Back in 2017, Hyperkin released a new replacement mouse for the SNES. This is an interesting choice for a third party accessory, since the only game for the SNES that is ever associated with the mouse is Mario Paint. I first received my Hyperkin Hyper Click Retro Style Mouse a couple months ago along with a copy of Mario Paint from my last Retro Game Treasure Box subscription. I found the device so odd that I couldn’t resist trying it out.
Aesthetics and Build Quality
The Hyperkin Hyper Click Retro Style Mouse, yeah that’s a mouthful, comes in a box sporting the style of Hyperkin’s recent products. The box is perfectly square except the beveled corner bearing the Hyperkin logo. Each side of the box is unique and gives pertinent information about the product and warranty information. Inside the box there isn’t much to see besides the plastic holder of the mouse and the mouse itself. Unfortunately, no instructions are included with the Hyperkin mouse and the way the mouse is packaged in its plastic, at least for my unit, did lead to the mouse digging into its own cable a bit. This is purely cosmetic and did not interfere with the operation of the mouse, but I find it to be odd to have the package cause damage, even cosmetically, to the item it stores.
The mouse itself sports a color scheme identical to the North American Super Nintendo console. The light grey body of the mouse is nicely accented with 2 divoted purple buttons and darker grey palmrest. The plastic used is nice and sturdy and I couldn’t feel any give as I put pressure on it. The Hyperkin mouse is also full sized, compared to the original Nintendo branded miniature mouse released with Mario Paint back in 1992. This larger design is nice but comes at the cost of a bulky design that on first impression seems rather unergonomic. The bulkiness of the design and thicker plastic do give the mouse a good weight that provides the kind of resistance I prefer.
The biggest difference between Hyperkins mouse and the Nintendo original comes down to how they receive input. While Nintendo used a ball mouse, which was standard for the 90’s, Hyperkin is able to use a more modern optical approach. There are benefits to this approach in terms of sensitivity and you won’t need to constantly be cleaning out the mouse with usage. The last major difference of note is Hyperkins mouse comes with a longer cord than Nintendo’s original, but still comes up short of a standard controller by about 12 inches.
Gameplay is where we see the biggest upgrade from Hyperkin’s mouse over the Nintendo original. Gameplay is very smooth and responsive thanks to the optical technology providing a higher DPI than a traditional ball mouse. Playing games like Arkanoid, which I would only play with a controller before, and Mario Paint felt far more natural and precise than it ever did before. Being optical also lets you use the mouse in more places than a traditional ball mouse, like your leg or the carpet, without running the risk of bad input. Just avoid trying to use it on reflective surfaces like glass without the use of a mousepad.
While I don’t own every SNES game that can support the mouse accessory, I was able to test it out on quite a few and was happy to see there were no issues with compatibility whatsoever. For a few of these games it was even the first time I had tried using a mouse on them! Sim Ant on SNES was a poor imitation of the DOS original with its clunky and imprecise controller input. With a mouse the game plays more in-line with how you would experience it on DOS aside form the system limitations of the SNES itself of course. Wolfenstein 3D even surprised me with its easy one handed gameplay. Best yet, the mouse never got uncomfortable to use like I thought it would on first impression!
What Could it Have Done Better?
The biggest nuisance when it comes to using Hyperkin’s mouse is knowing what actually supports it and what controller port the mouse needs to be in for a specific game. There are only around 64 SNES games worldwide that support a mouse with around 30 being available in North America. A small manual being included for reference on which games work and what port the mouse needs to use would have been ideal. Even looking online for compatibility lists led me to some confusion over the game DOOM. For whatever reason DOOM is included in many lists as being compatible with an SNES mouse, so I was confused as to why the Hyperkin mouse did not work with it. A quick search for the original instruction booklet led to a nice warning stating that in fact the game does not support the mouse accessory after all.
For a niche replacement accessory, the Hyperkin Hyper Click Retro Style Mouse hits it out of the park. Modernizing the tech inside the mouse allows Hyperkin to improve upon the shortcomings of the Nintendo original. If you are a Mario Paint maestro in need of a replacement mouse or just curious to see how differently the supported games play, I have no reason not to recommend the Hyperkin Hyper Click Retro Style Mouse! Alright, that being said, I do have one last thing to say: when are we going to get PlayStation and Dreamcast versions?!