Most of the birthday parties that I attended in the 80s and 90s took place in pizza parlors that had arcade machines. In between bites of greasy pepperoni slices and watching friends unwrap Transformers and Real Ghostbusters toys, I’d sneak away and insert quarters into these beautiful arcade cabinets to play iconic titles like Galaga, Mortal Kombat, and Ms. Pac-Man. Unfortunately, most of those pizza places and even arcades shut their doors, but with My Arcade’s Micro Player lineup, the classics live on, with pint-sized recreations of their much heavier counterparts.
Recently, I had the privilege of checking out two of the newest additions to the My Arcade family, Pac-Man and BurgerTime, both of which feature amazing retro artwork inspired by the bigger machines that helped drive the arcade revolution; BurgerTime, for example, is adorned with chef Peter Pepper and enemies from the game, Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg. Except in this case, I don’t need to move around furniture to accommodate these Micro Players in my basement, or look for an outlet to plug them into because each one is 6.75 inches tall and runs on four AA batteries.
Despite their small size, both Pac-Man and BurgerTime will grab someone’s attention when he or she sees one in your home. They’re conversation starters, and you’ll keep talking the moment the screens flicker, because My Arcade did not have to compromise the original in-game experiences to get these games running on the hardware. Both Pac-Man and BurgerTime appear to have been recreated perfectly, with full color 2.75-inch screens that let you see the action, whether you guide Pac-Man towards those familiar yellow dots, or help chef Peter Pepper create hamburgers.
The buttons on each arcade cabinet, meanwhile, are responsive and immediately result in your desired action. It’s also worth noting that while the My Arcade lineup come with joysticks, you can easily unscrew the stick attachments for a d-pad option if you prefer a control pad. I’m also a fan of turning on each unit by pressing the insert coin plate beneath the buttons. It’s a nice touch that brings back happy memories of plugging in quarters.
Ultimately, your decision to buy one or more of these Micro Players will come down to a love for classic video games and to have something cool to show off to friends and family; they also make for excellent gifts. Yes, there is an endless variety of video game compilations available, but these Micro Players are both fun to play and decorative. On that note, don’t be surprised if you or someone you know quickly amasses a collection of these expertly made throwback machines.