Spotlight On: RetroN 2

RetroN 2 Controller Ports

Here at Afterlife, we try to give you as authentic a retro experience as possible. With that in mind, we’re building a collection full of classic cartridge games. With that said, while crashes and bugs are part of the true retro experience, we do what we can to make things run as smoothly as possible. That’s why we use RetroN 2s in our retro gaming section. Old NESs, especially the “toaster style” have dodgy connectors that are prone to failure even with proper maintenance. With the RetroN 2, a modern console that combines the NES and the SNES in 1 unit, you can just plug in the game and it works!

RetroN 2 Comparison

The console is compatible with all of the old games, and even the original controllers, giving you the same tactile feeling that you got back when the NES and the SNES were the newest and greatest things. When you sit down to play, we’ll plug in the classic controller for you (even the zapper if you want to rock some Duck Hunt), and throw the switch the selects between NES mode and SNES mode, and from there, you’re ready to start playing!

Intro To: Retro Game Maintenance

Here at Afterlife, we’re building an extensive collection of retro game consoles and retro games. With older cartridge based systems like the NES, SNES, and Nintendo 64, you get the true retro experience, complete with bugs and crashes. If you grew up in the 90s then you probably solved a lot of your video game problems by blowing in the cartridge (I know I did). While, in many cases, this would remove enough dust to solve any immediate connection issues, it had the unfortunate side-effect of degrading the contacts over time. With our collection of retro games growing, we’ve had to take maintenance of our old systems to the next level. Proper care for old systems isn’t too difficult and uses some readily available tools! Read on to learn the basics of retro game maintenance!

Your arsenal of tools consists primarily of 2 items: a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a pack of cotton swabs (both are available at most pharmacies). More often than not, the problems plaguing older games are caused by a buildup of dust and dirt (especially games that have been sitting in a basement). When one of our cartridges isn’t displaying properly, we usually just give the connection a good scrubbing and upon connecting it to the console, our problems are solved!

Cleaning 1

In some cases, a screwdriver is required – namely when maintaining consoles and controllers. The old “toaster style” NESs are easiest to clean by first removing the outer shell, and then cleaning the port where the cartridges connect.

Cleaning 2

Cleaning 3

Most controller issues can be solved in the same way, by removing the outer shell and cleaning everything up with isopropyl alcohol. Sticky or unmoving  buttons are a major issue with older controllers, one which is easily solved with a good cleaning.

Cleaning 4

So there you have it, no complicated tools or wiring required – just a thorough  cleaning with household products.

Spotlight On: Arcade Machines


At Afterlife, the vast majority of our games library is composed of console games, including everything from Atari to Wii U but we wanted to pay homage to classic video arcades, so we’ve brought in 2 classic cabinets so that you can relive the 80s. When you come to Afterlife, there will be plenty of classic console games for you to get immersed in but you’ll definitely want to check out these retro arcade cabinets:

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (1985): This classic platformer puts the player in the role of a knight named “Sir Arthur”, who must wade through a sea of enemies including zombies, demons, and more, in his quest to save Princess Guinevere. This game is of note for its extreme difficulty, featuring a life system where the first hit destroys the player’s armour, and the second hit loses them a life. Making things even more difficult, beating the final boss doesn’t unlock the true ending. To fully complete the game, the player must play through again on a higher difficulty in one continuous playthrough. In the days of the video arcade, this game was a real quarter catcher! Thankfully at Afterlife, our arcade cabinets will be in free-play mode, so you can keep playing until you make it all of the way through!

Sky Soldiers (1988): This vertical scrolling Shoot em’ Up or, ‘shmup’, pits 1 to 2 players  against wave after wave of enemies, as they travel through time taking part in 7 different wars and a final space battle! With only 15 levels, the game is short and sweet. There’s an addictive quality to its fast-paced frantic gameplay, and with the barrage of projectiles in later levels you can already see the early signs of the bullet hell sub-genre that would dominate the arcade scene in the 90s.

We’ll delve deeper into these classic arcade cabinets in future articles, and take a closer look at these awesome pieces of retro technology but for now, look forward to giving them a try when you visit us at Afterlife Video Game Lounge.


Announcing Afterlife, Guelph’s first Video Game Lounge. From the team that brought you The Round Table and the Khronos Gauntlet comes a totally new kind of video gaming experience. Afterlife is a lounge where you can dine on fresh, hearty food, and drink specialty cocktails while playing classic video games, or watching the latest e-sports event. Afterlife Video Game Lounge will be opening in mid November.