If you’re a long time fan of Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN) like I am, you’ll understand my excitement to team up with Cinemassacre. If you have not heard of AVGN/Cinemassacre and you love retro video gaming, here’s his The Angry Video Game Nerd YouTube Channel - You’re welcome!
Clean even the sh!ttiest of games with your favorite hero, the Angry Video Game Nerd! With the best in retro video game cleaning on one side, and collectible Nerd images on the other, these licensed 1UPcards will have you swearing at one-hit deaths, water levels and time limits in a matter of seconds!
Jame's buddy, Mike from Cinemassacre’s Show, "James and Mike Mondays", gives a review of 1UPcard products. Check it out!
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But, wait! That's not all!
To really drive things home, AVGN made 3 collectors edition 1UPcards! Choose from one of the following 3-pack options:
Collect all 3 styles in our 9-Pack bundle!
Read what Mike has to say about 1UPcard products:
“Whenever possible I like to play retro games with cartridges. With these old games you have to make sure these old games are clean. Cleaning with cotton swabs is annoying and leaves a bunch of fuzz behind.
But now things have changed with 1UPcard.
1UPcard cartridge cleaners have more surface area and leave no fuzz behind. They are fast and effective when it comes to cleaning retro games and consoles.
They also have a mini 1upcard for gameboy games and console cleaners for classic systems like NES and N64.
For a limited time you can even get a collectible Cinemassacre 1UPcard!
Go to the link in our description and get your 1UPcard today!”
Buy collection edition Cinemassacre 1UPcards here. Give your games an extra life!
Here's a pic of James Rolfe, the Angry Video Game Nerd (right), teaching me how to frown like a nerd. ☹️ This was a great day.
Handheld consoles and their games may not elicit the buzz today that they received back in the nineties, but their legacy remains strong. People are still playing the same cartridges that they put on their Christmas lists nearly 30 years ago, and they’re starting to pass them down to the next generation as well.
The Sega Nomad. (Photo: Staffan Vilcans via flickr)
These retro handhelds are proving to be great for kids even decades after their original incarnation. They’re easy to pack up and travel with, the challenges or adventures are still compelling, and they don’t have internet access. (Have you ever given a kid your phone? It's amazing what they can get into online in just a few minutes!)
Below is a list of handheld consoles that still pack a punch today. These consoles were each groundbreaking at their creation for different reasons.
The original Game Boy was created in 1989 by Gunpei Yokoi, creator of the NES. Running on AA batteries, this brick of a handheld console had an unlit green and black display. It introduced portable longtime favorites like Tetris and Pokemon. Even though it wasn’t the most advanced system at the time it was released, it was the most successful because of the number of popular games that Nintendo offered. Nintendo sold over 8 million Game Boys over the next three years.
SEGA GAME GEAR™
Game Gear was created in 1989. Unlike the Game Boy, it had a color screen. It also had a lot of games in all kinds of genres as an attempt to appeal to a larger audience. It was one of the only consoles to actually be able to compete with Game Boy for any amount of time. One major downside is that it runs on AA batteries and goes through them pretty quickly.
The Nomad was created in 1995 with a feature that is very popular today in retro gaming. This console plays cartridges made for the Sega Genesis (which released about 5 years prior). This allows gamers to play games that they already know and love and play them anywhere. It also allows the developers to release a console with over 500 games ready to play. While this is a trend that has come back around in the last ten years or so, this console was not as popular as Nintendo handheld systems because of its bulky design.
GAME BOY COLOR™
Game Boy Color, created in 1998, was named as such for the colored screen and brightly colored outer shell. It was the first handheld system on the market to be backwards compatible. This was a huge deal because the original Game Boy games were so popular. This updated system also offered a larger memory and was faster than the original console.
GAME BOY ADVANCE™
The Game Boy Advance was released in 2001 with updated graphics and sound capabilities. It was still backwards compatible with all Game Boy games but had additional features like shoulder buttons, a larger screen, and multiplayer gameplay between multiple consoles using only one cartridge. The biggest complaint about this system was that the screen was not lit, which caused Nintendo to redesign the console in 2003 and rerelease it as the Game Boy Advance SP with a front-lit screen3.
Supaboy is a popular retro gaming handheld console that was released in 2011 and was designed to play original NES and SNES cartridges. It is designed to look like an SNES controller, but with a 3.5-inch screen embedded in the middle. The rechargeable battery allows you about 2.5 hours of portable gameplay. The system can be plugged into the TV and SNES controllers can be plugged into the front of the Supaboy for multiplayer games.
There are some flaws with this console. First, Supaboy is not able to play all SNES games. So, you may receive a message on start-up that the system is not able to run the game. (Some models do allow you to toggle between PAL and NTSC games) Also, there is no battery life indicator, so you may be kicked out of the game abruptly if you aren’t being mindful about the amount of time you’ve been playing.
The RetroDuo Portable is similar to the Supaboy, but with a few upgrades. This handheld released in 2012 and plays NES and SNES cartridges as well as Sega Genesis cartridges. SNES cartridges can be inserted as they are, but NES and Sega Genesis cartridges do require an adapter (which can make the console to feel large and awkward). It has a rechargeable battery which allows about 8-10 hours of gaming.
GREAT FOR KIDS!
Handheld consoles and their small gaming cartridges are very convenient for kids who play games on the go, whether that’s on vacation, at a friend’s house, or running errands with mom and dad. Everything can be tucked into bags or boxes, even pockets. These consoles also do not have internet capability. If your kids are interested in video gaming but too young to be exposed to the freedom of online gaming, this could be a great option for them. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that they don’t have access to adult content without having to check in on them every few minutes.
The issue with all of this travel and adventure is that the game cartridges will get grimy. Dirt, lint, dust, a gummy worm, all kinds of things can get wedged up in there when your kid is running around with a cartridge in their pocket. This build-up can cause the cartridge to run poorly or not at all. In a previous post, we discussed how blowing into a cartridge can be damaging, and other methods, like q-tips with isopropyl alcohol, just won’t cut it.
1UPCARD™ HAS YOU COVERED
1UPcard is the most convenient and effective option for cleaning handheld game cartridges. The card is shaped specifically to cover more area while cleaning. It takes only takes a couple of swipes on each side of the contacts to get the entire area clean.
1UPcards come in multiple sizes so that they can be used on many different types of gaming cartridges. They can be used 100+ times with more than enough cleaning solution in each bottle to get you through the life of the card.
The cleaning pads are durable but soft so that they will clean the cartridge without damaging it. However, they are not so soft that they will tear apart or leave fluff behind like a q-tip would. There are two pads per card, one to clean the contacts with the solution and one to dry the contacts off before inserting the cartridge into the console.
THE BENEFITS OF THE CLEANING SOLUTION
The cleaning solution that can be bundled with the 1UPcard is in a small, easy to use, easy to store container. This will save you from the process of pouring isopropyl alcohol into a bowl to dip the q-tip in to clean the cartridge then throwing out the q-tips and washing the bowl. That’s just too many steps!
The cleaning solution bottle is especially beneficial for clumsy kids. More DIY-esque cleaning methods, like q-tips with isopropyl alcohol, are just begging for a major spill. To minimize the possibility of rusting contacts, most blogs and articles suggest using a very strong isopropyl alcohol with very little water content. This means it’s a very flammable solution with the power to damage the finish on wooden furniture. Can’t you just hear them calling, “Daaaddd!”
The 1UPcard cleaning solution is nearly impossible to spill. The dropper on the end dispenses the solution very slowly, which will also help to prevent kids from using too much.
EASY TO USE
1UPcards are very intuitive and easy to use. The card has clearly marked “fluid” and “dry” pads at each end. The cleaning solution bottle is easy for kids to use without making a mess. They can simply put 2 or 3 drops of cleaning solution on the “fluid” pad, wipe the cartridge contacts, dry off the contacts with the “dry” pad, and continue gaming.
(Close up of 1UPcard showing wet and dry labels)
The 1UPcard and cleaning solution are compact and easy to store. They’re a great addition to a kid’s travel bag or gaming cabinet. These easy to use items will help kids protect their expensive consoles and cartridges (especially those cartridges of older systems that may be difficult to get a hold of today).
PASS ON THE TRADITION
It’s likely that your kids are playing these older games because you loved them. Some of these games have been immortalized and are going to be talked about for years and years to come. Passing your cherished items down to your kids is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Preserve the magic. Take care of your game cartridges by cleaning them with the 1UPcard so that they can continue to be passed down.
It’s a Saturday morning. You don’t have to work. You don’t have to go anywhere in fact. It’s 1:00 pm and you’re still sitting in the living room, unwashed, in your PJs, with the quilt from the back of the couch wrapped around your shoulders.
The conditions are perfect to bust out those old gaming systems and return to a simpler time in your life. Grab yourself an orange soda and settle in. You open up the tied-up Walmart bag that holds the console, cartridges, controllers, and wound up cords. You get it all plugged in. You slap in your copy of Battletoads. It starts up, but all you see is a mess of letters and colored cubes.
Easy fix. Take the cartridge out, blow in the bottom of it, blow in the console, give it another go, right?
This age-old method of cleaning your gaming cartridges is actually harmful to the game. And you want to protect that sweet, sweet nostalgia.
When you blow into a cartridge, the moisture from your breath collects on the inside of the cartridge and can cause the metal to rust. You might find yourself saying, “I’ve been doing this for years and my cartridges still work!” You may not see the negative effect from this right away. But if you’re blowing into the cartridge every time it glitches for decades, it will start to deteriorate. And the more time that passes, the harder it will be to find a replacement for your favorite games. So, protect the games that you have.
This method of rebooting is not only damaging, but ineffective. Much of the dust, dirt, and patina on the cartridge will not be cleaned off. “But it works for me, I swear!” It does, but not because you’re blowing on it. Likely, what you’re doing is giving the game another chance to make a good connection. But, you’re also inflicting damage on the cartridge for no good reason. You’d be better off simply removing the game and reinserting it to give it another chance.
Frankie Viturello, a host from Digital Press Webcast, did a side-by-side test of two NES cartridges. The two cartridges were left in the open air in the same room. He blew on one of the cartridges ten times a day to imitate a long period of use. After a month, all of the 72 connector pins that had been blown on had corroded. The other cartridge looked the same as it did at the beginning of the experiment4.
Instead of risking the integrity of your gaming cartridge, start employing a simpler, safer method of cleaning. One of the most popular recommendations is a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol2. Gently wipe out the inside of the cartridge with the damped Q-tip.
Using isopropyl alcohol is more effective than trying to clean with a dry Q-tip because it holds onto more dust and dirt. If you use a dry Q-tip, it will most likely just smash the debris into the bottom and corners of the cartridge.
Unfortunately, with this method, the Q-tips can start to pull apart and leave fluff behind on the contacts. You’ll have to take the time to clear all out all of the fibers before putting the cartridge back in the game.
For a faster, more convenient option, consider something like the 1UPcard Video Game Cartridge Cleaning Kit. It comes in two sizes, one for regular console gaming cartridges and one for smaller cartridges for portable gaming devices. 1UPcards are compatible with Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, N64, Atari, Game Boy, and more.
The 1UPcard is a durable, reusable cleaning card with two felt pads on each end. One pad can be dampened with the cleaning fluid and the other left dry so that no excess fluid is left on the cartridge. The width of the card will clean cartridges much faster and more thoroughly than using a Q-tip would.
The 1UPcard can be reused up over 150 times and can be washed with soap and water if the pads become too dirty. It cleans the game cartridge quickly and effectively without leaving behind any fluff.
The fluid that is sold in the kit bundle is 99% isopropyl alcohol. For cleaning gaming cartridges, the higher the concentration of the isopropyl alcohol the better. The higher the concentration, the less water there is. As we learned earlier in this article, you don’t want water left on the cartridge because it will cause corrosion.
“Why can’t I just buy my own isopropyl alcohol?” You can! The major upsides for the 1UPcard cleaning fluid are the size and shape of the bottle. It’s easier to store a small bottle and you have a lot more control over how much fluid is being dispensed onto the cleaning pad. And, that tiny bottle will still give you about 100 uses. Plus, whereas most drug stores will carry 50%, 70% or 90% isopropyl alcohol, the pure 99% can be harder to find.
This kit can be bundled up and left with your cartridges for easy use when you need it rather than having a pack of single use Q-tips floating around. When you find yourself staring at a screen full of nonsense instead of the opening title, grab your kit, pour a couple of drops on the 1UPcard pad, clean it, dry it, pop it back in, and get to gaming.
Let’s go back to the living room where you are still sitting with your console and glitching game. Do you want to waste your precious lazy afternoon cleaning with half a dozen Q-tips, or do you want to get to gaming as soon as possible?
Let 1UPcard save you time and save you from a pile of dusty Q-tips.
"The cards and console cleaners are awesome! No more lines on the screen when playing my old games! Thank you for thinking about our classic systems! Keep up the great work." -Jonathan
"I have a personal NES collection of over 100 carts. All of them were stored in a garage for several years before I decided to bring them back to life.
Previously, I had purchased a NES screwdriver, and used several Q-tips and metal polish to remove all of the old rust/crust from the contacts. I literally just opened the package that arrived from you guys and put one to the test.
I took several games that were not working, and used the same 1-Up Card and the same dab of alcohol to clean and test 5 games, including 1 Tengen cart and 1 Quattro Adventure cart.
Holy $#!%! I am blown away. What would have taken me 5-10 minutes per cart now only took 30 seconds. This is an amazing find. Please, please keep up the good work guys! Thank you!" -Andrew
"A++ there are well made and very convenient seen them often on you tube with high regard from knowable people in my eye so i picked up a set of myself and must say they are the easiest and simplest way i have found to clean old retro games with out then need to open them up if they don't need internal repair will get more when these wear out if they ever do." -Chuck
"Five Stars. My cartridges didn't work before this product. Now i'm playing Donkey Kong. Thanks." -Aaron
"I was satisfied with the purchase and the shipping, the product works as described and also I used the credit card cleaners for my N64 game carts and these will works for other consoles that takes carts in fact you could polish up the contacts in some of the cartridge slots." -William
"Very simple, didn't think this would be the fix for my old non-working games....But they all work now!" -Miguel
Retrogaming blogger reviews
Online reviews can be found by these awesome retrogaming blogging folks. Be sure to subscribe to their blogs and YouTube channels!
"Awesome product not only can you clean all your NES & SNES games but it works on other game cartridges like Sega Genesis & Master System." -Frank H.
"Great product for keeping your retro systems working. Makes me feel nice knowing that this is specially designed for the task." -Ben B.
"No More Cotton Swabs! Most of my NES games were pretty clean, but with just a little isopropyl alcohol on the wet end and buffing with the dry end, these pins were gleaming, it's pretty incredible. The games that I had that I thought were dead started up right away (I'm using the NES AVS from retrousb btw). No more cotton swabs for me, that's for sure." -Jim
"This product literally saved three seemingly-non-working SNES games from the scrap heap. It takes a total of ten seconds to clean and dry each game and, most importantly, it works!!!" -Chaz
"I received my 1UP card today. I must say I am VERY impressed! What a great product! As a retro gamer one of the most difficult things to judge is whether a newly purchased game is clean enough to go into my console. Your product is perfect for cleaning any game cart (except Gameboy). As someone who constantly opens carts to repair them this is a nice alternative. It is perfect for buffing up the contacts of clean games that I haven't played in a while. I will definitely be recommending this to all of my retro gaming friends!" -John
"I got my cleaning cards a few days ago and used one to clean up a famicom cartridge i got off ebay...OMG thank you for making a cartridge cleaner that actually works" -Daniel
Well, I wasn't sure if this would work for me. I rescued this old Nintendo after it had been stuffed in a dusty closet for at least 15 years. Mind you, this closet is in the deep south (coast of Alabama) where humidity is rampant. To top it all off, it was mostly used by my three brothers, so, not only was it never cleaned (aside from blowing into the cartridges), but it was not handled gently in any sense of the word.
I got it set up last week and found nothing but a blinking red light and blue screen to greet me. Nothing I did could remedy it, so I was certain I would need to replace the 72 pin connector. I found your kit by accident while searching, and I honestly thought there was very little chance it could work.
Well, it took many tries with both your console card and your cartridge cleaner, but it is now working pretty well. There is still some adjusting that I have to do here and there, but my children are really enjoying the classic games. I really appreciate your fast shipping and the rather simple solution to reviving this game console! -Anne Marie
"Hey guys! So to all you retro games out there trying to revive your old cartridges, this is a great place to start!"
"The design is super straight forward, and makes it easy to understand how to clean the connectors without damaging them. The sizing is great, and the whole thing also it looks cool too! I totally recommend this product!" -Derrick
"It worked well for N64 games. You can either use it to clean the contacts while the came is intact or you can take the case off the game and use the product to provide a better clean of the game contacts. It would be nice to have an item to clean the consol contacts as well. But this item is very good and exceeded my expectations It is way better than qtips." -Andrew
"Does a real nice job and gets all the dust, dirt, and grime off of old games. This product works very well and after cleaning my Super Mario Bros. game. I not only saw brighter picture, but the sound became much clearer. I just wish I could find this at stores. A game store wanted me to pay 20+ dollars just for them to clean 2 games." –Hunter
"Excellent product. I've used it to clean Neo Geo MVS cartridges and Genesis cartridges. Should work great on NES and SNES carts also. Contact pins are clean as new." -Tyson
"Good product that's easy to use. Used it on an old used Nintendo game that I couldn't get to work at all. After applying the game worked flawlessly." -Tabitha
"Cleans a lot better than q tips highly recommend it." -Erik
"Product works great and is easy to use." -Sean
"I dusted out my nes and nes games out of my closet and used this 1up cleaning kit. Everything works like it used too." -Edward
"I purchased this because I recently set up my retro station. I noticed some of the contacts on the game cartridges were dirty after a few years of sitting in a closet, so I purchased this 1-up card to clean them up. It's insanely easy to use. It comes with a solution of 99% alcohol that you drip onto the 'wet side' of the card and the thickness of the pad ensures that it is always pressed firmly to the contacts. Once you scrub the contacts, you just flip it around and dry them off with the other side of the card. It takes all of 30 seconds. Rinse and repeat for each game and you have yourself a perfectly clean game. Your alternative is using a q-tip and that's no fun." -Derek
"Works well on my nes games :)" -Kamen
Pete from 8-Bit Central:
"Used a q-tip for years and always had to pick the fuzz off of the contacts, this fixes that issue. Card cleans well and leaves nothing behind, works exactly as advertised!" -Adam
"I received my Game Cleaning Kit recently and I love it. The picture size is a little confusing, but it's size makes it easy to clean the game cartridges. I have already cleaned a few Nintendo 64 and NES game cartridges, and now they work great. The wet and dry sides makes it really convenient for me to clean the game cartridges then dry them. Love the nostalgia of being able to play my old games again." -Ry
"SUPER FAST SHIPPING! GREAT RETRO GAME CLEANER! THANKS! Every retro game owner should have this. THANKS :-D" -Ryan
"Works great. A must have especially if you replace your NES 72 pin connector." -Chris
"Great item!! best product i have used for cleaning my games!!!!" -Jason
"Cleaning video games is a breeze with this kit. No need to repeat the process to ensure the pins have been cleaned." -TiredOfCodes
"Glad someone out there is making new cleaning kits. Now if only everyone knew that the old 72 pin connectors are superior to aftermarket pins... and that the so-called "Blinking Red Light of Death" should really be called "The Blinking Read Light of Give Me A Quick Cleaning." There is just no need for aftermarket pins if you know how to clean and maintain your console. And the new pins are terrible anyway, you practically have to take the games out with pliers with those pins installed."
"You guys are awesome! I found you through Google search when I bought the 1up card and it worked miracles. Sending everyone I know your way. Thanks!" -Justice
"I bought millipede off of someone and the game would not work. It was very grainy and had lots of pixels missing. I was sad because I really wanted to play the game. I bought this stuff and it immediately worked. I am so happy. This stuff saved my game! Totally recommend it!" -James
"Works perfect for snes games." -Dominic
Niko the Wiiguy
"These things are just stupid good. Can't praise them enough. Rarely a game they can't fix." - Samson
"Easier than q-tips. I used these to clean up my Atari games and they all work perfectly now. Easily fits all my cartridges." -Audra
"Works great for cleaning old Nintendo and Super Nintendo cartridges. I've also used it to clean Master System, Genesis, N64, and Game Boy cartridges, and the Game Boy cartridges are the only ones that really have any issue with fitting, but that's not really a fault of the 1 Up Card, as the cartridges are so tiny in the first place. You could always use cotton swabs instead, but this is an elegant way to clean your old games." -Brian A
"Product as described, works well / great in saving time cleaning NES, SNES, and N64 carts. Don't waste time with Q-tips that leave fuzz behind, this product is the ONLY way to go if you're not going to take the time to take the cart apart and hand polish with brass polish. Thanks!"
After I clean my system with this I like to clean the 1 Up Card with a q-tip and a bit of water. It takes all the crud off of the card so you aren't putting it back in the system when cleaning it again." - Dev
A detailed and helpful review from a satisfied 1UPcard customer:
1) How did you come across the 1UPcard?
"I think I'm remembering correctly: I first learned of the 1UPcard through Instagram. They posted an image with a very positive caption about cleaning hundreds of video games with the card. I'd just picked up 300 NES cartridges from my childhood home and every time I'd clean any of them I would start to feel guilty about how many cotton swabs I was burning through, so I decided this could be a good alternative.
2) Did you get what you were expecting?
Absolutely! I had been using cotton swabs and contact cleaner to clean my old games before. Compared to that, the 1UPcard was equally effective while being a lot easier to use, with less waste and without needing to use chemicals with worryingly long warning labels.
Overall, I'm extremely happy with the 1UPcard! I will definitely be picking up more as I work my way through my old games, and have already recommended it to friends who have rediscovered old systems and tried to start restoring them.
Have you heard of retrofixes.com? Searching on the web one day, I came across something unusual and noteworthy. Unusual because I noticed a high level of sophistication and attention to detail concerning retrogaming. Retrofixes.com is all about console modification with a focus on preservation.
The owner, Wes Almond (cool name, right?) says this about his work:
"I offer many new upgrade kits and restoration services for vintage consoles. Most services focus on removing the obsolete RF coax connection for composite or svideo. Newer higher end mods are HDMI or RGB video outputs for NES, SNES, N64 etc. My restored consoles have been featured in Museums (Art and Giant Robot exhibit- Oakland Museum of California) and one is currently in the Nintendo of America building"
Pretty neat huh! Here's another post from retrofixes.com that you might find useful:
Pop over to retrofixes.com to find some unique and excellent products and services relating to retro gaming.
A clean console is just as important as clean games. If your 72 Pin Connector inside your Nintendo Entertainment System is dirty, fuzzy, hairy, grimy or corroded, putting a clean game into it is a bad idea.
Insert the NES Console Cleaner into the console a number of times when your little red light gets to blinking.
This Nintendo console cleaner is brand new.
Cleans and polishes the connectors on your Nintendo Entertainment System
Orange tab makes removal from console easy
Don't use old and worn products to clean your games and system.
Game on with the 1UPcard NES cleaning kit
This is a newly manufactured console cleaner for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Clean your 72 pin connector quickly and easily for the NES.
Another place I love to listen to Nintendo game music is on YouTube. I highly reccommend you check out WiiGuy's 8BitStereo. His name is Niko and here is his channel. Make sure you subscribe!
In fact, Niko was kind enough to review the 1UPcard on his channel! You can see what he has to say here.
Listening to video game music has introduced me to a ton of new video game music and led me to buy new games to try. I have also discovered that there are some horrible games with awesome soundtracks...
Of course any games I get from Amazon, eBay, or anywhere get a treatment with the 1UPcard. You don't know where that game has been! For the simplest way to clean retro games, use the 1UPcard.