The Turbografx-16 Mini: Retro gaming heaven if you can’t find a Switch


The Turbografx-sixteen Mini’s controller, in my kid’s hands.

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On the lookout for a way to continue to be entertained feels like a entire-time career appropriate now, when compared to a couple months in the past. The Nintendo Switch is still the sizzling console to purchase, but it is tough to discover a single in stock. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox Just one are simpler to get maintain of, but equally are threatened with around-phrase obsolescence, with new versions promised by the finish of 2020. 

Table of Contents


  • A ton of faithfully remastered Turbografx-sixteen video games
  • Retro scenario design has a collector’s product really feel
  • Controller has extra-extensive cable
  • Crafted-in match saves

Really don’t Like

  • Only comes with a single controller
  • No AC adapter (use your own)
  • Some video games are Japanese-only
  • A lot more obscure match library may perhaps not be for you

What about a microconsole to bide the time — some thing like a $one hundred video games-incorporated retro box? We’ve now viewed the NES Common and SNES Common, the PlayStation Common and the Sega Genesis Mini. Now you can find the a lot more obscure Turbografx-sixteen Mini.

There was a time, back when Insane Eddie was a detail, when I envied a weird movie match process that I was curious about but hardly ever owned. That process was the Turbografx-sixteen.

Nestled involving the eight-little bit a long time of the NES and Sega Master Process and the sixteen-little bit glory of SNES and Sega Genesis, the Turbografx-sixteen was always weird. It arrived right before the Sega Mega Push in Japan, in 1987, when it was the “Computer system Engine.” It arrived following the Genesis in the US (Aug. 29, 1989, while the Genesis released Aug. 14). It had eight-little bit processing with sixteen-little bit graphics. It was designed by NEC. It played video games on very little playing cards. It had a pinball match with demons named Devil’s Crush.


The Turbografx-sixteen Mini (appropriate), subsequent to the SNES Common by Nintendo (left).

Scott Stein/CNET

I was in appreciate from afar. I was even curious about the launch match, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones.

Taking into consideration the current retro-reboot console wars of mini match systems, it was probably only a make a difference of time right before the Turbografx-sixteen would get there. It’s below, in the sort of an HDMI-linked self-contained process with 57 video games. I have been actively playing it with my young children to see if my childhood obsession was warranted. 

The Turbografx-sixteen Mini is designed by Konami, and comes in a number of designs dependent on the region (Computer system Engine in Europe and Asia, or Turbografx-sixteen in North The united states.) The US model has that extensive condition I recall. It’s a simulacrum: The card slot doesn’t get the job done and you can find only a single ability switch. The back section is just a simple plastic address to safeguard the cords. 


The Turbografx-sixteen Mini contents, unboxed.

Scott Stein/CNET

The mini-console’s plastic scenario is bigger than the SNES Common or Genesis Common. The US product is even bigger than the European and Japanese Computer system Engine scenario. I would have beloved if it had been a very little scaled-down — half the attractiveness of retro mini consoles is the collector’s-product appear of the detail.

It comes with a single USB controller, but the process has two USB ports. It also comes with an HDMI cable (awesome) and Micro-USB cable for charging, but no AC adapter (not awesome, and a weird omission), so you are going to have to have to use a single of your own. I utilised the AC adapter from the NES Common.

The a single controller appears and feels like an NES controller, type of. It’s got two action buttons, a “run” and “pick out” button, and a directional pad which is excellent ample. The two action buttons arrive with turbo switches for swift hearth, which finishes up being helpful in the unbelievable selection of shooters on this console. The controller cable is extra extensive, far extended than the small NES and SNES Common controller cords. You could stretch it throughout a space just high-quality.


Note the USB controller ports, and the extra-extensive controller cable.

Scott Stein/CNET

At $99 for the Turbografx-sixteen, it is a lot more costly than the $80 Genesis Mini. The video games on this are not at all as iconic, or easily acknowledged. But some are tough to discover any place else. I recall them in a vague finish-of-’80s haze: Armed forces Madness. JJ and Jeff. Neutopia. Alien Crush. But there are lacking video games too. You will find no Devil’s Crush or Keith Courage.


Bonk’s Revenge! The young children beloved this a single.

Scott Stein/CNET

Some are classics, like R-Style (a single of my favorite shooters at any time), Bomberman ninety three, Splatterhouse. There are even some Sega video games (Space Harrier, Fantasy Zone) and Japanese versions of concealed gems (Ghouls n Ghosts, Ninja Gaiden). There are a good deal of Konami video games in below, too: Gradius, Gradius 2, Salamander (Lifeforce), a number of Bomberman video games, Snatcher. Other video games really feel like particular rarities, too: Super Darius, Galaga 88. It feels like a magic garage sale discover.


The console’s menus clearly show off the video games and are entire of retro touches, like the NES/SNES Common and Genesis Mini.

Scott Stein/CNET

And there are a good deal of shooters. I indicate, a good deal of shooters. Like, probably, too a lot of shooters? By my depend there are eighteen shooters of 57 video games. If you might be into shooters (this means aspect scrolling room video games, or shmups), this is a very little treasure trove. If you might be not into that style, you may well want to rethink this selection. 

But all of the video games play properly, with the similar exceptional port high-quality of the NES, SNES and Genesis microconsoles. If you might be into amassing uncommon eight- and sixteen-little bit match rarities, this’ll be a must-purchase. My young children played with me for hours. They beloved Bonk, and got into some of the shooters. They even appreciated the action-RPG things. 


JJ & Jeff… probably you can find a explanation I hardly ever played this.

Scott Stein/CNET

There are twenty five video games in the Turbografx-sixteen menu, but go down to the base and choose “Computer system Engine, and there are 32 a lot more. They’re the Japanese video games, and some you should not have English text. Some do. Some are repeats: You will find a Computer system Engine and Turbografx-sixteen model of Ys Ebook one & 2, Dungeon Explorer and Neutopia one and 2.

The Japanese video games are largely playable even if you you should not know Japanese, but some (RPGs, and a couple text-based video games) finish up sensation incomprehensible. A good deal of them are worthy of diving into.


Akumajo Dracula X Chi no Rondo (Castlevania: Rondo of Blood), with Japanese titles but completely playable.

Scott Stein/CNET

You can have up to five gamers at the moment, apparently, if you had a independently-offered multitap and extra controllers for some video games. I’m not heading to do that. Some undoubtedly will.

I really feel like all my Turbografx-curious FOMO has been pleased with the Turbograx-sixteen Mini. I you should not imagine it beats the SNES Common or Genesis Mini for mainstream retro attractiveness, but its larger sized library and deeper trove of rarities would make this a killer present for a common gamer. 


Just one Computer system Engine match (Appare! Gateball) that finished being incomprehensible for me in Japanese.

Scott Stein/CNET

You could also get some of these video games in other strategies (in compilations for Computer system or consoles). But I you should not imagine you can find a greater way to revisit the Turbografx glory days than this process.

Must you purchase a single? Well, it depends on no matter if something I just stated appeals to you. Konami has generally designed a Criterion box set of a dropped match platform and bundled it in a awesome show-pleasant product. Sounds rather excellent to me.

Correction, 10:36 a.m.: This assessment initially incorrectly overestimated the selection of shooters out there on the console. Up-to-date to clearly show the whole selection of shooters, which is eighteen out of 57.