Collecting and playing classic games is a joy for many gamers, but it can be quite the expensive hobby when it comes to rare games. As such, there's nothing more frustrating to a collector than shelling out for a rarity only to discover that it's a fake or a reproduction. To help fans avoid getting burned, Kelsey Lewin (owner of the retro game retailer Pink Gorilla) has teamed up with YouTuber MetalJesusRocks (who recently unearthed an American prototype for the Japan-only Nintendo 64 Disc Drive) for a detailed video showing fans how to spot fake games on Nintendo systems like NES, SNES, Game Boy (including Color and Advance), and DS.
A few easy precautions can be taken simply by looking at the outside of a cartridge. If it's lacking the official Nintendo Seal of Quality or official Nintendo engravings, you can safely assume it's a fake. If the cartridge has the wrong font, that's another easy tip-off. All of these things can easily be checked online, but but if you really want to be sure, you may need to open the cartridges up and check their insides out.
Lewin dissects several cartridges to point out common elements in fake Nintendo games, contrasting them with the real deal. Things like EPROM chips, wires, and soldering blobs are almost always a sure sign of a fake, although the latter appears in certain Black Box Nintendo games, such as Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt. RPGs like EarthBound often contain batteries inside their carts, and if they're attached by any means other than soldering, you can safely assume they're fake. You can check out these tips and more by watching the video above!