Lifesperience is now Raycommend, which can be found here: Ray Commend
Long before the rise of the uber powerful technology of today, I grew up in an era where arcade machines were just about everywhere. Pac man, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Street Fighter, etc. Video games were an integral part of my youth. There was a time where the best graphics and sound were outside of the home in dimly lit places that you had to travel to called arcades where quarters were your best friends as you fed them to arcade machines for just two more rounds against Dhalsim. While there are still arcades around, most of them tend to be places like Dave & Busters where the games are a few dollars a piece and the games are more like family activities than the arcade games of decades ago.
As home consoles and PC's became more and more powerful, arcades started to die out and go the way of the dinosaurs. With today's tablet technology and a customized arcade style shell, can the feeling be recreated? In a word. Yes.
The iCade started as an april fools joke created by Thinkgeek. What wasn't funny was that from that joke came thunderous demand from game geeks everywhere to release such a device. A few months later, Thinkgeek obliged and partnered with ION to release the iCade. A bluetooth arcade controller with 8 buttons and an arcade stick attached to a solidly built faux wood cabinet. Please note that when you open the box there will be some assembly required. Expect to spend at least 15 minutes putting the iCade together depending on how savvy you are with simple tools. If you are an expert of all things ikea then you will be right at home.
|Left side view|
|The iCade has a solid feel that feels like the machines of old|
|The bluetooth joystick and buttons are powered by two "AA" batteries|
|There is also a 5V DC port but no adapter is included for it in the box.|
|The iCade thoughtfully includes a hidden opening to attach your tablets power cable|
|These instructions are for the iPad but those savvy in the ways of Android will have no issues pairing the device under Androids own bluetooth settings.|
Once synced, there are many games that are compatible as per ION's website. Fire up your app and depending on the game it may either auto-detect the iCade or you may have to toggle it on in the app settings.
|The iCade also has a small indent in front for landscape play. The charging port is not easily accessible in this mode.|
|Little details like the light up "coin slot" provide a look of authenticity.|
Overall for $99 or less if you do some searching, the nostalgia factor can't be beat. Touch screen gaming is acceptable but for the old school fanatic nothing can replace the physical feel and response of physical controls. If you have the room for it, the iCade is an excellent addition to your man/girl cave.
And if worse comes to worst, it makes a great conversation starter when entertaining company.