Super Pocket review: portable perfection

An incredible value retro handheld

Super Pocket
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Super Pocket packs power, fantastic controls, and a strong selection of built-in games from either Capcom or Taito into an attractive pocket-size package. The low price tag and full compatibility with Evercade cartridges are the icing on the cake and comfortably elevate this handheld to must-buy territory for retro gamers.


  • +

    Design is portable and pretty

  • +

    Snappy controls and perfect emulation

  • +

    Full compatibility with Evercade cartridges


  • -

    Screen may be too small for some

  • -

    Rear shoulder buttons can be fiddly

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Editor's note

  • Original review date: October 2023

Update - June 2024:  The Super Pocket remains an absolute treat in 2024 having become a mainstay of our guide to the best handheld games consoles. Although it hasn’t received any major price cuts yet, it definitely does not need one as it still presents incredible value for money. If anything, the offering has only become even more compelling thanks to the arrival of some excellent new Evercade cartridges. You can now pick up the likes of the Duke Nukem Collection 1 and Duke Nukem Collection 2 for access to a collection of brilliant first-person shooter (FPS) classics, with plenty more exciting releases on the horizon.

I still take the Taito edition out and about from time to time, particularly when I know that I will be spending awhile on pubic transport. There's simply nothing else on the market right now that offers this level of performance in a such a compact form factor and at such an affordable price. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Dash Wood headshot on a pink 'radar' background
Dashiell Wood

Two-minute review

The very first handheld by HyperMegaTech (a new brand from Evercade makers Blaze Entertainment) is nothing short of a triumph in almost every regard. The Super Pocket is a fantastic retro player that boasts a convenient pocket-size design and a solid selection of built-in games from either Capcom or Taito depending on which of the two licensed editions you buy.

The small rear shoulder buttons can take some getting used to given their small size, but everything from Space Invaders to Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting otherwise controls fantastically out the box thanks to the tactile face buttons and an impressive D-pad. The Super Pocket’s operating system also includes a host of desirable features like multiple save states, cathode-ray tube (CRT) TV scanline filters, and an optional easy mode that helps make even the hardest arcade games that much more accessible.

The compatibility with Evercade cartridges is a complete game changer for budget portable systems too, granting Super Pocket owners access to a growing library of affordable cartridges that house everything from classic Namco arcade games to modern indie titles like Micro Mages and Foxyland. Our testing found that the games on Evercade cartridges perform just as well as the built-in ones meaning that, for an MSRP of under $60 / £50, you’re getting an absolutely unbelievable level of value from this package.

Super Pocket review - Price and availability

At just $59.99 / £49.99, the Super Pocket is one of the most affordable retro gaming handhelds on the market. 

It’s not quite as cheap as some of the more budget offerings from manufacturers like My Arcade (who sell versions of their licensed Pocket Player for $39.99 / £29.99) but boasts a considerably better selection of built-in games, far superior build quality, and several desirable software features that would normally only be found on more high-end alternatives like the Evercade EXP. Seriously, it’s hard to overstate just how good value the Super Pocket is.

The handheld is readily available at a range of global retailers. In the US it can be found at Amazon and Best Buy while in the UK it’s sold at Amazon, Game, and Argos. Many of those retailers also sell a selection of compatible Evercade cartridges, which typically cost $19.99 / £17.99 each and include a wide range of licensed games.

Design and features

Super Pocket

(Image credit: Future)

The first time you open the box, you’re sure to be struck by just how small the Super Pocket is in the flesh. This is a truly minuscule system that, at just 3 x 0.49 x 0.98 inches (7.8 x 1.25 x 2.5 cm) in size, is easily smaller than most modern phones. I was able to fit the Super Pocket into my pocket comfortably no matter what I was wearing - a real blessing if you intend to use it to keep yourself entertained during a commute.

The overall design is obviously very reminiscent of the Nintendo Game Boy but with some welcome modern refinements. The smooth, rounded corners feel great in the palms of your hands and allow for comfortable playing sessions. Furthermore, the D-pad is very responsive and the face buttons are also excellent with a springy tactile feel that is absolutely perfect for button mashing.

On the bottom of the Super Pocket you can find a 3.5mm headphone jack, power switch, and two LEDs (one to indicate whether the device is on and the other to show whether it is currently receiving power). There’s also a USB-C charging port, mercifully removing the need to constantly swap out pricey single-use batteries. The rear of the device is adorned with the volume rocker, shoulder buttons, and an Evercade cartridge slot for if you’re planning to build up your collection of games beyond those pre-installed on the unit.

There are currently two versions of the Super Pocket on the market; a mint green and black Taito Edition and a yellow and blue Capcom Edition. Both versions come with their own unique built-in library of games, focusing specifically on popular titles from their respective publishers. While the Taito Edition is, in my opinion, the most aesthetically pleasing and contains more games (with 18 total), I would most recommend the Capcom Edition if you only intend to buy one.

This is because, while the likes of Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble are plenty of fun, nothing can really beat having immediate access to 12 brilliant Capcom games when the lineup includes bangers like Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting, Final Fight, and Mega Man. Still, you’re going to be having a good time no matter which you choose. A handy list of all the games included in both can be found on the HyperMegaTech website, so be sure to give it a read before making your decision.

Performance and battery life

Super Pocket

(Image credit: Future)

For such a small device, the Super Pocket performs incredibly well when it comes to playing games. In fact, we didn't experience any noticeable slowdown or graphical issues during our testing. The 320x240px IPS screen might not sound too impressive on paper, especially when compared to something like the Nintendo Switch OLED’s 720p display, but it punches well above its weight thanks to the 2.8” (~7cm) size. Games look crisp with vivid colors and there are even a couple of additional display options (including both CRT scanline filters and alternate display resolutions) to tweak their look to your liking in the software. 

This strong performance continues when utilizing Evercade compatibility, with the inserted cartridge’s selection of games appearing on a separate tab on the main menu. These cartridges can be hot-swapped (provided, of course, that you are not currently playing an Evercade game) which makes alternating between them a breeze.

Super Pocket

(Image credit: Future)

Beyond the games, the Super Pocket’s operating system is another highlight as, in addition to the above display options, you can also make use of six save states and peruse a brief guide on how to use Evercade cartridges. Navigating through its menus is super snappy, and making a new save state is almost instantaneous, lending the overall experience a very polished and premium feel.

The single front-facing speaker performs well despite its size as the sound produced is punchy and effective. The volume can be turned up surprisingly loud, but it’s worth noting that there’s some noticeable distortion when you’re on the highest setting. As this is a mono speaker, the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is also welcome and allows you to experience stereo sound when you plug in a compatible wired gaming headset.

As both editions charged quickly and comfortably lasted over 4 hours of play during our testing, the battery life is also very unlikely to give you any grief either.

The small form factor does come with some downsides, though, as the tiny shoulder buttons can take a bit of getting used to. They’re very clicky and, overall, not the most satisfying to press. This seems like a fair trade-off given the portability, though, as it's hard to imagine how these could have been greatly improved without increasing the Super Pocket’s overall size.

Your mileage with the 2.8” (~7cm) screen is also likely to vary dramatically depending on the quality of your eyesight - especially if you want to experience titles at their intended aspect ratio with the Pixel Perfect display mode. If this is applicable to you, you would be much better off considering larger options like the Evercade EXP instead.

On the whole this is still a fantastic package and a wonderful way for those curious about retro gaming to begin to explore the wider Evercade library without breaking the bank. Even if you don't wish to expand your collection, however, you're getting a very capable, feature-rich retro handheld that comes with a formidable collection of built-in games.

Should I buy the Super Pocket?

Super Pocket

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want to play Evercade games for less
At just $59.99 / £49.99, the Super Pocket is by far the cheapest way to buy into the Evercade ecosystem. This is the perfect choice if you want to play hundreds of officially licensed retro games without breaking the bank.

You want a truly portable retro system
You’re very unlikely to find anything else that can perform quite so well at such a small size. Pick one of these up if you want something to play retro games while out and about.

Don't buy it if...

You prefer larger systems
There’s no getting around the fact that the Super Pocket is small. While this means that it can be conveniently stored in your pocket, the form factor could be a hurdle if you have larger hands, prefer bigger buttons, or want a large display. 

How we reviewed the Super Pocket

I took the Super Pocket on the go with me for over a week, playing it whenever possible on public transport and in spare moments at my desk. I also spent some time using the handheld at home and was careful to sample every pack-in game across both editions. My favorites included the cute puzzler The Fairyland Story from the Taito Edition and the original Mega Man from the Capcom Edition

In addition to those titles, I used a sample Evercade cartridge provided by HyperMegaTech in order to test the handheld’s performance while playing Evercade games like Burger Time and Sly Spy.  

To see how other retro systems have held up, read our Evercade EXP review or our PlayStation Classic review.

Dashiell Wood
Hardware Writer

Dash is a technology journalist who covers gaming hardware at TechRadar. Before joining the TechRadar team, he was writing gaming articles for some of the UK's biggest magazines including PLAY, Edge, PC Gamer, and SFX. Now, when he's not getting his greasy little mitts on the newest hardware or gaming gadget, he can be found listening to J-pop or feverishly devouring the latest Nintendo Switch otome.