THEC64 MINI

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It’s 1982 and a new home computer graces the scene. Out goes the silent black and white experience and in with 64KB of RAM, colour graphics, and synthesizer sound.

Roll forward 35 years and kick nostalgia into overdrive with the release of THEC64 MINI. A tiny but perfectly formed 50% scale replica of this much loved machine.

Featuring high-definition output via HDMI, a classic style joystick and 64 built-in games including classics like Uridium, Paradroid, Hawkeye, Nebulus and Monty Mole… More here.

I like this. Never owned a Commodore 64, but instead had a Spectrum 48k. Ooh those rubber keys…

The Ataribox

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The Ataribox will feature four USB slots, an HDMI connector and an SD card reader. Atari said the front panel could either come in wood or glass and that the company planned to launch two versions of the console: a wood edition and a black/red edition… More at The Telegraph.

Wouldn’t it be something if Atari could somehow make a big comeback. The name and the logo are still extremely powerful for some.

SEGA Forever

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SEGA is bringing some of your favorite games to mobile in new, free-to-play formats that include ads as a way to drive revenue, support offline play and other more modern features like cloud saves. The games can also be rendered ad-free with a one-time $1.99 purchase, which is a really good deal given the pedigree of some of these titles, and what you might pay elsewhere to get re-released versions of classic console games… More at TC.

Good to see a more reasonable approach to mobile game pricing.

Young Men Are Playing Video Games Instead of Getting Jobs

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Video games, like work, are basically a series of quests comprised of mundane and repetitive tasks: Receive an assignment, travel to a location, overcome some obstacles, perform some sort of search, pick up an item, and then deliver it in exchange for a reward—and, usually, another quest, which starts the cycle all over again. You are not playing the game so much as following its orders. The game is your boss; to succeed, you have to do what it says.

This is especially true in the genre that has come to dominate much of big-budget game development, the open-world action role-playing game, which blends the hair-trigger violence of traditional shooters with the massive explorable landscapes of games like Grand Theft Auto and the intricate craft and character leveling systems of pen-and-paper tabletop fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons… More at reason.com.

And why wouldn’t you?

The Nintendo Switch

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I got some time with the Nintendo Switch this week and was impressed and disappointed in equal measure.

In some ways it felt like a big PSP, but one which is much cheaper and with a sense of ‘toy’ about it. Admittedly I was not playing with it on a big screen which apparently makes all of the difference and the controllers are brilliantly designed, but again the cheap plastic did put me off a little.

Zelda is great, Mario Kart is what it is (an average racing game that is loved by those who played it as children), but there is a sense that the graphics and everything else are a few years from the past. Great to play and fun of that there is no doubt, but it does not offer the wow factor you would expect from a new games console.

I see a sub-set of people really enjoying the big screen / small screen setup and I see the vast majority preferring what they have already which is a gaming experience that does feel cutting edge on the Xbox and PlayStations.

I hope I am wrong because I love Nintendo, but this feels like a missed opportunity to me.

TinyCircuits Arcade Kit Toy

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The tiny arcade lets you relive the golden age of video games with an arcade cabinet that fits in the palm of your hand. The tiny arcade comes as a kit that is simple to put together – there is no soldering needed, or any special tools. The circuit boards fit together and the acrylic cases assemble like a jigsaw puzzle with no glue needed. It only takes about 10 minutes to assemble a tiny arcade, then flip the switch and start playing – beautiful, vibrant full color old screen – games are free and open source – play community made games or write your own- SD card expansion slot – download new games and insert card – high quality joystick and two push buttons- built-in speaker with volume control knob and rechargeable lithium battery- USB port for charging and game development- arcade stickers to decorate your cabinet- electronics based around the same 32-bit arm processor as the Arduino zero- comes preloaded with 3 games, use a microSD card to play many more… More at Amazon.

Want!

Faraway: Puzzle Escape

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Officially titled Faraway: Puzzle Escape [Free], the game makes no bones about being a “modern tribute” to the all-time classic Myst. You’ll explore 18 different temple ruins solving various types of puzzles in order to open the path ahead and continue marching onward. There’s also quite a bit to discover, too, including hidden pages from your father’s diary which will help flesh out the story and explain why you’re doing what you’re doing. Or you can just solve puzzles, it’s up to you! More at Touch Arcade.

This game is really good. Well worth a look to see if you agree and then you can pay more if you want to.