You love surfing the web, checking email, video calling friends, watching movies, and reading books on your iPad…oh, and downloading a gazillion apps you’ll never use. But the already stimulating tablet just became stupendous. Fulfill all of your personal arcade fantasies by combining your iPad with the ION iCade Arcade Cabinet!
She ain’t cheap, but the true gamer knows a stylish retro cabinet with excellent controls is worth a little extra green. Assembly was simple and the cabinet is built solidly. It uses two AA batteries, which come with the iCade. Touching one of the buttons or moving the stick turn on the power…and a few minutes of inactivity turns it off automatically, a good battery saver.
Set up was easy too. Just sync your iPad via Bluetooth, download the Atari greatest hits application, and you’re off to the world of Asteroids, Tempest, Centipede, Adventure, Pong, and more arcade classics. You can get all 100 games – 82 Atari 2600 games, 18 arcade games – for about $15 bucks, a good deal, but as in the non-iPad world, not all of the games are stellar…but even the duds are amusing in their own way, so I recommend the complete package. The unreleased prototypes, such as Combat 2, are cool, if only for their novelty.
The joystick and buttons are really responsive…far superior to other emulators I’ve tried. For games that traditionally use paddles, such as Breakout, you may prefer the touch controls for greater command.
As is obvious by looking at the cabinet, the iCade only supports portrait mode on the iPad. For some games you will need to adjust orientation (to portrait) or control type (to arcade), but since it’s clever enough to remember your settings for each game, you only have to change it for each game once, no biggie.
Overall I think the iCade has added a lot of value to my iPad experience. It’s great fun and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to take a trip down memory lane, no quarters required. Get your very own iCade today at ION.