Classic Max Pocket (vertical)

Type Handheld
Hardware VT168
Manufacturer Jungletac


Classic Max Pocket is a line of handhelds by Jungletac, initially VT-168 based and available in both horizontally- and vertically-oriented form factors (with different sets of games for each). This page covers the vertical version, which doesn't seem to have lasted as long as the horizontal, and instead gave way to the "HiQ Classic" line, with very few of its games being ported over.

There are almost certainly multiple variations of this console (early promotional material advertises it as a 12 in 1) but the one I have is a 30 in 1 and seems to have been sold in Canada.

Games

Interestingly (on the 30 in 1 variation at least), the first 17 games show clear signs of having been developed by Nice Code, despite most of them crediting Jungle Soft. The music in these games is done in a very similar style to other known 16/32-bit Nice Code games, and some of them are either remakes of earlier Nice Code titles or were remade by them later on. And they share fonts with other Nice Code games. And a couple of them were listed on Nice Code's website at one point. (a lot of them also have cute original pixel-art illustrations on their title screens, which i approve of)

The origins of the last 13 are less clear - the music is certainly more "Jungletacky" (for want of a better word) and many of them are ports of previous Jungletac games for different hardware, but it's possible Nice Code handled these ports from Jungletac sources too (especially since a couple of the title screens are done similarly to the NC-original ones).

30 in 1 list

  1. Egypt Legend
  2. Dingle Hunt
  3. Zodiac Dreamers
  4. Space Craft
  5. Gem World
  6. First Defense
  7. Tiger Across
  8. Dragon Tower
  9. The Night Job
  10. Knocking Now
  11. Up to the Sky
  12. Wonder Ball
  13. Jig Chick
  14. Abey's Dream
  15. Stack Master
  16. Pocket Crisis
  17. Monster Hunter
  18. Flame Beetles
  19. Go Go Go
  20. Down to 100
  21. FireFighter Bros
  22. Homeland Defence
  23. Code Eagle
  24. Double Punch
  25. Pop Ball
  26. Mystic Totem
  27. Happy Mice
  28. Baby Arms
  29. Go Soccer
  30. Save a Queen

Hardware

Cpm-vertical.jpg

So as mentioned, this version has a vertical form factor and a portrait-oriented screen, which you don't see very often on handhelds. And I like that - it shows Jungletac were willing to try things a bit differently to the majority of console makers, and allowed them (or Nice Code) to develop a set of games uniquely designed to take advantage of the verticality (in contrast to another attempt at a vertical-screen handheld I've spotted on Taobao, which literally just takes NES games and stretches them).

The console itself resembles a fatter, cheaper version of a 2000s-era mobile phone (which may well have been what they were going for). The button layout is a bit awkward - you basically have to take your thumb off the D-pad to access one of the buttons - but in almost all games both buttons do the same thing, so it's not really a problem. What is a problem is the lack of a pause button, though, something that seems to be quite frequently omitted from Jungletac consoles.

Also the volume is controlled (possibly in another nod to mobile phones) using up/down buttons on the side, and of course it resets to the default setting every time you turn it on.. and it distorts at lower volumes. I don't know why volume wheels have fallen out of favour so much with manufacturers of cheap handhelds (cost, I guess?) but I really wish they would bring them back :(

Self test screen

Standard Jungletac - hold A and B when powering on. For the 30 in 1 version, it displays the version as 058A44A7, and if you press Up+A (and wait a few minutes) it calculates the checksum as 6861A096).

Links

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