Famiclone: MaxxPlay

Out of all the Famiclones that I own, I would have to say the MaxxPlay has the best build quality, by far. It may look like the run of the mill Famiclone packed into an N64 style controller, and it is, but there is a strange sense of quality behind it that pushes it further up the ladder than the others. I will be giving the MaxxPlay a good going over and explaining the pros and cons of this system, compared to the other plug n play Famiclones that I own.

As soon as I first played the MaxxPlay, I could immediately feel how different it was from the Super Joy and Power Joy systems I own. The plastic is substantially more rigid, the d-pad (and working joystick, might I add) is more accurate and the buttons have a really nice springy response. The intro screen is even a well illustrated set of instructions on how to use the system, in case for some reason you couldn’t figure it out otherwise.

The basic design is much the same as many plug n play Famiclones, N64 controller styling, adjusted to suit the needs of the system dwelling within, with a Famicom 60 pin connector attached to the bottom and using the memory card slot as the battery pack receptacle. The integrated light gun is present as well, with added LEDs on either side (for added dramatic effect?). Player 2 plugs into the handle of player one, as well as the system has hardwired AV cables, both of which are just like the Power Joy.

The main system functions well with 95 built-in games, but the 60 pin connector on the bottom is plagued by the same tight, uncomfortable placement as all other plug n play Famiclones. Although this time there isn’t enough space to make a good enough connection for most of my Famicom cartridges even work, oddly enough I’ve found by their poorly made nature pirate carts work slightly better. Even so, if you accidentally bump the cartridge you’re going to need to reset the system and try again.

The 95 built-in games are all decent enough to keep you busy for a while, comprised mostly of shameless hacks and blatant pirates. Strewn throughout are a good mix of action games and even a selection of games to test out the integrated light gun, which is as accurate as any other. Although I don’t know what every single games was originally, I’ve done my best to compile a list to the best of my knowledge:

MaxxPlay Title — Original Title
Fun Click — Bejewled like Game — Real Name unknown
Box World — Box/Warehouse style puzzle game — Boxxle Clone?
UFO Race — Famicom F1 hack
Obstacle Race — Zippy Race pirate
Boat Race — Road Fighter Hack
Cowboy — Wild Gunman hack
Forest Guard — Hogan’s Alley hack
Space 2050 — Duck Hunt hack
UFO SHoot — Duck Hunt hack
Snowfield Shoot — Duck Hunt hack
Aether Tiger — 1942 hack
Archery — Pooyan hack
Zero Gravity — Balloon Fight
Super Elf — Circus Charlie Hack, although the main char looks familiar
Baseball — NES Baseball hack
Future Copter — Battle City Hack

Diamond — Arkanoid hack
Matching — Card matching game, unknown if original or hack
Tennis — NES Tennis Hack
Gold Digger — Main Character resymbols Kirby, otherwise unknown.
Mars Man — Binary Land hack.
Mars —
Bomb — DOS Minesweeper
Tunny —
Spar — Urban Champion hack
Strange Pop Pop — Bubble Tetris
Soccer — NES Soccer hack
Clonk — Adventure Island hack
Egg it — Pacman Hack
High Jump — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
Long Jump — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
Triple Jump — Gold Medal Challenge ’92

Shot Put — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
Discus Put — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
Javelin Throw — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
Shooting — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
Target Practice — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
100 Meter Dash — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
100 Meter Hurdles — Gold Medal Challenge ’92
Witch Run — Aladdin 3
Ballistic Mayhem — Mach Rider
Planetary Pool — Lunar Pool hack
Helicopter Harry — Raid on Bungeling Bay hack
Fly By —
Snack Attack —
Bomb Drop — Chack n Pop hack
Cloud Fire — Twinbee hack.
Dragon — Dragon

Top Shot — Galaga Hack
Warrior Chase — Ninja Jajamaru Kun hack
Defiance —
Thinker — Othello Hack
Down Deep — Dig Dug hack
Climbing Club — Ice Climber Hack
Ultimate Choice —
Bird Brain — Bird Week hack
Burger Build — Burger Time hack
Propeller —
Need for Speed — Spy Hunter hack
Zig Zag — Road Fighter hack
Bumpity Bop — Bump n Jump hack
In and Out Racer — Zippy Racing hack
Monster Dash — Brush Roller hack
Street Frenzy — City Connection hack

Neighborhood Smash — Karate hack
Extreme Racer — Excitebike hack
Hovercraft —
Enemy Assault —
Flip Out — Pinball hack
Championship Golf — NES Golf hack
Right Move — Othello style
Fish Fight — Clu Clu Land hack
What’s Up — Donkey Kong hack
Rescue — Donkey Kong hack
Frogland — Donkey Kong hack
Jump and Journey — Mario Bros. hack
Saucer Wars —
Make well — Dr. Mario hack
Depths of Space —
Convert Soldier — Formation Z hack

Seascape — Sqoon hack
Swirl — Millipede hack
Break Out — Mappyland hack
Soaring Warrior — Joust hack
Warrior Tales — Kung Fu hack
Championship wrestling — MUSCLE hack
Let Loose — Popeye hack
Jungle Trial — Spelunker hack
Arctic Hunt — Spelunker hack
Warship — Galaxian hack
Village Protector — Space Invaders hack
Abacus — Tetris style game
Underworld — Devil world hack
Championship Football — 10 Yard Fight hack
World Championship Badminton — Badminton hack

Even though the system feels good and performs solidly, with the aforementioned cartridge issue there is only one more shortcoming that drags the system down slightly. On both the Power Joy and Super Joy systems there is an option to use an AC adapter to power the system, when batteries fail and boy do batteries fail when they run low. The MaxxPlay, through its seemingly well planned design, does not afford the option to be powered by an AC adapter, strictly running on batteries.

Player 2’s controller is essentially the same as the main system, obviously lacking the brain and any other functions that the main system would need. The battery pack area is instead a very cleverly designed stand, for some reason. Also lacking is any sign of a connector, although Player 2 does get their own integrated gun as well.

Overall, with the 2 minor gripes that I have about the MaxxPlay, I wouldn’t suggest anyone avoiding this system. Although by definition the MaxxPlay is a Famiclone, I personally wouldn’t credit it as such since its pretty hard to get Famicom cartridges to work, more a portable system with built-in games. If you’re on the road, and have access to a TV to plug one into, I would say the MaxxPlay is a rugged enough system to play and enjoy to pass the time.

Posted September 26th, 2012

About the author

Samuel Floyd first fell into video gaming with the Atari 2600...in the mid-90s! Always late into the system wars, Samuel enjoys that as he acquires them when they're cheap and the hot titles of yesteryear are bountiful. Samuel loves RPGs, his favorite being Crystalis for the NES.


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