Review: Sega Fun play 20-in-1

I love old consoles and have bought some on eBay. It’s fun to play old retro games. When I found Sega Fun Play 20-in-1 all-in-one gamepad on DealExtreme, I had to get it. At US$15, and free shipping, it was a no-brainer.

Here is the gamelist of the 20 games in the compilation and which Sega console it was released on, either the Game Gear (GG) or the Sega Master System (SMS). The asterisk (*) indicates the game originaly had two-play mode, but this is not supported in this gaming device.

  • Sonic Blast (GG – 1996)
  • Sonic Chaos (GG – 1993)
  • Sonic Drift 2 (GG – 1995)
  • Sonic Spinball (GG – 1994)
  • Sonic Triple Trouble (GG – 1994)
  • Alex Kidd – High Tech World (SMS – 1989)
  • Alex Kidd – In Miracle World (SMS – 1986)
  • Alex Kidd – The Lost Stars (SMS – 1988)
  • Altered Beast (SMS – 1988)
  • Astro Warrior (SMS – 1986)
  • Bomber Raid (SMS – 1988)
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (GG – 1993)
  • Ecco the Tides of Time (GG – 1994)
  • Fantasy Zone (SMS – 1986)*
  • Golden Axe (SMS – 1989)
  • Penguin Land (SMS – 1987)
  • Psycho Fox (SMS – 1986)
  • Quartet (SMS – 1987)*
  • Ristar (GG – 1995)
  • Super Columns (GG – 1995)*

The controller was a bit smaller than expected, but it fits well in your hand, even if you got a pair of big ones. It’s easy to access all the buttons. In addition to the D-pad, A, B and Start buttons, you got an On/Off switch at the bottom of the controller. The Reset button is on the opposite side. The device go into sleepmode after 5 minutes if it’s not in use.

The game controller only output mono sound, even though the Game Gear had stereo. But this is not a great loss. The audio-video cable is about 3 metres long which should be more than enought for most people. It use a RCA plug (phono connectors) an can be plugged directly into most TVs, if not, you can use a phono-to-SCART (not included in the package). It outputs NTSC-signals and runs on 3 AAA batteries.

There are a lot of how-many-games-can-we-get-in-a-controller on the market that are of bad quality. This is not the case with the Sega Fun Play 20-in-1. And, this is the real deal, the gamecontroller/gamepad/gamingdevice is officially licensed by Sega.

There is a good selection of games on the console, 11 Master System games and 9 Game Gear games. The focus is on Alex Kidd and Sonic games. The rest of the games are also good. For me, Alex Kidd – In Miracle World alone was worth the price of the Sega Fun Play. I’ve played that game a lot on the Master System in my youth.

If there is one thing I have to ‘complain’ about, is that all the Game Gear games exist in a Master System version, and they should have been included instead. The reason is that Master System have a higher resolution than Game Gear. It’s 256×192 / 256×224 on the Master System, and 160 x 144 on the Game Gear. So the Game Gear games can be a bit blocky on a big screen TV. They was originaly made for a 3.2 inch screen. On the other hand, Game Gear have a palette of 4096 colour. Master System only 64. They can both use 32 colours on screen at the same time.

Sega Fun Play 20-in-1 is a nice nostalgic trip with many good 8-bit games. I’ve played most of the Master System games. I own some of them, others have been rented from the local gamestore 20 years ago. I hadn’t played most of the Game Gear games.

If you love retrogames, the Sega Fun Play 20-in-1 is a good choice. The games included are good, and they are the real deal.

Happy gaming!

Screenshot: Sega Fun Play 20-in-1
Photo: Frank Eivind Rundholt – Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0

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