The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

Xmas_Gifts_HDR“On the First day of Christmas my true love sent to me”, No, no, no! There will be no ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’ singing here, thank you. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we would ease the gift buying burden by giving you ‘The Twelve Gift Ideas For Christmas’ to help you get something special for your really cool geeky / nerdy partner.

Forget about going out to the local shopping centre and battling for a car park only to get frustrated when you can’t find anything suitable. We are here to make this Christmas shopping period a pleasant experience from the comfort of your own home and one where your partner will thank you for the awesome gift (Ed: don’t you mean gifts!)!

Enough chatter, as promised, here are The Twelve Gifts of Christmas!

Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One – Just in time for the Force Awakens!

If they are Zelda fans, then this 2.5″ 8-Bit Link Action Figure will tickle their fancy

But if they are a Donkey Kong kinda guy or gal, then they’ll go ape over this!

Secure their DS / 3DS with a retro NES inspired case

Sega fans rejoice! Plug and play the Sega Nano on any TV (with composite connectivity)
There should always be a Masters Of The Universe gift under the Christmas tree

If clothing is preferred, then nothing says cool like a C64 tee

Bookworms partners will love this Commodore book!

Can’t afford a real Intellivision? Then the Intellivision Flashback is the next best thing!

Or maybe they are a ColecoVision type of gamer…

Forget forking out thousands for an arcade machine, grab them a My-Arcade mini retro machine!
And if you really want to spoil him or her, get them the ultimate handheld emulation system, the GPD XD

image source: supplied

The Mini Arcade By SuperGameCo

MiniArcade_GalagaHave you always wanted to make your own mini arcade tabletop machine? Are you a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) hack just like me? If you answered yes to both questions, then the SuperGameCo Mini Arcade may be just what you are looking for.

Made from bamboo panels that snap together, the Mini Arcade is a breeze to setup – if you prefer (Ed: are too lazy), SuperGameCo also offer the Mini Arcade in fully assembled form.



At the heart of the Mini Arcade is a very speedy Raspberry Pi 2 Model B computer, running Emulation Station. This ensures that the emulators and games run nice and smooth. We didn’t experience any slowdown during play – which was great. The 9″ LCD screen provides great resolution, but the marquee protrudes a tad too much which tends to get in the way if you are not sitting down low.



The control deck is made up of an 8-way Sanwa/Seimitsu arcade stick and 6 concave arcade buttons. These are complimented with a single player select button and an insert coin (credit) button on the left side of the unit to provide an authentic arcade feel when playing games via MAME.


Audio on the Mini Arcade is pumped through the front facing speakers via a stereo amplifier. We did find that the sound wasn’t as beefy as we would have liked, which took away a bit from the experience when playing shoot’em ups with booming explosions.



We found the Mini Arcade to be a breeze to operate and play games. The assembly was nice and easy, and once you are all setup, it is pretty straight forward to select your favourite old game and get all nostalgic. If you are struggling to find a Christmas present for your retro gaming partner, then the Mini Arcade may be a viable option.

– Clever snap-together kit (or you could opt for it to be fully assembled)
– Easy to get started playing games
– Latest Raspberry Pi 2 Model B internals
– Quality Sanwa/Seimitsu arcade joystick
– Inclusion of the Insert Coin button provides an authentic arcade feel
– Multiple interfaces (USB/RJ45) for additional connectivity

– Marquee is obtrusive when playing on the 9″ LCD display
– Button layout felt a tad cramped
– Sound is reasonable, but it needs to be meatier
– Insert coin button stickiness (may have just been our unit)
– Power supply cord was too short
– Graphics on the bamboo panels would be nice

The Mini Arcade product variants and prices can be found at the SuperGameCo store here.


Jon Hare’s Sociable Soccer Now Live On Kickstarter

ss_dev_TitleIf you have been living on another planet and just returned to our blue marble, you may have missed the big news – Jon Hare, the coding genius who created Sensible Soccer, is back with a Kickstarter campaign to make Sociable Soccer, a worthy spiritual successor to one of the greatest footy (Ed: soccer) games of all time. With the pedigree of Sensi Soccer, you know this new game will be an absolute beauty.

Jon Hare’s Sociable Soccer will be kicking off on your  PC, Steam, XBox One and Playstation 4 at the end of 2016. To say we can’t wait for this game, would be a gross understatement. Kick some goals for Sociable Soccer by backing it right now on Kickstarter!




ss_splashimage source: Tower Studios


Press Play On Tape: C64 Back To The Future

PPOT_eps8_HDRWhen Marty and Doc visited October 21 2015, they failed to tell us that the venerable Commodore 64 was still going strong, even after 33 years after its release. In episode 8 of Press Play on Tape, Daz and Alex welcome the time traveller, Mr. Ant Stiller, who will finally set the record straight on the very rosy future of the C64. Once we hit 88MPH, we’ll discover games, magazines, music, demos, hardware and all other shades of homebrew awesomeness that the C64 still receives, after many of its contemporaries had been left in its dust! Enjoy the ride!

PRESS PLAY ON TAPE podcasts are available on iTunes and Podbean.


Britsoft: An Oral History

BritSoft_1It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the From Bedrooms To Billions documentary film – I called it the video gaming film of the year for 2014. It is also no secret that I am a fan of Read-Only Memory’s sublime Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works book. When these two worlds of film and publishing collide, you get Britsoft: An Oral History.

The Britsoft: An Oral History book is a companion piece to the 2014 documentary, From Bedrooms to Billions – it uses exclusive cuts from the hundreds of hours of interview footage to carve its original story. Through the voices of programmers, musicians, journalists and business people, it traces the making of games such as Dizzy, Elite, Paradroid and Kick Off; and the birth of publishers, magazines and software houses, from Codemasters to Zzap!64. Edited by former Edge magazine editor, Alex Wiltshire, and its striking page layouts designed by London-based studio Julia, Britsoft: An Oral History oozes premium quality.

With its rarely-seen archive images, such as candid period photographs and magazine ads, its high attention to detail, premium paper and design layout, this book will not disappoint. If you want a great companion publication to go with one of the best documentary films of 2014, then look no further, Britsoft: An Oral History should be at the top of your shopping list.

Vital Stats:
Title: Britsoft: An Oral History
Price: £30.00 (plus shipping)
Size: 160mm x 230mm
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 422
Specials: Lay-flat binding and multiple paper stocks

Rarely seen archive images – Work hard, play even harder!

Original illustrations of cult hardware of the era

Oh man, the colours, they are so vivid!

I spot Space Harrier!

Interviews with 35 people who shaped the modern videogames industry

Multiple paper stock is strikingly beautiful

A cup of tea? How British

Oo’er, 16-bits of awesomeness!

image source: Read-Only Memory


Cinemaware Retro: Defender of the Crown – Extended Collectors Cut

DoFTC_TitleOh how I miss the days of big boxed games. I remember walking into our local entertainment store and making a beeline to the games section to check out what was new. I loved picking up boxed games off the shelf and checking out their beautiful cover art. I would then turn the box over to check out the graphics and read the blurb. Ah, those were the days.

Alas, the good folks at Cinemaware Retro must have heard me! I had to rub my eyes to ensure this wasn’t a figment of my imagination – check out their classic big box Defender of the Crown – Extended Collectors Cut game! The different versions of the game will run on your PC and MAC, but best of all, the game will also run on your Amiga and CD32 (Ed: C64 folks don’t fret, there are disk-files of the classic game to create your own C64 disks!)! To say I am excited about all this would be a gross understatement. If you are (or were) a fan of Cinemaware’s games (Ed: there will be lots of you out there!), then this game would be right up your alley – better be quick, as there will only be a limited run of 500 units!

Cinemaware should be applauded for taking this initiative (check out their remastered Wings Amiga edition too!). If this succeeds, then hopefully Cinemaware will make other classic big box games from their awesome back catalogue! If this doesn’t tickle your nostalgic senses, then nothing will.

DoFTC_1image source: Cinemaware Retro


First Impressions: Stern’s Game Of Thrones Pro Pinball Table

GoT_AlexBozAt the recent PAXAus, we were lucky enough to have two Game Of Thrones Pro Edition pinball machines placed in our Classic Gaming area (Ed: thanks to Scott Kellett and AMD). Having played the table and then watched other pinball wizards battling against ‘House Targaryen’ for a huge multi-billion score, we can safely say that we were quite impressed with Stern’s latest table.

Designed by legendary pinball guru Steve Ritchie, the Game Of Thrones Pro table is made for fast, furious and rewarding action (Ed: as a good pinball table should be!). The Pro table comes with great (superspeed) ramps and toys, like the battering ram sliding bash target and the Sword of Multiball to name just a few. As per tradition, there are electric gates (for those start bonuses to rack up your points) and three pop bumpers with LED lighting to get your hearts racing. Oh yeah, Sandor Clegane (aka: ‘The Hound’) lends his voice to narrate the action!

The aim of Game Of Thrones is to win the war for the Iron Throne. This is done by selecting one of six Houses of Westeros (Stark, Lannister, Greyjoy, Baratheon, Martell, Tyrell) to fight for. House Targaryen cannot be selected – you’ll face Daenerys, her army and her dragons in the last battle. Once you select your House, your goal is to conquer all other Houses standing in your way to the Iron Throne.

Every flip of the silver metal ball feels accurate. The ball remains true when hit, which makes aiming at targets that whole lot easier and very satisfying – perhaps being a fan of the HBO TV show helps here too! The layout of the Pro table draws you into play and the gameplay is so rewarding that you don’t even feel cheated by a lost ball. The two ramps are at perfect angles so that balls do not drain if you haven’t flipped hard enough to complete the shot. Even the Dragon Kickback is forgiving with the ball firing back at the right flipper – good for us middle-aged people with slower reactions! There is something second-nature-ish to playing this table, almost like your hands are an extension of this wonderful world of Fire and Ice!

Watching people play then return to the back of the line to play again was a resounding endorsement for Stern’s latest offering – this machine is an absolute winner! The table will please novice and pro pinball wizards alike – it has plenty of challenges no matter your experience. For all those pinball fence-sitters, do yourself a favour and drop a gold coin in the Game Of Thrones pinball machine, you won’t regret it! Game Of Thrones has translated perfectly to the realm of pinball. Get flippin’!

Game Of Thrones Pro ready for action!

Beautiful side art

Learn the rules!

The playfield (with glass removed!)

The Westeros Families

Swinging the Sword Of Mutliball!

Cash in your multipliers at the Iron Bank

Keep your wits about you – this dragon kicks back hard!

The ultimate goal – sitting on the Iron Throne

Weird and Retro‘s Aleks ‘Serblander‘ Svetislav gets flippin’ on GoT

Stacey ‘Dr Curlytek‘ Borg shows us all how it is done

For more details on the Game Of Thrones pinball machines (Pro, Premium and Limited Edition), go to the Stern site. If you want to get head start on your friends when battling it out on the Game Of Thrones Pro machine, grab the strategy guide right now!