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Mini Arcade Alert!

mini arcade pacman

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#51 save2600 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 4, 2017 2:24 PM

Re: a set and in uniformity, there's different packaging for Space Invaders and Pac-Man. I have the non-numbered blister pack looking ones. Have not seen the numbered cardboard enclosed versions anywhere.

#52 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 4, 2017 3:35 PM

Unlike last year tiger handheld looking throwbacks these newer at the same price feels more justified. I'll have to look into more on both with video to see and hear how centipede and qbert handle.

#53 simbalion ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 4, 2017 5:40 PM

I just made a run to Walmart and grabbed the last Centipede and Qbert they had on the shelf there. Despite a few nitpicks, these definitely seem to be a step up from the previous two units. Centipede looks a feels a bit like some of the 80's console conversions, but that's fine with me as it oddly gives the handheld a vintage feel and look. Qbert seems ok. I was never a Qbert fan in the day, so hard to tell for me. I like the control placement a lot better and these units are slightly bigger overall, getting closer to being a true tabletop mini arcade than the previous two offerings. They are a wee bit heavier and solider feeling too, though the off-on button on my Qbert is a bit loosey-goosey. Basic Fun must have done well enough to not only release more titles, but to also make improvements. So, for those of us that bought the last two, it has paid off. If things keep going the way they are (and if Coleco can get back into the game), we might all soon be able to have mini arcades that we can fit on a table! I like the fact that Basic Fun is giving each batch a different cabinet look.



#54 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 4, 2017 9:45 PM

I just grabbed the pair too at walmart and they're amazingly fun and I like the quality put into them.  Yes they're 'cheap' but they're solid and I really dig it.

 

They're a solid step up from the first two.  I'm comfortable at $20 on these, while I probably would not pay more than $5-10 on the first two.  I hope they have some class and re-issue them with a good screen.  Both Space Invaders and Pac-Man were on the NES anyway.

 

I actually am familiar with it as I had the game not all that long ago, the Q-Bert release is a hacked NES release of the game.  Instead of the area where you have the nerd looking kid showing how to control using the Nintendo control pad it's just a lame screen with a white text LOADING... for a moment.  Within though the audio, the visuals, the mechanics are all the same.  I'd actually argue it's better than the NES if for only one reason that the d-pad alignment on NES was awful and you'd have to retrain your mind to remember up was like up right and left was left up, and so on which got weird and it was loose.  This little cabinet though, the plastic around the stick is molded into an X so you don't have those annoying hangups.  Like the NES sadly, saving your high score isn't going to happen which is I guess a shame, but it would take more work than just jacking a rom and using a cheap system on a chip setup to do it.  Centipede is the 7800 release, one player without the other fluff.  Depending how you feel since it has a + style joystick mold you may  not be happy or not care but obviously no 360 stick or little trackball.

 

Interestingly enough I pulled down one of my Coleco tabletops (Donkey Kong) and did some comparisons.  The unit itself 5 3/4" high, 3 1/2" wide, and 3" deep at the joystick panel that sticks out most.  LCD is 2 1/4" wide and 1 5/8" high.  The volume on them has a soft, med, loud and off setting.  Interestingly enough the joystick hat and the white button are almost identical in size and feel to my Donkey Kong Coleco table top.  The width of the DK is actually more narrow than the new toys, but obviously it is taller.  They look relatively small next to DK, but they don't feel or look (to the play area) smaller or cramped at all.  It's just a difference of 1980~ molding and capabilities of the sizes of boards, chips, and the screen panel compared to now.

 

Basically what you have here is an emulator, a 6502 looking system on a chip with a solitary game included either within or stored to the side, have no interest opening it up to find out.  They have similar quality stickers on the body, more so since the bezel art is that while the old coleco had the ink put on the plastic view area fringe.  Plastic body feels as rigid as the old, but I would say more durable considering the old Coleco's have notorious for breaking/cracking design with the top part of those, usually cracking on the sides outside of the stick/buttons in front or in back where the tabs are.  On the other side of it, I think the black plastic is likely more scuff prone since it's smooth and not textured, also I'm certain the screen area probably is far easier to scratch up than the thick old panel as well so it's a bit of a trade off.  The Arcade Classics have a solid design with just 4 philips head screws in the back, so easily opened if someone wants to dissect it.  The molding has a faux set of speakers, but just the one on the left has the actual speaker there.

 

 

I hope this is helpful for anyone interested.  Does anyone know names of what is coming after these?  I recall reading somewhere it would go beyond the four I believe.

Attached Thumbnails

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#55 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 4, 2017 9:47 PM

I just made a run to Walmart and grabbed the last Centipede and Qbert they had on the shelf there. Despite a few nitpicks, these definitely seem to be a step up from the previous two units.

 

 

I found the previous units almost insulting, this is the minimum I would expect from a 20$ cash in during this day and age 



#56 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 4, 2017 10:50 PM

Folks, the fact is already lost in this thread.
 
The answer as to why both 3 & 4 are horizontal "landscape" screen, and other questions is:
Fact: It is the same "7800-like Centipede code" found on the "Atari Flashback 1", is exactly identical to this Mini-Arcade, and both are Nintendo "NES on a chip".  
 
The FB1 Roms are dumped and the Centipede.nes file runs on NES emulators. 
It is weird to see 2600 Canyon Bomber, 2600 Warlords-joystick, 2600 Breakout, 7800 Centipede, 7800 Desert Falcon, running on NES. Sadly 2600 Millipede.nes has no sound and Adventure.nes doesn't run on NES.emu.
But they are complete new code because if you have played the FB1 you can tell that it is not 2600/7800 code. 

Edited by iesposta, Sat Feb 4, 2017 11:03 PM.


#57 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2017 7:12 AM

I found the previous units almost insulting, this is the minimum I would expect from a 20$ cash in during this day and age 

It does seem a bit shocking to see new electronics using Tiger-style segmented LCD black and white displays for double digit prices in this century.

The Q*Bert unit is almost tempting because it's so cute. I find the whole mini-arcade idea pretty ridiculous, but I'd think kids might like it. If the Q*Bert game had some of the arcade game's quirks, I'd get it right away:

1. Say "I am turned on" when powered on
2. Include a physical knocker at the bottom of the unit when you fall off the board

There's no way this thing has that level of polish, though.

#58 simbalion ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2017 10:25 AM

It seems in spite of any flaws or nitpicks, these games are selling fairly well. Pac-Man and Space Invaders have slowed down in sales, but they were almost always nearly out on the shelves there for a while, with some places around here being out totally at times. Now the same thing seems to be happening with these two releases. Like I said, there was only one of each left when I got mine last night, so I was lucky.



#59 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2017 12:16 PM

Agreed I recall the original 2 being rare on the shelf when I'd be places, but they're more present now, but when I picked up the 2 there were just 2 left of each.



#60 Noah98 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2017 3:28 PM

Damn you Atariage! I had to go to two Walmarts today (I hate that store) to find Q-bert! I couldn't resist and picked up Centipede too. I didn't buy Pac Man or Space Invaders, even though they were cheaper, because I just don't like those black and white screens. Those units are pretty thin and the screens are just ok. I love the old VFD units, and the Game and Watch portables were cool too. I always said I would instantly buy mini arcade classics if they used modern LCDs.

Of the two, Q-bert's definitely the one to get. It looks and plays really well considering the form factor and novelty. One tip though, when you are on your last life, hit the pause button as soon as you die and see Q-bert swear if you want to see your score. It disappears immediately!

Centipede is fun, and I don't mind it being the 7800 version, but I can't understand why they restricted the joystick to four way. I wasn't expecting a tiny trackball, but eight way joystick control would have worked better.

Still, for under $20 these are totally worth it. I'll buy the next games in the series for sure if they are of comparable quality.

Edited by Noah98, Sun Feb 5, 2017 3:29 PM.


#61 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2017 8:34 PM

I agree not a fan of Walmart either, but I will go when something is just there more or less or the have some insane sale.  Back when Diablo3 and its addon package boxes were $40 they did  a Black Friday sale for $15 and I was there (2 years ago.)  Was it someone in this thread that said they maybe looking at re-releasing pac-man with the proper better screen/emulation setup along with Asteroids and perhaps another?

 

Isn't it true one of the enemies in Q-Bert you can hop on and not die?  I swear I remember it, just don't know which color/type it was as I know it's not the red ball or the snake.  I do agree gameplay wise and just overall package QBert is the better one, if anything because they didn't go with the Famicom version of Centipede (we only got Millipede) and the 4way stick when 8 was easily possible.  I'm ready for any 5 and 6 that pop up if I'm a fan at all of the games they're based upon.



#62 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 5, 2017 11:57 PM

In Q*Bert, anything green needs jumped on. The green ball freezes enemies, and the green change-color-back enemy will be gone when jumped upon.

I like to think of it this way: Mini-Arcade one and two had bad displays and perfect sound, mini arcade two and three had bad sound and a great display, so the next ones 5 & 6 they should get everything right.
I can wish.

#63 Tartfox OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 6, 2017 1:43 AM

I'm a huge fan of Q*Bert and this Mini Arcade version look great! I already have the Parker Bros. tabletop version as well as Tiger Electronics 'Arcade Games' version (which too resembles an arcade cabinet), so this one by Basic Fun would be awesome to get as well since it's a full color lcd screen. The only (minor) downside I've noticed is, after seeing the review by ArcadeUSA this version of Q*Bert is the NES version and as such doesn't have the authentic arcade sound effects I'm used to. But, I *suppose* I can overlook that.  ;)

 

Does anyone know where I can get these online in the event they're unavailable at my local Walmart? Ebay sellers are already overpricing these devices so I refuse to acquire it from there.


Edited by Tartfox, Mon Feb 6, 2017 1:44 AM.


#64 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 6, 2017 9:27 AM

Maybe Bed Bath and Beyond I read somewhere they got them and they do have an online store front.

 

I really don't care if the audio isn't 100% perfect to the original, but they are quite close to the games they ported.  I was not expecting like #1-2 the arcade sound samples to be recorded as it's a little single system on a chip setup vs a ratty(for this era I'm calling it that) Tiger LCD clone with copied samples.  I doubt they'd take it any further with 5 and 6.  They'll be like 3 and 4 as that's the best cost option for quality.  You get a nice clean screen, solid clarity, it doesn't blur or get wonky, and the controls are just large enough they work fine.  The one fix I'd suggest is a free floating stick in a game that would benefit it like Centipede, otherwise the locked + and X shapes work.  If they can fine tune whatever emulator they stole or licensed and get the NES audio a little better that couldn't be a bad thing but I wouldn't expect much.

 

I know i read somewhere the other day a 5 and 6 were planned with Asteroids being one of them, supposedly a 'fix' for a re-done Pac-Man like these as well but I can't locate it.  Facebook, twitter, here, general google search and now it's bugging me.  The company to narrow the search is 'The Bridge Direct'



#65 Darrin9999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 6, 2017 3:06 PM

I e-mailed the Bridge Direct today about what games are next! and I got a quick reply:

 

Dear Mr. Laura,

We  have very exciting news to share with you on great new titles and items coming up for Fall 2017:

* Mini Arcade Frogger in the same screen graphic styles you seen on Qbert and Centipede
* Mini Arcade Pacman in 4 color screen
* Mini Arcade Asteroids being very authentic to the original arcade
* Atari Plug and Play with 10 different games: Centipede®, Millipede®, Breakout®, Missile Command®, Asteroids®, Adventure®, Warlords®, Crystal Castles®, Canyon Bomber®, Realsports Volleyball®

Currently, only the Pacman, Space Invaders, Q*Bert, and Centipede games are available now. Please keep informing us about your experience with our toys, we love to hear the feedback from our customers.


Thank you,

Customer Service

reception@thebridgedirect.com



#66 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 6, 2017 5:15 PM

If they can fine tune whatever emulator they stole or licensed and get the NES audio a little better


Most likely, there is no emulator involved, and it's as iesposta wrote, an NES-on-a-chip (NOAC). It's much more cost efficient to buy a widely available chip and run games that are already compatible with it than to buy a more powerful chip, license/steal/hack an emulator that runs on it, and run games compatible with the emulator. As such, they would be stuck with the chip's sound output the way it is, outside of sourcing some other NOAC implementation chip with more accurate sound fidelity.
 

I e-mailed the Bridge Direct today about what games are next! and I got a quick reply:

[snip]
* Mini Arcade Pacman in 4 color screen
* Mini Arcade Asteroids being very authentic to the original arcade
* Atari Plug and Play with 10 different games: Centipede®, Millipede®, Breakout®, Missile Command®, Asteroids®, Adventure®, Warlords®, Crystal Castles®, Canyon Bomber®, Realsports Volleyball®
[snip]


The Pac-Man description there makes it sound like just a re-release of the old color LCD, icon-based Pac-Man handhelds from MGA. :(

As for Asteroids, "very authentic to the original arcade," eh? They make it sound like they're using tiny vector displays. I wonder what they really mean.

And what have we here, an announcement of a new plug-n-play game system for me to add to my data files? Thanks for the info! Of note, the 10 games are 4 different from Jakks Pacific's Atari 10-in-1 system from 2002 (which were games reprogrammed for a Winbond microcontroller), and of the 10, 2 of them are not on the 2004 Atari Flashback 1 (which was a NOAC-based system). So, no easy hints on what kind of architecture will underlie this new model. Naturally, they could make it NOAC-based and just hire some Chinese Famicom programmers to make new ports, the same way Majesco did with half of the games on their 2004 Konami 6-game system.

But this is really strange; why produce an Atari plug-n-play system in this day and age when AtGames already continues the (now emulator-based) Atari Flashback plug-n-play line every year? Are they just targeting a cheaper market segment, with only 10 games instead of 100+?

onmode-ky

#67 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 6, 2017 10:03 PM

Hmm...I was almost hyped with that list (other than yet another TV games snore we don't need as Flashback has that covered already and with far more than 10 games.)  Problem is what's this 4 color Pac-Man garbage?  It could be like you said above me here, the MGA with the colored LCD--hell no!  Or it could be them simulating or going with the Coleco tabletop VFD style which is I think is around 2-4 colors.  If they do that I'll stick with my 37 year old tabletop as I have the ac adapter for it. :D

 

Asteroids intrigues me.  They're just being PR dramatic or are they really going to simulate a vector panel?  I wonder if it's just PR garbage and they grab the 7800 to NES converted Asteroids ROM image for their system on a chip.  Another possibility would be just the same screen as Q-Bert/Centipede and they simulate a vector screen with one of those accurate asteroids knockoffs that just draw the lines as that could turn out pretty solid on such a small panel.



#68 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 7, 2017 1:14 AM

So, any chance these can be hacked for more games, or is it just a gloptop like many NES-on-a-chip systems tend to be?

 

BTW, someone mentioned the green foes being vulnerable in Q*Bert. That's usually the way it works, but not always... Q*Bert 3 (Super NES) broke that rule by adding a green frog who's very slow, but quite deadly when touched. Why the designers thought that was a good idea is anyone's guess, but it's still probably the best game in the series anyway.



#69 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 7, 2017 11:23 AM

I've been meaning to try QBert for Dreamcast as it looks oddly interesting.

 

They are a glop top, someone did a break down of the inside in some youtube video I saw.  They pulled the back off I think Centipede and did a screen/camera capture image held for some moments so you can see the details.  There's a few small boards in there with lines between them.



#70 Iwantgames:) OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 8, 2017 7:21 PM

Just got all 4 today :)

#71 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:15 PM

The Bridge Company confirmed finally by displaying proto(finished?) units behind glass of arcade mini's #5 and #6

 

We're getting Frogger and Astroids!

 

16807745_1612091612150828_58533636451619



#72 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:49 PM

Bed Bath and Beyond in Scarborough, ME has a huge lot of the Space Invaders for $9.99. Figured it was worth it so I picked one up even though its disappointing that it's not like the Centipede and QBert models.


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#73 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:53 PM

Yes .Looks good..Hard to see if that's color Pac-Man

#74 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:19 PM

I see a 4-pack, bottom center with 3, 4, 5, 6, as well as individual packaging. 

If 5 or 6 were PAC-Man again, I'd say a color screen, but it's not, so the same B&W liquid crystal display. 

 

The games in a joystick are showing the selection menu, but I can't see them using different games, so that's probable a Nintendo-on-a-chip CPU, like the first Flashback (but less games).

I guess that's okay for a short nostalgic use, but games play different than the 2600 games, and it's been done before and kind of a letdown if you realize they aren't the games you remember. 


Edited by iesposta, Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:21 PM.


#75 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:45 PM

They are NOAC that was found out by someone who tore one open after it hit the stores a couple weeks back.  Centipede is the AF1 ROM with some tweaks to it.  QBert is the NES game with the on screen nes controller with a nerd load screen removed and other title tweaks.

 

Frogger, not sure where that one will come from but Asteroids was on that same AF1 unit.

 

It's odd but I wonder why their Centipede is in a white shell as the retail unit is black.







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