Classic Mini Arcades: Gaming Nostalgia Without the Quarters – GeekDad (blog)

If you grew up in the 1980s, it’s likely that many of your earliest gaming memories included popping countless quarters into various large-looming cabinets at your local arcade/big-box store/laundromat—video games truly were everywhere back in the day—or sitting in front of the family TV enjoying iconic home consoles like the Atari 2600 or the Nintendo Entertainment System. There was, however, a third option.

Toy manufacturer Coleco cranked out a steady stream of miniature tabletop arcade games—not exactly as robust as their larger counterparts, mind you, but they included then-exotic features like color displays and functional joysticks. With the eventual advent of the Nintendo Game Boy, the landscape of portable gaming was forever changed, and these not-so-little at-home arcade games fell out of favor, though they are still sought after by collectors and gaming aficionados of a certain (middle) age.

Thankfully, now you can relive the glory days of these scaled-down arcade cabinets—albeit in a noticeably slimmer package—with the Classic Mini Arcade line from Basic Fun. Each mini-cab is around 6-inches tall, 4-inches wide, and 2-inches thick at its base, and includes all the buttons and controls you’d expect along with dual speakers, easily replaceable AA batteries, and throwback decals and branding.

Centipede, one of my early favorites, comes in polar white plastic with a central joystick flanked by Start/Pause and Fire buttons. While not as responsive as my beloved full-sized trackball version, it’s a great gaming diversion, and the front-mounted On/Off and Volume buttons mean I can easily relive a childhood spent killing time at the bowling alley without disturbing the rest of the family.

Frogger—a game for which my 9-year-old has demonstrated an almost preternatural knack—comes in an appropriate green case with a single joystick and Start/Pause button. Which, I suppose, is all you really need

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