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Game Review

10-in-1: Arcade Collection Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Martin Watts

Is it worth your hard-earned quarters?

Retro enthusiasts may be disappointed to learn that 10-in-1 Arcade Collection doesn't actually include any arcade greats of yesteryear. Luck would have it that Atari — despite decades of financial turmoil and even bankruptcy — still holds the rights to most of its impressive back catalogue. It's a similar situation when it comes to the games library of late arcade stalwart Midway, which had most of its assets picked up by Warner Bros in the wake of its demise in 2009. As a result, it's pretty much impossible — or at least very expensive — for a developer to get its hands on the licenses to these classic franchises. Therefore, Gamelion Studios has opted to do the next best thing with its latest 3DS eShop title and has instead created a retro-infused game collection that merely draws inspiration from classics such as Breakout and Asteroids, albeit with some minor gameplay changes and fresher visuals.

Although there are only ten games to choose from, the selection is quite varied in terms of genre; there's action, platforming and puzzle experiences, although the quality does differ drastically between titles. For example, Black Nightmares — 10-in-1 Arcade Collection's answer to Space Invaders — is one of those games that sits at the upper end of the spectrum. The premise is very similar to the original classic, with the most notable differences being that the enemies tend to fire off a lot more shots, and it's possible to shoot through cover without destroying it. Tangled Space stays mostly true to the original formula of Asteroids, but goes one step further by throwing black holes into the mix, which disrupt the trajectory of any asteroids that happen to cross their paths. In this regard, it's fair to say that 10-in-1 Arcade Collection does a good job of striking a good balance between authenticity and refinement. The most surprising hit, however, is Special Delivery, a platforming title in which your character moves along automatically. All you have to do is control the speed, time the jumps and avoid/defeat enemies; this sounds simple enough, but it's actually a pretty devious challenge in places, not to mention very addictive.

Nevertheless, a couple of games are a bit on the dull side when it comes to the gameplay. The main culprit here is Gem Breaker — a Breakout clone — which features a lot of levels that simply take too much time to complete. This is due to a culmination of weaker gameplay elements, such as slow ball speed and awkward designs that contain blocks which require an excessive amount of hits to be destroyed. Another game, Saucer Room, borrows the concept behind mobile favourite Snake but fails to provide the same exciting gameplay experience. It's functional by all means, but it's far too easy because the game speed never increases, and chances are you'll tire of it before you get too far into it.

Overall, there isn't a great deal of depth to be found in any of the 10 games on offer. They are, after all, based on games which traditionally are meant to suck you — and the contents of your wallet — in for a relatively short amount of time. As has been the case with nearly all arcade games in the past, it's the competition around earning the highest score that draws in most people. Unfortunately, this is where 10-in-1 Arcade Collection misses a trick. The game does save your best score for each game, but for some strange reason doesn't feature a high-score board. Yes, it may be a game on a portable system that is typically intended for just one player, but this omission makes it feel far less authentic; competition has been at the heart of arcade games for decades and there's nothing quite like forever marking your impressive legacy with three simple initials (well, until the next decent player comes along, that is). Having something as basic as online leaderboards would have made a big difference in this particular area.

In terms of presentation, 10-in-1 Arcade Collection – unsurprisingly – sports a similar retro look to games like Mutant Mudds. While it isn’t as well-crafted as the Renegade Kid hit, it’s nevertheless vibrant and pays homage to this art style of old. Moreover, the visuals are sharp and thus do not hinder the gameplay in any negative way. There’s the odd game that looks a little uninspired; in particular Devil Maze (which could certainly do with a splash of colour here and there) and Special Delivery fail to emulate the charm of most modern retro-styled games.

How much lasting enjoyment you get out of 10-in-1 Arcade Collection really depends on gaming tastes. If you’re looking for a simple, pick-up-and-play experience to entertain yourself with every now and again, then this title will likely serve you well.

Conclusion

Available for a very affordable price and containing a good variety of games, 10-in-1 Arcade Collection may be a worthwhile investment for those who want a title they can pick up and play every now and again. While it may not provide a like-for-like experience, the game does a valiant job of recreating — and in some cases revitalising — the gameplay concepts behind some of arcade gaming's most revered classics. Unfortunately, it isn't perfect; there are a few duds within the mix that damage the overall package, and the lack of a decent scoreboard system is disappointing. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a simple, yet highly playable game to enjoy in-between the 3DS' deeper experiences, then you might want to give 10-in-1 Arcade Collection a go.

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User Comments (29)

Chris720

#1

Chris720 said:

It's a pretty decent title with some pretty good games. Lack of a score board is a killer though especially since it's based around the whole concept of getting the best score possible.

I definitely enjoy the Asteroids remake though, use to play that a lot in the good old PC gaming days. But the controls are great, but at least they work.

6ch6ris6

#4

6ch6ris6 said:

damn i really wanted this to be better than 6/10
oh wait this is just 2`€? kinda makes it more attractive

Frapp

#6

Frapp said:

Wish there was a legal requirement that the use of the words 'arcade collection' in a video game's title meant the games originally appeared in the arcades, otherwise they would have to have large disclaimers on the front of the box art.

Drsasa

#9

Drsasa said:

Addictive, mind free and enjoyable. What most got me is music which is very simillar to c64/amiga intro music (one of rare game which put me back in time and is not VC).

Chris720

#12

Chris720 said:

I agree with the 6/10, simply because it's not great and it's not awful either. It's simply middle ground.

The price is perfect, the games, while simple, are enjoyable and work well. The music is good enough to enlarge the games enjoyment. And it's brilliant for a couple minutes here and there to have a go at it.

defrb

#14

defrb said:

arcades is all about beating hi-scores. Quitte essential to have a hi-score table, with the option to sync your scores online.
Would have bought it if it had the tables, to bad ^^

AENIGMA

#15

AENIGMA said:

Looks like it will be released in the US on Aug 15 for $2.99.

Visitor font :)

Windy

#16

Windy said:

I picked this up today and very happy about it. Decent oldie style 1970's type games with a cool 3d look. 2.99 well spent! Retro goodness at a great price thanks so much. The review of the game is right on

grumblegrumble

#17

grumblegrumble said:

I'll be buying this! As a huge Atari fan (who owns both a 2600 and 7800 plus around 150 Atari games) I am DEF getting this ;) Even if they are knock-offs. Need to support the developer so more games will show up like this ;) To all you kids who think it's boring, you dont know what you're missing and we owe the world to these old school games. We wouldn't be where we were today in regards to video games without them.

Tate24

#18

Tate24 said:

Personal I love this game cheap cheerful
I can't stop playing it at moment :)

Really like block breaker, black nightmare, speed delivery, monkey Ninja, few others. Only two that am not fond if is devil maze and ghost trap. But at £1.80 can't complain I've spent a lot more on games that I haven't enjoyed half as much as this :p

Yea scoreboards could used litttle more work and its shame didn't have online score boards to compare scores with others but can't fault it to much because it so cheap :)

I'd give this a 8/10

It's one them games were you will find favourites and it be one them
"ill just one more go" types gameplay!!!

AlGator

#20

AlGator said:

I love old arcade games so I bought this. 6/10 and $2.99 are about right. The games are fun in short bursts but a couple of them could have stood more testing - for example, Monkey Ninja is far too easy and I gave up after 30 minutes without dying. But it's worth it for those times when you need a few minutes of distraction.

Windy

#22

Windy said:

I wish it had a pitfall knockoff. But that's ok I love whats on it. Even though Knockoffs it will take older gamers back in time!

SirQuincealot

#23

SirQuincealot said:

Brick breaker and the dr Mario rip off alone make this worth the roller it costs on sale right now

arielp

#26

arielp said:

it was on sale now on eshop, paid only aroudn 1 CAD.... what a steal.. :D

arielp

#27

arielp said:

it was on sale now on eshop, paid only aroudn 1 CAD.... what a steal.. :D

HandheldGuru97

#28

HandheldGuru97 said:

Just grabbed this for 99 cents (plus tax it was about $1.10 :P) I've had my eye on this little game for a while...I am a complete sucker when it comes to video game compilations, and I am glad I got this! There are some great games (notably being the Tangled Space, Black Nightmares and Gem Breaker), some good ones, (Special Delivery, Ninja Monkey, Ghost Cage and Box Logic) there are the duds which I won't name, but over all a 6/10 or as I'd give it a 7/10 is a prefect score for this game. Its on sale until November 2nd 2014 and I hope I'll convince some to give this a try. If you, like me, enjoy retro spoof compilations (IE Retro Game Challenge) and nice pickup and play games, you probably will fall in love with this little gem. :)

dronesplitter

#29

dronesplitter said:

I also picked this up because of the sale. When you spot a collection like this for only a buck, you can't help but bite. Well, I'll just say I agree with the review and the score of 6/10. For the pretty decent Asteroids, Breakout, and Space Invaders clones this has, I feel like I'll get my money's worth, lol. My only gripe is that the difficulty is too low. You collect extra lives frequently enough that you can go on forever. I made it past level 60 in Monkey Ninja on my first try and felt like killing my character prematurely just to end my game.

High Scores for me at the moment:
Black Nightmares: 1,007,710
Ninja Monkey: 6,215
Special Delivery: 17,855
Gem Breaker: 117,696

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