Did you know that today is National Video Game Day?
Most of us probably have a console, game, or ritual tied to a video game that we fondly remember. I will always remember the Christmas that we got a Sega Genesis and the hours I spent trying to get through games like “Aladdin,” “Mickey’s World of Illusion,” or “Sonic The Hedgehog.” There were also the hours spent in the arcade at the local mall until I’d blown most of my allowance. Times were so much simpler when we were using cheat codes or just wasting endless hours trying to master “Dance, Dance, Revolution” with our besites.
We no longer need pockets full of quarters or air to blow out those cartridges, and that’s okay. In the spirit of the day and also my love of nostalgia, let’s check out 5 ways you can bring the games of your childhood back to life without spending your life savings on eBay trying to find a Super Nintendo console that’s still in working condition.
1. NES Classic/SNES Classic
Gaming giant Nintendo decided to cash in on the nostalgia factor starting in 2016 when it first released the NES Classic, a digital throwback to the console that started it all. The console was wildly popular, and the SNES Classic, a homage to the Super Nintendo, was released one year later. For $59.99 (NES) or $79.99 (SNES), you can travel to an 8-bit wonderland with your buddy Mario.
2. Raspberry Pi 3
The Raspberry Pi Foundation makes small computers that are geared towards allowing people to learn programming basics. Their Raspberry Pi 3 has a lot of development that has gone into using these tiny boards to create gaming machines to play classic console and arcade games. Though this method definitely requires a little more technology knowledge and questionable morals regarding illegal downloads depending what games you want to load onto it, it’s the perfect side project for that nerdy gamer in your life.
Most PC gamers are familiar with Valve Corporation’s STEAM, an online community and source of thousands of games for PC. They don’t just have new releases available, though. You can find the PC games of your childhood like “Putt-Putt,” “Sim City,” and “RollerCoaster Tycoon” plus console classics like “Sonic The Hedgehog” or “Mickey’s Castle of Illusion” just to name a few.
4. Phone Downloads
It should come as no surprise that a variety of our favorite childhood games are available through the Google Play Store or iOS App Store. There’s everything from Frogger to Mega Man to Q*Bert. If those games aren’t your style, there’s plenty more: check them out!
Arcades are still alive and well in most areas. They just may charge a flat rate for unlimited play or be connected to a bar now. If you are craving the thrill of gripping a joystick and mashing buttons with those two fingers (you know the ones), this may be the place for you today. Many arcades today try to appeal to a large audience, so they include pinball machines and retro consoles plus those classic arcade cabinets. Plan to spend the whole day there, though. Hours will fly by as you dive into “Dig Dug,” “Pac Man,” “Frogger,” and more!
Regardless if you were a 90s child or a Y2K babe, there’s at least one video game out there that can appeal to you and provide endless entertainment. Whether you’d love to get out with friends and tear up the arcade or kick back in the recliner and your iPhone, this list should provide some inspiration and ways to get a fix of nostalgia for a day or two. So, call up your partner or your bestie by shouting, “Get over here!” like it’s Mortal Kombat in real life, and enjoy. Remember, though, “It’s dangerous to go alone.”