The GameKing is a handheld game console released in Hong Kong in 2003 by TimeTop. There were three consoles produced: the GameKing I, GameKing II, and GameKing III. Another console produced by TimeTop was the Handy Game but was not part of the GameKing brand.
The GameKing I (GM-218) featured as an 8-bit system using a 6.0 Mhz CPU and similar in looks to the Game Boy Advance. It uses two AAA batteries and comes in a variety of pastel colors in opaque or transparent.
The games for the system had digital sound effects, which were mainly looping samples of tunes. The images produced were mainly bitmaps, which differ from most other consoles that used tiles and tile maps. The disadvantage to the sounds and graphics used were that platform games were limited to three levels.
The GameKing II (GM-219) was redesigned to look similar to the PlayStation Portable. It came in black, grey, white, or aqua; also, rare yellow models do exist. It uses three AAA batteries, two for the unit and one to power the audio amplifier. The screen was also improved over the original unit with a backlit LCD screen.
A fixed color background picture was inserted, but visible only when the backlight was turned on. The background picture varied between models and could be removed or replaced by taking out the small transparent plastic film behind the LCD.
The two first models were compatible with each other, could use the same games, cartridges, and an external power supply minijack. The only difference is that the GameKing II needed at least one battery installed for sound and use of the backlight.
The GameKing III (GM-220) was released in 2005 and featured full color screen, unlike the first two models, which had a color picture for the background. The first two models were distributed worldwide, while the GameKing III was limited to Asia. The case colors available were black, silver, dark violet, and blue.
A redesigned GameKing III (GM-221) was released in April 2006, and featured the “A” button larger than the “B” button, but still in the style of the PlayStation Portable. Several colors were displayed on the box, but only black and white versions exist.
Later another version of the GameKing was developed (GM-222) as a redesigned GameKing II. It had a black and white screen and the backlight was removed. It was available in charcoal blue and green.
TimeTop released a model named Handy Game (GM-228), which uses NES compatible hardware. It had a TV output and originally was indicated as part of the GameKing line but later removed the GameKing name. It had 25 built-in games and could accept cartridges, but was incompatible with any of the GameKing systems. It came in a variety of colors with designed faceplates.
Games for the GameKing I and GameKing II were interchangeable between the systems. They came with three built in games, Drifter, 2003, and Miner, all three were clones of other console games. Thirty five cartridge games were also available for the two consoles. And they were also clones of other games.
GameKing III came with one built-in game, Galaxy Crisis. Currently only nine cartridge games are known for the GameKing III.
Handy Game cartridges are mostly unlicensed NES games or variations of them, and are not compatible with any other GameKing model.
Image Caption: The original GameKing — GameKing I. Credit: Sickertus/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)