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Another small diversion

Posted by Nathan Strum, 18 September 2018 · 234 views

Video Game Reviews

More fun with really tiny arcade games...
 
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Super Impulse just released Galaga, Dig Dug and Frogger, as part of their Tiny Arcade series. I have the first four and really liked them, so as soon as these showed up on Amazon, I grabbed them.
 
I suppose if I would've waited, the price would've dropped. But I've been bitten by the collector bug with these. Can you blame me? Check this out:
 
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Seven classic arcade cabinets, all in a space only 11 1/2" wide. And no refrigerator dolly needed.
 
As incredibly tiny as these are, they're still remarkably playable. Even though Galaga has comically large sprites and the animation isn't very smooth at times, you still get everything that makes Galaga what it is: recovering a stolen ship for extra firepower, challenge stages, those aliens that split off into those three weirder-looking aliens. It's pretty complete.
 
Frogger plays very much like the arcade game. Konami can't use the original music anymore, so the distinctive songs aren't there and were replaced by something a bit generic, which is too bad. But the rest of the game looks and plays like Frogger. I do wish they'd used the original arcade cabinet artwork though, rather than an updated version. But hey... Konami didn't even let Disney do that, so I can't be all that surprised.
 
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I may try to make my own reproduction artwork for it though, and see if I can restore it to its proper look. :ponder:  :D
 
Dig Dug fares the best of the bunch. While it's a little difficult adapting to playing on a screen about the size of a large postage stamp, it's the most arcade-faithful of the three.
 
Ironically, I never cared much for Galaga, Dig Dug or Frogger back-in-the-day. But I couldn't resist having these set up on my shelf as my own tiny little video arcade. Of course if they make more of them, I'll probably buy them too - as long as the games are from the early 80's. I have no interest in the Street Fighter era stuff.
 
As with the previous four, these are novelties. Collectibles, conversation pieces. They are certainly playable, but don't expect true arcade accuracy. Not at this size. Nor at this price.
 
If I had one complaint about them, is that they power off too soon when in demo mode. Yes - it saves batteries. But it would be nice if there were a way to just leave them running for awhile, so you could see and hear your own little arcade running in the background. Just like 35 years ago.