Retro computing with a touch of modern and the home for all things, retroCombs (aka Steven Combs).

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21 August 2021

FateFan Retro Gaming Handheld Console with ~~500~~ games???

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.

In my last handheld gaming console post, I continue to describe my Amazon Prime day 2021 experience and the purchase of four retro handheld gaming consoles. The second handheld was the LiNKFOR handheld gaming console.

As a reminder, I chose four different handheld game units that range in price from $10 to $50. I had ≈$120 of affiliate funds that became my budget for this experiment (Thanks to everyone who supports the blog and the YouTube channel!). These include:

  1. Great Boy Portable Handheld Games for Kids Preloaded 380 Classic Retro Games with 3.5’’ Big Color Display and Gamepad Rechargeable Arcade Gaming System
  2. Handheld Game Console 390 Classic Games LiNKFOR Retro Mini Game Player with 3 Inch LCD Color Screen Rechargeable Battery Portable Retro Video Game Console Support for Connecting TV and Two Players
  3. FateFan Retro Game Console with 500 Classic Games, Handheld Game Console Supporting 2 Players TV Connection, 1020 mAh Rechargeable Battery(Green)
  4. TRIMUI Handheld Game Console with 4000+ Classical Games, Super Mini Retro Games Console Arcade, Mini Retro Gaming Player 2.0” IPS, Powkiddy Portable Video Game Console 600MA(Gray)

🕹️ Want to extend your gameplay for items 1 through 4? Purchase additional BL-5C 3.7V 1020mAh Rechargeable Batteries.

🕹️ Items 1 to 3 include RCA out. If your TV doesn’t support RCA out, use this RCA to HDMI Convertor.

NOTE: This page uses Amazon Affiliate Links. Thanks for your continued support of this blog and companion videos.

In part three of my four part retro-computing handheld series, I open the box, power up, and play games on the “FateFan Retro Game Console with 500 Classic Games, Handheld Game Console Supporting 2 Players TV Connection, 1020 mAh Rechargeable Battery (Green)”; an almost identical model to the LiNKFOR. Or is it? Let’s find out.

Table of Contents

Retro Gaming Handhelds Comparison Table

Each unit has unique features and I found it difficult to compare them without a table. My table is in the embedded Google Sheet below or view directly by clicking here.

FateFan Retro Game Console

The Amazon Prime Day price was $12.59 compared to the normal price of $20.99. The unit was unique in that several colors are available. I choose green to distinguish it from the red LiNKFOR from the last post. I was excited about this model, despite the form-factor, because of the number of games (which you will soon find it a bait and switch), large second controller, and interesting layout of the controller (which I will be sorry for later). Let’s open the box, turn on, and try out this latest purchase.

FateFan Retro Game Console

🕹️ Purchase the FateFan Retro Game Console

FateFan Companion Video – Retro game console handhelds under $60 \ FateFan w/500 games \ #3 of 4

Watch the companion video below and then continue to read my thoughts on this device.

Time Codes:

00:00  Video introduction
01:01  FAST LOAD Bumper
01:20  Unboxing
01:42  Battery
02:10  Second controller
02:31  Audio/Video cable
02:37  USB charging cable
02:45  Instructions
02:57  Power up
03:36  Games main menu
03:52  Star Fighter demo
04:29  Tear down
04:53  PCB review
04:49  Processor and companion blog post
05:08  PCB comparison to LiNKFOR
05:28  Assembly
06:00  Test assembly
06:34  Contact: retrocombs@icloud.com
06:48  FateFan menu of 500 games
07:16  Contra
07:48  Gradius
08:22  Lifeforce
09:05  Lode Runner
09:51  Donkey Kong
10:35  Arkanoid
11:23  Nintendo Baseball
12:29  F-1 Race
13:33  Space Invaders
14:33  End Screen

FateFan Features

This is the second unit I look at that has the Gameboy’s vertical form factor, in other words, the hand cramper! I still don’t like it after two units.

As shown in the video, the FateFan uses a STMicroelectronicsM36L0T7050BZAQ Processor that includes a: 128Mbit (Multiple Bank, Multi-Level, Burst) Flash Memory 32Mbit (2M x16) PSRAM, Multi-Chip Package. The link above is to the specification sheet.

FateFan Retro Games Highlights

Below is a table of my favorite retro game titles (1989 and earlier in most cases) on the FateFan. This list includes the game number to locate each game since they are not in alphabetical order. An * next to a menu number (#) indicates a game I game I demonstrate in the companion video.

03*       Contra
04        Super Contra 6
 10        Super Contra 7
 11        Super Contra 8
 12        Super Contra 2
 14        Super Mario Brothers
 30*       Gradius
 31*       Life Force
 45        Goonies
 55        1942
 59*       Lode Runner
 62*       Donkey Kong
 65*       Arkanoid
 87*       Baseball
 106/306   Burger Time
 128/328   Defender 2
 139/339   Dig Dug
 152/352*  F-1 Race
 169/369   Galaga
 170/370   Galaxian
 197/397   Joust
 202/402*  Space Invaders
 215       Mario Brothers
 220/440   Millipede
 231       Pac-Man
 445       Popeye

* Demo included in companion video.

FateFan Thoughts

Things to like about the FateFan include:

  1. Pocket size and light (almost too light).
  2. Includes extra controller for two-player action.
  3. Good battery life.
  4. A/V out cable to play on larger screens.
  5. 500 games; albeit, of debatable quality.
  6. Multiple colors available.
  7. Option to hold buttons to move quickly through menus.

This unit would make a good stocking stuffer or holiday party gift exchange item; especially if you knew there was a retro game fan in the mix.

Things to improve the FateFan include:

NOTE: I understand this is a $20 device and improvements may not be possible at that price point but with regard to one item, the duplication of games, it is unacceptable. I can’t recommend this unit when there are others for the same cost, same form-factor, and include “technically” more games.

  1. Cost. This things is $21!
  2. Change or eliminate the annoying menu music
  3. Omit requirement to select language on each reset or power–on.
  4. Fix control action – especially on maze games such as Pac Man III.
  5. Include a better system to locate games.
  6. Scroll 20 character menu title names.
  7. Place titles in alphabetical order and groupings.
  8. Remove duplicate games and you reduce the total number from 500 of about 250!
  9. Design better “non-mushy” controls that don’t caused as many “game over” moments.
  10. Include better selection of retro games.
  11. Duplicate games so while technically 500 games, not technically 500 unique games. More like 250 games.

That concludes my first look at the FateFan. Up next is the TRIMUI/Powkiddy with unlimited games, but limited console emulation. You won’t want to miss this final installment and my summary of all four-units.

Conclusion, Comparison, and Recommendation

I’ll compare all four of the handhelds and make a final recommendation in the final video (link coming soon). For now, I hope you enjoy this fun experiment. While not every handheld is a winner, trying them out makes every experience like Christmas morning!

Want to suggest a model, or better yet, send me one to feature or as a, “Thank you!” Drop me an email and let’s start the discussion.