My Arcade was kind enough to send me a version of one of the retro handhelds My Arcade Pocket Player. They currently offer Galaga, DigDug, Bubble Bobble, and Pac-Man. I received the latter and dove right into the ocean of nostalgia.
Pac-Man’s still mellow yellow
The packaging has a sleek design and a nice lid, to give you a look at what you can expect. A digipad and two buttons on a nice yellow case. We didn’t need much more back in the day. Especially when walking up a hill to and from school in 3 meters of snow. The device itself is either powered by 4 AAA batteries or a micro-USB cable. None of which are included, but who doesn’t have a few of those lying in their man drawer? I was pleasantly surprised to find the handheld is comfortable to hold, even with my big hands. The D-Pad and buttons are well made and drive the nostalgia feeling home.
Are 3 Pac-Men a crowd?
On the handheld, you will find three titles. Pac-Man, Pac-Mania and Pac-Panic. My personal favourite is the original Pac-Man. The sounds alone just gave me jolly vibes. You don’t need to just use the built-in speakers but can connect a pair of headphones to enjoy the sounds even more. It seems that the ROM used is not the original arcade one, but the Sega Mega drive ROM. This is down to certain patterns the ghosts have. What Pac-Man fans will also notice, is that it will play the intro song, even when progressing to the next level. Pac-Mania is played in an isometric view, which feels odd at first. Especially if you only have played a full 2-D version of Pac-Man. There is a tiny bit of screen tearing and the sound sometimes is a bit rough, when using the built-in speakers. Pac-Panic is a variation of Tetris. Which is fine, just not my cup of tea.
Chomp, chomp, chomp
Overall I have to say I really enjoyed playing with the My Arcade handheld. It looks great, the screen is well made and controls as smooth as can be. The speakers could be a bit better, but that is nothing a decent set of headphones cannot solve. If you want to stroll down memory lane or show your kids how you used to rock the arcade, then this is a must-have. Especially a great idea as a stocking filler for Christmas, for $35. Or if you want to get rid of your dad for an hour or two, place it next to the loo.
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