07th Oct2018

We Love these Throwback-Style Arcade Games – And So Will You

by James Smith
Are you a games geek? Check out these modern yet retro masterpieces that will entertain you for hours.

Are you a games geek? Check out these modern yet retro masterpieces that will entertain you for hours.

Don’t you love a good old-fashioned arcade game? Maybe the latest and greatest in graphics isn’t your thing. Maybe you just want to travel back to a simpler time when you could play Pac-Man for hours on end without having to take breaks to go back to work. No matter what your reasoning, you aren’t alone — we love a good throwback as well. Here are our top five picks for best modern arcade-style games.

Ninja Midori is the Newest Oldie

The newly released steam-powered Ninja Midori stays true to old styles as much as any game can in a new world. Indie game development company BajoGames has been working on it since they founded. Recently released in June of 2018, this relatively obscure treasure is already on our list. Why is that? The pixelated graphics and super-simple controls are what the doctor ordered for an arcade throwback night.

Its storyline is slightly played out — you must rescue the beautiful Princess Sera from the evil devil Akuma who has taken her to his lair — but three worlds, 15 challenging levels and a slightly revamped soundtrack make it all worth the $2.99 you pay to play this 2D platformer. The game will take you back to the good old days, and you’ll want to watch for future developments from this company. You’ll also want to watch for the development of all the indie companies. Independent games are indeed a hot trend. They challenge the accepted norms and standards of all different types of gaming and provide a different — some would say, better — experience.

As you can see, indie games have been booming on the popular platform Steam for some time now, and that number stands to go up. Source: Statistica

As you can see, indie games have been booming on the popular platform Steam for some time now, and that number stands to go up. Source: Statista

Challenge Yourself with Super Meat Boy

Back in 2008, indie developing company Team Meat released their debut flash game, Meat Boy. The game, if not an overnight success, had many fans in all the right places. Such success spawned the release of their second game Super Meat Boy back in 2011, which quickly rose to the top of the charts and came out on every platform available. Whether you have a mobile phone, Xbox 360, PlayStation, Wii, there’s a Super Meat Boy to fit your needs.

The highly addictive gameplay is simple yet almost insanely hard. You control your Meat Boy (a red cube — go retro graphics!) as he embarks on his quest to save his girlfriend Bandage Girl from the evil Dr. Fetus (yes, Dr. Fetus). The game has won critical acclaim as well as the Most Challenging Game award from IGN. Pick it up (for $15) and try to complete it all, but make sure to alert your friends you’ll be out of touch for a while.

Go for the Gold with Classic Rainbow Riches

When the mobile phone became popular as a console, the business changed. Not only for video game developers but casino game developers as well. Despite the shift in industry focus, some of them stayed true to their roots, designing modern games with an arcade-style feel. One of these classic winners is Rainbow Riches, available on Wink Bingo. This retro game began in pubs all over the U.K. as a fruit machine, which skyrocketed in popularity due to its simple yet enticing style of play. You can still see some original Rainbow Riches machines in bars today.

It’s a five-reel, ten-payline video slot filled with bright lights and flashing colours, and the gameplay is simple and straightforward. All you must do is line up three or more matching symbols (the most prestigious being the Pot of Gold) across the reels to win. True to the nature of the original fruit machines, you can start your bets with 10 pence here, but you can win up to 4,000 times your original bet.

There are also three exciting bonus games within Rainbow Riches to break up the gameplay and inject some excitement. Activate them with three, four or five scatter symbols. The first is a classic higher-stakes road to riches spinoff — that is, you must spin your way to the end of the road. If you make it, you win 50x your wager. The second is the wishing well, wherein you pick between choices to win a hidden prize. The third is the famous Pots of Gold bonus game. Here, you stop the spinning symbols to reveal multipliers and bonuses.

The Binding of Isaac Offers Endless Entertainment

Crafted by one of the creators of Super Meat Boy and inspired by the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac, this game starts out weird and only gets creepier and creepier. The gameplay is like the Legend of Zelda or at least the dungeon part is. However, the plot is remarkably different. In the game, you are Isaac, running away from your killer mom. You’re all over the house in this platformer game, discovering hidden trapdoors and other means of escape.

Though the graphics are pixelated in an acceptable arcade fashion, you can see from the beautifully creepy cover art that the Binding of Isaac seeks to disturb as well as entertain.

Though the graphics are pixelated in an acceptable arcade fashion, you can see from the beautifully creepy cover art that the Binding of Isaac seeks to disturb as well as entertain.

Different conditions and items placed around you randomly affect your escape route to a certain extent, and one of the cool things about this game is that there’s no way you can escape that — the game uses a random number generator (RNG) to determine your condition. That means you never have to play the same game twice, making the possibilities for this action-packed throwback pretty much endless. This game is available on most platforms, except for the Android, and costs around $15.



Appreciate the Artistic Side with Cuphead

According to Statista, fast-paced shooter games were the most popular in 2017. Technically speaking, Cuphead is both of those things — albeit a slightly more retro version. Cuphead is a masterpiece of animation, storyline and gameplay all rolled into one arcade-style free-for-all. The game is exclusively drawn by hand, in a style reminiscent of Disney’s early years. Think 1930’s Mickey Mouse. The detail is staggering, and the artwork stunning.

As you can see, Cuphead and Mugman are beautifully drawn and look oh-so-cute - but don’t be deceived, the game is wickedly hard.

As you can see, Cuphead and Mugman are beautifully drawn and look oh-so-cute – but don’t be deceived, the game is wickedly hard.

In the game, you are Cuphead (with the option to have a friend join as Mugman). After having incurred an unsavoury debt with the devil (in the devil’s casino), Cuphead and his brother Mugman must travel around collecting souls for him. The game is a success not only because of the artistry (and 1930’s automatic saloon-piano music) but also, for how many elements they incorporate into it. You must go through boss fights, running and shooting levels, and you also get some role-playing elements.

Cuphead is worth the $20 bucks you must spend to buy it, but as of right now, it’s only available on the Xbox One and PC. It’s a notoriously hard game to master, but that holds true with many games. However, following these tips on how to make your gaming life easier could help to make you a better player and a more conscientious gamer in general.

So, now that you have some ideas about which arcade-style and throwback games to play, you can hit the platform of your choice and get to gaming. Why wait? The wonderful world of retro gaming is waiting for you.

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