Oh man, today’s review is a bit different! We have a new product that is out there for retro and modern gamers alike. If you have cartridges and you’ve found that blowing in them doesn’t work (because duh) and using alcohol cleans, but doesn’t preserve, then this review is for you. We’re talking about Game Juice! Read on, because not only do we have a review, we also have an interview with the creator!
‘As games and hardware age, it becomes more difficult to maintain them. The Game Juice proprietary specially designed formula keeps games working and preserves them for future playing and enjoyment. Game Juice’s superior cleaning power makes cleaning video game cartridges and consoles easy!’
There are so many great things about Game Juice as a whole. I’m about to talk a lot about a liquid cleaner. If you’re one of those TL:DR kind of people, just skip on down to the “Overall Thoughts” section to get your fix!
- First of all, this stuff is going to work with whichever applicator you prefer whether it is Q-Tips or 1UP cards, or both. This stuff isn’t corrosive or harsh on normal household applicators, so no worries there. If you’re a Q-Tip person, you’re going to find that it is easier to use the spray bottle. Spray onto the pins of the cartridge first and then rub vigorously with the Q-Tip. I, myself, prefer 1Up cards as I feel like Q-Tips are more likely to leave behind incredibly tiny fibers that could eventually gum up the contacts on the inside of your retro console. I could be wrong on this, but be that as it may, I don’t really like them.
- If you’re using 1Up cards, such as myself, the droplet bottle works well with how they’re designed to be dripped onto. So for instance, in the future, I would love to see a 1Up Card, Game Juice combo on either Castlemania or Game Juice’s website. As the 1Up card scrubs so well and really gets the Game Juice where you want it to be. Then it takes off any additional gunk or Game Juice you may have not gotten off when you use the dry side. If you’re interested in reading about 1Up cards, head over here and read my review. It also has links to the products.
- Now, one of the many features of Game Juice is protecting it for future years. A lot of the games I tested Game Juice on have been around for 30+ years at this point. While I can’t test longevity in terms of if this product actually helps preserve the games, I can attest to how well it works. This stuff made old, dingy connections on a cartridge look absolutely shiny and new. I would assume that as long as you keep using Game Juice on the oldest of your games, they continue to last as long as new cartridges you buy.
- Now let’s compare some stuff here. Game Juice is definitely better than blowing into your cartridges. So if you’re still doing that…just stop. Blowing and getting spit on your contacts is one of the primary causes of oxidation. Game Juice is also above household cleaners as they’re not designed to be used on metal contacts. Some of them could cause oxidation, some could just leave residues, but no matter what, none of them were designed for cleaning your games. I really don’t like using Brasso at all, it literally takes the thinnest top layer of copper off if you’re cleaning a game with copper connections, to me, that’s just as bad as spit. Lastly, Game Juice is even better than isopropyl alcohol. Because while that can technically clean, but it cannot extend the life of your carts against the march of time.
- I really like the fact that there are no storage methods that you have to worry about. This product seems to keep very well at room temperature. Obviously, keep it away from flames, but it doesn’t seem to have an expiration date printed on the bottles. So if you have smaller collections that don’t use as much Game Juice, this stuff will keep as the weeks and months go by.
- The spray bottle version is great to use for larger carts. It gives you a lot of coverage and faster at that. This is especially true for larger games like MVS carts. It would be annoying to use the drip function for as much as you would need to cover that. However, the spray bottle is harder to use on smaller games such as Gameboy carts.
- This product has been tested on any cartridge that you can throw at it and plays nice with any of the different metals that make up the cartridges’ contacts/pins. This stuff has been tested on way more cartridge types that even I own. I appreciate the creator’s willingness to make certain his product works on all existing products and causes no issues.
- Finally, I really love that this product is smooth and comes out evenly. It’s not some kind of thicker substance that gets clogged at the mouth of the bottles. I know this sounds like a strange pro, but you really have to respect that it doesn’t gum up the openings of the bottles. Then you’d have to disassemble the bottles and clean them somehow. And in that same vein, I can also mention that the bottles that this product is in are quality as they don’t break or leak.
With the squeezable “drip” bottles, there was a weird scenario one might come across, the labels. I know it sounds like a strange complaint. But if you’re using it regularly and start squeezing harder, the labels will be squeezed inwards. This leads to the sticker that on the bottle becoming ever wrinklier and further leads to the label peeling away. If this isn’t a big deal to you, that’s great. I just recommend storing it nowhere near eye droplets or around children if you simply let the label come off. Or you could always write on it with Sharpie that it’s Game Juice.
And speaking of the squeezable bottles, I do find it strange that their site says that the squeezable bottle is only 1 ounce but it is ~$1.50 less than the 2 ounce bottle. So it stands to reason that you could just buy the larger spray bottle if you don’t need precision drips. I’m sure some amount of the cost comes from the bottling and labeling of this new product. Presumably, as with all products, the more we buy of it, the better the cost can eventually become. We talk more about the value of the products down in the next section.
Otherwise, this product barely has any other cons. It has a stronger odor than you’d expect…if that’s a complaint. The interview talks a little bit more about it down below. If you’re doing a mass cleaning upon buying this product, it’s advised that you take that project to a well-ventilated area. There is also the fact that I don’t really know what happens if you get it on your skin. There’s no real warning about not to get it on you. It does say “For External Use” meaning don’t put it into your body. However, I wasn’t going to take the chance to test what happens if it gets on you. I would say just to exercise caution when using this product and don’t do anything with it that you would do with any other household product.
The bottom line here is that you should buy this product if you give a hoot about your games. The price of the 2 ounce spray bottle on its own is $5.99. Or if you already have 1UP cards and want to use the 1 ounce drip bottle, it is $4.50. There is also a combo pack for cleaning big and small. It is for both bottles and you save about 50 cents if you go with it at $9.99. This stuff is just as easy to use as rubbing alcohol with better cleaning properties. Not to mention the fact that the creator of it himself believes that you’ll love it so much that he, himself, is also out at the cons and events showing people first hand how great this stuff is. If it was a joke or a scam, you couldn’t show people to their faces. This product worked on the cartridges that I owned. I tried one of each cart in my collection (Atari 2600 and 5200, NES, SNES, SFC, Sega MK-1 cards, Sega MS, Sega MG, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, N64, Switch, 3DS, Vita, Gameboy, GBC, GBA, DS, Game.Com, and MVS) and loved it. It really does clean and it probably does extend the life of your carts. Now I keep Game Juice in my official cleaning box alongside my 1Up cards and my game bit screwdrivers and can of air.
Interview with Ted Edwards, Game Juice Creator:
Q1. While you cannot divulge what’s in the product, I wonder about how it handles in certain temperatures. The bottle has a flammability warning on it. How would it handle in colder temperatures? Maybe in the scenario of being stored away with video games in the garage during a cold winter.
A1. Provided you do not live in the north or the south pole (and even then it should be fine), storing Game Juice™ at cold temperatures is completely fine. Cooler, dry storing is actually recommended.
Q2. Is this cleaner only for cartridges? Would it have an adverse effect on a disc if someone cleaned it with Game Juice?
A2. Game Juice™ is meant only for use on game cartridges and consoles – more specifically the metal contacts. Other uses may be possible but Game Juice™ should only be used as recommended.
Q3. Would it be inadvisable to extend the bottle with alcohol? Like if I was getting low and on a budget, could I fill the rest of the bottle with alcohol?
A3. This is not advised. Game Juice™ should not be modified in any way. Mixing chemicals is inherently dangerous. While Game Juice™ has been tested in various scenarios, there’s no way to predict the sterility of your additives or what other contaminants you are introducing to the system.
Q4. Do you have plans for larger bottles for those out there with John Hancock sized collections?
A4. YES! We are definitely planning to release a couple of new product packaging/application variants in the future. Currently, there are only the 2 sizes.
Q5. How does shipping work with your product’s website? Is there a set value? Does it depend on how much is purchased? Is it free with certain requirements?
A5. Shipping is currently set at $4.99 standard rate but this may be adjusted based on carrier rates increasing substantially this year. As of now, we’re keeping it there. We are trying to subsidize any extraneous costs for our consumers as much as we can though. We can only ship to the contiguous 48 states at the moment but are looking into expanding internationally.
Q6. If one were to spill the contents on their floor or any other standard household surface, will it cause any level of damage (staining, sticky residue, etc)? If so, are there any remedies if this were to occur?
A6. Avoid spilling in all scenarios. But hey we’re human so it happens. You should use it in an area that can be easily cleaned such as tile floors and hard, non-porous countertops etc. It is important to have ventilation as well. Game Juice™ should not cause any stains on tough surfaces provided it is not left for prolonged timeframes. If a spill occurs, simply clean thoroughly with water.
Q7. For those reading, what is your background that lent to the creation of Game Juice?
A7. I hold a B.S. in Biochemistry emphasis in Genetics (San Diego State University) and an M.S. in Exercise Biochemistry/ Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics (University of Florida) with extensive studies in nutrition, metabolism, nutrient thermodynamics, calculus, organic chemistry and physics. While studying the sciences, I learned a great deal about mathematics, scientific observation and analytic processes. I am extremely passionate about science and have participated in many studies in biomechanics, exercise physiology, genetics, biochemistry and physics in my time as a student and beyond. Did I mention I was a gamer? I’ve been gaming since the ’80s and I have had a great relationship with video games for my entire life. I want to do my part in the preservation of our gaming history.
Q8. How long did it take for you to find the best, final solution that eventually became Game Juice?
A7. Game Juice™ was a 2 ½ year experiment and development process that was a success! Going on almost 3 years at this point.
Q9. Could you explain a bit more about how Game Juice works to extend the life of ones’ games?
A9. Game Juice™ is a specially designed cleaning solution and solvent that works specifically with the metal alloys present in game cartridges. The proprietary formula removes dirt, grime and preserves games by slowing and addressing corrosion and the oxidation process that happens to all metals exposed to the elements. With regular Game Juic-ing (yup that’s a verb now I guess) oxidation/corrosion/dirt/grime/spit etc don’t stand a chance!
Q10. Does Game Juice have any other random, quirky uses around the home or workplace that you’ve found that aren’t being advertised?
A10. Use as directed!
Where to Buy:
You can visit their site by clicking here! You can also find help with the proper way to use your Game Juice when it arrives.
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