EGM: How iiRcade Is Ratcheting Up the Home Arcade Revolution
Previously a pipe dream for most gamers, owning an arcade cabinet has become a reality in recent years. Thanks in large part to the team at Arcade1Up, accessible, affordable coin-ops are now as common as computers and game consoles. In fact, the company’s growing line of cabinets has ensured everyone and their game-loving grandma can own a Pac-Man machine.
Of course, the popularity of Arcade1Up’s product line has also paved the way for other creators to offer their own takes on delivering authentic arcade action directly to fans. The folks at iiRcade are among this camp, providing a fresh way to recapture the magic of the quarter-munching pastime in the comfort of our homes.
According to CEO Jong-Wook Shin, iiRcade is focused as much on the construction and quality of their cabinets as it is the games they play. “We wanted to create a high-quality, arcade-at-home experience. iiRcade is powered by a 19” high-density display, 100W of powerful, stereo sound speakers and premium arcade controls. It also features a wood cabinet optimized for the best arcade gaming experience—we use only the top-quality materials, including thicker and denser wood.”
In addition to the standard model, iiRcade also offers special edition cabinets themed after specific titles, all designed to capture the magic of the arcades of yesteryear. New additions on this front include Retromania Wrestling, Beach Buggy Racing 2, and Space Ace cabinets.
But the iiRcade’s tank-like build and premium parts don’t come at the cost of providing fans with plenty of games to play. The hardware contains 11 preloaded titles, including ’80s classics like Dragon’s Lair and Double Dragon.
As Shin shares, though, iiRcade is more of an evolving platform than a limited experience. “We currently have over 200 officially licensed games in our portfolio and are continuously adding new ones.” Some recent big-name additions to the service include Bad Dudes, R-Type, and Burger Time.
Keeping the variety of games on the platform high is a big priority, according to Shin. “We offer all types of genres, from classic arcade games, side-scrolling platformers, shooters, fighting, sports and action games to modern titles previously unavailable in the arcade.”
That latter point means more contemporary games, like indie hit Dead Cells, can now be enjoyed from behind an arcade-style joystick and button layout. iiRcade recently announced three more modern games with retro connections are headed to the service, too: Mutant Football League (a spiritual successor to the Sega Genesis classic Mutant League Football), modern beat-’em-up Mayhem Brawler, and ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove.
While Shin and his team are bringing current games to a classic platform, they’re also helping to modernize the retro hits. “Some of our games, such as the Dragon’s Lair series, are optimized for the next generation arcade experience, with crisp HD graphics, powerful audio and global leaderboards,” he explains.
As for the other games, players can purchase them individually through iiRcade’s online store (store.iircade.com), allowing them to build their library as they please. This connected element also means players can compete and cooperate online. Home arcade cabinets aren’t typically designed for social play, but as Shin explains, it’s a top priority for iiRcade. “We’re putting a lot of focus on online gaming and games that bring people together.” Early iiRcade adopters can enjoy this feature from the get-go, as pack-in party game BombSquad is already supporting online leagues and tournaments.
If you’re looking to level up your home arcade experience, iiRcade’s growing library of new and retro titles, online functionality and quality construction are as promising as a pocket full of game tokens.