Retro video games from Arcade1Up have been incredibly popular with their three-quarter scale cabinets that feature the classic artwork, controllers, and the original game ROMs (the data from a read-only memory chip, either from a video game cartridge or an arcade game’s mainboard). Over a million of the various models have been shipped.
Current titles include the brand-new BurgerTime (also includes Karate Champ, Bad Dudes, and Caveman Ninja), the four-player controller NBA Jam (with NBA Jam Tournament Edition and NBA Hangtime also on board), Star Wars (and Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) with real feel control deck and flight yoke, Mortal Kombat (the original, 2, and 3), plus many more.
New Games at the (In-Home) Arcade
At IGN’s “Summer of Gaming” event (being held virtually this year, obviously), Arcade1Up announced that they will be releasing some of the most requested titles ever.
One of the most iconic arcade machines ever is being released for the first time since its original launch 40 years ago: Ms. PAC-MAN. As with all the cabinets from Arcade1Up, the designers worked with the original developers, in this case, Bandai Namco Entertainment, to create the best possible experience for the at-home arcade. The Ms. PAC-MAN cabinet will also include licensed copies of Galaxian, PAC-MANIA, and PAC-MAN PLUS. For this incredible title, Arcade1Up is going to produce several formats, possibly including countertop (what they call “counter-cade”) or head-to-head table-style cabinets.
There is something to be said about the feeling one experiences when standing in front of our Arcade1Up Ms. PAC-MAN cabinet. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s as if all the history and memories behind the title are just pouring out from all angles, from the side art to the games themselves everything just speaks nostalgic Ms. PAC-MAN, a feeling that any Ms. PAC-MAN fan will experience while looking at and playing on this cabinet.
— Scott Bachrach, CEO, Tastemakers, LLC
Arcade1Up also announced its first-ever shooting game, Big Buck Hunter—opening a new genre to expand into. Developed by Play Mechanix, this title saw its initial debut in 2000 and has been adapted to console, mobile, and other formats. The new cabinet is the first to recreate the title in its original play form… it will feature two light gun accessories and a design modeled after the famous Big Buck Hunter Pro cabinet. The Big Buck Hunter unit will feature four different titles from the franchise: Big Buck Hunter Pro, Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season, Big Buck Safari, and Big Buck Safari Outback.
A partnership between Marvel and Capcom created amazing cross-over games, and the equally amazing Arcade1UP X-Men vs. Street Fighter cabinet will include both the title game and Marvel vs. Capcom in a single cabinet, along with X-Men: Children of the Atom and X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (yes, the great SNES game) to round out the selection.
The final announcement at the “Summer of Gaming” Arcade1Up event was an addition to the virtual pinball lineup: Marvel Digital Pinball. Working with both Zen Studios and Marvel, Arcade1Up is working to create a mid-sized digital pinball table that plays with all the features of a full-size cabinet.
How Is It, Really?
I have played many of the different Arcade1Up games while visiting them at various shows and exhibitions (including CES, ToyFair, and others), and not just as a needed break while walking the expo floor. The gameplay is exactly as I remember each of the games, a combination of the licensed original ROM and the extremely accurate recreation of the controller layout. Different games have different arrangements or controllers—joysticks, buttons, trackballs, the aforementioned light guns for Big Buck Hunter, or even Star Wars‘ flight yoke—all to make the experience just like the full-size original cabinets.
You Want Next?
All of the Arcade1Up cabinets, in multiple different form-factors, are available on their website at Arcade1Up.com. The newly announced game cabinets are expected to be available later this year; a sign-up is already available to be kept informed about the upcoming releases that were announced at IGN’s “Summer of Gaming.”