The Game Boy Advance (GBA) was Nintendo’s fourth major handheld gaming device following the Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Colour. Released in 2001 (firstly in Japan) the Game Boy Advance went on to sell a monumental 81.51 millions units worldwide. Despite the Game Boy Advance not being backlit the device had a powerful impact on gamers across the world including myself with solid titles like Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. The Game Bay Advance evolved in to the the Game Boy Advance SP (a front and backlit model) and later again in the Game Boy Micro. Overall the Game Boy Advance family had a production life of six years with the final Micro produced in 2007.
Nintendo seemed to have a monopoly on the handheld gaming market unlike Sony who clearly didn’t give the PSP or Vita enough love. It comes as no surprise that there are a plethora of clone devices on the market that attempt to thrust the Nintendo handheld games to the next level. Boasting things like crisper sound, sharper picture quality and so on. The Revo K101 Plus falls right in line with that current ethos. It is a GBA clone device (in varying colours and transparencies) that packs an immense punch when it comes to picture quality and sound. Not only does it run original Game Boy Advance games but there’s a Revo cartridge that allows you to insert a micro SD card in to the device. Original Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance roms can all be played from the micro SD card. Original Game Boy and GBC carts will not work with the device.
Small device, big results
The Revo K101 Plus is slightly smaller than the original GBA device in both width and height. The screen is the ultimate advantage which is immensely bright. There are 8 different screen brightness settings. Playing on the maximum setting is advised as the colours of the sprites look unbelievable. The screen itself is a 3” LCD screen and the games stretch to match the screen. For me this was not an issue but I can see why this may be a downside for some people who might prefer the aspect ratio to match the original Game Boy Advance hardware. There’s a simple fix! The Revo K101 Plus comes with a comprehensive set of menus which allow you to configure the screen setup to suit your playing styles. You can even change the colour palette on the games to match the original hardware. Note that this can only be done on the original Game Boy emulation.
The Revo K101 Plus is not without criticism from other gamers. Some claim that the frame rates drop and the D-Pad bugs out after a few months. Luckily I’m yet to encounter any issues.
The Revo K101 Plus comes with a composite cable that connects the device to the TV giving you a the ability to play your GBA games on your TV. I tested the cable on my flat screen and the results were pretty promising. Whilst the audio did not output in stereo the overall quality was barely compromised. Will I use this feature consistently? No. Sadly I’m not a huge fan of hooking up gaming handhelds on to TV’s. I would simply rather play something like the Retron 5; a 9-in one emulation based console capable of running original software such as SNES games, Mega Drive, GBA, Nes and more.
The Revo K101 Plus is a little on the top side when it comes to price. The price ranges from £80 - £100 depending on your seller which is something many of my viewers noted after watching my review on YouTube. Given the stability of the gameplay I’d say the Revo K101 Plus is a hardy device that should be purchased for no more than £80. That’s top end. Considering there are other emulation devices on the market that are capable of emulating all retro game consoles in the region of £100 such as the JXD S7800b, it may be worth considering that over the Revo K101 plus. If you’re too devoted the Game Boy Advance however and don’t want the additional software then the Revo K101 plus is you for. It’s light, durable, attractive, compact, it has a great screen and so far I haven’t experienced any issues running original GBA games or emulating them. The Revo K101 plus may be more suited to the die hard GBA fans over anything else.
If you want a sturdy, light and awesome looking GBA clone then the Revo K101 plus is for you. The screen is absolutely stunning and the easy to navigate menus will make you fall in love with the core features very quickly. The Revo K101 plus is slightly ramped on price so be mindful when you go to cash out.
The two alternatives that I can recommend is the JXD S7800b or the GPD XD retro gaming tablet. Both devices run on Android OS and are capable of running the most popular retro games out there.
-Gemma @Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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