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A small diversion

Posted by Nathan Strum, 30 July 2018 · 492 views

Video Game Reviews

I picked these up the other day:
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There are quite a few of these mini-arcade cabinets on the market. Different manufacturers make their own versions with various games being available. Some are available at Target and other stores, but I decided to pick up these particular ones from Amazon after seeing Ben Heck hack one of them into a multi-game keychain:

There have been a number of reviews of them online, most of them being pretty favorable.
To me they just looked... cool. I liked that the marquees lit up, that they were fully playable games, and I wanted all of the cabinets to match. Because that's important. :D
Plus, most of them are only around $12 on Amazon and they come with batteries that are actually replaceable (3 AAA's). Even the Flashback Portable didn't have that! So I bought two of them to just check them out, and liked them well enough to buy the other two.
The games aren't arcade-accurate, but neither were the old Coleco mini-arcade games from the early 80's. If you think of them in that context, they're pretty amazing. These little cabinets (and they are tiny) actually have little LCD screens, and are fully playable adaptations of the arcade games. They all play surprisingly well, too. It's not going to give you the same experience as MAME, but that's not the point. These are super-cool little things to have on a shelf or a desktop to play once in awhile and show off to other gamers (or people who just like cool stuff). For that, they're awesome. And every once in awhile, you just need to buy yourself a toy.
These particular ones are made by Super Impulse, and they're planning to release Galaga, Dig Dug and Frogger this year, too. Hopefully they'll be able to continue to release even more after that. Basically, anything with a joystick and two or fewer buttons would work pretty well. (Q*Bert would require them to rotate the stick 45°, so that may not be as likely to happen.)
Frogger looks like it will use different artwork than the classic arcade cabinet. So I may have to see about replacing that... :ponder:
Anyway, these are worth checking out. I think of the lot, Pac-Man and Galaxian play the most like the arcade games. But they're all still good fun, and they put a big smile on my face everytime I look up at them on the shelf. :)

Thanks for the review!  I've been curious about these.  I'd like to pick up the BurgerTime mini-cabinet, but I know that's a different brand.  It is truly amazing what they can do at these price points; the proliferation of cheap NOAC chipsets and color LCD display modules has made all kinds of cool projects possible.

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Is there really only one game on each? I found a lot which look alike but usually with 100 or more games on them.

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That's not really the point with these. These are meant to be (as loathed as I am to admit it ;) ) collectible toys.


Maybe I didn't quite describe just how tiny these are...




Anyway, the price point likely wouldn't allow more than one game per unit, since these are licensed products, and already incredibly cheap. (Which, incidentally, makes me wonder just what it would take to license an arcade property for a homebrew. :ponder: )

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OK, that's even smaller than the ones I found. Thanks!

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Those mini arcades are very small. I'm pretty sure they are not designed for hours of play without breaking them.

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These are built surprisingly well, but they probably aren't going to hold up to a lot of abuse. They're fun for a few minutes at a time - which is actually more than I was expecting from something that small. It's actually kind of difficult to see around my fingers when playing them ;) . They're more novelties than anything. Decorations that actually work. Again - the price point is around $12. Basically, the cost of lunch. People looking for serious gaming shouldn't expect that here.

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You're right. These arcades are designed for anybody with having nostalgia attack and play on them for a while.


I once played Ms Pac-Man for 12 minutes. 



I can't imagine some games like Street Fighters 2 ported in mini arcades.

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