Review: My Arcade Micro Players – Galaga & Pac-Man

Review: My Arcade Micro Players - Galaga & Pac-Man

Product(s): My Arcade Galaga Micro Player / My Arcade Pac-Man Micro Player
Release Date(s): May 22, 2018 (Galaga) / August 22, 2018 (Pac-Man)
Manufacturer: My Arcade
Original MSRP: $34.99 (US), €34.99 (EU), £29.99 (UK)
These products were provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy.

I’ve always wanted my very own arcade machine. But money and space have always deterred me from making a purchase. Then, when I finally had both of those, I couldn’t decide which one to get. After a ridiculous amount of time procrastinating, I had kids and again, said goodbye to space and money once more.

Time moved on and my desire to purchase such an extravagant gift for myself dwindled. Then, only recently I noticed these little arcade machines in my local gadget shop and I began to consider them a possible alternative to my younger wish of owning a piece of gaming history.

Review: My Arcade Micro Players - Galaga & Pac-Man

I received Galaga and Pac-Man in the post and was instantly robbed of the little machines by my two daughters. After some tense negotiations, I managed to get them back on a temporary basis so I could actually review the six and three-quarter inch tall plastic cabinets before they disappeared.

The packaging is nice and has a large transparent area allowing for a clear view of the front and sides of the cabinet, which features artwork inspired by the original arcade cabinets. I could easily return them to the box should I wish but I feel that these are great for display on my desk. In part because, when not in use, there is no sound.

They can be powered by four AA batteries or with a Micro-USB cable, neither of which are supplied. I have plenty of both scattered throughout drawers and cupboards in my house so I plugged a cable into the PC USB port to power one of them up. The other is nestled among some of my PS4 games on a shelf so I put in some batteries for that one. Both can be turned on and off via the large button on the front which is made to look like the coin door. The slots even glow red, which is nice.

The batteries haven’t worn out yet but after doing some research I believe I should get about an hour of play before they need replacing. I was disappointed to find my high score was lost when I powered off the machine, but after some consideration I came to the conclusion these are designed for the person who wants a quick blast on a classic favorite, not to chase that high-score. That being said, I have taken a photo of my best score on Galaga.

Each game can be paused by pressing the Start button and the volume can be changed by pressing the buttons on either side of the headphone socket on the back. One thing I do like on these fairly generic cabinets is the ability to unscrew the joystick and just use the joypad beneath.

There is no space for a second player due to the diminutive size of the cabinets. This means any arcade games that would normally allow it don’t even have the option. This is not a detriment to the score as the logistics of two people huddling around the cabinet would be nigh on impossible.

Review: My Arcade Micro Players - Galaga & Pac-Man Review: My Arcade Micro Players - Galaga & Pac-Man Review: My Arcade Micro Players - Galaga & Pac-Man

Galaga
Publisher ImageThis emulation plays well but it appears to be the NES version. I prefer using the joystick for this one and I generally do quite well. The small two and three-quarter inch screen means it can be difficult for some people to see the enemy bullets raining down on the ship.

The controls are quite responsive and I’ve never suffered from an unfair death because of the little stick. The music and sound effects are great and can be turned up another level but I generally prefer it one click quieter.

The graphics are nice and smooth with the bug-like alien ships zipping and twirling all over the screen making this version look even better than the 1981 classic. I loved watching my children enjoy a game that is almost as old as I am. One of the girls almost figured out how to get dual guns without my help.

Playing for long periods of time can become awkward, but again, this is really meant for the quick five-minute blast to wind down from all that procrastinating hard work I’ve been doing. Part of the reason is the raised edge that slightly obstructs the joystick and button. It isn’t a big issue but it requires some adjustment to get comfortable.

Score:
8.0

Pac-Man
Review: My Arcade Micro Players - Galaga & Pac-Man - Publisher ImageThis groundbreaking arcade game features the most well-known character in gaming and since its release on the year of my birth, Pac-Man has generated billions in revenue. The ghost-monsters, pellets, fruits, and the iconic hero himself are known the world over and featured on and in everything from lunchboxes to cartoons.

What hit me first was the iconic introductory tune and the distinctive sound effects that followed. It brought back so many memories. This is one machine that deserves to be heard. The visuals are crisp and clear and I almost forgot that this gem is playing on a tiny device. Just like the Galaga machine this one is a NES port, so don’t expect authentic arcade action.

Teaching my kids to preempt and ‘lean’ into the turns was a lovely moment for this learned gamer. Their delight at witnessing the intermission for the first time almost made this grown man shed a tear. Pushing them away with remarks about them needing to do their homework or something and playing until my hands were left with indentations from leaning on the edge of my desk was well worth it.

This cabinet is very similar to the Galaga setup and also features the raised edge. This is a small design flaw that seems to have been rectified in the more recent machines. My kids told me they don’t mind it as they hurried upstairs with a machine each.

Bring it Blinky, I’ll take you on and your silly ghost friends! If I manage to get the cabinet back.

Score:
8.5

These little novelty items are perfect for the experienced ‘older’ gamers and newbies alike who want to capture some classic gaming history. While I would prefer an identical scale version of the arcade cabinets, these are good and sturdy enough for clumsy kids and grown-ups. The price makes them a lovely gift idea, especially if that person has a desk and a spare USB port.

My Arcade has a good selection of similar classic games, most of which have a slightly different design to the side of the cabinets compared with Pac-Man and Galaga. A nice little price for a small piece of arcade history. Now, excuse me while I add Dig Dug, Mappy, and BurgerTime onto my letter to Santa, because I’ve been good this year.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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