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GameKing is a brand of handheld game consoles, designed and developed by Timetop and manufactured by Guangzhou Panyu Gaoming Electronics Co., Ltd, (also known as GZ Daidaixing Tec.Electronics Co., Ltd.)[1] in 2003, for the Hong Kong consumer market. The brand has three consoles, the GameKing I, the GameKing II and the GameKing III. A fourth console, the Handy Game, was produced by Timetop and shares some branding, but otherwise has little to do with the GameKing franchise.

GameKing I (GM-218)

Game King
Original GameKing (GM-218)
Also known asGM-218
ManufacturerGuangzhou Panyu Gaoming Electronics Co., Ltd
TypeHandheld game console
Release dateSeptember 2004 (2004-09)
CPU65C02 @ 6 MHz.
Storagegame carts
DisplayLCD, 48 x 32, 4 shades of grey
SoundDigital samples

The original GameKing console is an 8-bit handheld game console released in September 2004.[2][3] It is based on a 65C02 CPU running at 6.0 MHz.[4]

It is fashioned to look like Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and comes in a wide array of vivid pastel colours,[3] either opaque or transparent, and uses two AAA size batteries.

The console has above-average sound circuitry capable of multi-channel music and digital sound playback, but a comparably low quality non backlit grayscale LCD screen,[2] only supporting four shades of grey and having a very low 48 x 32 pixels resolution.[2]

Games can be compared to some of the earlier built-in cell phone games (pre Java games), while their playing speed (scrolling etc.) and audio is far superior (multi-channel music and digitized samples and voices are quite common in GameKing games).

The GameKing (GM-218) was released in Italy by Giocattoli Linea Paggio.[3]

Audio hardware

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It is unclear whether the machine uses a traditional programmable sound generator or relies only on digital samples for music and sound effects. Many of its games have soundtracks consisting of short audio samples with a sampling rate of 8 kHz, as opposed to games on other systems such as the Game Boy where sound is generated by a custom programmable sound generator.

Video hardware

According to Brian Provinciano's reverse engineering of the GameKing,[1] most GameKing games heavily rely on bitmap rather than tile-based rendering of the screen, e.g. most levels in its platform and shoot 'em up games are in reality large 4-colour bitmaps, instead of using the most common method of graphic tiles and tile maps, like in most other game consoles and arcade games. This was probably done for economic reasons (the CPU alone can handle all graphics easily, at that resolution) and easy development of the games, apart from the objectively low resolution of the screen. While such a scheme seems to work, it has the disadvantage of using cartridge space inefficiently, so that e.g. most platform games are limited to three levels.

GameKing II

A GameKing II (GM-219) with its selection menu


The GameKing II (GM-219) released in October 2004,[5][3] on the other hand, is fashioned to look like Sony's PlayStation Portable, comes in more sober colors (either black, grey, white or aqua - and although not shown on the packaging, yellow ones do also exist), and uses 3 AAA size batteries, of which only 2 are used to actually power up the GameKing's hardware, while the third one serves to power up both its built-in audio amplifier (a bit more powerful than the one on the original GameKing) and its backlit LCD screen (which can be turned on and off at will, depending on external lighting conditions, thus saving power). The unit can still work with 2 batteries, only with no sound and no backlighting available.

Also, the GameKing II has a fixed color background picture for its LCD screen, only visible when the backlighting is switched on. This is probably to give the false impression of having a colour LCD screen, as implied on its box. The picture may vary between various GameKing models, however it has a mostly negative effect on screen readability when the backlighting is turned on. This background picture can also be removed or replaced simply by opening the machine and removing the small plastic transparency behind the LCD. Removing it makes using the backlighting much more effective.

This model would also be the last in the Gameking line to have the text "3in1" stamped above the screen.


The GM-222 was released in 2006 and sports an original design, which does not borrow much from previous models.[3] Even though it is sequenced later than the other consoles in the Gameking line, and therefore one would expect more advanced hardware, it is in fact a redesigned Gameking II with the back-light removed (notice however that the box for the GM-221 and GM-222 both show exactly the same false color screen shot, despite the two machines vastly different capabilities). It is not known why Timetop chose to release the GM-222 in this fashion, although renderings exist that show this design was intended at some point to be a full color model. It was available in charcoal, blue, and green.

GK "I" vs. GK II

The two models are fully hardware compatible, can use the same games/cartridges, both have volume and contrast controls and use the same LCD screen. Also, they both have an external DC power supply 3.5 mm minijack plug; however, the plug is not labeled as such, and its function is only slightly hinted at in the units' manuals. The GameKing requires 3V DC, while the GameKing2 requires 4.5V DC with the peculiarity of needing to keep at least one battery in the unit in order to have sound and backlighting.

GameKing/GameKing II games

The console has a small selection of known games (38), being 3 built in and 35 in carts, although 37 games were said to be available by TimeTop. Most games are clones of famous NES, C64 or Atari 2600 titles,[2][3] with heavily dropped graphics. The games come in cartridges resembling the original Game Boy ones, with a typical size of 128KB, although 4-in-1 cartridges are available, containing 4 normal GameKing games plus a selection menu, and have a maximum size of 512KB.

Both the GameKing and GameKing II come with three built in games.

Here follows an incomplete list of known games. Please note that many GameKing games use the same program altering only graphics to create "new" games e.g. 2003 and 2004 are essentially the same game with minor differences. Also, many games have major inconsistencies between the box, manual and in-game title. E.g., Lanneret becomes Hawk in the game title, Feichuan becomes "Shenzhou Liuhao" in the game, or Carlo Adventure Legend becomes Caro in-game.

Notes: The two previous titles are the only motor or sports games available on the GameKing.

Games are generally sold in separate cartridges, but there are 4-in-1 cartridges holding 4 distinct games. Later games seem to be only available in this manner. Also, each 4-in-1 pack comes numbered and higher numbers seem to provide games that are more refined in presentation.

Some of these games found in 4-in-1 cartridges are:

GameKing III


TimeTop quietly released a third GameKing machine, called the 'GameKing III' or GM-220 sometime in 2005.[6][7] While early advertisements showed the GameKing III with the same "false color" background picture as the GameKing I and II, which indicated that the system was black and white like the previous GameKing models, the GM-220 is full colour. Another distinction of the GM-220 is that unlike its predecessors, the Gameking I and II, which were promoted and marketed worldwide, the Gameking III was not distributed outside of Asia, making it much less common than the earlier models. In 2005, many websites initially reported the device as "coming soon", and it is not known why Timetop eventually decided to offer only a limited release.

The resolution doesn't seem enhanced compared to an original GameKing, and "classic" GameKing cartridges are automatically colorized, while games especially developed for it allegedly make use of the full color palette, which for the moment remains unknown. The site claimed a total of 12 carts for this system. If the built-in game is included, 8 titles are known as of 2010.

A new design for the GKIII was placed in April 2006 at the Timetop site, and later removed (see GM-221, below).


GameKing III GM-221
GameKing III handheld video game console with games, demonstrating its notable hexagonal screen

A second design for the Gameking III also exists which combines elements from the GM-219 with the GM-220. The Button design and layout is from the GM-220 design, with the "A" button being distinctly larger than the "B" button, but the overall form is obviously inspired from Sony's PSP design. Several colors are shown on the back of the box, green and orange for example, however only two colors, a black edition and a white edition are confirmed to exist.

GameKing III games

GameKing III machines have a built-in game:[8]

At the moment the only known game carts for the GameKing III are:[6]

Handy Game (GM-228)

Handy Game (GM-228) early model, labeled as Gameking III

A distinct Timetop console exists which uses NES compatible hardware rather than the proprietary hardware of the other Gameking consoles, and also has an integrated TV output. While early mockups indicated this handheld was considered part of the Gameking line, Timetop eventually removed the gameking branding from this edition prior to its release, replacing it with "Timetop LTPS Handy Game" ( ironically, "handy-game" was the working title EPYX coined in 1987 for what would become the Atari Lynx).[9] The console comes with 25 built-in games and is also able to accept cartridges, however their size and connectors are different from (and incompatible with) previous Gameking consoles. The game selection includes games typically found on NES clones, like 1942, Pooyan or Dig Dug, as well as graphic ROM hacks of famous NES games (for example, using Blue's Journey graphics with Adventure Island).

The GM-228 was available in a large variety of colors with some faceplaces containing very elaborate designs. Colors included silver, black, green, yellow, and pink.

HandyGame (GM-228) games

The NES-clone version of the GameKing III has its own selection of games, most of them being pirated or unlicensed NES games or variations. These come multi-carts with combinations such as 26in1, 49in1, and 72in1, etc. No HandyGame carts are compatible with any previous model.


  1. ^ a b "The Game King Handheld". 2007-10-28. Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  2. ^ a b c d Manikas, Pantelis. "Timetop GameKing I". The voice of the gaming community. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Gameking by Timetop – The Video Game Kraken". Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  4. ^ "Time Top GameKing I (GM-218) [BINARIUM]". Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  5. ^ "欢迎来到代代星电子科技有限公司网站!". 2005-04-22. Archived from the original on 2005-04-22. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  6. ^ a b Manikas, Pantelis. "Timetop GameKing III". The voice of the gaming community. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  7. ^ "". 2008-02-04. Archived from the original on 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  8. ^ "Information". The Game King Hunt. Retrieved May 22, 2020. These are the only known games: -Galaxy Crisis (built in) -Adventure -Urgent Action -2030 -Diamond -Panzer -Fly Car -Blaze Plane -Hermic Battle -Vagrant
  9. ^ "Timetop LTPS Handygame (GM-228)". Obsolete worlds. Retrieved 2023-07-13.