I love new games and the hyper-realistic visuals of a new Xbox or Playstation, but there’s a part of me that just misses loitering in an arcade on the weekend with my friends. If you grew up in arcades as I did, then I’m sure you get nostalgic for old-school games, too. In my humble opinion, button-mashing on a retro arcade is way more satisfying than button-mashing on a contemporary controller.
I’ve been on the market for an affordable arcade to relive for the nostalgia; my only problem is that I live in a small apartment and arcades aren’t exactly college-budget friendly. Imagine my surprise when I found the small and fairly priced Data East Mini Player, from My Arcade Gaming, which goes for $99 online.
The Data East Mini Arcade looks like a full-sized arcade had a cute, vaporwave-themed baby. It has a 6.25-inch width, 12-inch height, and 7-inch diameter. Because of its small size, the entire unit is super easy to store in cubbies, drawers, closets, or display cases. It’s the ideal size for a small living space and makes an attractive collector’s item for any arcade-lover.
If you have roommates or there are people around who don’t love the noise of an arcade, there’s a 5-millimeter headphone jack and a built-in speaker with volume control. No distracting sounds means more fun for you. As an added bonus, the arcade doesn’t need batteries and includes a power adapter for easy gaming wherever you go. This arcade is basically perfect for any office or communal space.
Sure, the size is great and the price point is even better, but what really sold me on this arcade were the games included on the device. The Data East Mini Arcade includes 35 hard-to-find classic Data East games, such as BurgerTime, Treasure Island, Two Crude Dudes, and Peter Pepper’s Ice Cream Factory. I’ve played a multitude of arcade games, and I haven’t heard or played a lot of games installed on the device. If you’re a collector of retro games, then you’ll love this device because each game has a major nostalgia factor. The games play like a dream, and the buttons are very responsive. I was surprised the joystick worked so well considering it’s detachable. Gamers with larger fingers, be warned: The arcade buttons are small, so you may end up pressing more buttons than you mean to.
The Data East Mini Arcade includes a full-color, 4.25-inch screen and weighs 2.3 pounds. It’s the perfect size for any space and it has a price point that’s workable for a nerd on a budget. As much as I want it for myself, it would make the perfect gift for my friends, family, and bored college buddies. (Let’s hope I don’t go spending all my time playing this thing).
Photos: My Arcade Gaming