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
$130.28
Apple Inc.
+0.61
GOOG
$565.06
Google Inc.
+18.06
MSFT
$47.87
Microsoft Corporation
+4.53
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

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

Use Batting Average and the Apple Watch...
Batting Average, by Pixolini, is designed to help you manage your statistics. Every time you go to bat, you can use your Apple Watch to track  your swings, strikes, and hits. [Read more] | Read more »
Celebrate Studio Pango's 3rd Annive...
It is time to party, Pangoland pals! Studio Pango is celebrating their 3rd birthday and their gift to you is a new update to Pangoland. [Read more] | Read more »
Become the World's Most Important D...
Must Deliver, by cherrypick games, is a top-down endless-runner witha healthy dose of the living dead. [Read more] | Read more »
SoundHound + LiveLyrics is Making its De...
SoundHound Inc. has announced that SoundHound + LiveLyrics, will be one of the first third-party apps to hit the Apple Watch. With  SoundHound you'll be able to tap on your watch and have the app recognize the music you are listening to, then have the lyrics scroll across the screen in time with the song. As you listen to more music the app will... | Read more »
Adobe Joins the Apple Watch Lineup With...
A whole tidal wave of apps are headed for the Apple Watch, and Adobe has joined in with 3 new ways to enhance your creativity and collaborate with others. The watch apps pair with iPad/iPhone apps to give you total control over your Adobe projects. [Read more] | Read more »
Z Steel Soldiers, Sequel to Kavcom'...
Kavcom has released Z Steel Soldiers, which continues the story of the comedic RTS originally created by the Bitmap Brothers. [Read more] | Read more »
Seene Lets You Create 3D Images With You...
Seene, by Obvious Engineering, is a 3D capture app that's meant to allow you to create visually stunning 3D images with a tap of your finger, and then share them as a 3D photo, video or gif. [Read more] | Read more »
Lost Within - Tips, Tricks, and Strategi...
Have you just downloaded Lost Within and are you in need of a guiding hand? While it’s not the toughest of games out there you might still want some helpful tips to get you started. [Read more] | Read more »
Entertain Your Pet With Your Watch With...
The Petcube Camera is a device that lets you use live video to check in on your pet, talk to them, and play with them using a laser pointer - all while you're away. And the Petcube app is coming to the Apple Watch, so you'll be able to hang out with your pet with all the convenience of checking your watch. [Read more] | Read more »
Now You Can Manage Your Line2 Calls With...
You'll be able to get your Line2 cloud phone service on the Apple Watch very soon. The watch app can send and receive messages using hands-free voice dictation, or by selecting from a list of provided responses. [Read more] | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.