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Miyoo Mini Plus review

While I love my Evercade very much, the slow drip feed of physical collections can lead me down a rabbit hole of "other games I want to play now." 

The Miyoo Mini Plus is the answer to that modest prayer with around 5,500 ROMs crammed into a tiny form factor, one that is easy to update and add your favourite classics. 

With four face buttons and four triggers tucked away across the back, the latest Miyoo Mini is a dinky device ideal for playing Game Boy, GBA, Neo Geo, Sega, WonderSwan, MAME arcade and PC Engine titles. 

Most games look crisp on the 3.5-inch, 640*480 screen, protected by a glass cover. It isn't perhaps as sparkling as on a hacked OLED Vita, but for the money ($65) it is great for bedtime or surreptitious office gaming. 

Underneath the translucent shell (other models available but all currently sold out) is an easily removable 3,000 mAh battery with a claimed offering of around 5-6 hours of play time, which it seems to hit. 

Browse games by format, and among the menus are Load and Save options to maintain your progress or high scores. A screenshot capture option and plenty more goodies are also tucked away. In the Settings, there's a WiFi feature to update RetroArch and join Netplay games if you're lucky enough to find someone on the same title.  

On the bottom is the fiddly SD card slot, a USB-C charging port and headphone connector. That's probably a good idea as the little internal mono speaker isn't up to much. The D-pad and buttons are firm and responsive, giving no trouble in tricky-twitchy games like Pac Man and Rally-X.

Boom, boom, boom, let me hear you say Miyoo... Miyoo! 

This is my first Miyoo device, and my smallest gaming gadget, the Miyoo packs in everything from the 8-bit consoles up to the early PlayStation era. With a huge roster of shooters, racers and RPGs, it will tickle any gaming itch. 

My favourites so far include Gradius III (PC Engine, pictured above) Viewpoint and Puzzle Bobble 2 (Neo Geo), Road Blasters (Mega Drive), Gauntlet and Aliens vs Predator (arcade), Rock n Roll Racing (SNES), New Zealand Story (NES), Rival Schools Evolution (PlayStation) and more. 

Miyoo Mini Plus

You can add your most loved titles to a Favourites list for easy access. And if you want to add more there's a USB dongle supplied to plug the SD card into a PC and drop new ROMs into the right folder with ease.

"Miyoo!", in a Leslie Philips voice

The Miyoo interface looks pretty smart, and you can update to the new Onion OS v4.2 for a different look, themes and more features. The main issue with the default OS version is you can only search within each system format, not across all titles. 

Also, some platform's games are numbered in strange ways, making finding games problematic. And after, a long session, the Miyoo can get confused and decide to hang, but it is easy and quick to reboot with the main button on the top. Then there's the low-battery icon that flickers on top of whatever you are playing, all little things that some UI testing should have spotted and fixed. 

With such a huge number of ROMs (taking up most of the 64GB provided SD card) and a likely lack of testing there are some gremlins. A few games don't work period, some are misnamed (Ridge Racer 4 is on twice instead of the original PlayStation RR) and copying over new ROMs seems to be rather hit and miss getting them to run. 

Yes, this is the dark side of gaming leading to the world of dodgy ROMs, ROM hacks and more. But with older physical games increasingly out of reach (in price and availability) for most, the Miyoo Mini Plus is a brilliant piece of kit to help relive those nostalgic times or find out what all the fun was about. 

Currently playing on my Vita/PS4/PS5