The Handheld History Collection

Some Very Entertaining Plastic, Emulated at the Archive:

This collection of emulated handheld games, tabletop machines, and even board games stretch from the 1970s well into the 1990s. They are attempts to make portable, digital versions of the LCD, VFD and LED-based machines that sold, often cheaply, at toy stores and booths over the decades. [...]

This sort of Herculean effort to squeeze a major arcade machine into a handful of circuits and a beeping, booping shell of what it once was is an ongoing situation -- where once it was trying to make arcade machines work both on home consoles like the 2600 and Colecovision, so it was also the case of these plastic toy games. Work of this sort continues, as mobile games take charge and developers often work to bring huge immersive experiences to where a phone hits all the same notes.

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3 Responses:

  1. Nightbird says:

    I like this!

    Looks to see if they are on Patreon

    • MattyJ says: has a donate link on their main menu. I looks like they don't specifically use Patreon but they have a similar 'Give Monthly' option. A worthy non-profit, if you ask me.

      If you're ever in San Francisco and have the opportunity to go to an event in their building it's worth it, the building is a gem.

  2. Oh god, the Coleco LED Pac-Man game. 12 year old me spent most of a year begging my family for one. It was, clearly, the greatest thing ever: you could totally tell from the ads...

    ...which carefully featured as little footage of the actual gameplay as possible. Spoiler: it was terrible. But the sounds were worse: a non-stop high pitched bleating that even a 12 year old could only tolerate for a few minutes at a time.

    Important lessons were learned all around.

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