If you’re struggling to think of a gift for the gaming fan in your life this Christmas, then Hyper Mega Tech (the company owned by Evercade creators Blaze Entertainment) might have just the thing for you. The Super Pockets are a pair of new handheld devices that look a bit like the old Game Boy Colour. There’s a Taito version containing 18 of the company’s finest arcade classics, as well as a Capcom edition featuring 12 arcade and home console releases.
These delightful throwback devices are incredibly small and light, featuring eye-catching colour schemes that ooze retro style.
Indeed, as the name suggests, each handheld will fit comfortably in your pocket, making them better suited to the daily commute than bigger, bulkier handhelds like the Steam Deck or Switch.
The portability factor is further bolstered by a solid 5-6 hours of battery life, while modern gameplay features like save states ensure you won’t lose your progress when it’s your stop. There’s even an easy mode option, which means you might actually make it to the end of Ghouls and Ghosts without using 100 credits.
Of course it would all be for naught if the games weren’t up to snuff, but luckily this isn’t an issue with either device.
Personal favourites from the Taito Super Pocket include Puzzle Bobble, Bubble Bobble, Rastan, Growl and Kiki Kaikai, while games like Strider, Final Fight, Mega Man and Ghouls and Ghosts are my top picks from the Capcom version. There’s arguably not a dud to be found.
If you get bored of the built-in games, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the cartridge slot at the back of the device can be used to play Evercade compilations.
At just £49.99, the Super Pocket is the cheapest way to experience Blaze Entertainment’s increasing library of Evercade releases.
You can pick up officially-licensed C64 and Team 17 Amiga collections, Atari and Namco anthologies, plus cartridges from fan-favourite companies like Data East, Delphine and Irem.
The ability to add titles means your Super Pocket shouldn’t ever gather dust, even after you’ve conquered the leaderboards in all of your favourite Capcom and Taito games.
The awkward and uncomfortable back buttons are the only real blemish in a pair of otherwise flawless devices.
The placement of the rear buttons make six-button games like Street Fighter 2 painful to play and difficult to control.
Fortunately, the back buttons aren’t used in too many retro titles, and you can attempt to minimise the damage by reassigning buttons in the pause menu.
Also, while the brightly-lit and crystal clear IPS display is largely impressive, it can be tricky to make out the action in certain games, particularly fast-paced vertical shooters like 1942.
Ultimately, however, the Super Pocket handhelds well and truly live up to the name.
Whether you opt for the Capcom edition, Taito version, or both, these stylish devices are packed with super games from the arcade glory days.
Better yet, Evercade compatibility adds the ability to enjoy more classic games from companies like Namco, Atari, Codemasters and Toaplan.
Factor in the impressive IPS display, inexpensive price tag and compact design, and you’re left with a pair of superb pocket handhelds that should be in the stockings of every gaming fan this Christmas.