With the World’s Smallest line of toys, it isn’t just items from the 1970s-1990s getting shrunk. The line also includes an array of video game inspired items. Two of the most recent additions in 2021 are the Boardwalk Arcade DDR cabinet and Tiny Arcade Arcade Atari 2600. Both are designed to look like the cabinet and console with retro TV. They’re playable, but also likely decorations. The thing is while the Tiny Arcade Atari 2600 honestly works pretty well for what it is, the DDR cabinet is disappointing.
To the tiny Boardwalk Arcade Dance Dance Revolution machine’s credit, it does call back to the DDR 1stMix days.There are the fake speakers on the front. The dance pad buttons light up as they are pressed. There’s the bad at the back people might cling to for complicated moves. The sounds are authentic, as are the lights. It features the same difficulty levels as the original. (These are Basic, Another, and Maniac.) So from the outset, the look and vibe are accurate. You also get three songs pulled from that cabinet. They are N.M.R.’s “Keep on Movin’,” mitsuu-O!’s “Make it Better,” and 180’s “Paranoia.”
In execution, however, there are flaws. For starters, the buttons on the dance pad are difficult to press. They stick a bit, which can result in missed beats. I also noticed issues when attempting to press two buttons at once. The lights would flash for both at the same time. I’d hear the click that came with a push. However, I’d get a “miss” because one wouldn’t register. Basic is doable, but I wouldn’t trust it for Another or Maniac. It is also difficult to read the UI. Not because of the size of the screen. Rather because the highlight when you select a song makes it impossible to see its title. The scoreboard function is useless as well. If you turn the machine off, it resets your high scores for the three tracks.
What I did find is that it is a perfect size for figures. Specifically, it is the right dimensions for a Nendoroid or Nendoroid Doll. (The Nendoroid Doll seems a bit better fit.) For posing purposes, getting a photo with the game in motion would be a bit too challenging.But it could be fun prop for scenes at the right price.
As for the Tiny Arcade Atari 2600, it is also a perfect sort of figure prop. While I’d also recommend Nendoroid-sized figures, the size of the system and joystick mean a figma-size figure could also be an appropriate partner. It’s also more forgiving for posing purposes. You could fairly easily snap a picture while one of the games appears on the small television screen. Which could lead to some interesting scenes if you have the right sort of set up.
But in this case, and this suggestion might be wild, I’d honestly recommend playing it? It is small, but the nature of the nine included games and quality of the screen make it surprisingly easy to use. Even a game like Missile Command, where you have the small indicator letting you see where you’re firing, is playable. The ability to angle the screen makes it easier to get it into a proper position. And while it isn’t as comfortable as playing on a real Atari 2600, the fact that the joystick is a bit bigger helps. However, it does list “Breakout” as “Breakouts” in the game list.
The included games in this collection are as follows:
- Missile Command
I’d say I had the most issues playing Centipede, Millipede, and Tempest. Keep in mind this was due to its size, rather than technical issues. Asteroids, Breakout, and Pong were the most enjoyable renditions. Pac-Man is fine, but this isn’t an ideal way to play it. It is clear enough, but you need the precision that comes from a better controller to really clear those boards. Still, it’s nifty.
As long as you treat both the Boardwalk Arcade Dance Dance Revolution and Tiny Arcade Atari 2600 as novelties or potential figure photo op props, you’ll be satisfied. They’re the sort of thing you get to display, primarily. Maybe you miss around and play one or both to be silly. But keep in mind that the Tiny Arcade Atari 2600 is the better executed of the two. It’s genuinely playable. While the DDR cabinet looks cool enough, it isn’t as much fun.