanks for watching. Sorry
to have to rush through but there were quite a few systems to cover. Now, if
there’s enough interest, I might come back and do a sequel and
cover some more of these systems that I did not cover in this episode, as well
as – if there’s enough requests – I might do specific episodes on some of the
unique consoles that we talked about in the show.

Reader Comments

  1. Come on Dood…
    The original space invaders used a B/W screen with a color overlay!!!
    so it did do it right :p probably a direct rom emu.

  2. A bit is determined by the voltage going through. If you use a potentiometer(pedal) on a battery and hooked it up to a fan motor. If you do d/c current, you could use a huge Tesla on the back and a motor up front. Using air as the resistance. Might mess with radios. And make phones charge. (If possible)

  3. Now you have a bunch of 'Key chain' arcade games that actually look & sound identical to the arcade version on a tiny 2" screen with a tiny joystick & buttons that actually work well!
    They fit in the palm of your hand.
    Then there are larger ones with 3-4" screens.
    It seems they are using original ROMS.

  4. Thank you so much, I could not figure out pole position, and then you told me you had to twist the stick, and I was like, I need to try this right now, and it worked thank you so much

  5. My wife got me the Namco Pac man system and it comes with a red felt ghost "dust cover" that fits over the ball. It also comes with some clear vinyl stickers. I think I saw the felt ghost and stickers somewhere recently and if I find them I'll send them your way in the mail.

  6. 10:09 – I notice we don’t see an 8-bit guy playing in the Classic Tetris World Championship going on, even as we speak 😉

  7. My Jakks Pacific Pacman has gold plastic side panels, unlike the one in your video, that has yellow side panels.that's weird that tge company would change the color like that. My side.panels have become brittle, and have two cracked off corners, and two of the cylindrical screw mounts have cracked away from the side panels. I think the gold plastic is not as durable as the yellow. Maybe I can have the company send me two yellow panels.

  8. I just ordered the Mrs. Pacman one in this video. I mainly want it for Galaga. But the other games are a bonus. I am going to build a cabinet for it, and put it in my man cave/game room/bar/ home theater. 😃

  9. No joke i had 6/9 of these growing up. Also had the red radica genesis one and a bunch of others. Plug and plays were my life as a kid lol really what introduced me to old school games probably easier for my parents as opposed to buying a $300 console.

  10. 6:11 That version of Warlords is the arcade version. It's one of the few games that came in a cocktail cabinet so that 4 players can play together without forcing two of the players to have a weird controller orientation.

  11. Oh god man you had me at the beginning of the video because back in the early 80's I had a comadore 64 computer which I loved so much and I actually wrote Games on a pad of paper and type them onto the system they were mostly text adventure games which at first I had the tape cassette recorder which took forever to save my programs God I miss the good old days

  12. Thanks for a great video.
    Do you know how to fix micro switch spring for a QuickJoy JetFighter that's made for Commodore/Amiga/Atari?
    Especially, where can I get those springs from?
    I'd really appreciate pointing to the right direction.

  13. my dad tells me stories about being in college in the 80s and going to an arcade with a bunch of quarter and playing berzerk for hours on end

  14. The 8-Bit Guy: "So, there you have it, the Commodore 64 DTV. Let's take a short break while I take this beauty back into my private test room and mastu.. err.. I mean experiment with it a little more."

  15. I had that Atari paddle when I was a kid, I loved that Warlords game. I remember it had some Pong games and such too.

  16. as someone who's played Mappy for not only all my life, but it's one of my favorite games, I can tell you if you can get to the 'Hurry!' section, the music is more high-pitched and frantic than the original arcade release.

  17. I mean, it does make sense why the Atari Flashback 4 didn't use some of the games that defined the console. Most of them aren't owned by Atari, but rather other companies like Activision and Namco. And I'm just assuming that Atari didn't feel like going through the trouble of using those. Also, you can't get mad at it not having Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong is owned by Nintendo, and I doubt they would want one of their games on an Atari plug-and-play.

  18. Did you know if you are on computer on Google type in atari breakout first and not enter and go to images u can play it?

  19. Hey friend there other plug in early games I think it was called vectorcit had a small screen wasn't really any good

  20. I got the Plug and Play Pac-Man Arcade Game (Blue with the Little Red Joystick) in Late 2004 I took it home, played it, and Oh my God I loved it when I got it that's when I fell in love with the Namco Museum Trilogy I love Mappy (Next to Galaga and Pole Position) I had to of them and they both Broke because of the AV Cable being Messed up and Ruined but I still love Namco Museum to this Day

  21. I got the Plug and Play Sega Genesis (Blue Controller) in Early 2005 my Favorite Game is Golden Axe and Sonic the Hedgehog this is when I found out about the Sega Genesis Game Console in January 2005 (2 Weeks before my 7th Birthday) I love the Sega Genesis and Sega Exclusives ever since for the Past 14 (Almost 15) Years of my Life I don't think I own the Plug and Play by Radica anymore I'm for Sure I still own it to this Day but I'm thinking it's Packed Away in Storage but I'm also thinking one Day when I find it when I'm Cleaning out some Old Stuff it's Probably Ruined by the time I find it like the Bottom of the Battery Compartment is Ruined and the Batteries are Corroded because they been inside for so long and I'm thinking when I find it I'll remember it as one of my Childhood Belongings since I know it'll bring me back from my Childhood from the Day I got it but for now I want to stick with my Original Sega Genesis (Model 1) which I'm more Happier with since I've been playing Real Genesis Cartridges on the Original Hardware and I'm enjoying them so yeah

  22. They most likely don't include all Atari 2600 games due to publisher's copyrights and licensing such has Activision. When you showed the real-looking Space Invaders I said there's no way that's a 2600 lol It looks like a MAME emulator. I have some of the handhelds. Thanx for the undocumented Pole Position tip! I bet someone figured it out by accidentally turning the balltop. Pheonix was always one of my favorites. they had it at a Woolworth's dept store at the Mall in the 80's. This version is pretty good. It's always hard to take a vertical monitor CRT arcade game and make it fit 4:3 TV.

  23. He was complaining about there being nopitfall but the Atari flashback 2 that I have actually has pitfall on it but not the second version

  24. LOL…when I saw you loading a game with the cassette player it cracked me up. I remember doing the same thing with my Tandy Color Computer II and playing "Dungeons of Daggoroth". Great game for the era, but what a hassle to load/save!

  25. In answer to your query about why some of the most popular classic games haven't been offered on the mini consoles: copyright/ownership issues. Enjoyed the video tremendously, gave you a thumbs up.

  26. The Warlords on the Atari paddle is the arcade version which ran on modified Centipede hardware. This paddle version unfortunately wouldn't allow multiple human players which was the best part of the arcade version.

  27. I've still got the Radica Space Invaders game because everybody loves it! I could have sworn I got it in the 90's…

  28. I got the second device back in the day, but being a fan of Bosconian I hated this device because the 4-way joystick prevented diagonal movement, which is great for Pac-Man but makes Bosconian unplayable.

  29. 8:15 What were you talking about here? "nor does it resemble the arcade version since the aliens are all the same color" The arcade version was black-and-white with a green overlay on the bottom, so these colors are correct. It was around a year or two later before any arcade games used full color screens since they were really expensive back then. Also, this device is one of the few from the time that didn't get the sound effects mixed up; most of the others swapped the missile and explosion sounds resulting in an unauthentic feel.

  30. I had the Ms. Pac Man plug n play and I also had an Intellevision plug n play that had about 10 games on it. Sadly, neither of them work anymore.

  31. I have 2 of those atari joysticks and a pacman one not shown in the video. Oddly enough these demand some stupid prices considering they only cost $10-$20 bucks a decade ago.

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