Relive the Glory of the Arcade at Home
The Sega Astro City Mini V is one of the latest desktop arcades with the quality we’ve all come to expect from Limited Run Games. Like the sleek, physical game releases, the respect and care for games is just clearly there. And the tiny cabinet’s joystick clicks and pivots like no other.
I grew up playing consoles primarily but am old enough to remember the last breath malls enjoyed in the mid 90’s, and that included the big water fountains and arcades.
The Sega Astro City Mini V carries titles from before my time and so I was able to play through each of the 23 titles without the nostalgia. Newcomers will find fun too but even as someone in my early thirties, I can firmly say the Astro City Mini V is for collectors and the people that played these games, when they were new and the peak of technology.
Gaming Like its 90’s
Out of the full 20+ games, there are about 5 that feel fun enough and fair for anyone to enjoy. Every game features three save slots and you can “abuse” saves to get through any of the cute cabinet’s games. But in a world with accessible and meaningful experiences to choose from, it will be hard for many to justify “getting through” some of these bullet hell titles.
Truxton, Fire Shark, Out Zone, Raiden, and Desert Breaker are fun and much less punishing, at least compared to the other included titles, but the Sega Astro City Mini V is ultimately still built for collectors that aren’t just looking for a good time.
Limited Run Games has recreated the original Astro City arcade cabinet at one-sixth the size, making it affordable and portable. You’ll still need a power source (USB Type-A, sold separately) but the system will fit on any lap. Though the features don’t stop with the device itself; the Astro City Mini V can also be connected to TVs via HDMI. The display settings can be adjusted as well, including a vertical display.
The system does include two-player games and features two-controller support via USB, which can also just be used to sit further back while still enjoying the use of a bigger display. The 4.6 inch LCD screen is sleek though, and it’s as crisp as the unit’s crystal-clear audio.
Nostalgia on the Go
Limited Run Games has reproduced the Sega Astro City arcade cabinet perfectly. It’s tiny, which makes it easier to use (and cheaper), but it’s still big enough to comfortably enjoy. And I tested out the TV options (vertically and horizontally) and it was so simple. All it took was plugging in the power and HDMI, changing the TV input, and switching on the Astro City Mini V.
It’s $159.99 to purchase the Astro City Mini V on the Limited Run Games website, which may sound expensive to some but that’s nonsense. This is the intersection of value and quality that we should wish for every hardware and software company.
The Astro City Mini V may not be for you and that’s okay. But it’s a quality product, powered by pixels and passion, that knows its audience. Like all of the products from Limited Run Games, this is a limited release. There are only five thousand of these so make sure to order it before it’s too late.
Like most hardware, the device also appears to be capable of going beyond its factory-programmed capabilities. Limited Run Games seems to have thought of that too though since there’s a Factory Default option, should the need arise.
Arcade Experience at Home
Whether the SEGA Astro City Mini V has classic games you want to try or a favorite you’ve been wanting to revisit, it’s a high-quality product with all the right clicky feelings on the buttons. I hope we continue to see hardware releases from Limited Run Games. The company seems to be good at getting licensing locked down and I can only imagine what a Game Boy Classic could look like if Nintendo and LRG ever partnered up.
The SEGA Astro City Mini V is meant for collectors that love to game. And it’s the perfect device for those looking, as long as the games are of interest to you. Let’s be honest though. You know this would look good on your shelf, in or out of the box. All you need to do is play a few hours of games to justify the cost. And for that, we recommend Fire Shark solo and/or Desert Breaker with a friend. Seriously. Re-release Desert Breaker on Nintendo Switch next, Limited Run Games <3
Disclaimer: One PR Studio provided the sample used for this review.
8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the gamer community of the San Francisco Bay Area.
SEGA Astro City Mini V
- High-quality build that should last over the years.
- Good selection of games without any kind of compromise.
- Very attractive price for the quality and included titles.
- Full TV and controller support
- You do need to provide your own power cable adapter but a cable is provided.