HOME ARCADE ACTION! From Pac-Man and Paperboy to Root Beer Tapper and Robotron, classic arcade games are making a huge comeback on consoles from the Wii to the Xbox 360. If you’re a true fan of those old school “bleeps” and “blips,” though, you may want to forgo the downloads in favor of a tabletop arcade. Here’s the lowdown on bringing the arcade home.
1. Most of these gaming cabinets come loaded with multiple classic quarter-munchers. The Cool Hunter’s Arcade Table ($2,800), for example, packs in nearly 50 favorites including Galaga, Space Invaders and Pac-Man, while the Donkey Kong Cocktail Table ($2,995) includes the damsel-saving classic as well as Donkey Kong Junior .
2. From the sound of Mario’s barrel-crushing mallet to the unmistakable look of DK’s chest-pounding animation, Donkey Kong, as well as all these arcade staples, offers an authentic audio and visual presentation. The only thing missing from the ’80s arcade experience is the cigarette smoke and smell of pizza.
3. Most of these collectible tables will run you more than a PS3, 360 and Wii combined. However, some come fully equipped with working coin slots, allowing you to tax your friends for the fun. Better yet, open it up to the local neighborhood brats and net yourself a small fortune—Chuck E. Cheese’s been doing it for years.
4. Joysticks and buttons are just like you remember—minus any mystery stickiness. And with two control panels, you can go head-to-head with friends and family. You don’t even need to worry about switching seats or craning your neck to get your game on—the screen flips to each player’s perspective between turns.
5. Beyond providing addictive gaming and the appealing nostalgia factor, these units double as classy, durable pieces of furniture. Additionally, decorative color schemes or classic arcade decals allow you to customize to your personal preferences. Now, the next time your wife or girlfriend suggests some furniture shopping, you’ll be prepared.