Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game Review

The Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game is sort of cheap, but it left me anything but cheerful.
As most of you probably know, I’m a bit of a sucker for retro gaming in general. JB HiFi has been selling the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game for a while now at around $25, and to be honest, I’d looked at it, dismissed it and walked past plenty of times.
The other day, though, it caught my eye, and I thought, well… why not?
I probably should have listened to the “not” part of my brain here. That’s because the very short form of it all is that the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game is pretty woeful on just about every front.
The Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game is technically a simple enough device, with a 1.8 inch LCD display, four way directional pad and two primary game buttons, along with play, volume and power buttons.
Build quality on the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game can’t be described as anything but “cheap”, but what do you expect for $25?

Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game
There’s probably some kind of smutty joke to be had here, but clearly I’m too classy for that kind of thing.

The drawcard for the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game has to be the promise of 150 built-in games. That did rather intrigue me.
I’ve reviewed a few dodgy portable handhelds in the past, such as the RS-8 Game Player or the Digital Dragon System GB-150, both of which were rubbish famiclones in that classic rubbish famiclone style.
Given that JB Hi-Fi stocks and sells plenty of official Nintendo kit, I didn’t figure that the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game would be a famiclone to speak of.

Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game
What did the poor telescope do to deserve this?

And indeed, it isn’t. Instead, what you get are 150… ish… pretty poor flash games. OK, they’re probably not running actual flash code, but they play exactly like those woeful browser-type games that you get on free Flash game sites, just on a much smaller screen and with generally worse controls.
I will give the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game one plaudit, and it’s for the bizarre creativity that’s gone into naming its games.
I can’t quite decide if they’re just bland and poor translations, or if there was some kind of AI that was force fed too many classic arcade and mobile game names and told to randomly assign them to games. The end results vary from the boring to the creatively amusing and then back again with a speed that’s quite astounding.
Yes, most of them are descriptive of the game type, but they’re also quite cheerfully odd. Here’s the full list, although I’ve added spaces to the names. The original programmers didn’t seem to believe in them/couldn’t spare the storage space. Probably the latter. Here’s the full rundown of games on the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game for your reading pleasure or amusement:

  1. Matchstick Man
  2. Tank War
  3. Seicross
  4. Football
  5. Gangtie III
  6. The Agent
  7. Piwang
  8. RacingCar
  9. CS-Fire
  10. Dinosaur War
  11. A flame plant
  12. Parachute
  13. Star Battle
  14. Honey Mary
  15. Gem Stone
  16. Apache Overkill
  17. Where to go
  18. Raiden
  19. Domain War
  20. Couple Plants
  21. Flying Bullet
  22. Give Me Water
  23. Snow Ball
  24. Disappear Boxes
  25. Catch Chicken
  26. Birds Bomb
  27. Fruit Skewer
  28. Racing Motor
  29. Beware Cross
  30. Sea Wolf
  31. Eliminate
  32. Color Stone
  33. Link Link
  34. Hunger Frog
  35. Disappear Birds
  36. Receive Eggs
  37. Connect Four
  38. Running Cool
  39. Mutative Maze
  40. Toupper
  41. Wars of Islands
  42. Tank Attack
  43. Rocket Man
  44. Demon Warrior
  45. Archer Wars
  46. Colony War
  47. Color Impress
  48. Quick Master
  49. Monkey Running
  50. Impossible
  51. Twin Shot
  52. Hurdle
  53. Bomb Sweeper
  54. Cubic Tower
  55. Air-Raid Warden
  56. Air Fight
  57. Frog Jump
  58. Hammer Chicken
  59. Shoot Birds
  60. Gem Puzzle
  61. The Wall
  62. Porter
  63. Flying Disk
  64. Frog Jump II
  65. Greedy Snake
  66. Chain Reaction
  67. Beer Waitress
  68. Shoot Balls
  69. Bloxors
  70. Number Taxis
  71. Sweep Mine
  72. Beat Pig
  73. NS-Tower
  74. Lucky Box
  75. Air Intercept
  76. Receive Fruit
  77. Destroy Bricks
  78. Poker Game
  79. Shoot Monster
  80. Wing Dream
  81. Flying Broom
  82. Magic Stone
  83. Kartrider
  84. Elevator Action
  85. Apples Jack
  86. Rabbit Roundup
  87. Balloon War
  88. Resource War
  89. Shoot Fruit
  90. Outline
  91. Find Bombs
  92. Magic Pic
  93. Seriation
  94. Grounder
  95. Circus Charlie
  96. Tank Attack II
  97. Eatting Balls
  98. Greedy Jarry
  99. Kill Zombies
  100. Falcon Man
  101. Robot Roundup
  102. Flying Bullet II
  103. Save Bears
  104. Jumping Panda
  105. Same Birds
  106. Air War
  107. Greedy Boies
  108. Air Drop
  109. Shoot Hexapod
  110. Bright Stone
  111. The FT Punk
  112. Magic Ball
  113. Same Animals
  114. Settle Puzzle
  115. Basketball
  116. Fruit Machine
  117. Bomb Chicken
  118. Eliminate II
  119. Slalom
  120. Bird Week
  121. Fun Pair
  122. To Lower
  123. Monkey Jump
  124. Receive Gift
  125. Toxophily
  126. Receive Apples
  127. 2048
  128. Fruit Knight
  129. Aeronaval War
  130. Figure
  131. Elude Balls
  132. Free Me
  133. Shoot Penguins
  134. NS-Shaft
  135. Bastion
  136. Sky War
  137. Wall Ball
  138. Baggage Claim
  139. Car Parking
  140. Guess Plants
  141. Tic Tac Toe
  142. Boldly Egg
  143. Moving Balls
  144. Brick
  145. Destroy Hubble
  146. Mushroom Ball
  147. On All Sides
  148. Mars Mission
  149. Eatting Worms
  150. Duck
  151. Clear Map
  152. Duck Thief
  153. Bear Vs Bald

Now, you may have noticed a few familiar names in there. Raiden! Bastion! Elevator Action! Circus Charlie!
Clearly, they didn’t lie about the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game having “arcade” games, right?
Well…. maybe not. Actually, it’d be an interesting application of Australia’s truth in advertising laws, because while games with those names are present on theFlea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game, they’re in no way the arcade originals. Some of them are nothing like the arcade originals.

Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game
Raiden, if you’re in there, fire a laser twice for no, once for yes…

“Raiden” is more of a bad Galaga clone, except your ship is too big so it’s too easy to die, Circus Charlie is bland (but then I’d argue it always was), Bastion isn’t in any way like the indie darling you’re probably thinking of, and as for Elevator Action…

Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game
Mess with Elevator Action, and I WILL GO FULL JACK BAUER ON YOU.

The “Elevator Action” on the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game plays like somebody describing a game of elevator action to you, only worse. Bullets sometimes hit, and they sometimes go through you or your foes. You don’t seem to be able to get into the red doors to pick up the secret files, and the whole thing runs at the speed of treacle anyway.
Amongst the weird games, there’s still the same sense of monotony. Beer Waitress is of course Tapper, but it’s at the wrong pace and almost impossible as a result.
Want to have a guess as to what “Bear Vs Bald” is?
Go on, have a go….
Are you ready?
It’s a Mario Bros clone.
Not Super Mario Bros, mind you, but instead Nintendo’s original single screen game. You’re a bear, and there are… moles, I guess… in cars that you have to flip. Are moles really bald? I’m probably overthinking it.

Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game
Bear vs Bald. Again, there’s probably a joke about bears preferring things to be hairy here, but would I make that gag? I would not.

Shoot Balls is, sadly, not a testicular aiming game, but instead an incredibly dull single screen balloon shooting game.
Beat Pig is a classic bash-the-mole type game, except that the mole is (you guessed it) a pig. Also, it’s essentially impossible.

Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game
Also, the Pig might just be wearing a communist hat. Given where this was almost certainly made, does this make the game political satire?

Boldly Egg isn’t an egg-themed Star Trek game, but instead a non-moving Doodle Jump style game. There are a lot of those, because while there are technically more than 150 games on theFlea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game, there’s an incredible quantity of theme or concept repetition.
Why do I have Gangtie III, and not Gangtie or Gangtie II? Why do I even care? It’s a bizarre Superman-esque sideways shooter, just in case that wasn’t obvious. Because of course it is!

Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game
Personally, I’m hanging out for Gangtie IV: The Quest for Peace.

I think you get the point by now. The Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game is easier to get hold of in Australia thanks to JB Hi-Fi stocking it, and it’s not quite as copyright infringing as the many portable famiclones you can easily buy online.
But that still doesn’t make it good, or for that matter playable. I’ve played plenty of bad games, and I’ve played plenty of basic games. Basic games can be fun. The classic score chase of the Game & Watch games can be a great way to while away a little time, and the continued success of casual mobile games shows that there’s still an audience for this kind of approach. But you have to at least provide essentially playable or interesting games!
Avoid the Flea Market Micro Handheld Arcade Game, folks. I wish I had.

Author: Alex

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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