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The Retro Roundup: Limited Run Games and The Retro Room



An inherent part of nostalgia—for good or bad—is consumerism. The products we bought as kids become forever intertwined with our childhoods and therefore have the ability to evoke some of our most potent memories. Some companies lean into this obvious selling point and re-release, reboot, and otherwise recreate products of old. "The Retro Roundup" takes the best of these products and presents them for your consideration.

 

When Limited Run Games first started out, they initially sold their games with the "first come first served" mentality, often leaving customers disappointed when games sold out within minutes of being listed. I experienced the frantic nature of their sales when I bought a PS4 copy of Night Trap a few years back. The experience left a sour taste in my mouth, and I remember thinking I wouldn’t waste my time in the future.


Luckily, the company has pivoted slightly over the years, and now offers pre-order windows for their limited games. Most games will still eventually sell out, but in this way (as long as you’re aware of the release) you have plenty of time to place an order without the frustrating experience of getting a game into your virtual cart only for it to sell out before you enter payment info.



The most recent game to go on pre-order is Maniac Mansion, which is available as an NES Standard Edition ($59.99), NES Premium Edition ($99.99), and PC Collector’s Edition ($74.99). From Limited Run Games:


MANIAC MANSION STANDARD EDITION INCLUDES:

Physical Copy of Maniac Mansion for NES

Manual

Bulletin Board Poster


MANIAC MANSION PREMIUM EDITION INCLUDES:

Physical Copy of Maniac Mansion for NES

Maniac Mansion Original Soundtrack

Maniac Mansion Premium Edition Box

Manual

Two- Sided 18"x24" Poster

Bulletin Board Poster

Lenticular Microwave Pen

Logo Patch

Mini Game Cart Keychain


MANIAC MANSION COLLECTOR'S EDITION INCLUDES:

Physical Copy of Maniac Mansion for PC with the Original Soundtrack included

Maniac Mansion Collector's Edition Box

Manual

Two- Sided 18"x24" Poster

Bulletin Board Poster

Nuke'm Alarms Owner's Disarmament Guide & Code Viewer

USB Stick - includes game

Lenticular Microwave Pen

Logo Patch


It’s worth noting that shipping and taxes do apply, so that $59.99 standard edition would end up costing me (mileage may vary) $69.53. If that seems a little steep and you aren’t a collector, you can score a digital copy on Steam or GOG for a mere $5.99.



Another game you can pre-order now that comes on an NES cart is Doodle World Redrawn ($59.99). Unlike Maniac Mansion, this game is a homebrew and as such never saw an official NES release.


One last game worth mentioning (though this one is not available on an NES cart via the site) is A Boy and His Blob Retro Collection. The collection comes with both the NES “Trouble in Blobolonia” as well as the Gameboy game “The Rescue of Princess Blobette.” There are multiple formats available (PC, PS5, PS4, and Switch) as well as some collector’s editions, but they are all listed as “last chance” items, so if you want one, I’d move quick.

 

Another popular site that sells games on carts is The Retro Room, run by John Roo who has been developing and publishing games for over two years. There is a lot I like about this developer, but best of all is his interest in the preservation of games. Although he sells physical games, he also often gives the digital versions away for free.


His pricing is lower than Limited Run, and in addition to CIB (complete in box) editions, he also sells loose carts (without the box or manual) if you want to save even more money. For instance, currently his cheapest offering is the loose Gameboy cart of Quest Arrest for a mere $15.



There also appear to be at least three games up for presale (among their other products). Big2Small, a new puzzle adventure game, is available on Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, or Gameboy. Then there's Airball, which is being sold for NES or GBA for the first time ever. And finally the previously unreleased GBA game, Elland: The Crystal Wars.


As a side note, Roo boasts that his newsletter is “The coolest email list ever,” and I’m tempted to agree. I’m planning to write up a more complete article specifically about The Retro Room in the future, hopefully including some game reviews. Until then, I’d recommend you check them out.


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