Information About the VG Pocket Max System

[Image: A photo showing a VG Pocket Max system with the lanyard and A/V cable attached]

Information about the VG Pocket Max video game system, including commentary and details about some of the games on the system.

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About the System

The VG Pocket Max system is a handheld video gaming device that features seventy-five built-in games. No external storage media is used. The system has a built-in LCD display (which is specified as being a 2.5" (6.35 cm) full color TFT display) and includes a cable for optionally connecting the device to a TV set. For carrying the system, a lanyard is also included. In 2006, the system was available from at least one Radio Shack store and was also mentioned in a J.C. Penney catalog for that year (see this Google Books entry.) A review of the system was formerly featured at the HowStuffWorks site.

The packaging for the VG Pocket Max system mentions Performance Designed Products and an address in Vernon, California, USA. In addition, the system's packaging specifies the URL. According to the Internet Archive, this URL redirected to the Performance Designed Products site in February 2011. On the back of the system there is a label which includes among other things the URL, the "VG-3000" designation, and a CE mark. The system is specified on the label as being made in China. At the site for Jungletac, a video game software solution provider, there was a photo of a similar-looking device (the M-2500P1.) This photo was mentioned in a forum posting at the Cheap Ass Gamer site.

[Image: A photo showing the back of a VG Pocket Max system]

The VG Pocket Max system is powered by three AAA batteries. The manual for the device recommends the use of alkaline batteries to maximize the performance and operating time. It appears that the system can run on rechargeable 1.2 volt NiMH AAA batteries when connected to a TV set. (When the system is used with rechargeable NiMH batteries and is not connected to a TV set, it may happen where the built-in LCD display is not viewable in a lighted room and the built-in speaker is quite soft even with the volume set at maximum.)

Among the controls on the VG Pocket Max system is a directional control pad in the shape of a plus sign. This control pad does not always seem to be as precise as one might expect. For instance, pressing the "left" end of the pad sometimes seems to register as "up" or "down", depending upon exactly where one presses.

An undocumented feature of the VG Pocket Max system is a debug screen which shows a version number in hexadecimal, a "TESTRAM FAIL" message, and images of two video game controllers. This screen can be used to test the controls on the device; the VG Pocket Max buttons appear to correspond to the A and B buttons on both the depicted controllers. It is also possible from the debug screen to page through several displays where the screen shows a specific color.

As variations of the VG Pocket Max system go, the device was produced in different colors including white, blue, pink, and silver. An eBay auction in January 2014 featured a dark blue VG Pocket Max system which appears to be different from the white one described on this page. The title screen on the dark blue VG Pocket Max system referred to "M3 POCKET ENTERTAINMENT" and "JUNGLETAC©2005" and the system included a "Road Star" game among its collection.

The Games

The games on the VG Pocket Max system are grouped into five categories (Action, Racing, Shooting, Sports, and Wits.) The system features graphical selection menus for choosing a game category and for choosing a specific game within the chosen category. The selection menu for choosing a game category has some noticeable graphical touches, including a background pattern and a "paw-print" category marker. The system also features several background music tracks that are used in various games. Some of the games have their own splash screens and a few of the games, including Starcraft Attack, Fun Moves, and Pool Pro, have title screens that include a selection menu with multiple choices. Though a user can abort a game and return to the system's game selection submenu for the current game category by pressing the reset button on the device, it appears that some of the games have no function to pause the gameplay.

[Image: A screenshot of the Quick Match game on the VG Pocket Max system]
The Quick Match game. This game has gameplay that is
somewhat similar to that of the Concentration card game.

The packaging for the VG Pocket Max system shows screenshots and names for a number of games. Among these, there are screenshots for the game of Doggy (which appears to involve an overhead view of a busy road with traffic) and the game of Elfland (which appears to involve platforms and doors), even though these two games are not mentioned in the manual and do not appear to be present on the system. At Blog Squirrel, there is a description of a platform-based "Elfland" game that appears to be the same game as the one depicted on the packaging. Another difference is that the screenshot of the Fun Moves game on the VG Pocket Max packaging is captioned as "Move Fun," and the title "Move Fun" appears at the top of the game playfield in the screenshot.

Some of the games on the VG Pocket Max system may have appeared elsewhere. For example, the online manual for the dreamGEAR Plug 'N Play Controller with 50 Games system (model DGUN-853) mentions a number of games that are similar to certain VG Pocket Max games.

Game Titles

Descriptions and commentary about some of the games are given below.

Other Sites


This web page is copyright © 2011-2022 by Richard Green. The photos of the VG Pocket Max device are copyright © 2011 by Richard Green. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. The screenshot of the Quick Match game was acquired via a DVD recorder connected to a VG Pocket Max system and is copyrighted by the developer(s) and/or publisher of the respective game software. To contact the webmaster, please use the contact form or send e-mail to richard at thedoorintomorning dot com. If you are interested in encrypted e-mail messaging (PGP/GnuPG), please inform the webmaster. This page was last updated on March 24, 2022.