Many parents grew up with video games in one way or another. This means it’s a fun way to enjoy different games together by playing your favourite childhood games with your children.
What is sometimes called “retro gaming” is becoming increasingly popular as families look to revisit or try for the first time classic titles. There are a few ways to do this in affordable and accessible ways.
Mini and Classic Consoles
Many older systems have been re-released in miniature form by the original platform maker. Systems like the NES Classic, Super NES Classic, SEGA Mega Drive Mini, PlayStation Classic and C64 Mini not only reproduce the look and feel of old consoles in miniature form but come with a range of classic games built-in. All you need to do is plug it into your TV and away you go.
Many classic games are re-released on new consoles in digital format. One example of this is the Nintendo Online Service that comes with a whole host of classic NES and SNES games for you to share with your family. Or the recent Super Mario 3D All-Stars that included classic games Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy.
When games are considered classics, as well as being rereleased, they are often upgraded with new graphics and sound. Or, for certain games, a modern version of the game is created as if it had been made on the older technology (like Streets of Rage 4).
These re-imagined classic video games are a great way to revisit the fun of your childhood with your own children, as well as find some modern twists on classic video games.
You can find some good offers online for second-hand consoles and games. This can be an affordable way to access older games, although you also need to consider how to output the game to a modern screen with new connectors.
However, it’s worth taking care over some of the deals you find when searching or pop up on Facebook. Some unlicensed sellers offer preloaded devices with thousands of games for bargain prices. It can seem like a bargain, but Law Enforcement investigations show many of the devices fail to deliver, are unsafe and are violating copyright laws.
This not only means that the creators of the games don’t get paid for their creation, but also that you aren’t playing them at the quality and performance they were originally intended. Perhaps more worrying is that this revenue goes to disreputable businesses.
Another option to access retro games is via a range of different streaming services. Streaming will allow you to play across different devices in any location, you can also connect controllers, joysticks and more to have a great experience
Antstream Arcade is a great example that focuses on social connectivity with over 1000+ classic and retro games to play across different devices. With Streaming players will have the ability to play some of the greatest games ever made, but also access to a massive back catalogue of obscure and hidden treasures. Games like Taito’s Gekirindan Speedball, Muchi Muchi Pork and other Cave games are becoming more and more difficult to obtain for collectors and casual gamers that just want to play the games.
Steve Cottam, CEO states; “Antstream has brought casual and competitive game play to iconic titles. Streaming gives us the platform to have leader boards for people all over the world, whether it's customised for you and your friends or at a global scale. We have also brought tournaments and unique challenges to the forefront. It's more than just playing classic games, but about bringing people together to enjoy the experience.”
Avoiding “cheap games”
Copying games or modifying devices to play illegal versions of games has always been treated as an acceptable practice but is against law. “It doesn’t harm anyone and anyway games are expensive,” are often reasons used to justify it. Nowadays there isn’t money in counterfeit games, so these individuals have turned their attention to “cracking” the console devices to sell “circumvention” devices which allow games to be played for free. It is a criminal offence to sell devices and if caught the device and games are confiscated and the seller could face criminal charges.
Bear in mind there are many small developers that lose out as people illegally copy their games so do not generate any revenue. Instead, the money goes to the sellers who often do not pay taxes and are involved in other forms of criminality.
Playing the games you loved as a child, with your own children, is a great way to introduce them to video games and share quality time together. It is important to obtain these games via reputable sources so you are not infringing any UK law or funding criminal activity. The official routes for playing the games, whether with re-released hardware or digital software ensure you experience the games as you remember them.