For one, the dock doesn't allow you to use the iPad in landscape, and secondly, the buttons lack the usual arcade feel and concave shape. The most annoying quirk, though? The Arcade surprisingly only works while you're in-game and can't be utilized for the in-app menus. We should further note -- as was the case when the iCade hit shelves -- you're limited to a grand total of 100 games. Missile Command
remains free and past that you'll pay a buck for one of 25 game packs, or $15 for the whole library. The problem is that many of the titles are merely souped up versions (e.g., Asteroids
and Asteroids Deluxe
), so you don't end up with 100 drastically different experiences. Considering you won't be using the Arcade outside of the app it's something to keep in mind.
When it comes down to it -- and if we had to choose between this and the iCade -- we'd say the Atari Arcade takes the high score if you're in it for the control and not the looks. Sure, it may not be as pleasing to the eye or have Bluetooth support, but the Atari Arcade didn't need to eat batteries and served us well as a retro gaming pad. As awesome as the Arcade is, though, $60 is a lot to spend for the limited use you'll be afforded, and we'd really only recommend it for die-hard Atari fans -- folks who won't find the nostalgia
wearing off before their fingers are sore.