Released in 2005 by Excalibur Electronics, this mini arcade machine is loosely based on the classic Coleco Tabletop Mini Arcades of the 80’s. Although it does not have the “classic” VFD (Vacuum Florescent Display) screen, it does have a back lit LCD screen that kind of simulates that VFD look. Four “C” sized batteries are required to power the unit.
Playing the game you will find that you simply cannot hold the joystick to one side to have your base continue to move, rather you have to release the joystick and push it again. The control panel also has a on/off, pause, mute and start/fire buttons. controls are responsive but the sound effects are lacking. The screen is divided in two parts (Left and Right) so as the invaders disappear of the right hand side of the screen you can follow them with your base. This gives you six total bunkers to hide behind and each bunker can take five hits before disappearing (they do show damage). The overall game play is kind of slow and the early levels are not much of a challenge. The invaders will not start marching down until you get up into the higher levels.
I did notice that it appears Excalibur Electronics has updated the graphic display. I had a 2005 released version that shows a much different play screen than what this unit is showing. The older units had the same graphics as the other hand held space invaders games Excalibur Electronics has made, whereas this newer unit has graphics that look like the original Taito Space Invaders!
- Very well built
- Nice artwork
- Backlit screen
- Improved gameplay graphics
- Smaller than the original Coleco minicades
- Repetitive joystick motion to get base to move
- Playfield is divided into two screens
- Sound effects are “tinny” at best
Overall this is a fairly nice electronic game to add to a collection, especially if you like Space invaders and these little minicades.
Rating: (4 out of 5 MiniCades)
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