Atari Arcade is a retro gaming kick
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Atari Arcade is a retro gaming kick


Along the journey of my early gaming life, I owned an Atari 2600, an Atari 5600 and the "we-barely-knew-you" Atari 7800. I miss those game systems, but I can get a retro gaming hit with the US$59.99 Atari Arcade from Atari Discovery Bay Games (http://www.discoverybaygames.com/). Compatible with the iPad and iPad 2, it's available at Target, Apple retail stores and Apple's online store (http://www.apple.com) and Toys R Us.

If the Atari Arcade sounds akin to the iCade (http://www.ionaudio.com/products/details/icade), well, it is. Both are designed to bring the retro gaming experience to an Apple tablet. However, whereas the $99.99 iCade uses Bluetooth, the Arcade simply docks with your iPad via a 30-pin connector. The joypad is specifically made to work with Atari's Greatest Hits app, which will set you back about 10 bucks at the Apple App Store. Or 99 cents for any of several four-packs of related games. Go with the big package; c'mon, it's $10 for 100 games. That's a deal.

Once you have the apps downloaded, you connect your iPad to the Arcade (more on that in a moment), and you're almost good to go. No batteries required.

Did I say almost? After plugging in the iPad and opening up the app, you’ll discover that each game needs to be updated so that the Atari Arcade base is added to the short list of controllers. You can update each game individually as you select them to play, which takes about fix seconds for the patch to download; you don't have to restart the app. Or you can choose an option to download all the game updates at once, which I recommend.

The Arcade is lighter than I had expected, but seems sturdy. Four rubber feet grip just about any surface to keep it in place during intense gameplay. On the top is an eight-directional joystick, four buttons and the 30-pin connector. The connector has sliding tabs to keep the iPad safely in place, which is a nice touch.

On the other hand, it was a bit difficult to click the Apple tablet into place. You'll need to remove a Smart Cover and any sort of protective case you have on your iPad to get it to connect. Also note that you can't use your iPad in landscape mode.

That said, the joystick and buttons were very responsive (though a bit more resistance from the former would be nice) and did a good job of emulating the Atari 2600 experience. This is despite the fact that, for unknown reasons (unknown to me at any rate), the buttons lack the concave shape of true arcade buttons.

Most of the games -- such as BattleZone, Yar's Revenge, Video Pinball and Submarine Commander -- play very well with the joystick and buttons. However, with games such as Centipede, Crystal Castles and Asteroids, I missed the use of a trackball. Perhaps an Atari Arcade Trackball is in the works?

Finally, I wish that some games available for the iPad -- namely Pac-Man and Space Invaders -- worked with the Atari Arcade. A few game developers have started making games compatible with the iCade. Let's hope they do so the same for the Atari Arcade.

If you're into violent computer games or strategy games that take hours to play, the Atari Arcade/Atari Greatest Hits combo may not be for you. But if you want some fast-paced, quick-to-play, retro fun, check it out.

Rating: 7 out of 10

 
AAPL
$124.25
Apple Inc.
-0.18
GOOG
$542.56
Google Inc.
-5.44
MSFT
$40.72
Microsoft Corporation
+0.07
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Marvel Mighty Heroes, the Ultimate Marve...
DeNA and Marvel Entertainment have brought us a new action-packed brawler: Marvel Mighty Heroes. You can play with up to four of your friends as you favorite marvel heroes like Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, Captain America, Star-Lord, Hulk, and Hawkeye, and you'll be collecting new characters and levelling-up as you battle evil and save the world.... | Read more »
Take Note - The Jot Script 2 Evernote Ed...
Adonit's Jot Script 2 sylus has an all-new edition that's meant to be Evernote's BFF. The sylus has been redesigned to work better with iPads and give you faster stroke tracking, smoother line rendering, and better tip-to-line accuracy. | Read more »
INFINIT Lets Mobile Users Send Files of...
Infinit  is a file sharing app that ignores file size limits. It maintains the original quality of your photos and videos so you can be sure they look awesome after sending. You can move entire albums of photos or full HD films from your iPhone to your computer quickly and easily. Infinit even claims that it's 30 times faster than Dropbox,... | Read more »
Serious Sam Double D Developer is Making...
There's nothing like the thrill of watching a horse race, especially when the horses are drunk.  | Read more »
2K Announces WWE 2K, Mobile's First...
It seems like this month has been pretty big for wrestling. First Wrestlemania, then 2K has announces that they're releasing  WWE 2K for iOS. It's a simulation-based WWE game where you'll get to play with several WWE superstars such as John Cena, Hulk Hogan, Sting, Triple H, and the Undertaker. There will be three different match types and a ton... | Read more »
How the Apple Watch Could Change the Fac...
The Apple Watch is still a ways out, but my previous musings on the wearable’s various features got me thinking: what might it be like a year after launch? Two years? Five years? What if it becomes a symbiotic part of the iOS framework to the point that it practically comes packaged with the iPhone? | Read more »
You Can Start Challenging Your Friends t...
Last year we reported that Sebastian Gosztyla's new game, Dual, was theorized to be released sometime during the summer of 2014. Sadly that did not become a reality, but the good news it there is now an official release date. | Read more »
Forgotten Memories : Alternate Realities...
Forgotten Memories : Alternate Realities, from Psychoz Interactive, is planned for release on April 23. The Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Alone in the Dark inspired horror game puts you in the shoes of Rose Hawkins as she searches for a missing young girl named Eden. | Read more »
Pie In The Sky: A Pizza Odyssey (Games)
Pie In The Sky: A Pizza Odyssey 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A game about delivering pizza. In space. | Read more »
Chosen Gives Hopeful Singers, Songwriter...
If YouTube videos and reality TV shows like The Voice have taught us one thing, it’s that there are a lot of people out there who are anxious to show the world their talents. And if they’ve taught us a second thing, it’s that there’s an almost equally sizable group of people who are anxious to judge those hopefuls. What’s interesting about Chosen... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.