|JT16-6P Retro Handheld
Find it on: Amazon
After about three minutes of playing the JT16-6P Retro Handheld, I put the unit down and thought for about 10 minutes what redeeming qualities this device had. During that time, I couldn’t come up with a single positive thing to say about it, and the only award I could conceive of giving the JT16-6P Retro Handheld was “Worst. Handheld. Ever.”
Let’s start with the dated form factor. Back in 2013, I reviewed the Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player, and it appears that nearly 10 years later, the exact same form factor is still kicking around. Except worse, since the D-Pad was squishy to the point where I needed to press down hard on the unit multiple times before I got it to register. As it turns out, they used the same screen as well. In 2013, it was on the dimmer side and slightly disappointing. In 2022, there’s no reason why any handheld in the $30 range should be using it. Even the BittBoy V3, which was only $10 more than this, used an IPS display.
There are 230 games in this unit, though it’s difficult to navigate to all of them since they are sorted in various subfolders. Organization aside, the gameplay was awful. I started off with a knock-off Mario Kart racing game, and the gameplay was absolutely atrocious. The controls were laggy, the graphics were equally as bad, and the music was even worse. I didn’t last more than 30 seconds. I next tried a tennis game where you couldn’t see the player you were controlling. I closed out after a single point.
As a final ditch effort, I tried a different genre of games, and found myself playing one of the few familiar titles from the JT16-6P, FreeCell. The creators managed to screw this up, as well. You had to use an already unresponsive D-Pad to mouse over a card, and then drag the card to the slot you want it to go. The problem was, the pointer movement was dreadfully slow, ruining what should’ve an easy to play game. Even if you wanted to come back to the game later, you’d have to start over since the SoC doesn’t have save states.
The only scenario I could see someone enjoying the JT16-6P is if you handed it to a 3-year old child. Assuming they’ve never seen a retro game before, they could probably amuse themselves for 10 minutes, and if they throw it down a staircase or leave it at the park, you wouldn’t bat an eye, even if you’re out the $30 it took to purchase it. Oh, and speaking of which, there’s the price. I’ve reviewed other gaming units with true retro gaming that cost half the amount of the JT16-6P, but actually have retro games that are playable and enjoyable. I understand this is a 16-bit game player, but I wouldn’t pay more than $8 for this unit, and even then, I think that price is a ripoff for what you get in return.
So, to recap, the JT16-6P: (1) has nearly unplayable software; (2) has clunky hardware; (3) is overpriced; and (4) wouldn’t be entertaining to anyone over the age of 3. Other than that, the JT16-6P is perfect.