11th Feb2019

‘Orb Gaming 240-in-1 Mini Arcade Machine’ Review

by Phil Wheat


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 with the Playstation Classic and even Sega are planning a Megadrive Mini. And then came the mini arcade machines – some as small as keyrings, others a quarter-scale of the original arcade cabinets of old…. and man have there been a LOT of mini arcade cabinets! In fact we reviewed a selection of officially licensed mini arcade machines from My Arcade a few months back and now we’ve got our hands on another example oif the mini arcade – the Orb Gaming 240-in-1 Mini Arcade Machine.

As the moniker suggests, this particular mini arcade contains not one, but two hundred and fourty games to play! The particular games available here are all of the 8-bit variety… but hold on its not what you expect. Unlike a lot of the grey-market “multi-game’ consoles you can buy online the games here are NOT the typical stream of NES roms – in fact the games here all, surprisingly, all new to me. Graphically, yes, they do look very similar to Nintendo’s 8-bit generation of games, however having collected NES titles for years I don’t recognise any of the games on Orb Gaming’s console. The only thing I can think of is that these are from another 8-bit console; perhaps the MSX or even NES homebrew titles? The other surprise is the fact that NONE of the 240 games are repeats either!

Physically the Orb Gaming 240-in-1 Mini Arcade Machine feels slightly cheaper than the My Arcade machines – the plastic feels sturdy enough but the stickers, at least on the version we received, were poorly applied with bubbles in the stickers and some misalignment. The screen however is a different story. The 2.5 inch TFT screen actually looks superb: bright, colourful and with a decent viewing range, at least top to bottom, with no loss of colour (however the screen does bleach out when viewing too far from the left or right, even at less 45 degrees). Plus, on such a small screen the 8-bit graphics were bound to look good.

The audio is not too bad, there’s only a few volume levels to choose from: off, quiet, louder and finally ear-piercingly loud. There is however only one, rather small, speaker on the cab pointing out of the back of the unit. But the games within are all 8-bit and as such have similar audio, which means even though the audio capabilites of the Orb Gaming 240-in-1 Mini Arcade Machine is sub-par when compared to the likes of the My Arcade, it actually – like the screen – fits the games to a tee.

Like a lot of these mini arcade cabinets the joystick 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, honestly, rendered some of these games unplayable with my giant man-hands! Speaking of massive hands, that also 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 and use my right for the buttons; a good job really given how small the screen – it means I can hold the mini arcade closer to my face and see the games almost pixel-perfectly.

OK, so this isn’t the type of mini arcade that going to set the world on fire but… considering there are 240 games in this unit you’re definitely getting your monies worth, especially when other similar sized cabs only hold one game (meaning you have to shell out a LOT of money to get a decent selection!

The Orb Gaming 240-in-1 Mini Arcade Machine is available now, priced £24.99, from ThumbsUp.com


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