Nintendo Pocket Power (89′) Review

Nintendo Pocket Power Mini-Magazine

Published: December 1989

Cost: Free (promotional item

When I was only eight years old I attended the opening night of the movie The Wizard (staring Fred Savage from The Wonder Years).   I went with my two older brothers, and little did I realize the impact that movie would have on me in gaming.  The Wizard is basically an hour ½ Nintendo commercial, but something about it really captured my love for both the movie and gaming.  The story features a young boy Jimmy (played by Luke Edwards) who just hasn’t been the same since his twin sister drowned two years earlier.  Jimmy, along with his half brother Corey (Fred Savage), set out on an adventure and wind up in California. Jimmy eventually end up partaking in a Nintendo gaming tournament called “Video Armageddon”.  It should be noted that only a year later the Nintendo World Championships would be held in a similar fashion.



The main game featured in Video Armageddon was Super Mario 3 (hadn’t been released at the time the movie came out).  It was also the first time I saw The Power Glove, as well as a Nintendo Playchoice 10 arcade.  I remember being blown away at the graphics for Super Mario Bros 3, and I recall specifically telling my brothers, “can graphics get any better than this?”

At this screening of The Wizard, my brothers and I were given a “Nintendo Pocket Power” mini-magazine.   I’ve managed to hold on to my copy of my Pocket Power for nearly 23 years, and I’m glad I did.  It’s turned out to be quite the collector’s item today.

The Nintendo Pocket Power is essentially a smaller version of the Nintendo Power magazine.  Nintendo Power was still relatively new, and had only been out for a little over a year.   Nintendo saw this as a great promotional item to get kids interested in subscribing to their magazine for the holidays.

On pages 4 and 5 (after the Table of Contents), the Pocket Power mini-magazine goes over the movie The Wizard, and has a feature over the main actor Fred Savage.



On page 6 there is The Wizard merchandise page where fans of the movie could order anything from The Wizard watches, hats, shirts, water bottles, to even The Wizard fanny-pack.  Looking back, I regret not purchasing any of these promotional items.  They actually would be kind of cool to sport today.  Page 7 shares information about the Nintendo World Championships 1990 tournament.



Pages 8-17 features various NES games including: Duck Tails, Robocop, Dragon Warrior, NES Play Action Football with the new NES Satellite (first time I had ever seen one), two game show games including Wheel of Fortune/Jeopardy, and The Chess Master.  These are all very brief features and more so just informs the reader that the games are available, rather than providing any strategies or reviews over the games.



Pages 18-19 are probably my favorite pages in the whole mini-magazine.  They feature the new at the time Nintendo Gameboy.  This was the first time I had actually read any information about the Gameboy, and coincidently the next day I ended up buying my first Gameboy along with a copy of Super Mario Land.


Pages 22-32 features more NES game coverage including the games: Clash Demonhead, Goal/Hoops, Shadowgate, Stealth ATF, Fester’s Quest, Marble Madness, Super Mario Bros 3, and Iron Sword.


Page 33 is the “Classified Information” section that shows tips for NES games: Ninja Gaiden, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Zelda II, and Mega Man II.


Finally pages 34-27 features coverage for the NES games: Abadox, Snakes Revenge, Super Off Road, and Double Dragon II.

Have you seen The Wizard, and if so what did you think of it?   Please leave comments below, “like” and share, and be apart of the Gamester81 forums. Click here:

About Gamester81

John "Gamester81" Lester started playing video games at a very young age. His first ever console that he played was a Colecovision, quickly followed by an Atari 2600, and his passion for video games hasn't stopped. In 2008 John decided to start a video game review show on YouTube called Gamester81 by reviewing rare and retro video game systems and games. His show quickly grew in popularity, and he became friends with many other gamers in the YouTube community. He is also one of the hosts of the All Gen Gamers Podcast which is a bimonthly podcast for people and video games of all generations. Some of John's other hobbies includes collecting Star Wars memorabilia (YouTube channel Starwarsnut77), playing classic arcade games (YouTube channel Gamester81Arcade), watching sports, and listening to music. John is a big fan of the 80's and 90's and in 2009 started a YouTube channel called NEStalgiaholic where he talks about nostalgic items and memories from his childhood. To see some of John's video's in 3D visit his YouTube channel Gamester81in3D. Favorite Systems: Colecovision, Commodore 64, NES, & SNES. Favorite Games: Donkey Kong Arcade, Atari Star Wars Arcade, Super Mario 3, Final Fantasy II, & Goldeneye 007