"I've cleared four sheets and still got three lives left" is a phrase that seems to have all but vanished from everyday gaming. A shame, because despite the increasingly flabbergasting graphics of today's hi-tech videogames, it's still the pioneering stuff - the melodic yet ominous intro to Galaxian, the relentless drone of Space Invaders and the nursery-style graphics of Pac Man - that sends shivers down the spine and makes grown men drool with doe-eyed delight.
Magical in their simplicity and brutally addictive, the leading games of yesteryear are now spoken about with a nostalgic reverence previously reserved for select items such as Choppers, Battlestar Galactica and Daisy DukeÂ’s hot pants. Of course, playing these games on the telly is one thing, but replicating that true arcade experience is a completely different maze of pills.
Step forward the Arcade Classics. Forget PS2, Xbox and similar technological triumphs. This is the undisputed daddy, and it's guaranteed to make other so-called gamegeeks greener than a gung-ho Galaxian. Buy one of these bleeping behemoths and friends will quite simply drop to their knees and weep in utter jealousy-sodden disbelief.
Basically, Arcade Classics is a retro, sit-down 'cocktail' arcade machine preloaded with 8 (yes, 8) classic games. Featuring screen-flip for 2 player games and 2 sets of controls, the only things missing are the fag burns and beer stains. It goes without saying that the joysticks are suitably chunky and, of course, the buttons are like something out of a Chieftain tank. It's like having an entire retro arcade in your living room minus the mullets and polyester leisurewear.
The current machine contains trouser-wetting titles such as Space Invaders, Galaxians, Frogger, Pong, Pac Man, Kong, Snake and Breakout. And yes, every game is just as teeth-curlingly addictive and playable as you remember. The only difference is that the graphics and sound have been given a revamp. To be honest, we really can't see owners of this four-legged funbox getting out of the house much. Not so much a case of Game Over as Life Over! It really is that good. Lager and crisps not included.