Popular Mechanics Gift Guide featuring iiRcade
by Scott Ledingham on Dec 02, 2021
By Alex McCumbers, Popular Mechanics
The iiRcade family of arcade cabinets takes the space-saving style of the current era of bringing retro games into homes and adds a whole library of officially licensed games that can be added to the unit through an online storefront, much like one would on Steam or the Nintendo eShop. There are specialized designs available featuring the likes of Double Dragon or Space Ace, but there’s also a solid offering of indie designs like the one featuring Retromania or the upcoming Sydney Hunter unit. However, the iiRcade platform as a whole is the main appeal, as the amount of available games is ever-expanding, making it a perfect starter unit for those wanting to add some arcade flair to their life.
Probably one of the most fascinating aspects of the platform is the inclusion of modern indie games. Dandara, Skellboy, and Wonderboy: The Dragon’s Trap feel different in the best way when playing on the iiRcade when compared to other platforms. I just recently started diving into what the iiRcade has to offer, but I can already see myself snagging most of the indie games as they come out. Improvements could be made to the system’s general user interface, such as a snappier interface and higher-resolution assets, but thankfully the system has already received several firmware updates that continue to improve things.
iiRcade fills the glaring gap in the modern arcade space, much like NEOGEO did in the ’90s, by offering an expandable cabinet with a wide variety of games rather than a select few. Certain titles are sorely missed, but the company did recently announce a partnership with SEGA for Space Harrier, Shadow Dancer, Alien Storm, and others, so more notable companies are getting their games on the platform. Hopefully, we will see the absolute best of the arcade era added soon. I would love to see some of the 3D fighting games like Soul Calibur II or Tekken 3 added to the library. Having some of the newer standouts sprouting up in the indie games space, such as Hollow Knight or Demon Turf, would be icing on the cake.
With a bright and promising future, the iiRcade is definitely a retro gaming system worth checking out.