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Blog posts and video from Steven as he “COMBS” through the minutia to discover tech, retro-computing, physical computing, gadgets and sci-fi.

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Commodore Plus/4 Series

8 August 2021

LiNKFOR Retro Gaming Handheld Console with ~~380~~ 500 games

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.
tags: games - console - 8 bit - handhelds - review

In my last handheld gaming console post, I shared the my Amazon Prime day 2021 experience and the lure of handheld game consoles. In that post, I describe my use of the RetroFlag RPi Case for handheld retro-gaming and use this as a baseline for all other handheld consoles I will share.

You can view my Install Super RetroPie on the Retroflag GPi Case blog post and companion video for more information. The GPi case is a wonderful handheld gaming device when paired with the Super RetroPie distribution.

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 two of my four part retro-computing handheld series, I open the box, turn on, and play games on the LiNKFOR.


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.

LiNKFOR Retro Mini Game Player

The LiNKFOR advertises ten more games than the Great Boy; however, it came with 500; however there are some duplicates. The Amazon Prime Day price was $8.79 compared to the normal price of $10.90.

A search for LiNKFOR on Amazon reveals the brand is used for audio/video products such as …

LiNKFOR Retro Mini Game Player

🕹️ Purchase the LiNKFOR Retro Mini Game Player

LiNKFOR Companion Video – Retro game console handhelds under $60 | LiNKFOR w/500 games | #2 of 4

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

Time Codes:

Time Content
00:00 Video introduction
00:32 FAST LOAD bumper
00:41 Unboxing
01:29 The battery
01:46 Second controller
02:05 Manual
02:18 LiNKFOR compared to Fate Fan (Part 3)
02:45 Power on and first use
03:11 Star Force demo
03:37 Tear down
04:14 Circuit board
04:34 Processor
04:59 Reassemble
05:43 Star Gate demo
06:00 Second controller demo
06:57 Conclusion and companion blog post
08:14 Contra Force demo
08:41 Batman demo
09:08 Burger Time demo
09:33 Seawolf demo
10:02 Spy vs Spy demo
11:16 Xevious
11:48 Galaga Plus demo
12:38 Tetris
13:08 End screen

LiNKFOR Features

This is the first unit I look at that has the Gameboy’s vertical form factor, in other words, the hand cramper! Yuck.

Those features are similar to the first unit, save for the vertical form factor and smaller screen. As shown in the video, the LiNKFOR uses a Spansion71PL256NCOHFW5U Processor. I anticipated this processor would be the same as the Great Boy. Surprisingly, it was different. The link above is to the specification sheet if you want to read more.

LiNKFOR Retro Games Highlights

Below is a table of my favorite retro game titles on the LiNKFOR. This list includes the game number to locate each game since they are not in alphabetical order. Many of these titles are found on the Great Boy. An * next to a menu number (#) indicates a game I game I demonstrate in the companion video.

# Game title
01 Contra
02 Contra 2
03* Contra Force
04 Super Contra 7
54* Batman
83 Gradius
85 Pac Man III
89* Tetris
96 Bomber Man
98 Galaga
99 Galaxian
103 Lode Runner
105 Pacmania
107 Vindicators
108 RBI Baseball
109 1942
182 Donkey Kong
209 Galg
237 Joust
274 Pac Man
312 Pacmania
313 Donkey Kong 3
314 Donkey Kong Jr.
318* Sea Wolf
332* Space Invaders
339* Spy vs. Spy
376* Xevious
392 Burger Time
405 F1 Race
410* Galaga Plus
416 Defender (II)

* Demo included in companion video.

Game Notes: What’s with Galaga Plus? Small ship and large blasts? Item 285 is not Paperboy, so don’t purchase if you consider this game a must. There are several

LiNKFOR Thoughts

Things to like about the LiNKFOR include:

  1. Low cost! This things is only $10.
  2. Pocket size and light (almost too light).
  3. Includes extra controller for two-player action.
  4. Good battery life.
  5. A/V out cable to play on larger screens.

If there are a few games you like of the 500, you are sure to get value. This would make a great 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 LiNKFOR include:

NOTE: I understand this is a $10 device and improvements may not be possible at that price point.

  1. Change the annoying menu music or eliminate.
  2. Omit requirement to select language on each reset or power–on.
  3. Fix control action – especially on maze games such as Pac Man III.
  4. Allow option to hold buttons to move quickly through menus.
  5. Include a better system to locate games.
  6. Scroll 20 character menu title names.
  7. Correct title names. 238→240, are not as listed – in this case Mario Bothers is listed as Kamikaze!
  8. Place titles in alphabetical order and groupings.
  9. Remove duplicate games reduce total number from 500 to ??? – and I’m not going to figure it out!
  10. Design better “non-mushy” controls that don’t caused as many “game over” moments.

That concludes the look at the LiNKFOR. Up next is the FateFan Retro Game Console; also with 500 games. Let’s see if the same 500 games included with the LiNKFOR are the same in the similar form factor FateFan handheld.

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.

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