Adorably tiny, playable versions of classic arcade cabinets are the perfect novelty item
I finally own my own arcade cabinet.
Well, kind of.
Tiny Arcades, brought to life by Super Impulse in its line of World’s Smallest products, are pocket-sized arcade cabinets featuring equally miniature versions of classic arcade games complete with tiny joysticks and even tinier buttons. They’re currently being sold exclusively through Cracker Barrel until Dec. 1.
The four games from the late-’70s and early-’80s are Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Galaxian, each of which are fully functioning (and mostly visible) on the 1.5-inch LED screens. They’re perfect little desktop distractions at 4-inches in height, and can be tacked onto key rings and bags with the attached key chain rings.
The Tiny Arcades each have their own custom cabinets featuring classic artwork on the sides and front that you would see in arcades. And like their original counterparts, they have their full range of colors and sounds, but don’t require you to save up quarters to play.
Sure, you can find mobile versions of all these games on smartphones, but then you’d have to use touch controls and miss out on that quintessential analog feeling that comes with arcade cabinets.
Given their size, the Tiny Arcades are ultimately more of a novelty item than a great gaming experience. The screens are quite small; fortunately the simplistic visuals don’t really lose any details in the downsizing, but the tiny objects on a tiny screen can be a bit straining to stare at.
The sounds that emit from the Tiny Arcades are also fairly loud and, notably, unadjustable. That means everyone nearby will know exactly what you’re doing. In other words, don’t expect to play these games in secrecy while at work, like I tried to do.
For $20 a pop, these Tiny Arcades probably aren’t the best way to experience classic games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, but they’re fun little throwbacks to the era of coin-operated gaming that look pretty cool on a desk.