MiniSquadron is a 2D aerial-dogfighting game with a cute, cartoony vibe and lots of frenetic arcade action. The game uses a simple two-sided interface: you shoot with a touch-screen button on your right, and you steer with a virtual joystick on your left. You can bounce off either side of each scrolling level (performing a convenient Immelman turn), and if you fly up too high, your plane stalls--forcing you to turn back into the stall to keep from crashing. Play progresses through eight levels (which you unlock as contiguous "countries" on a map), with multiple, increasingly difficult waves … Read more
Arguably the best arcade sports game of all time, NBA JAM will be make a comeback in 2010. The 1993 classic featured 2-on-2 basketball with over the top dunks, flaming basketballs, shattering backboards, and little regard for the rules of the game. It was also one of the first games to feature commentary that sneaked its way into mainstream pop culture.
EA Vancouver, the game's developer, has promised to stay true to the original all while delivering a fresh take on the franchise. These updates include "true-to-life body types, updated physics and visible player emotion."
While developer … Read more
LAS VEGAS--While it was great to get some solid hands-on time playing PS3 in 3D, Microsoft debuted something for the Xbox 360 that we'll actually be able to play in late March; not to mention it's much more practical, too.
Xbox Live Game Room essentially allows you to create your own arcade, offering titles from many classic developers such as Atari, Intellivison, and Konami. When the service goes live in late March, 30 titles will be immediately available, with five to seven new games being released each week.
There's no dashboard update required for Game Room; you'… Read more
Remember the Simpsons coin-op arcade game? It's about to get the iPhone treatment.
EA Mobile is soon to release The Simpsons Arcade, which it calls "a throwback to the actual arcade game from the early 90s." How soon? EA swore us to secrecy for some reason, but let's just say you won't have long to wait.
Update: The game is now available in the App Store for $4.99.
The game casts you as Homer (woo-hoo!), who must race and battle his way through Springfield in his quest for, natch, a donut. (Mmmm...donut.) Oh, … Read more
The Xbox 360 Arcade comes without a hard drive. That's bad.
The Xbox 360 Arcade bundle at MacMall comes with a 20GB hard drive. That's good! Especially considering the price: $134.99, plus about $12 for shipping.
The only catch: It's a refurb, meaning you get a 90-day warranty. I have no idea if Arcade models have the same red-ring-of-death gene as other Xboxes; someone more knowledgeable on the subject will undoubtedly speak up in the comments (hint, hint).
In any case, I'd be surprised if this didn't sell out quickly, so I'm just … Read more
In many ways, 2009 seems to be the year download-only games hit their stride. Between the iPhone and iPod Touch dominating the portable market with the ever-growing App Store; the release of the completely disc-free PSP Go; and the Nintendo DSi--which also can download games from an online store--portable gaming has started to move beyond the cartridge and disc. Even in home consoles, there's been a continuing focus on lower-cost downloadable games and DLC sold on Sony's PSN, Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade, and the Nintendo Wii's WiiWare as alternatives to pricier disc-based titles.
While download-only … Read more
Football is a team sport. Alas, that goes counterpoint to a lot of the superstar worship and smack-talking that gritty sports video games are made of. To satisfy the casual fan, EA has launched a surprise on Xbox 360 and PS3 owners with Madden NFL Arcade. A five-on-five football game, it borrows heavily from previous arcade football games like NFL Blitz and EA's own dearly departed NFL Street (and less remembered NFL Tour), … Read more
Students at Colorado University have reprogrammed five Roomba vacuum-cleaning robots to recreate the classic 1980s arcade game Pac-Man.
The machines move around a virtual maze, indicated by red tape on the floor, as the four ghosts Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde chase the Pac-Man Roomba as it vacuums up paper dots.
The Pac-Man Roomba is joystick-controlled by a user, but the ghosts navigate autonomously. They will try to chase Pac-Man until it sucks up a power pellet, which puts them into evade mode.
The Roombas are wirelessly linked to a laptop that processes their locations through an overhead camera positioning … Read more
A hard-core racing simulation fan from Japan has created this very rudimentary (yet somewhat cool) DIY driving station out of PVC pipes, a wooden plank, and cable ties. While it doesn't look as polished as its video game arcade equivalent, this skeletal concoction is actually very functional, complete with a steering wheel and foot pedal mounts, plus folding capability for easy storage.
One important point we'd like to highlight: this driving station has nothing to do with Gran Turismo (which is a PlayStation exclusive) as claimed by game portal Kotaku, since the pictured steering wheel is manufactured by … Read more
Canabalt is an elegant and addictive side-scrolling game with an extremely simple interface and premise. You play a suit-wearing office-worker who is running and jumping across a series of rooftops and other structures, while you see the city behind you in the midst of some sort of mysterious giant-robot assault.
The interface is very straightforward: you run left to right automatically, steadily picking up speed (if you avoid obstacles), and you tap the screen to jump, with the longer you press, the farther you jump. That's it. But as you run, you have to contend with all sorts of … Read more