Game Master by Hartung

Console Name: Game Master
Alternate Named(s): Super Game by Hartung (France)
Game Tronic by Hartung (France)
Game Master by Videojet (France)
Game Plus by Delplay (France)
Game Master by Virella Electronics (Italia)
Systema 2000 by Systema (UK)
Release Date: 1990
Country of Origin: Germany
Manufacturer: Hartung
Publisher: Hartung / Videojet / Delplay / Systema / Impel / Watara / Virella Electronic
Number of Games Cartridges: 19
Display: 64 × 64 monochrome LCD

History
Little is known on the true origin of the Game Master. Although it may seem clear that Hartung was the company behind this console, the involvement of Watara as a distributor is very interesting. Watara would go on and release the SuperVision in 1992, a console that used almost identical cartridges. Either Watara purchased  the right from Hartung after the demise of the Game Master or whether they were involved from the start.  In any case, like for the Gamate, the Gama Master was designed to compete with the Nintendo Game Boy in country where Nintendo was not yet the undisputed king.

Release
Released in 1990, the Game Master was internally distributed by Hartung in Germany and France. Deals were then struck with various distributors to distribute the Game Master in other countries such as Spain, Italy and Portugal. Eventually, other distributors started to sell the Game Master in France under other names.  Some distributor chose to change the color of the console which led to many variations of the systems. A company called Caterpillar even redesigned the system to be more Game Boy-like. Called the Game Plus and distributed by Delplay  in France, the system was made to be incompatible with normal Game Master games to ensure market control. The Game Plus cartridges were, for their part, compatible with normal Game Master console.

Demise
The system faced a strong competition from the Gamate and the Game Boy, but The Game Master were nowhere near the power of these two consoles. With only 19 games released, most of had very basic game play, the Game Master quickly felt into obscurity. In 1992, it was replaced by the SuperVision, which Hartung would be the sole distributor in Germany. But even if Hartung stopped making game for the Game Master, the console was still being sold in 1994. It was still available as a prize in a contest that was ending on May 18, 1994.

Systems Variation
Many distributors sold the Game Master under different names. Although some are identical, other have visual differences (name, color & shape). Here are the ones we have been able to identify so far, but other variations may exist.

 

 
Game Master
Hartung
Game Master (Black)
Video Jet
Game Master (White)
Video Jet
Game Tronic
Hartung
Mega Tronic
Hartung
Super Game
Hartung
Game Plus
Delplay
Systema 2000
Systema
Impel

 

Games
Only 19 games were released for the console. Some games had different title between the box and the title screen. If different, the name of the title screen will appear between [bracket] below the box title. Games sold by Hartung were packaged in boxes were other distributor were selling the games under blister packs.

      
Bomb Disposer Bubble Boy Car Racing (Formel 1)
[Super F-1]
Continental Galaxy
[Continental Galaxy 2020]
Dungeon Advanture
[Dungeon Adventure]
Falling Block
[Falling Block!]
Go Bang!
[GO Bang.]
Hyper Space Invader
Kung Fu
[Kung Fu Challenge]
Move It Pin Ball
S-Race Snake Roy Soccer (Fuss-Ball)
[Soccer]
Space Castle Tank War Tennis
[Tennis Master… ]
Urban Champion

Technical Specifications

CPU NEC upd7810
Graphics 64 × 64 monochrome LCD
Audio
  • Built-in speaker
  • Headphone jack
  • 1 bit dac
Power 4 × AA batteries or 6V AC/DC adapter
Cartridges Yes. 40-pin cartridge port
Dimensions 170 × 97 × 33mm

 

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