Arcade1Up has made a name for itself over the past couple of years by putting out slightly scaled-down re-creations of some classic retro arcade games like Street Fighter, Asteroids, Missile Command, Centipede and Golden Tee. The cabinets, which cost between $250 and $500, have the general look and feel of their 1980s-era counterparts, albeit at about three-quarters size. But the company’s next creation takes the nostalgia factor up another notch: It’s a sit-down “cocktail table” version of Pac-Man.
Though the machine doesn’t yet appear on Arcade1Up’s site, it’s popped up at Best Buy, which lists it as arriving Nov. 3 for $499. That’s not cheap — 1,996 quarters! — but it’s generally more affordable than most of the vintage ones you’ll find on eBay. The good news is that it appears to faithfully re-create the old-school flat-top machines, which had players sit at identical controls across the table from each other. You sipped your beverage or munched on a slice of pizza while you watched your friends try their hand at the maze, upside-down from your perspective. Once they got tagged, the screen would flip 180 degrees, and it’d be your turn.
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This version includes an integrated 17-inch screen and, as with many Arcade1Up consoles, comes loaded with eight games: In addition to the original Pac-Man, you get Pac-Man Plus, Pac & Pal, Pac-Mania, Super Pac-Man and Pac-Land, along with Galaga and Dig Dug. Tragically missing from the collection is Ms. Pac-Man.
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If you can’t wait till November, note that Arcade1Up already offers stand-up and tabletop versions of Pac-Man for $300 and $180, respectively. If you’re as old as I am, though, you’ll really lust after the sit-down version. But in my head, it just needs a dirty ashtray bolted onto the side and a screen that’s encrusted with several layers of dried-up beer to fully complete the retro experience.