At some point in the last couple of years, prices for LCD screens dropped low enough that you can put one in just about anything. MyArcade, a gaming peripheral company, is taking advantage of this technology to make miniature arcade cabinets of classic games called Mini Players for $30 to $40.
I’ve had BurgerTime, Caveman Ninja, and Heavy Barrel cabinets for quite some time, and I’m pretty impressed with the look and feel of these MyArcade Micro Players. They are 6 inches tall, feature high-quality cabinet art, and run on battery or USB power. They are a great deal for the price as long as you will keep them out on your desk. To me, that makes them the ideal holiday gift because they are substantial pieces of hardware that look nice sitting out even when you’re not playing them.
The Mini Player is a single-game machine. With the BurgerTime unit, you only get BurgerTime. The screen also isn’t great. You get some ugly light bleeding if you look at the display from the wrong angle, and the LCD is low resolution in a way that doesn’t exactly match the game or the CRT display you would’ve originally played something like this on.
But as fun way to play some classic games on your desk for a few minutes here or there, it totally works. Andsgain, you should probably treat this as more of a decoration for your workspace than anything else. It isn’t huge, so it won’t take up a lot of space. At the same time, the bright colors and nice art make it noticeable and attractive. It’s something that I want on my desk and connected to power so that I can just have it running at all times.
If you want something for playing games more frequently on, maybe consider one of the larger 10 inch Mini Arcades from MyArcade, which come with a couple dozen games. But if you just want to add a bit of flare to your desk, or you have to get someone who likes classic games a gift for under $40, the Mini Player is a great choice.