Retro-bit has produced many different retro gaming accessories and hardware that has been helping keep the retro gaming community alive. They have developed plenty of different console clones such as the retro-duo or the Res Plus, retro accessories RetroZapper Gun or the Power Stick and even some new retro multicarts for the Nintendo Entertainment System or Super Nintendo. Not all of Retro-Bit developments have been successful such as the Retro-Bit Generations which was a plug and play packed with over 90 retro classic games. The Retro-Bit Generations at times did a poor job of emulated games and just contained some poor game choices. However, Retro-Bit set-out to redeem themselves with a better Retro Classic gaming console and they are calling it the Super Retro-cade.
What Is The Super Retro-Cade?
The Retro-bit Super Retro-Cade is a plug and play that brings arcade games to your home entertainment system. It has over 90 games from the Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, and even a Sega Genesis game. The games included are from such publishers as Capcom, Data East, Technos and even Irem!
What’s Within The Box?
Within The Box is the Super Retro-Cade, two 10 ft. retro-bit USB controllers, HDMI cable, power adapter and the manual but who uses manuals anymore.
Design & Build Quality
The Retro-Bit Super Retro-Cade has a white and red color scheme which I think draws you in. The console itself is very small and portable. It is made of a sturdy plastic but very light-weight and almost feels like there is nothing contained within. The Super Retro-Cade has a small red power button and you find yourself itching to press it if you steer at it for long!
Features & Functions
The Super Retro-Cade features two USB ports on the front of the console which apparently will support a multitude of USB controllers (we will see), on the back is an HDMI port, composite ports, power adapter jack, and SD card slot which will allow you to play addition games! The console has a red power button on the top of the console that lights up when the system is powered on and I think it adds something special to the system rather than just a power light located somewhere else.
The console features two 10 ft white Super Retro controllers, the power adapter is proprietary 5 volts and not a micro USB unfortunately. There are over 90 games on a pretty simple menu system included arcade classics, nes, snes, and one genesis game. Through the added SD card slot on the back, you can play a large list of games via roms and the whole process is pretty simple.
The console has the option for save states but it only works if an SD card is in the SD card slot and it also has the option in the menu system to only view certain platform at a time. In the settings menu, you have the option to change the volume of the console, turn off or on the background music in the menu, option to change video setting from full screen to original screen but it seems to have no effect, language settings (English or Japanese), system restore and the option for button mapping.
Gameplay and Emulation
Well now we get to the most important part which is the intended purpose of the Retro-Bit Super Retro-Cade and that is gaming. How does the system handle emulation and running games? The included games on the system all seem to function flawlessly and I personally had a great gaming experience. The games that I have played as a child such as Burger Time, Bad Dudes, Ghouls N Ghosts, and Heavy Barrel all played the same as I remember when I was a child growing up in the 90’s. Some of the games I never got a chance to play in the arcade all seems to run perfectly even though I have no memory to compare them to but, it gave me a great opportunity to experience them for the first time and it was a blast. Games such as Boogy Wings, Side Arms, Xmultiply (which are all great shot em’ ups), Armored Warriors which is an amazing Mech Beat ’em Up, and also an extremely fun adventure top-down beat ’em up called Wizard Fire.
The only minor issues I did see was Double Dragon which seemed to run sluggish to me but who knows it could have run that way back in the day and I have just forgotten. Also some games like Merc and Gun Smoke function well as far as framerate and audio but just didn’t transfer well to a tradition console controller. Gun Smoke used the action buttons to shoot in the different directions instead of the Direction pad and it would be a better experience if a tradition 8 directional arcade stick could be used on the Super Retro-Cade.
When It came to emulated other roms via the SD card (which I explain how in the next section) surprisingly the Retro-cade did an amazing job running Frogger, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, The Simpson Arcade game, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Super Mario RPG, Super Mario 3, Mega Man VII, Mega Man X, Nightmare Busters, Punisher, Gaia Conquest and others arcade as well as console games.
Adding Roms To The Retro-Bit Super Retro-Cade?
Adding Roms to the Super Retro-Cade is a very simple process and all you need is an SD card. The first step is to insert your SD card into your computers SD card slot, create a folder called “retrobit games”, add roms and drop the folder on the SD card. For console games just drag the rom files straight to the SD card slot but for the Mame Arcade games, you want to keep the files zip and put them on the SD card. I found it to be a case of trial and error for arcade games because not all files would work on the Retro-cade. Unfortunately, it was a hit or missed and there was a lot of internet searching to find files of games I want to play that actually ran on the Super Retro-Cade. However, when you do locate them and they run, it is a blast.
When you add games to your SD card and insert the card into the Super Retro-Cade you will notice there are no images, only black box and you will find it slightly annoying to look at but just hold your breathe there is a way to solve this. Amazingly there is a simple fix for this as well, find any png file, rename it with the exact name as the rom file and add game at the end. For example, if your game is named Mega Man IV, the image file should be Mega Man IVgame.png and the image should show up above the game name on the Super Retro-Cade.
The Super Retro-Cade is definitely shaping out to be a very versatile plug and play. The Retro-Cade is a small retro gaming console with a big heart and brings me back to a time when videos games where a whole new exciting experience. The console comes with 90 built-in games but via the SD card you can add some of your favorite retro NES, SNES, SEGA GENESIS and ARCADE roms which due to how simple it was I believe it’s what Retro-Bit had intended all along.
The Retro-Bit Super Retro-Cade comes with two weirdly design controllers that at first, I thought would be uncomfortable after a long period of time but surprisingly they were rather comfortable and I didn’t experience any discomfort. Retro-Bit also states that you can use a multitude of USB controllers but I tested the Retro Fighters Jab controller and the 8 bitdo via the USB port without any success. However, I will be tested quite a few controllers on the We Deem Channel and if you’re interested in that make sure you head over to Youtube to subscribe to the Channel.
Overall if your looking to experience all your favorite retro games but don’t want to mess with a Raspberry Pi or continue to spend the increase retail price of the original games or hardware the Super Retro-Cade is definitely an affordable alternative. It was extremely easy to install more games, it’s a small portable device, comes with two great controllers and the system seems to run most games the way I remember them as a child. It was a blast re-experience some of my favorite NES, SNES, GENESIS, Mame ARCADE games and the Super Retro-Cade will be my all in one retro gaming console!