It would be interesting to see what sociologists have to say about this, but it seems like many people, confused by and disenchanted with the modern world, are turning towards the past. This is true of gamers, too.
The idea of returning to video games’ roots continues to grow in popularity, even as mainstream gaming companies continue to spend millions on promoting their greed-and-graphics paradigm. Here’s the thing: many people have realized that 4K resolution and orchestral soundtracks aren’t necessarily more entertaining, at a fundamental level, than 8-bit rendering and beeping music.
This little console is shaped like the arcade machines that ate so many of my childhood quarters and, at about six inches high, is small enough to sit in your hand. Using simple button-and-joystick controls, you can control the action on a 2.5″ color screen, which is a nice way to while away an idle hour.
Unfortunately, probably due to copyright reasons, you won’t find any classic games like Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, or Pacman. In many cases, the machine offers a close replica, but anyone who wants to play the true originals will have to do so online or perhaps download an emulator. Purists will object to this, of course, but with 200+ games to choose from, you’re bound to find something that amuses you – the biggest hassle is to figure out what any particular off-brand game is called.
In the end, though, this is basically a novelty item: a good gift for a child, teenager, or nostalgic adult, but nothing like other handheld gaming devices. It’s too large to slip into a pocket, and it’s not rugged enough to withstand that kind of treatment anyway. Some of the games are just confusing and many of them could have been left out altogether, you cannot add any new games, and a lot of people will have trouble using such a small screen without squinting.
Those are the negatives. On the plus side, it looks really cool and interesting, it doesn’t cost much, the batteries last for a long time, and it is, after all is said and done, fun to use.