ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Super Pocket review: retro-gaming at a perfect price

Retro gaming doesn't get better than this - not at this price, anyway!

Super Pocket review: retro-gaming at a perfect price
Marc Chacksfield
30 November 2023

The Super Pocket is a retro handheld that will transport you to a world of games gone by, without charging you a first class ticket.

That's because the console has the fantastic price of £49.99 / $59.99. That's right, for under £50 you get a gaggle of gaming goodness and an eco-system for adding to your games collection - thanks to the cartridge slot on the back of the thing.

It really does feel like HyperMegaTech, the brand behind the console, really want you to enjoy the games of your childhood in the best possible way, without hitting your pocket. In a cost of living crisis this is VERY important and one of the many reasons I loved the Super Pocket.

I've been playing the Super Pocket for a number of weeks now: here are 5 things you need to know.

1. Design is big, chunky and child friendly

Super Pocket review
Image Credit: Future

The Super Pocket looks like fun, literally! Given a lovely blue and yellow color - depending on which version you choose - it's built for a good time and not just for adults looking to relive their childhoods.

The buttons are chunky enough for smaller fingers - as my seven year old can attest to - and fine for adults, too.

There are actually two versions of the Super Pocket and they don't just dictate the colorway. There's the Capcom version, the one I reviewed, and a Taito version which is black and green and a little more adult looking.

Tech-wise, don't go expecting OLED here. What you get is a perfectly serviceable 2.8-inch IPS screen, a USB-C charging slot and a 3.5mm jack for headphones.

2. Button-wise, it's beautifully built for gaming

Super Pocket review
Image Credit: Future

The makers of Super Pocket have managed to add all the necessary buttons needed to mash through even the more complex games. There's a D-Pad on the front, alongside the standard Y,B,A,X, star and select buttons. There are also trigger buttons on the back of the device" L1, L2, R1, R2.

While the triggers are a little tight they do the trick and mean that you can play the ports as they were intended. What you don't get is the option to remap buttons, though.

3. Menu options add to the retro fun

Super Pocket review
Image Credit: Future

While the menu has limited options, there is the ability to switch to the normal aspect ratio of the games, control the volume and FX and choose the difficulty level.

The fun bit, though, is that you can change the scanlines on the thing - which means that if you want it to feel a little more like you are playing a game on a CRT TV then you can up the scanlines. I wouldn't go too overboard, but it's a nice little option to have.

There are also six save states to take advantage of, too.

4. The cartridge is king

Super Pocket review
Image Credit: Future

On the front and back of the Super Pocket you get a pretty powerful speaker for all that 8-bit audio goodness and it's on the back where the cartridge slot is situated.

Both the Capcom and Taito versions of the Super Pocket come with games built-in to the device (14 on the Capcom one, 18 on the Taito one) but you can buy Evercade cartridges to expand your collection. As standard, there is a fake cartridge in the slot to keep that area protected.

It's easy to take the cartridge out and replace it with an Evercade one and once you do, the cartridge appears as an option on the menu. Simply click it and you are all ready with the new games to play.

5. The games are fantastic, the ports pretty seamless

Super Pocket review
Image Credit: Future

Put on a game on the Super Pocket and you are immediately transported back to the '90s. If you are a retro-gaming purist, then you may quibble at some of the ports but I was in gaming heaven playing these things.

The full list of games on both consoles can be found on HyperMegaTech's website, but if you opt for the Taito version then you have the likes of Bubble Bobble and Space Invaders to play.

The Capcom version has Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Mega Man and the fantastic Ghouls'n'Ghosts.

The buttons worked well with these games, even if the D-Pad is more clickable than I am used to. This meant that it was a little trickier to pull of some special moves on Street Fighter, but I got used to it pretty quick and was doing spinning bird kicks in no time.

The screen is great and bright, though this brightness will dim if you go crazy with the CRT scanlines.

There is very little else to quibble about here. Games load quickly, menus are easy to get through and there is an Easy mode that will make some of the harder games perfect for little 'uns who may not be used to how hard-as-nails some platformers used to be back in the day!

Super Pocket review: final verdict

Super Pocket review

The Super Pocket is a perfectly price retro-gamer's dream. Made for fun and compatible with the ever-growing list of Evercade games cartridges, there really is only one choice you need to make: are you Team Capcom or Team Taito?

Retro-gaming dream!
Retro-gaming dream!
Super Pocket
The superb Super Pocket is available to buy now, in two versions: Taito or Capcom Edition.
Buy now from Amazon