Why the Super Pocket Could Be the Ideal Retro Game Console. Consider a Gameboy that can play all of the best throwback arcade games available. Leave your phone at home. Forget about Nintendo’s Switch, the Playdate, or any other portable gaming device.
Why the Super Pocket Could Be the Ideal Retro Game Console
Evercade’s Super Pocket, a Gameboy-shaped pocket console with a bunch of built-in arcade games and a cartridge slot for adding many more, is hard to match for instant retro on-the-go gaming.
“The primary target audience for this product is [parents] who recall fondly playing arcade games as children.” They may think about buying it for themselves or their children,” Rok Preskar, co-founder of gaming and anime website Ganiming, told Lifewire via email. “PC emulators fail to capture the nostalgic experience provided by the handheld Game Boy.”
The E Word
There are numerous game emulators available for playing vintage arcade and console games. You can play SNES Mario games on your laptop, arcade oldies like Streetfighter II, and do it all with a period-correct controller (now with Bluetooth). But it’s not the same as playing the piano on your computer with a mouse and QWERTY keyboard. And this is where the Super Pocket comes into play.
The Super Pocket, like console emulators on your computer, can play a variety of classic games. Unlike the laptop version, you won’t have to spend time searching the internet for game ROMs to play. The Super Pocket comes pre-loaded with fully licenced games from Capcom or Taito (there are two types), and if you want to add more (and you will, as we will see in a moment), you can buy any of Evercade’s games cartridges and insert them into the Super Pocket.
The Super Pocket sports a vertical design, more akin to a Gameboy than a Switch, with the classic D-pad and four-button layout. There are four extra “shoulder” buttons around the back for titles that require them. It charges with a USB-C cable.
The Taito edition has 17 games, whereas the Capcom version has 12, and they are a mixed bag. The Capcom version includes stone-cold classics such as Streetfighter II, 1942, Final Fight, and Mega Man, as well as a slew of fluff. Other than Space Invaders (yep, the original), Bubble Bobble, and Operation Wolf, the Taito version isn’t bad overall.
In short, you get a good variety of games for $59. You also get the hardware to play them.
Why go back in time? For two reasons. The first is that the games can be a lot of fun. Game design in the ’80s and ’90s was all about limits, without current visuals and music (or the zillion-dollar budgets of today’s games). Don’t get us wrong: most of the games from back then are awful to play now that we’re accustomed to better things, but the limits spawned a surprising degree of ingenuity in many cases.
Because there was no way to conceal it behind nice visuals, the gameplay had to be top-notch, and the music had to be simple and catchy because it was really just bleeps and bloops played on 8-bit sound chips.
I recently played the 1997 classic Goldeneye 007 on the Switch, for example. Once you get beyond the odd controls intended for the amazing Nintendo 64 controller, it’s still as engrossing as it was nearly 30 years ago.
This will be purchased by 40-year-olds who want to relive their glory days when they were good at games.
Spend an afternoon with Super Mario World, the original Super Mario Kart, and any Zelda game if you have any doubts that retro games can compete with today’s top titles. They’re not just for show. You’ll become as addicted to them as you would to today’s AAA releases.
But there’s a simpler, and maybe more powerful, reason why people enjoy old games and the modest consoles that play them: nostalgia. The Super Pocket’s target demographic is the individual who played those games as a child, teenager, or college student.
Also Read: Best Retro ROMs for Android Games