Review: Namco “Pac-Man” Plug and Play

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For better or worse, I’ve long been intrigued by the plug-and-play format of video games– primarily because I’m often pleasantly surprised. Over the years, I’ve replaced my large classic pre-NES game consoles for the space-saving convenience of various throwback plug-and-play consoles. So when I found this Namco Plug and Play at a garage sale for a buck, it was a no-brainer.

It includes: Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Galaxian, Rally-X and Bosconian. The design of the controller is fantastic. It has a nice heft that suggests that it’s made of quality material. It requires AA batteries and plugs directly into the TV with AV cables. I wasn’t exactly blown away by the quality of this console, but I was impressed by the simplicity and the overall responsiveness.

Pros:

  • Great choice of classic arcade games that are still endlessly fun
  • Requires no set up or installation– just plug it in and you’re ready to play
  • Controller design if appropriately nostalgic
  • Graphically similar if not identical to the original arcade games
  • Cheaper and more reliable than playing these games on certain older consoles

Cons:

  • Two player requires taking turns (not really two-player)
  • Requires four batteries instead of plugging into a power socket
  • No options to configure the game settings
  • The sound is a little off
  • After a while, controller feels awkward; would have felt better if it were shaped like an NES Advantage controller

Consensus: For fans, of plug-and-play consoles, this is a great one to have. It feels very similar to the arcade experience, but the sometimes glitchy homescreen and sound effects diminishes the overall gaming experience. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to acquire it, but if you happen to find it at a garage sale or thrift store for cheap, it’s a fun piece to have. 


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