The iCade is an arcade cabinet with a Bluetooth controller on the bottom that looks like a mini version of the arcade games from the 80's. It is made to work with the Atari Greatest Hits app. The controller will work with the iPad and iPad 2. You can buy the iCade right now for $99.99.
I grew up in the 80's and spent my summers in the little arcade next to my dad's car lot playing all the classic arcade games that are in Atari Greatest Hits app available for the iPad right now. That app is cool and you can have some fun playing it for sure, but the iPad lacks the nostalgia of those old wooden games in the arcade offer.
The iCade brings back a lot of that feel and it gives you the controls that an arcade game was meant to have. Not this finger swiping and tilting we see today on the iPad, arcade games need big buttons and a joystick with a big red ball on the end to grab and lean into. That is exactly what the iCade offers. The iCade has a joystick on the left side and eight different buttons.
The joystick connects to your iPad via Bluetooth and when you put the cabinet together, the instructions for connecting it are under the lid on top that flips up. Actually putting the iCade together isn't that hard and took about 15-minutes. The controller is powered by a pair of AA batteries that are included and you can replace those batteries without having to take the system apart.
The iCade includes the screws and the little Allen wrench needed to put the thing together. You have to screw the sides, top, and controller to the particleboard panels. The iPad sits inside a small holder that stands it up for portrait gaming. You synchronize the controller using the instructions on the lid with the buttons mapped to keyboard commands for numbers.
The little joystick is very accurate in most games that are in the app. I didn’t like the joystick for Missile Command, but that was one of my games back in the day and I am partial to the roller ball for that one. Another of my favorites was Red Barron and the Atari app offers that game. On Red Barron the joystick in the iCade is perfect. It's accurate and you can move and fire with precision. The game is blocky and has crap graphics just as I remember it form my youth. If you are a retro gamer, you really need to buy the iCade. This is the best thing to happen to retro gaming since Atari put its Greatest Hits app out for the iPad. The only thing I can say about the iCade that might be bad is that it is expensive at nearly $100.
This is the coolest iPad accessory I have ever seen for people that like retro games. Trust me when I say you will want to buy the iCade. Get the iCade on ThinkGeek.
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