22nd Oct2018

‘My Arcade Micro Player’ Retro Arcade Review

by Phil Wheat

myarcade-nerdly-cabs

The current trend of “mini-fying” retro gaming continues… First came the NES Mini Classic, then the SNES Mini, the Neo Geo Mini. Then Sony jumped on the bandwagon and even Sega are planning a Megadrive Mini. So why not minify arcade machines?

I grew up playing arcade machines as a kid in the youth club but in the intervening years the arcades have gone the way of the dodo (unless you count the likes of Bury’s Arcade Club). Which is why it was always a lifegoal was to own an arcade machine from my youth… that never happened ot course. Until now.

Yes, My Arcade have taken the arcade machines of old and brought them up to date and made them smaller, much smaller, in the form of their Micro Players: games like Pac-Man and Galaga from the early 80s, and Bad Dudes and Caveman Ninja from the latter part of the era – two games which I never actually got to experience in the arcade but were staples of my NES & SNES playing days back in the 90s. Best of all the Micro Players are so small you can carry these arcade machines around in your bag for a quick blast of arcade gaming at any time.

To give you an idea of just how small these Micro Player arcade cabinets are, they stand a tiny 6.75 inches tall – that’s about the size of an action figure. Oh, and for those out there that collect the likes of Marvel Legends, DC Icons, and similar scale figs: these cabinets are also the perfect scale to display WITH your figures, as if they’re actually having a game!

my-arcade-cab-MOC

Each My Arcade Micro Player features artwork inspired by the original arcade cabinet, a full color 2.75” screen and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Each “cabinet” also has a removable joystick – which means you can control via joystick or d-pad. If you’re on the go, you can power these with 4 AA batteries (not included), but if you’re playing at home, or in the office, you can hook each Micro Player up to a Micro-USB cable and power via a computer or USB-compatible plug. I tested all 3 handheld arcades using both methods (USB port and USB plug) and they worked perfectly – I even hooked the Pac-Man cab to my laptop – a Macbook Pro – with a USB-C dongle and micro USB cable. Not a single issue. Well, unless you count the issue of playing these things taking up waaaay too much time!

In terms of how My Arcade’s Micro Players actually play. Well, each cabinet has two strips of rubber underneath to hold them in position on a desk and/or table and as such that means you can play them very much like a mini-arcade cabinet. However… I have massive man hands (so much so that the likes of the Switch’s Joycon’s are REALLY hard to hold for too long) which means I can actually hold the Micro Player in the style of an over-sized controller and use my left thumb to move the joystick/d-pad. Which is actually a benefit of sorts – it means I can hold the cab closer to my face and see the on-screen action in more detail: perfect for those tricky moves in the likes of Pac-Man.

It’s not all good though. Said joystick/d-pad doesn’t offer the kind of precise movement needed for gaming – that’s mostly due to the smaller size, so I’m guessing the smaller the fingers, the better the control. And I’m all fingers and thumbs, so there’s a distinct lack of control sometimes, which meant those damn Pac-Man ghosts got me on more than one occassion due to the fact I missed a vital turn!

Priced at £29.99 RRP, the My Arcade Micro Players are ideal seasonal presents for the retro gamer in your life. You can pick one up now at Game.co.uk

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