(All information correct on 12th December 2017).
Do you love arcade games? Fond memories of playing games on the seafront during holidays? Now you can have an arcade cabinet preloaded with 200 8-bit games for just £24.99.
What's the catch? We-ell, this particular cabinet is of the mini variety but, you don't have to be a little Ewok to play it.
Starting the cabinet up, drawing power from it's 3 x AA batteries (not included), you could be forgiven if you experience a little deja vu. The cabinet has what looks like exactly the same 200 games built-in as the Retro Controller plug and play that has been knocking around for a while now.
The Retro Controller is £12.99 from Argos. So, what's different about the mini cabinet that makes it worth £24.99?
The main difference is, that the cabinet has a built in 2.5" colour LCD screen, meaning you can relive the glory days of home arcade-style games without reliving the need to take over a television for use as a gaming screen.
The screen delivers a crisp image, with no attribute clash and, together with the sounds (which can be turned off using the volume button)- I would compare this to something like a 1980s Master System.
The 8-directional joystick will keep some retro gamers happy, who are more used to sticks than d-pads. It is fairly sturdy and provides smooth control, together with the fairly robust A and B buttons for firing and other tasks.
A message on the front of the packaging states that the 200 games are "...based on the classics."
This may go some way to explain why the Mini Arcade Cabinet is not as expensive as other retro gaming devices on the market. Still, I've tried a few games out and they all seem to be of a decent quality. If you really want Donkey Kong, Sonic, or Super Mario Brothers than you will need to find another device.
Personally, whilst liking the cab, I do have a couple of minor grumbles - one, is that the screw on the battery compartment is incredibly easy to lose. The second, that the volume returns to the default setting when you reset. Granted, this would happen on many devices but, if a solution could be found for later models it would be welcome.
Name: Arcade Cabinet Mini (a.k.a Desktop Arcade Machine)
Seller: Menkind Stores or internet https://www.menkind.co.uk
Price: £24.99 (or temporarily 10% off with code CYBERMADNESS online).
Games: 200 'based on' clones (8-bit).
Display: 2.5" colour LCD. Very good.
Controls: 8-way joystick, 2 buttons
Power: 3 x AAA batteries (not included)
Comments - A sturdy little device let down only by a lack of authentic game licences. You can go to a physical shop and have it straight away (if in stock).
Also worth a look from Menkind (if a little pricey) - Pac Man and Space Invader keyring arcade cabinets.
Thanks for reading!