iCade Review: Give Your iPad An Arcade Feel – Kids, Teens and Tweens, Electronics Gaming Product Review


Before mobile gaming gained popularity, the industry was already headed by coin-operated entertainment machines  in the arcades. Today, avid gamers can relive this classic game through iCade Arcade Cabinet by ThinkGeek. The conceptwas initially an April Fool’s joke in 2010. However, the developers made it into reality by partnering with entertainment innovation company IonAudio and interactive entertainment firm Atari.

How does it work? It pairs up with your iPad through Bluetooth, similar to the gaming experience of the Atari Arcade. It’s an exciting bonding experience for friends and family.

The folks at ThinkGeek  ensured that the iCadeis appropriate for all age group. Assembling is easy;  you only need to snap your iPad along its dedicated tray. Since its Bluetooth-capable, it eliminates clutteringphysical wires and connecting ports. It’ll only take you about 15 minutes or less to assemble the tablet to the cabinet.

While it’s made up of durable plastic, Verizon notes that the appearance of the iCade seems to mimic wood, which is splashed with bright colors, making it more kid-friendly. The durable design includes the plastic cradle that will hold the device. Meanwhile, the joystick and the eight buttons feel solid, as they are made from heavy metal and plastic.

The mobile arcade has a footprint as high and wide as two stacked iPads, making it compact while on a flat surface. The wide selection of apps from Atari’s collection comes with the most exciting games such as Missile Command, Pong, and Super Breakout.

After snapping the AA batteries, you need to follow the pairing mechanics included on the top panel. While some games only works on landscape mode, there is an option for  portrait mode by taking out the iPad from the case while still using the buttons and joystick. The problem, however, is that some games are designed to be played with a trackball, making it difficult to play using the joystick. But, games such as Astroids and Crystal Castles are responsive  with the joystick, despite their original touchscreen control inputs. The cabinet doesn’t sport a physical on/off switch; it automatically turns off after minutes of inactivity.

While the cabinet is priced at $99.99, Mac Trast notes that it is pretty decent, considering the natural materials used, and the timeless nature of the product. The price may be expensive for an iDevice accessory, but it’s certainly a wise investment especially if you’re an avid collector. Also, what makes it more worthwhile is the fact that  the whole Atari Greatest Hits app suite can be downloaded for free.

While some of iCade’s ideas are borrowed from Atari Arcade, the former packs a lot of its own. According to iMore, the cabinet is a better option, especially if you want to rekindle the golden days of arcade gaming.

If you’re in search for a fantastic gift this holiday season, the iCade is a practical option, especially for kids. Everything about it is  genuine and well-made, and what’s worth noting is that software developers are on a move to design and release games intended for the said arcade cabinet.

Would you take a chance and be unique with iCade or settle for the more popular Atari Arcade?

Written by: Jennifer Birch:

Jennifer Birch is one of the mobile game correspondents of Techie Doodlers. While she’s updated with the current gaming trends, Jenni always looks back and prefers the golden days of arcade gaming. For her, there’s nothing like inserting coins to the slot for five minutes of fun and action-packed adventure. You can tweet her at @WittenByJenni.  

Manufacturer: iCade
Recommended Age: 5 years and up
Retail Price: Originally $129.99 - Sale - $44.99
On the Web: www.ionaudio.com
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