Retro Arcade: Turn Your iPad into an 8-Bit Machine

Retro Arcade: Turn Your iPad into an 8-Bit Machine

Jeff Heaton
Feb 15, 2012

Do you crave the 80's? Miss the days when this whole computer thing was mostly for coin operated entertainment? Have repetitive stress injuries from so much Centipede? Well you're in luck. The iPad is the perfect place to get your retro game on. Here are some of the ways to get your 8-bit fix.

1. Ion iCade ($100)
That's right, it's a mini arcade cabinet for your iPad. Complete with joystick and arcade style buttons. It's size and price mean you can finally get some retro gaming style in your house, office or wherever. The device taps into Atari's extensive video game library to get you started.

2. iCade 8-Bitty ($24.99)
Can't see yourself with the full-on cabinet, or perhaps need to take it everywhere you go? The iCade 8-Bitty is a colorful, wireless NES-style controller with the d-pad and buttons you're used to. Just thinking about how it'll handle when it comes out this spring is giving us nostalgia for Super Mario and EarthBound.

3. Joystick-it iPad Arcade Stick ($12.99)
These are chromed out versions of those plastic-y sticks you remember from the arcade days. Two can be attached to the iPad for games requiring more control, and they work on any touch-enabled device, not just the iPad (in case you have other tablets about). These will work for newer games, but we'd recommend them more for the classics.

4. Atari's Greatest Hits (Free*)
The Atari library is literally at your fingertips with this app. The caveat we make with the price is that each game is $.99 individually (for a total of $14.99) or $9.99 for all of them, but they are considered an in-app purchase. Centipede, Asteroids and Pong along with a few lesser known but equally good games make an appearance with images of the old cabinets they were housed in.

5. Retro games addict ipad cases ($52.90)
If you're tricking out your iPad 8-Bit style you can't just leave it in that modern looking shell. This case rings of pop art, 80s colorified goodness and the clunky plastic controllers of the day. Not as much protection at an OtterBox but far more style.

The $0.69 iPad Stand
10 Great iPad Cases
5 Great Educational iPad Apps for Kids

(Images: as linked above)

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