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The SNES Classic is very good

It’s a good system for good people and I like it

SNES Classic Edition - top view (horizontal) Samit Sarkar/Polygon

After spending a weekend playing the SNES Classic with my kids, it’s my pleasure to inform you that it is very good. It made me feel good, and I like it.

The SNES Classic looks like a system I used to own when I was a kid, but it’s smaller. Or maybe I have just gotten bigger; I honestly don’t know. But the system is adorable and will likely make you feel good, and hopefully it will bring up a lot of nice memories when you look at it and hold it.

The controllers’ relatively short cables aren’t an issue, because they turn the video game console into a cuddle machine. You are forced to be in physical proximity to the people with whom you are playing, which encourages you to pick your second player with great care.

I waited in line to get my SNES Classic, but the wait was pretty short. The store had enough for everyone who got there an hour of so ahead of time, so I think the stock level is pretty good. When I was in line, I spoke with other Nintendo fans about Nintendo games that we liked. A lot of people had Switches and played them. It was enjoyable.

Even this aspect of the system’s launch — the waiting in line, in front of an actual store — feels like it was designed to foster closeness. That’s especially true in comparison to the online pre-ordering system debacle, although it’s more likely that Nintendo just likes pictures of long lines for promotional reasons. But it was nice to have an excuse to hang out with other people who like what I like.

The SNES Classic is uncomplicated. It’s fun and toylike. Playing it reminds me of being a kid, and I think my kids like to play it as much as I like to ignore the fact they are humoring me a bit, because the system makes me so happy. But things that make people happy can sometimes be in short supply. The SNES Classic is a happiness machine, especially if you’re a person of a certain age who grew up with good memories of the original system.

The system is even pretty hard to break, so you can leave it with even your younger kids and you don’t have that much to worry about. There aren’t any games on there with super questionable content, so you can tell them to just go bonkers and play whatever they want.

The system doesn’t have online features, so you don’t have to worry about anything in that department. You do have to worry about sharing it, but if you teach your kids that they get to play more SNES Classic if they share nicely, they will be become better people. And if they can beat Castlevania IV, they will become amazing people.

The SNES Classic feels like an escape from the complexity of modern games and consoles, and that aspect of the experience is one of the best things about it.

It’s hard to think of anything in video games that is this uncomplicated and fun. There are no hidden gotchas. If you think you’d like to have one but are on the fence, I bet that, once you buy one, you’re really going to like it. Nintendo made a neat thing, and so far I can say with great sincerity that it is good that it did so.

The SNES Classic is a concentrated, $80 echo of the past that connects you to that past in a direct way you can share with others around you.

It is a piece of consumer electronics that can be described in the same way others may describe the smell of freshly baked cookies. There are reasons to be cynical about the system’s existence and how it’s sold, but the SNES Classic itself feels like sincerity that has been boiled down to its pure essence, plus it has Secret of Mana on it.

And that feeling itself is something you want to share with other people, and it was sad when some of those people didn’t get to buy one the first day. It’s nice that Nintendo is making more SNES Classics, because it means more people will get to have one. And it’s nice to have good things.