Super Play

Last updated

Super Play
Super Play.jpg
Issue 36 (October 1995) of Super Play - the cover art by Wil Overton, featuring Mario
Former editorsTony Mott (September 2017)
Alison Harper (Apr 95 - Sep 96)
James Leach (Oct 93 - Mar 95)
Matt Bielby (Nov 92 - Sep 93)
Categories Nintendo video games
Circulation 23,657 (Nov 95)
37,747 (May 95)
37,442 (Dec 94)
50,578 (Jun 94)
50,504 (Nov 93)
Publisher Future Publishing
First issueNovember 1992
Final issue
September 2017 [1] [2]
48 [1] [2]
Country United Kingdom
Based in Bath
ISSN 0966-6192

Super Play was a British Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) magazine which ran from 1 October 1992 [3] to September 1996.



Super Play covered in great detail the role-playing video game genre. Many of these games were never released officially in the UK or European games market, and therefore the magazine concentrated much effort in covering aspects of the American, and moreover the Japanese games markets.

It also featured in-depth, intelligent and passionate coverage of all aspects of gaming. Given the close ties between the world of Japanese console RPGs and animation, the magazine also heavily featured information about manga and anime by noted UK-based writer Helen McCarthy. It can be said that Super Play was one of the magazines that helped to push forward what was at the time a nascent market for anime in the UK. In this vein, the magazine itself was also notable as its cover illustrations (and many illustrations between the covers) were done in manga-influenced style by artist Wil Overton. [4] Overton also caricatured many of the staff in chibi form, wearing various types of anime-related costumes - sci-fi armour, flying gear, RPG-style armour etc. The cover even had the name "Super Play" written in katakana.

The logo for the magazine was designed by Jez Bridgeman in his first week on the magazine before the Art Editor arrived in the September before launch and at the last minute the 'PLAY' part of the logo was switched for a sans serif font and then stretched to fit the space.

Publication schedule and staff

The magazine was published monthly, and would regularly feature a monthly Fantasy Quest column about Japanese console RPGs in their native market. In the second half of the publication's life, there was a monthly Final Fantasy Forum dedicated to playing tips and secrets for Square games, even despite the fact that none of the Final Fantasy game series had been released in Europe at that point.

Some of the most recognisable names on the Super Play writing staff were Matt Bielby, Tony Mott (former editor of Future Publishing stablemate Edge), Jason Brookes, Jonathan Davies and Zy Nicholson.

The magazine was based in Bath, England and published by Future Publishing. Despite its fairly short run (47 issues, just short of 4 years, and a one-off "Gold" special in 1993), and many years since its demise, it still enjoys a fan following on the internet.


Its end came with the declining popularity of the SNES itself, both among games publishers and the game-buying public, as the Nintendo 64 was on the cusp of release, making way for the next generation of video game consoles. Super Play was succeeded in March 1997 by N64 Magazine, which was initially edited by Jonathan Davies with Wil Overton as Art Editor, and frequent contributions by former Super Play writers, although the magazine was much less focused on import gaming and RPGs than its forebear. N64 Magazine in turn was renamed NGC Magazine to coincide with the launch of the GameCube, and after closure of NGC in 2006 the publication was relaunched as NGamer .


In September 2017, inspired by the announcement of a Super NES Classic Edition , original staff, including Jason Brookes, Jonathan Davies, Tony Mott and Zy Nicholson, along with seasoned Nintendo experts Nathan Brown, Keza MacDonald, Damien McFerran, Jeremy Parish and Chris Schilling, produced a one-off issue 48 of Super Play, which came bundled with Retro Gamer issue 172. Featuring all-new content it consists of the regular sections Super Express, Helen McCarthy's Anime World and a What Cart? guide. Also inside are new reviews of the games included on the SNES Classic, a Star Fox 2 preview and an interview with Dylan Cuthbert, one of the key developers behind the game. Cover art was created by Wil Overton, illustrator of all 48 Super Play covers, with the internal visual style resurrected by Future's senior art editor Warren Brown, who ensured the design will be immediately familiar to fans of the '90s magazine. [1] [2]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Super Nintendo Entertainment System</span> Video game console

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), commonly shortened to Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Oceania, and 1993 in South America. In Japan, it is called the Super Famicom (SFC). In South Korea, it is called the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. The system was released in Brazil on August 30, 1993, by Playtronic. Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent cartridges for one version from being used in other versions.

<i>Super Mario World</i> 1990 video game

Super Mario World, known in Japan as Super Mario World: Super Mario Bros. 4, is a platform video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It was released in Japan in 1990, North America in 1991 and Europe and Australia in 1992. The player controls Mario on his quest to save Princess Peach and Dinosaur Land from the series' antagonist Bowser and his minions, the Koopalings. The gameplay is similar to that of earlier Super Mario games: players control Mario through a series of levels in which the goal is to reach the goalpost at the end.

<i>Super Mario RPG</i> 1996 video game

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is a role-playing video game developed by Square and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1996. It was the final Mario game published for the SNES. The game was directed by Chihiro Fujioka and Yoshihiko Maekawa, produced by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, and scored by Yoko Shimomura.

<i>Secret of Mana</i> 1993 video game

Secret of Mana, originally released in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 2, is a 1993 action role-playing game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the sequel to the 1991 game Seiken Densetsu, released in North America as Final Fantasy Adventure and in Europe as Mystic Quest, and it was the first Seiken Densetsu title to be marketed as part of the Mana series rather than the Final Fantasy series. Set in a high fantasy universe, the game follows three heroes as they attempt to prevent an empire from conquering the world with the power of an ancient flying fortress.

<i>Super Metroid</i> 1994 video game for the SNES

Super Metroid is an action-adventure game developed by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1994. It is the third installment in the Metroid series, following the events of the Game Boy game Metroid II: Return of Samus (1991). Players control bounty hunter Samus Aran, who travels to planet Zebes to retrieve an infant Metroid creature stolen by the Space Pirate leader Ridley.

In the history of video games, the fourth generation of game consoles, more commonly referred to as the 16-bit era, began on October 30, 1987, with the Japanese release of NEC Home Electronics' PC Engine. Though NEC released the first console of this era, sales were mostly dominated by the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo across most markets: the Sega Mega Drive and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Cartridge-based handheld consoles became prominent during this time, such as the Nintendo Game Boy (1989), Atari Lynx (1989), Sega Game Gear (1990) and TurboExpress (1990).

Wil Overton is a British artist, specialising in manga styles.

<i>NGC Magazine</i> Former British magazine

NGC Magazine was a British magazine specialising in Nintendo video game consoles and software. It was first printed in 1997 and ran until 2006. It was the successor to Super Play, a magazine that ended in September 1996. Many of the staff and the style of that publication persisted at N64 Magazine. In November 2000, N64 Magazine merged with Nintendo World, a magazine that was published by the same company, Future plc. NGC Magazine ceased publication in 2006. Its successor, NGamer, was renamed Nintendo Gamer in January 2012, until publishing its final issue the following September.

<i>Super Ghouls n Ghosts</i> 1991 video game

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, known in Japan as Super Demon World Village, is a platform video game developed and published by Capcom for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991. As the third game in the Ghosts 'n Goblins series and the first not to be released for the arcade, it again depicts knight Arthur saving Princess Guinevere and the kingdom from Emperor Sardius, who has cast a spell that has revived the Ghoul Realm.

<i>Total!</i> Defunct video game magazine 1991-1996

Total! was a video game magazine published in the United Kingdom by Future plc. It was published monthly for 58 issues, beginning in December 1991, with the last issue bearing the cover-date October 1996. A "1993 Annual" featuring reprint material and a poster magazine were also released during the magazine's lifetime.

<i>Nintendo Gamer</i> UK gaming magazine

Nintendo Gamer was a magazine published in the United Kingdom which mainly covered Nintendo video game consoles and software. It was the successor publication to N64 Magazine, later renamed NGC Magazine (1997–2006), and Super Play (1992–1996), continuing the unique style of those magazines. The publication was originally known as NGamer, with the first issue being released on 13 July 2006. From issue 71 onward, released on 5 January 2012, the magazine was renamed Nintendo Gamer and was significantly reformatted. On 30 August 2012, it was announced that issue 80 was to be the magazine's final issue.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Retro Duo</span> Handheld game console

The Retro Duo is a handheld game console developed by Retro-Bit and distributed by Innex, Inc. It plays game cartridges for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It plays North American, European and Japanese games and has the highest compatibility of any other clone system. S-video is compatible when playing SNES games. The console is not licensed by Nintendo and it’s not fully compatible with every game released for the two game systems; however, the majority of games function properly. While it has only been released in Canada and the United States, it can still be used in Europe and Japan with a power plug adapter. The console is compatible with official and third party SNES controllers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Video games in Japan</span> Overview of video games in Japan

Video games are a major industry in Japan. Japanese game development is often identified with the golden age of video games, including Nintendo under Shigeru Miyamoto and Hiroshi Yamauchi, Sega during the same time period, Sony Computer Entertainment when it was based in Tokyo, and other companies such as Taito, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Capcom, Square Enix, Konami, NEC, and SNK, among others.

While the early history and distinctive traits of role-playing video games (RPGs) in East Asia come from Japan, many have also been developed in South Korea and in China.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Super NES CD-ROM</span> Unreleased video game console add-on

The Super NES CD-ROM System, known as the Super Famicom CD-ROM Adapter in Japan, is an unreleased add-on for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) video game console. It built upon the functionality of the cartridge-based SNES by adding support for a CD-ROM-based format known as Super Disc.

RetroN is a series of video game consoles created and developed by Hyperkin which allows users to play old video games from consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Super NES. Since the release of the RetroN 5, they have been connected via HDMI. The latest in the series, RetroN Sq, was released in 2021.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Super NES Classic Edition</span> Home video game console by Nintendo

The Super NES Classic Edition is a dedicated home video game console released by Nintendo, which emulates the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The console, a successor to the NES Classic Edition, comes with twenty-one Super NES titles pre-installed, including the first official release of Star Fox 2. It was released in North America and Europe on September 29, 2017.

In the video game industry, a console war describes the competition between two or more video game console manufacturers in trying to achieve better consumer sales through more advanced console technology, an improved selection of video games, and general marketing around their consoles. While console manufacturers are generally always trying to out-perform other manufacturers in sales, these console wars engage in more direct tactics to compare their offerings directly against their competitors or to disparage the competition in contrast to their own, and thus the marketing efforts have tended to escalate in back-and-forth pushes.


  1. 1 2 3 "Super Play returns with Retro Gamer 172". Retro Gamer. Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 "Beloved Magazine Super Play Is Being Revived For The SNES Classic Edition Launch". Nintendo Life. 1 September 2017. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  3. "Nintendo Gamer magazine to close". Nintendo Gamer. 20 August 2012. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  4. Simon Armstrong (5 September 2019). "Sonic, Street Fighter and the 'golden age' of gaming magazines". BBC News Online.