Miss the old-school arcade experience, and yearn for something similar at home? Got your modern-day gaming rig all set up and ready to play the latest titles, but still want that feeling of clicky buttons, brightly colored joysticks, and fast-paced action? Here are some different quick and easy ways to bring the arcade experience home.
Seek Out The Right Software
If you want to get going and start playing arcade classics straight away, then the easiest step would be to download a bundle collection that many companies offer nowadays. Here are a couple of good examples that are available right now to download and keep:
- SNK 40th Anniversary Collection – Available on the Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC, this compilation offers a ton of different SNK arcade classics from over the years. Ozma Wars, Ikari Warriors and Psycho Soldier are just a few examples of games on the list, and there are also console versions of many of the games, too.
- Konami Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection – This set of 8 Konami arcade titles, including TwinBee, Gradius and Haunted Castle (otherwise known as the arcade version of Castlevania) is available again on all platforms, and is a must-have if you’re a Konami fan. If you’ve played the console versions of these classic games, then it can be enjoyable to scoping out some of the differences between the arcade and console iterations, such as graphics and sound design.
Retro Replay – If it’s not just old arcade games that you want to be able to play in the comfort of your own home, but also just some retro games in general, then you’re in luck, as most game console digital storefronts have some of the older games listed for you to download and play. As an example, on the Nintendo Switch specifically, there are a ton of NES and SNES games available as a free perk for anyone using their online service.
Buy some accessories and hardware
If you want to go a little bit further than just revisiting the games themselves, and get a little bit closer to that arcade feel, there are quite a few different accessories out there that will get things feeling a little more tactile and authentic. Fight sticks, for example, are an extremely popular choice of accessory among competitive gamers that want to play their Street Fighter and Tekken with the joystick and button layout that you would find in the arcade.
Did you know? The porting process – Often arcade games are built for bespoke hardware and physical cabinets that aren’t meant to be played on home consoles or PCs, and so ports are often a necessity in order to get them running out of their usual intended setting. Abstraction Games are a good example of a competent game development studio that would be able to undertake this sort of task. With knowledge in over 16 different game platforms, these are the sorts of developers that specialize in making square pegs fit into round holes without any hiccups when it comes to differing hardware.
Bring it home
Some people if they have space like to bring some of their favorite arcade cabinet systems home, and they make a great feature piece in a games room or man-cave. There are a few different logistical issues involved with getting the actual hulking great unit in through doors and up/downstairs, however, and what if you’re working with an apartment that has a reduced amount of space.
Compacting the experience down a bit but still keeping it authentic, there are a few different companies that offer brand new, mini versions of classic arcade cabinets. Arcade 1 UP, for example, offers replica cabinets of games like Street Fighter and Pac-Man, but in a little more of a manageable scale if you’re wary of overbearing a room. They’re also lighter than the typical arcade cabinets and can be assembled upon delivery, which is good news if you have a flight of stairs to traverse before your beloved arcade can reach its destination.
Don’t bring it home
This might be the complete opposite point of what we’re trying to achieve with this list, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like the experience of playing games in an arcade, and if you want the authentic experience, you should probably get up and go to one. Luckily, there are a ton of arcade bars and venues with arcade cabinets in them popping up all around cites, particularly in the UK, desperate to eat up your coins. Invite some friends along and make it a social experience.