iiRcade Review — An In-Home Arcade With An Ever-Growing Library


It’s no secret that arcade cupboards take up appreciable house, and many people don’t have the room required to create our own residence arcades. That’s the place the iiRcade, a brand new multicade positioning itself as a jack of all trades, is available in. Rather than specializing in a single arcade basic or writer, iiRcade has a steadily increasing library of titles you can buy and obtain to the cupboard. It’s an intriguing premise to say the least. With a premium really feel and nice look, the iiRcade has a ton of potential. Its long-term success will largely depend upon its library of video games, and whereas the preloaded video games are underwhelming, the storefront is steadily rising to incorporate all kinds of arcade and console video games. If you’re having hassle deciding on an arcade cupboard in your sport room, the iiRcade may very properly be the suitable alternative for you.

Background and worth

Last 12 months, the iiRcade was efficiently backed on Kickstarter to the tune of roughly $660,000, with a number of editions promised and greater than 200 licensed video games on the horizon. I obtained the 64GB countertop machine and matching stand for this assessment, however there are 128GB variations with paintings from Dragon’s Lair, Double Dragon, or RetroMania Wrestling obtainable as properly.

The bartop simply connects to the non-compulsory stand

If you’re used to the costs of Arcade1Up cupboards, iiRcade will maybe trigger a little bit of sticker shock. The 64GB countertop machine prices $599, and including the stand tacks on a further $149. The 128GB editions vary from $799 to $819; they arrive with matching stands and are fitted with official Sanwa joysticks. To be honest, all of those costs have been halved for backers as an “early bird” particular, however there isn’t any denying that the iiRcade is an funding. At this time, you’ll be able to solely buy the iiRcade by the official website and b8ta, although it’ll ultimately be obtainable at Amazon and some different retailers like Touch of Modern.

Premium construct high quality

I’ve examined quite a few Arcade1Up cupboards in addition to AtGames’ Legends Ultimate, and it was instantly clear that the iiRcade is a step above most mainstream residence arcade cupboards when it comes to really feel. It took me lower than two hours to assemble the countertop and stand. Due to my private setup, I solely used the countertop with out the stand for about an hour earlier than connecting it to the bottom and transferring it to its long-term spot. But the method for attaching it to the bottom is fairly painless, so it would not be onerous to change forwards and backwards between the 2 setups, offered that you simply don’t thoughts eradicating the again cowl to entry the hand-screws.

The base 64GB mannequin makes use of a mixture of orange and blue sample designs to offset the black end and provides it a slick look. Based on the images, the Dragon’s Lair and Black Edition (Double Dragon) cupboards have extra eye-catching designs, however the base mannequin nonetheless has an important look that’s understated sufficient to slot in nearly anyplace in your house. If you select the Black Edition, you too can buy your individual skins from third-party retailers and provides it a customized look.

The iiRcade has two premium joysticks and six clicky buttons for each
The iiRcade has two premium joysticks and 6 clicky buttons for every

The management panel has two 8-way Sanwa-style joysticks–one with a crimson knob and the opposite with a black knob. The sticks are a tad quick, however I feel this helps motion retain a good and responsive really feel. Each joystick is paired with six buttons, with ABC on the highest row and XYZ under it. The buttons have a satisfying click on that feels nearer to my childhood journeys to native arcades than the opposite residence cupboards I personal. There’s a row of seven buttons operating alongside the highest of the panel as properly for primary capabilities like quantity management, pausing, powering the unit on, becoming a member of the sport (P1 and P2), and a coin button that you simply press to load credit.

The iiRcade is fitted with a stunning 19-inch high-definition show. While it is the standout function, it is also the one side of the construct that was flawed out of the field. The show is roofed by a sheet of plexiglass that provides definition to the image, however it was shipped with just one facet protected by a skinny movie. Multiple, lengthy horizontal scratches have been current from the get-go. Another GameSpot editor additionally skilled this problem, so it’s potential you’d have the identical downside. I’ve had related issues with Arcade1Up cupboards, too. Thankfully, the scratches are solely seen when the machine is off; I can’t see them whereas enjoying video games. You may also request a substitute piece that can be coated on each side, albeit with no black border painted on it.

It’s price noting right here that the iiRcade, when related to its stand, is barely taller than Arcade1Up cupboards with risers. It’s an important peak for a standing cupboard, however you would want a reasonably tall barstool (not one of many Arcade1Up stools) should you wished to play whereas sitting down. Of course, the countertop unit may be positioned on any floor should you choose sitting whereas enjoying arcade video games.


The iiRcade runs on a customized model of Android. It powers on shortly and has a responsive menu system. With a 1.8GHz Hexa-Core processor, an 800MHz Max Quad-Core GPU, and 4GB of Dual-Channel RAM, the iiRcade has sufficient juice beneath the hood to run basic arcade video games in addition to fashionable titles that use extra refined 3D graphics and vivid colours. Games look sharp because of the high-definition show, and it can’t be overstated how spectacular the audio system are.

The iiRcade is fitted with a pair of 50W stereo audio system. You will possible by no means have to have them operating near even 50 p.c. In reality, the system even warns you that doing so is harmful. As a take a look at, I cranked the amount all the way in which up and walked exterior. I may nonetheless hear sport music clearly greater than 100 ft away–it was nonetheless fairly loud. You can join headphones to the management panel or by way of Bluetooth for personal listening, which I’ve finished a number of occasions to save lots of my spouse and daughter from listening to my video games from the opposite room.

The iiRcade has a pair of impactful speakers
The iiRcade has a pair of impactful audio system

Presentation-wise, the iiRcade is subdued. The menu is somewhat plain, with a navigation bar on the prime separating video games by style. There is not any menu music, solely annoying ticking and whooshing sounds that register whereas navigating. After a couple of days of testing, I wound up turning the hold forth till I booted a sport.

Game library

A centerpiece arcade cupboard has to have a formidable sport library to succeed, and the iiRcade is displaying promise right here with partnerships from main publishers reminiscent of Sega and Data East. There are at the moment lots of of video games obtainable on the iiRcade storefront, with extra set to reach within the coming weeks and months.

The library is extraordinarily diverse, that includes a mixture of arcade classics, obscure console video games, cellular ports, a group of ColecoVision video games, and even some fashionable indies. If you flick through the sport listing on iiRcade’s web site, it is simple to return to the conclusion that a variety of these video games are comparatively unknown in comparison with the same old fare we see on residence arcade cupboards. Even the Sega titles are fairly eclectic, together with the likes of Congo Bongo, Bonanza Bros., and 5 different video games that appeared on Sega Genesis–though you are getting the arcade variations right here.

There are some huge names on the iiRcade as properly, together with the primary three Double Dragon titles (two obtainable now), Ys Chronicles I & II, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, and Strikers 1945. The most notable fashionable sport that has been introduced for the cupboard is Dead Cells, an exquisite indie roguelike that can launch on the storefront this 12 months. Select fashionable video games additionally assist on-line multiplayer, which is a pleasant addition when you’ve got associates who additionally personal an iiRcade.

Diver Boy
Diver Boy

Because the library has such an enormous mixture of games–some of which have been by no means supposed to be arcade titles–it’s possible you’ll discover one which doesn’t fairly gel with the setup. For instance, I discovered Dead Effect 2 to be nearly unplayable as a result of dual-stick management scheme and wish to make use of almost the entire buttons.

All of the video games on the storefront are moderately priced, starting from $3 to round $15 for newer indies reminiscent of Teslagrad and Wonder Boy. The course of for including video games to your cupboard isn’t very best for the time being, although. There’s an app for Android, however iOS customers have to go to the rudimentary browser storefront to make purchases. Unfortunately, the cupboard does not have the storefront, and that is my greatest grievance in the case of looking out the library for brand spanking new video games. It can be way more handy to browse the library immediately on the machine.

It’s onerous to say whether or not the iiRcade’s present library makes the value of admission price it. Before shopping for, it is best to completely take a look at the full list of announced games and browse the storefront. If you are hoping to choose up the iiRcade and be glad with what’s obtainable out of the field, you’ll undoubtedly be dissatisfied.

iiRcade preloaded video games listing:

  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Double Dragon
  • Beach Buggy Racing
  • Bomb Squad
  • Diver Boy
  • Maniac Square
  • Gunbird
  • Twin Brats
  • Dragon Master
  • Fancy World: Earth of Crisis
  • Snowboard Championship

The 11 titles that come preloaded cowl good mixture of genres, together with shoot-’em-ups, puzzlers, combating video games, beat-’em-ups, and the quirky interactive movie Dragon’s Lair. But it is not a library that most individuals can be content material with after spending greater than $600 on an arcade cupboard. I performed the entire video games for a minimum of a few hours every. Of the bunch, Gunbird was my favourite, however I additionally had enjoyable revisiting Double Dragon and zipping round in Beach Buggy Racing–an Android port of a Mario Kart ripoff–with my daughter.

While your mileage with the library will fluctuate, it is clear that a variety of love and care was given to those video games. I’ve examined greater than 20 video games on iiRcade, and all of them ran with no hitch. The emulation is top-notch. It’s readily obvious that you simply’re enjoying a cultured model of those video games on iiRcade, even when the video games themselves can typically really feel a tad awkward with cupboard management schemes. A just lately added photograph mode enables you to share screenshots on to your e-mail, and you too can join the iiRcade to your TV by way of HDMI to show the motion on a bigger display screen. This is a neat function should you plan on internet hosting little tournaments at your home with associates, however it is best to hold the HDMI cable (not included) plugged in always; in any other case, you will need to take off the again panel to entry it every time.

The 64GB bartop edition costs $599
The 64GB bartop version prices $599

iiRcade key specs

1.8GHz Hexa-Core CPU
4GB Dual-Channel RAM
100-watt audio system
19-inch high-definition show
64GB of storage
61 inches tall (when related to face)

The backside line

The iiRcade is a well-made cupboard with great-feeling joysticks and buttons. The increasing library of video games contains some surefire hits in addition to loads of hidden gems. As a centerpiece cupboard able to housing lots of of titles, the iiRcade has a ton of potential. Whether or not it’s best for you will depend on should you’re sufficient within the sport library. If you did not again the cupboard on Kickstarter, the value is pretty excessive, and you may proceed to drop extra cash on new games–though they’re marked at affordable costs. The iiRcade’s versatility as a countertop cupboard that may be was an almost full-size standing cupboard permits it to be moved round with ease. Overall, the iiRcade is a good possibility for individuals who do not wish to be locked right into a small library of video games. If your gaming tastes change, you’ll be able to add a brand new sport to your library to liven issues up–that’s the primary draw of the iiRcade. As a multicade, the iiRcade has the potential to be the one cupboard you’ll want.

The Good:

  • Great construct high quality with premium joysticks and buttons
  • Huge library of video games to buy on the shop, and extra are being added often
  • Emulation is top-notch and video games look nice on the high-definition show
  • Works splendidly as both a countertop cupboard or full standing mannequin

The Bad:

  • Preloaded video games are underwhelming
  • You can’t buy new video games immediately from the cupboard
  • Bland menu undercuts the slick design of the cupboard
  • Pricey

About the creator: Steven Petite has spent 50-plus hours testing the iiRcade over the previous few months. iiRcade offered the cupboard and stand for assessment.




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