When I was growing up, video arcades were still relevant. They could be found at your local bowling alley, mall, and sometimes as a standalone in a strip mall. My first gaming system was the NES so as a graphics comparison, arcade games were still far superior. There was also a social aspect as you could make new friends playing a multiplayer co-op beat ‘em ups like TMNT or sit back and watch two masters go head to head at Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. This day and age, technology has made arcade games almost obsolete with high definition systems and internet play.
However, things from the past are making a comeback. With films like Rampage and Ready Player One and the release of the NES and SNES Classic, there has been a refocus on retro video games. The good people at Tastemakers, LLC. are trying to capitalize on this nostalgia by releasing the Arcade1Up smaller scale arcade cabinets.
While at E3, I was able to see and play on one of these machines and it really took me back to my younger days. I tried the Midway’s Rampage Cabinet which included the titular game, Joust, Defender, and Gauntlet. The tactile feedback of the eight directional joystick was how I remembered it and the gameplay, though simplistic by today’s standards, was still fun and addicting. I could imagine grabbing a few friends and playing all afternoon until beating the game.
Currently there are five models that are up for pre-order and they have a good variety of games that span different time periods. The titles are carefully curated for each cabinet to ensure compatibility with the controllers. In addition to the common joystick, they have the roller that is used for Centipede and the knob that is used for Asteroids.
Because these cabinets are slightly smaller than the conventional arcade game, they could have a different ergonomic feel while standing. The company does sell an additional riser to bring it up to regular height or you could sit on a stool to play more comfortably.
In addition, with a $399 price tag, they are a little pricier compared to current gaming systems. However, these are not only video games, but playful and retro décor. Each cabinet contains artwork exactly like the originals and can fit conveniently in an office or den. Also, you won’t need to spend your own quarters to play and they are still significantly cheaper than full sized machines that can run a couple thousand dollars.
If you long for the authentic video arcade gaming experience, you can pre-order these cabinets at GameStop, Walmart, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. They will be released on September 25, 2018.