We had the opportunity to head into London and get an exclusive first look at the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Quarter Arcade Machines by Numskull Designs.
Numskull are not only releasing one, but two TMNT arcade machines this year. One features the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game from 1989, and the second cabinet features Turtles In Time from 1991, two of the best TMNT games ever!
If you’re not familiar with Quarter Arcades then let me explain, it’s exactly what the name states. Quarter scale replicas of arcade machines, that are playable, fully functioning cabinets that run on rechargeable batteries., and fully licensed ROM’s.
Numskull have made nine Quarter Arcades before these units, but this is Numskulls first time at taking on a four player arcade cabinet… That’s right you can play with up to three friends on these things!
Admittedly, it might get a little cramped, but there are four added USB ports allowing you to add wired controllers, or wireless controllers that use a USB receiver.
To access them, you simply push the section under the coin slots, where the money typically goes on a traditional machine, this will pop open the controller input door.
The first thing I noticed when testing these devices, was the attention to detail, Numskull continues their legacy to build authentic products that bring the arcade experience home, in a new, more portable, and far more adorable way.
Table of Contents
Turning it on.
Once your turn on the Quarter Arcades, you’ll see the bright marquee illuminate, the nostalgic sounds start to fill your ears, and the LED lights flicker where the coin slot is located.
I feel like a giant picking up a real arcade cabinet, the detail is incredible!
The artwork on each side makes this a perfect display item too, and you can in fact plug it in to a wall socket to keep it fully charged to really impress anyone that views your gaming room.
In the centre of the cabinet you will be greeted with the 6″ TFT display that features a new CRT lens cover to give it an authentic look, just like the old days.
At first, I wanted a brighter, crispier display, but I then realised that this goes against the authenticity of the product. The goal here is to make it a replica, not an upgrade, so I am glad they held their ground and went this route.
Is it comfortable to play on?
No, of course not, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun. This isn’t a gaming device that you play on for hours on end, I find myself playing on these for no longer than 20 minutes at a time.
You don’t buy a quarter arcade cabinet for long gaming sessions, take a look at the best retro handhelds for that, this is simply a unique, and exciting way to take you back to the good old days.
I have a PAC-MAN Quarter Arcade Cabinet in my office that I take down from the shelf every week to play on, it’s usually when I’m waiting in a Zoom call, or rendering a video to pass some time.
The stick and buttons are very small, like tiny pimples. They have surprisingly nice feedback, and the stick is stiff enough for you to direct it well, I rarely found myself mis-using it. Just make sure not to rage quit, or push with all your force on the stick, because it will likely break, even though it is made of metal.
If your hands are too cramped, insert your Xbox, Playstation or other USB controllers for a better and longer gaming experience.
If you take a closer look at the controls, you’ll see plenty of detail. From character art, too tiny how to play instructions and even red light up coin slots to make it feel like the real thing.
Does it use emulation?
Yes, the cabinets use emulation, and because Numskull have the official license from Konami, the rom file is flawless, allowing for silky smooth gameplay, authentic audio tracks and it even saves up to 10 high scores too.
I saw no issues regarding gaming performance on here. It’s not like it requires a powerful CPU to play these games, but it’s always good to know that the ROM is official and combined with the display and speakers, it really does feel like the real deal.
In terms of sizing, the TMNT Quarter Arcade machine is 44.5cm in height, 23.4cm wide, and 24cm deep.
The outer shell is made completely of wood, making it feel incredibly durable, and trustworthy enough to be able to pick it up, swing it around and be semi-rough with it, because let’s face it, when a kid sees this, they’re going to touch it!
At the back of the cabinet you’ll find your USB-C port for charging, a volume wheel, and your on-off button. It features a lithium battery in side, but don’t expect to play on it for hours on end from a single charger, this thing ain’t no handheld!
Our Overall Opinion
We only had a few hours with the TMNT Quarter Arcades, but it was enough time to test the quality, and the overall gaming experience.
These things are incredible, and full credit goes to the Numskull team for making it as authentic as humanly possible.
I have tested many of their arcades in the past, and years later they are still working as well as they were on day one, which is a testament to the build quality.
But the fact that you can now play on these machines with friends, and connect controllers to them adds another level of playability, and takes the brand to the next level… who knows, maybe one day they’ll get light guns working on here?
When I first heard they were making the TMNT cabs I was excited and nervous for them, but they have really pulled it off, and I can’t wait for them to officially release in December 2023.
They are one of the best retro gaming gifts on the market, and even though the price might scare you, I believe any customer will be impressed with it.
You can’t hate these things, they’re great.
The TMNT Quarter Arcades retail for $299 on the Official Konami Shop. They are also revealing special edition cabinets that come with a wide number of goodies, including quarter scale accessories such as chairs to match your quarter scale arcade!
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A 31 year old British fella that’s had a Gameboy ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and has created a YouTube channel with 260,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.