SupaBoy: Mobile Retro Super Nintendo Console Review

Posted by Steven Collier on Nov. 10th, 2015

Back in 1991, you probably wished you could take your Super Nintendo everywhere. How cool would it have been to whip out a SNES in the middle of lunch to play some Street Fighter? Well, it may be a few decades too late, but those wishes have finally come true! Folks, I give you the SupaBoy:


Get the SupaBoy here!

RETRO GAMING ON THE GO!

Obviously, the main selling point of the SupaBoy is that it is a handheld system. However, since it measures in at a whopping 8'' long and nearly 1' deep you're going to have a hard time carrying it around in your pocket. This shouldn't phase anyone who owned a  Game Gear, back in the day. But compared to today's ultra-slim portable consoles, this thing is a brick. The reason for the SupaBoy's bulk is its second selling point: it plays vintage Super Nintendo cartridges.

Considering that the average SNES cartridge is larger than most modern cell phones, the SupaBoy's size is easily forgiven. But, what surprised me was how quickly I forgot about the SupaBoy's dimensions once it was in my hands. This  system's ergonomic design makes holding it a joy. Spacious finger rests, and rounded edges help to evenly distribute the SupaBoy's weight make make it feel deceptively light. I would have no problem handling this thing for hours on end. However, the greatest advantage of its size is the crisp 3.5'' LCD screen that takes up as much of the SupaBoy's real estate as possible. The color balance on this screen is fantastic and its relatively large size keeps text heavy games like Final Fantasy III completely readable. For what it is, this is a great screen.

Similarly, the SupaBoy's buttons and D-Pad are all quality components. Inputs are highly responsive, and the materials feel quite sturdy. As a handheld system, the SupaBoy is a solid product that should easily hold up under months of extended use. The only complaint I can think of is the placement of the system's restart button, which sits to the right of its screen. Those of us who grew up pressing start and select with our right thumb might have ended up pressing it without thinking, during our initial play test...repeatedly. But, now I'm just nitpicking. 

On the whole, this is a stunningly well made console.
And we haven't even begun to discuss everything the SupaBoy can do

TURN ANY TV INTO AN SNES ARCADE!

One of the SupaBoy's most exciting abilities is its included AV output cable. This feature can turn virtually any television into a second screen and speaker set for the SupaBoy. But, it gets better. If you look on the front of the SupaBoy, you can see two input plugs for SNES controllers. They are not just there for show! Not only can you set up your favorite games on most any TV with the SupaBoy, but you can play them with your favorite controllers. Two-player games are completely supported by the SupaBoy. So as long as you're carrying a few controllers and a SupaBoy on you, you should be able to get a fully functioning SNES rigged up anywhere in under a minute. Suddenly,  Mario Kart tourneys in the break room are a real possibility. And that's just plain awesome!

PLAY HUNDREDS OF CLASSIC GAMES!

Another great feature of the SupaBoy is the extensive list of games that it supports. In addition to all standard SNES cartridges, it can also run games that housed the specialized FX, FX2, and even S-DD1 cards. What that means is that classics like Star Fox, Yoshi's Island, and even Street Fighter Alpha 2 all run perfectly on the SupaBoy. Considering that many full-sized Retro gaming devices have struggled  to run these titles, the SupaBoy's abilities are nothing short of astounding. As an added bonus, it can also play the Japanese Super Famicom editions of any game. 

But just to sweeten the deal, it can also run the Super GameBoy. If you have any love for Nintendo's original handheld system, this will effectively double the number of games you can play on the SupaBoy!

TONS OF OTHER GREAT FEATURES!

The SupaBoy supports head-phones and features an adjustable volume switch. This is pretty standard for any handheld device, but it bears mentioning. Less standard is the special "Cartridge Lock" on its back. This switch will ensure that none of your chunky SNES games accidentally fall out of place during a play session. It's a great feature that should be an industry standard. 

Powering this little retro console is a rechargeable Lithium battery, with a roughly 4 hour battery life. However, the SupaBoy also includes an AC adapter for when you're at home. Finally, the SupaBoy comes with a complimentary carrying pouch to help keep it safe and scratch-free, whenever you're on the go. Considering that not even Nintendo thought to implement this simple addition when they released the Game Boy Advance, says volumes about Hyperkin's commitment to delivering a quality product.

FINAL VERDICT:

I'm not gonna lie, this is one of the coolest items we've ever gotten in stock. The SupaBoy is a technical love letter to anyone who grew up in the 16-bit era. So let's recap: for one low price-point you can pick up a portable SNES, with the capability to double as a full fledged console. The SupaBoy is worth the investment even if you're just looking to replace your aging Super Nintendo with something that saves some shelf space. But add in its portable capabilities, multiplayer support, as well as the ability to play Japanese exclusive games, and the SupaBoy easily becomes a must-own. 

But hey, I am a huge sucker for its vintage SNES controller inspired design. What experiences have you had with Hyperkin's handheld system? We'd love to get some customer testimonials in the comments section.

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