Arcade1Up Pac-Man Cabinet Impressions

A little pricey but a lot of fun.

Just before Black Friday in 2018 the Pac-Man arcade cabinet from Arcade1Up was released exclusively at Wal-Mart and after some extended time with it, I feel like it‘s time to get some of these thoughts out of my head and onto this computer screen - which currently has an excessive amount of smudges on it, might I add. Yikes.

Anyways, this retro-inspired conversation starter may be priced a little high, but the value I’ve gotten out of it every time that my wife and I have friends over to our house almost justifies the dollar amount. But we’ll get to that in just a bit.

The cabinet itself was quite easy to put together – the instructions were pretty thorough and I’d say I had it in one piece in just under 40 minutes. It looks incredibly sleek – especially this particular Pac-Man edition as the yellow sides really pop in whatever room you are going to put it into.

I was a little confused, however, because in the photos online it showed the trim along the outside of each panel in red but on mine they are black. I’m not quite sure what the mixup was there but it’s nothing that I care too much about at all. Although, that red would have made it pop that much more..would have been nice..but I digress.

It feels sturdy enough – for something that isn’t going to be jostled around and instead will most likely stay in one place for a very extended period of time, it weighs itself down to the point where I can’t recall a time where it shifted away from where I wanted it to be even considering how intense some of these play sessions may have gotten.

Also worth noting that I do have the riser for the device as well – I can’t really speak on how easy or difficult it was to put that together as the one I purchased was apparently the last one in stock at my local Wal-Mart so they gave me the floor model that they had. But it stands at about 4’ tall without the riser and 5’ with so I definitely suggest purchasing the riser as well so you can stand up and play as opposed to sitting on a god damn stool or something like a nerd person.

Also, also worth noting that once I did get the product together there was a single dead pixel down in the right corner. While it’s not a gigantic deal as it’s not something you really notice without it being pointed out, I do wonder if there are any out there with more than just the one that I have or if any more or going to pop up in due time - however, I have had mine for nearly three months now and no more of those little green boogers have appeared so maybe I’m in good shape.

The only major complaint I had after a couple weeks of use was that the area where your wrist would rest on the control panel started to wear off at a rapid pace. Luckily, they addressed this problem appropriately and offered anyone that purchased a cabinet to submit a request for a plastic cover that would go over the entire panel as well as printed artwork on some cardstock to place underneath the plastic so that it looks good as new. It arrived just a few weeks after I put in my request and I was extremely pleased with the end result - it was quite the perfect solution.

"There have been a countless number of get-togethers we have hosted where this cabinet is the center of attention – which says a lot about both the long-lasting nature of the game itself and the difference that playing on a cabinet makes."

The game itself is, well, Pac-Man. And I mean that in the best way possible - one of my favorite games of all time and an absolute classic without a doubt. Anyone that steps foot into our house as of late feels compelled to make a run at the current high score which we keep on a chalkboard above the unit to make it even more enticing.

There have been a countless number of get-togethers we have hosted where this cabinet is the center of attention – which says a lot about both the long-lasting nature of the game itself and the difference that playing on a cabinet makes. I have variations of Pac-Man on both my NES Classic and my Switch as well, but they have never garnered as much attention as this rendition does.

As for that price-point - $299 does seem a little steep - especially since at my local Wal-Mart and in other small towns during the holidays, these units were discounted to $250 or even at times $200 and that seems like the sweet spot to me. At $200, plus a $40 riser, you’re looking at about $250 whereas without that discount, it’s over $350 since the riser is basically essential.

When you put that into perspective, it’s more costly than purchasing an Xbox and an entire year of Game Pass which grants you access to hundreds of other modern day classics And that justification is a hard pill to swallow.

All in all, if you are someone that likes to play games, has friends that come over with competitive spirits, has some extra income and already owns all of the big video game consoles that you currently want, I 100% recommend this product. But I do suggest keeping an eye out on brickseek for any sales or discounts in some surrounding areas before doing so.

But regardless of cost you should already know whether or not this product is for you and if it fits within your day-to-day life. So if you have the space and the relationships to get the enjoyment that I got out of this cabinet, or one of the many other titles that they offer, I say treat yourself.