The annual craze of Black Friday/Cyber Monday begins, and we’re here to give you an insight into the best Black Friday gifts for under $100 each that retro gamers can buy. Rather than fight it out in high street stores – risking getting caught up in embarrassing Snapchat stories, Instagram posts, and viral videos – all these early Xmas stocking fillers can be purchased online. So, rather than getting ready for battle, you can sit back, relax, and get nostalgic.
This article is split into three core areas, but the first was a true no-brainer – classic consoles! While the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X have been breaking technological boundaries, the entertainment systems of a few decades ago have been quietly making a comeback.
The first retro games console to catch our eye is the Commodore 64 (THEC64 Mini) reboot. First released way back in 1982, it broke new ground in the industry with up to 17 million units being sold. These days, THEC64 Mini allows you to experience dozens of the console’s best games in 720 HD output, add your own game and files via USB, and challenge your friends in multiplayer mode.
It seems like ever since the SNES stopped going on sale there have been calls for Nintendo to start production up again. For retro gamers in search of something tiny this Black Friday 2018, the SNES Classic Edition could well be that. The console is so minuscule that two controllers actually outsize it, while a special Rewind feature adds to the flexibility. Zelda, Super Mario, and even the never-before-released Star Fox 2 sequel is on display.
Right, a slight disclaimer – this next one hasn’t actually been released in time for Black Friday. However, we thought the December 3rd drop of the PlayStation Classic deserved a mention too. It just fits within our pricing specification at $99.99, and it includes 20 classic pre-loaded games in their original format. A retro gamers dream Christmas gift!?
Retro Online Slot Machines
Anyone fancy a flutter? There are loads of Black Friday casino offers doing the rounds at the moment, with retro-infused slot games to enjoy too! You can pick up a top bonus at a new online casino from Casino Professor to get started, before giving these titles a few spins with your extra funds.
Before we stray too far away from 8-bit consoles and games, you may be interested to know that similar graphics have been utilized in online slot play. Take Roasty McFry and the Flame Busters as a prime example. Gaming studio Thunderkick may have released this in May 2017 (don’t be fooled by the 1986 claim on the intro!), but it has all the hallmarks of a Sega Genesis-like special. And just like the retro games of yesteryear, you get to play the hero by joining firefighter Roasty and his team.
Microgaming’s Retro Reels slot machine was so good that it spawned two sequels, but everyone always fawns over the original. Taking on the appearance of a classic fruit machine with symbols and buttons alike, anyone who’s ever spent a penny trying to hit the jackpot will be right at home.
Remember Miami Vice, the hit TV series of the 1980s? How about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for younger readers? Well, Hotline by NetEnt is this studio’s homage to that era with a retro slot game in 2018. Rather than sit back with no say on the outcome, players can choose to enact further features with a bigger starting bet if they wish. Oh, and the soundtrack? Well, it has to be good for an 80s tribute, and you can decide whether it fits the bill by listening to the Hotline album on Spotify.
Books, Clothes and Props
With consoles and games out of the way, there’s one final piece of the retro gaming puzzle – accessories! Of course, there’s an endless supply of gaming souvenirs online, but here’s our pick of the bunch to wrap up the piece.
Are you a true retro gamer? Then you’ll surely be sporting one of the many classic t-shirts on offer at 80sTees! You can choose to browse through the entire collection or narrow it down to character, game or many other useful filters.
If you’re a frequent traveler or happen to live within the vicinity, there are loads of video game museums to check out. These literally span the entire globe – from the US all the way through Europe and western Russia to Japan and South Korea. Of course, the airfare will almost certainly cost over $100 to reach one of these destinations, but we’re confident most entry tickets will not.
It’s fitting that we round off with an item from what’s considered to be the best video game ever created – with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time landing that honor according to Metacritic’s average. Now, while this instrument won’t see you transported to new worlds, if you learn the songs of this game using your shiny new Zelda ocarina then surely you’d have to be crowned the ultimate retro gamer…
But is Ocarina of Time the best video game ever created? Let us know in the comments below!
Visual journalist/Graduating student, University of Missouri-Columbia. Lover of everything in the gaming industry and an avid fan of all films!