Quite a while back, I wrote a nostalgia piece about the old Coleco tabletop arcade games. While those vintage toys are still cool, there are scads of impressive new mini arcade machines out now, with more on the horizon. While I’ve largely passed them by until now, some recent announcements have rendered some of these minis impossible for me to ignore.
For quite a while now, I’ve been eyeballing the MyArcade series. They have a lot of cool titles out, mostly Namco and Data East games, from Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man to Galaxian and Galaga, Dig Dug, BurgerTime, and even Bad Dudes. For some reason, I’m drawn to their Mappy machine, and I’ve kicked around the idea of picking one up, but have yet to pull the trigger.
However, MyArcade recently revealed their spring lineup, and it includes some Taito games, like Bubble Bobble. But then I saw it — they’re doing Elevator Action.
Boom. Done. Sold.
I’ve written in the past about how I love Elevator Action. It’s one of the six full-size arcade games I still own and will never get rid of. So, since I have the actual arcade game, I guess I don’t really need the MyArcade mini that’s coming out. I guess I’m just kind of a sucker for wanting to support an official Elevator Action product coming out.
Then there’s the Replicade series. New Wave Toys is doing this series of accurate, 1/6-scale working models of classic arcade games. They started with Centipede, and went on to do Tempest and Street Fighter II Champion Edition (complete with a separate fightstick for player 2). They’re considerably more expensive than the MyArcades, but reviews are positive and they look like a really nice product (I have yet to play one myself).
NWT has also revealed a few new products in the past few days, one of them being Asteroids. Well, as I mentioned earlier about Elevator Action, I also happen to own real Centipede and Asteroids cabinets, as well as a SF2CE board (I used to have a JAMMA cab but kinda stupidly got rid of it), so thus far, the Replicade series has not been something I’ve felt the need to invest in.
But they also just announced that they’re doing a Dragon’s Lair.
DAMMIT! They got me too!
DL is one of the only full-sized arcade games I would still add to my collection, even though I’ve mostly gotten out of the arcade collecting part of the video game hobby. So if I can’t do that (and those odds are ever-decreasing), this little Replicade version should satiate my childhood dreams quite nicely. Again, I’ve got a million versions of Dragon’s Lair, but THIS…this is undeniably COOL.
Well, I guess I see where some of my money’s going this year. But really, for those of us who grew up with the classic Coleco tabletops, isn’t this what we always wanted when we were kids? Actual accurate mini games we could put in our rooms? Well, I know I did, anyway. As much as I would love to have every one of them, I still have to be a practical adult, unfortunately.
But sometimes, man. Sometimes they getcha good.
They always say, if you can’t stop thinking about it, you should probably just do it.
So I picked up the Mappy game from MyArcade.
The packaging is emblazoned with artwork and even a history of the game.
The build quality is quite good! Sturdy plastic, rubber strips on the bottom to prevent sliding around, and the artwork is all heavy-duty, glossy adhesive, which shouldn’t wear down and is easy to wipe fingerprints off from.
The cabinet art is pretty much arcade-accurate.
The coin door is actually the on/off switch and even lights up, which is a great touch.
So the aesthetics are covered – how’s it play?
First off, this is not the original arcade ROM. It seems to be the NES/Famicom version, which I believe is the case for all these MyArcade machines. That may be a problem for those interested in the Bad Dudes or Heavy Barrel or Rolling Thunder units, but for older classics like this, the NES versions were very good and close to the arcade originals. That holds true for Mappy; the same strategies work for this version as in the arcade, albeit with a few excusable tweaks. The control panel feels good with the tiny stick and is responsive enough to play a good game.
So now that my curiosity is satisfied, I can say that I do like this unit very much, although I feel the $35 price point is a bit high (I’d feel better about around $25, which I know some of these units do retail for, depending on the title and where you buy). I’m looking forward to adding Elevator Action to my collection in April!