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[widgets_on_pages]No, this story is nothing to do with the Sentinel videogame, pictured here on the left, I just like the picture. Cardboard boxed videogames are the bane of any collector. Far more susceptible to damage than the plastic game cases other videogames come in, it’s no wonder that the prices of older Nintendo games continue to increase. When collecting vintage Nintendo cartridges and other cardboard packaged games (such as Vectrex carts), a little common sense goes a long way. Don’t stack your games too high, don’t cram them too tightly on the shelves and of course keep out of reach of everyone including yourself. If that all seems a little excessive and you actually do want to play your older games, then Sentinel Protection (who sound a bit like a security firm, but aren’t), might just have the answer. The company makes and sells custom game protectors, plastic shells that fit around your games. This keeps the cardboard out of harms way, but still allows you to display your cartridges in pride of place and (if you’re extra careful while taking them out) to play them too.
Supplied flat packed, the Sentinel game protectors are easily assembled by simply removing the packaging and popping the plastic into shape. Unlike the majority of game protectors on the market, the Sentinel products are tough, really tough. Go on Sentinel’s website, for instance, and you can see the protectors holding weights that more puny protectors are simply crushed under. The fit is perfect too, accommodating SNES and N64 games with support for NES and Gameboy games promised in future products. Sadly, no support for other formats such as the Game Gear is planned just yet.
To test the protectors in a more real-world scenario I decided to conduct an experiment. I put an older, more battered N64 game into one of the Sentinel protectors. I then put the game into a metal media cabinet and closed the drawer on it quickly, quick enough to seriously damage a regular cardboard box. The Sentinel protector worked flawlessly, protecting the game from any damage. Below you can see a video of the kind of punishment the protectors managed to shrug off.
The only concern I did have with the protectors was that the closing flap might rub against the cardboard of the game box, in practice however this is not an issue and you can open and close the Sentinel protectors without worrying about your game.
The Sentinel protectors have certainly been making waves in the retro gaming community, so much so that Sentinel themselves cannot keep up with demand. The price for one protector is a somewhat high £2.99, however if you buy 10 or more the price becomes a much more reasonable £1.05 each. At that price, they become an extremely attractive way to house your Nintendo game collection. One that will protect against all kinds of incidents from accidental spills to ill advised drawer closures. Highly recommended for collectors and retro-gaming enthusiasts everywhere, to get some for yourself, check out the Sentinel Protection home page.