Q*bert x RepliCade Mini Arcade review

Platform: Hardware
Company: New Wave Toys

Owning an actual arcade cabinet for your home seems like an impossible dream for some. With companies like Arcade 1up and ATGames making small to full size cabinets somewhat affordable, collectors who want to collect many machines may not have the room for them. Now with New Wave Toys line of mini cabinets. You can own scaled down 1:1 replicas of some of your favorite arcade classics. While there are many different ones available now, I’m here to take a look at their newest offering Q*bert.

For the ones who have never played or even heard of Q*bert before. The objective of each level in the game is to change every cube in a pyramid to a target color by making Q*bert hop on top of the cube while avoiding bouncing balls, Enemies like the Wrong Way Brothers and Coily the Snake, and stopping your small green pals from undoing your work as they can change the cube color. Players use a 4 way joystick to move around the pyramid and use Flying Discs to make the enemies chasing you fall off. As the levels progress, you have to jump on the cubes multiple times to change them to the color needed to progress. Later levels will require more skill as stepping on cubes can change them back to their original color. Sometimes, a small green orb called a “Slippy-Doo” will fall and will freeze all other characters for a short time when collected. It’s fun, challenging and requires a lot of practice to master.

This Q*bert x RepliCade mini replica is a complete recreation of the original arcade cabinet. Everything down to the smallest detail is recreated here, just a lot smaller. The attention to detail is so absolutely stunning, that if you place this next to an actual size cabinet, the only difference you will see is the size. When powered up, the coin slots (that act as credit and menu buttons) light up along with the top marquee. There is a rechargeable battery inside that can be charged via micro USB, but also can be plugged into a wall using a USB 5 volt adapter. The RepliCade machines are designed to be run for hours just like the original machines they are based on, so you can leave them plugged in and run them all day if desired.

Being that it is a mini cabinet, it is designed to fit just about anywhere. A desk, game shelf, or even an end table. The controller is tight and feels really good to use, and every pressable button is responsive. Some people may have an issue using the small joystick as it is to scale with the rest of the machine, but on the back of the cab, you have 2 USB ports for external controllers. In my playtests, I managed to get Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X controllers to instantly recognize and work. I also managed to get an 8bitDo wireless controller work with no set up whatsoever. Cheap controllers like Logitech and Insignia work, but there is a bit of a delay. I would imagine that PlayStation (brand) controllers would work as well as long as they are plugged in. I personally have no issue with the joystick, and preferred it to external controls. Moving on to the size of the screen, yes it’s small, like 2 or so inches across. If you have trouble with that, New Wave Toys has you covered by including an HDMI out port so you can hook the machine up to a monitor or TV. It’s completely plug and play, although you may have to set your TV to a 4:3 view since there is no setting for this on the machine itself. I really like this inclusion and hope that all future RepliCade machines will have HDMI out as well. A much welcomed feature!

The setting of the machine can be accessed by pressing the second coin door button. Here you can set the screen brightness, the LED light settings, demo sounds, controls and other small settings as you like. You can also switch the game to Q*bert’s unreleased semi-sequel “Faster, Harder More Challenging Q*bert”. Never released in Arcades, this is just what it claims to be, Q*bert, with harder more challenging levels. It’s also 25% faster with more enemies and obstacles in your way. I personally leave it set to plain old Q*bert, since I get enough of a challenge already with that, but it’s super cool that they included the upgraded version.

New Wave Toys has crafted a masterpiece with this Q*bert x RepliCade cabinet. I absolutely love having this in my collection of mini machines and can’t wait to show it off to friends and visitors. If you want a fully functioning mini cab that looks fantastic in any game room, then you need to check out the RepliCade line from New Wave Toys. These are premium collectables at an affordable price, and they are worth every single penny! I sincerely hope New Wave continues this line and also continues to build and bring out this unit as well as other previously released machines for everyone to collect. These machines tend to sell out rather quickly, so if you are even the slightest bit interested in owning one, I suggest you pick one up while you are able. Trust me when I say this is one purchase you will not regret! An excellent piece for any game collector.

Note: New Wave Toys provided us with a Q*bert x RepliCade for review purposes.

Grade: A