Wow, when I was researching real working miniatures, I wouldn’t have thought that I would come across these, functioning mini Arcade games!
I knew about, and have been amazed, by real working tiny things for a miniature kitchen, and those were already fascinating, but none seemed to have this amazing technology, where you can actually play games on tiny Arcade machines!
Don’t believe me? Well, you better believe me, because that is exactly what I’m about to show you haha!
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What are Mini Arcade Games and are they suitable for dollhouses?
Real working mini arcade games and mini arcade machines are scaled-down versions of traditional arcade cabinets that are designed to be compact and portable while still offering an authentic arcade gaming experience.
These mini arcade machines typically feature smaller screens, controls, and dimensions, making them suitable for particular dollhouse themes, office desks, or on-the-go gaming. Here are some examples of real working mini arcade games and machines:
My Arcade Micro Player Series:
My Arcade produces a range of mini arcade machines that replicate classic arcade games such as Pac-Man mini Arcade machine, Galaga, Dig Dug, and more. These mini-machines have accurate artwork and controls.
Tiny Arcade Machines:
Companies like Tiny Arcade produce small, hand-held arcade machines that fit in the palm of your hand. These mini-machines come preloaded with classic games and feature tiny buttons and screens.
Mini Retro Arcade Cabinets:
Various companies create mini arcade cabinets featuring licensed games from the past, often in the form of keychains or small collectibles. These can be functional games or purely decorative.
Handheld Retro Gaming Consoles:
While not traditional mini arcade machines, handheld retro gaming consoles like the Nintendo Game Boy and Sega Game Gear offer portable gaming experiences with classic arcade-style games.
These mini arcade machines are popular among collectors, gamers looking for a nostalgic experience, and those who want to enjoy classic arcade games in a compact form factor. They often include a variety of preloaded games and can be a fun addition to a gaming collection or a unique gift for retro gaming enthusiasts.
Mini arcade games and mini arcade machines are not typically used within the traditional dollhouse hobby, but that said, we all know that the dollhouse world is quite diverse 😉
And you as an individual may choose to create a dollhouse scene with a gaming theme, because why not?
I will give you a few ideas below on why this could be interesting for your dollhouse 😉
But first, A little bit of history on these mini Arcade games.
Mini arcade machines and handheld electronic games have been around since the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The concept of creating smaller, portable versions of arcade games and electronic entertainment predates modern technology and has evolved over the years.
One of the earliest and most iconic examples of these mini arcade machines was the “Coleco Tabletop Arcade” series, which was released in the early 1980s. These tabletop arcade machines featured popular arcade games of the time, such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. They were not as small as some of the modern mini arcade machines but were relatively compact and designed for home use.
Beware though, that these aren’t suitable at all for dollhouses, take a look at their size!
Another notable early example is the Nintendo Game & Watch series, which was introduced in 1980. These handheld devices featured simple LCD games and played a significant role in the history of portable gaming.
The concept of mini arcade machines has seen a resurgence in recent years, with companies like My Arcade, Taito, and Tiny Arcade producing miniature arcade cabinets that replicate classic games.
What can you use these tiny Arcade machines for in the dollhouse world?
Here are 4 creative ideas on where to use mini arcade games or machines in a dollhouse scene:
Basement Rec Room (mancave):
Create a dollhouse basement (like a “mancave” haha), or recreation room scene where miniature arcade games and machines are the focal point. You can arrange them with miniature seating, a small bar area, and other game room decor to make it feel like a fun hangout spot for the dollhouse residents.
Game Room Addition:
If your dollhouse has extra space or an addition, turn it into a dedicated game room. Deck it out with miniature arcade cabinets, a pool table, a dartboard, and even a mini jukebox to make it a lively entertainment space.
Retro Diner restaurant:
Transform a room box into a nostalgic retro diner. Use miniature arcade machines as part of the diner’s decor, and perhaps have a miniature waitress doll attending to customers at the tables. This can create a vintage and charming ambiance.
For example, you can check out this video below by Delightfulldolls on how she made a Barbie diner and ad an Arcade game? Wouldn’t that be fun!
Carnival or Arcade Scene:
Set up an outdoor carnival or fair scene around your dollhouse, complete with miniature arcade games and machines. You can have a mini Ferris wheel, a cotton candy stand, and a tented area with arcade games for a lively carnival atmosphere.
Can you imagine the scenery?
Where can I find these mini Arcade Games and Machines?
There are several places where you can find these fun items and I will show you where!
1. Space Invaders Super Impulse Tiny Arcade
Playing Space Invaders in this tiny size is probably a challenge haha!
Some more details:
Number of Players
Item Dimensions (LxWxH)
2 x 1.5 x 3.5 inches
– Offers multi-level gameplay, staying true to the original full-sized arcade game.
– Compact, measuring less than 3 3/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches, making it pocket-sized and portable.
– Equipped with a high-resolution/high-definition color screen for a vivid gaming experience.
– Features full arcade sounds that are accurate to the original game.
The good and the bad :
- Impressive Recreation: One thing I love about the Tiny Arcade game is how accurately it recreates the classic arcade experience. From the levels to the different “fruits” on each level, even the cut screens, it all feels very authentic.
The screen is impressively bright and sharp, and while the resolution could be a tad better, considering its tiny size, it looks great and closely resembles the actual arcade version.
- Appealing Design: The cabinet design is quite colorful and eye-catching. It even makes for a charming conversation piece when the machine is turned off.
I appreciate that it uses three accessible and replaceable AAA batteries, meaning this unit should theoretically last quite a long time with gentle use.
- Surprisingly Playable: Despite its diminutive size, the Tiny Arcade game is genuinely playable!
- Sound Letdown: The Tiny Arcade game doesn’t feature the iconic music or arcade attract mode. Considering its price tag, you would expect a bit more in terms of nostalgia.
- Limited Play Options: It is restricted to just one character, Donatello. Plus, the controls feel quite subpar and take away from the overall gaming experience.
- Reliability Issues: The most frustrating part is how often the game crashes during play. It seems to be rather inconsistent and unreliable for providing any real entertainment or playability. It looks nice as a decorative piece, but don’t expect it to keep you entertained for long.
- Storage Limitation: One drawback is that high scores aren’t stored after you turn off the game, which can be a letdown if you enjoy chasing high scores.
Check out the price and more details here.
2. GRS Build-A-CADE- an Arcade Cabinet kit
The next tiny Arcade game is one that needs to be assembled for the DIY crowd, and comes with a manual.
Take a closer look at the specifications:
( For those who don’t know what a Raspberry Pi is = a Raspberry Pi is a small, affordable, and versatile single-board computer that can be used for various purposes, including programming, DIY projects, and as a media center. It is popular for its compact size and low cost, making it accessible to hobbyists, educators, and enthusiasts).
Raspberry Pi 3 or 4 (Raspberry Pi Board not included)
Ease of Assembly
Easy assembly with precise molds and high-quality materials. Includes a detailed instruction manual for straightforward assembly.
4.3-inch vertical IPS screen for an enhanced gaming experience. Supports HDMI interface output for larger screen gameplay.
Offers a variety of controller accessories, allowing customization to suit different game types.
Comes with a large-capacity battery, eliminating the need for an additional power supply for your Raspberry Pi.
Item Dimensions (LxWxH)
6.02 x 4.22 x 11.02 inches
The good and the bad :
- Unique and Well-Designed: Reviewers find the GRS Build-A-CADE kit to be one of the most unique and well-designed Raspberry Pi kits available. It stands out as a centerpiece in collections of miniaturized arcade games.
- Quality Controls: The joystick and buttons are praised for feeling great to use. The joystick, in particular, is appreciated for its metal construction.
- Easy Assembly: While the assembly is generally easy, there’s a tricky step where you need to align everything without screws or clips, which can be challenging.
- Authentic Early ’80s Feel: The kit is designed to replicate early ’80s arcade cabinets closely. It may not be ergonomically suited for everyone due to its authentic design.
- Quality Parts and Instructions: The kit includes quality parts and comes with detailed instructions, making assembly straightforward.
- Customization: It offers the ability to customize decals and provides optional additional control kits.
- Bright Screen and Sound: The kit features a gorgeous, bright, and sharp screen, and the sound quality is decent. It also has a volume knob and a headphone port.
- Limited Control Swapping: While the option to buy additional controls is available, swapping them out isn’t designed to be an easy process.
- Single-Button Control Deck: The included control deck has only one action button, which can be limiting for games that require more actions. Remapping is often necessary.
- Weight Distribution: Some users find that the kit could be heavier in the base to provide better stability due to the top-heavy design.
- Battery Life: The battery life is considered just okay, meaning it may require frequent recharging.
3. Ms. Pac-Man Micro Player Pro – Mini Arcade Machine
A Pacman mini Arcade machine is a necessity in these vintage games, wouldn’t you agree?
My Arcade Ms. Pac-Man Micro Player Pro
Number of Players
Item Dimensions (LxWxH)
4 x 4.5 x 6.8 inches
– High-resolution 2.75″ full-color vertical display.
– Artwork inspired by the original Ms. PAC-MAN arcade cabinet.
– Powered by either 4 AA batteries (not included) or a USB-C cable (not included).
– Built-in speaker with volume control.
– 3.5 mm headphone port for headphone connection.
Perfect for any miniature-game room
Let’s take a closer look at the possible pros and cons of this tiny arcade machine, shall we?
The good and the bad :
- High-Resolution Display: The product features a high-resolution 2.75″ full-color vertical display, which can provide a sharp and clear gaming experience.
- Artwork Inspired by Original Cabinet: The inclusion of artwork inspired by the original Ms. PAC-MAN arcade cabinet can enhance the nostalgic appeal of the product.
- Dual Power Options: The device can be powered by either 4 AA batteries or a USB-C cable, offering flexibility in how it is used.
- Built-In Speaker and Headphone Port: It comes with a built-in speaker with volume control and a 3.5 mm headphone port, providing options for audio output.
- Improved Features: The new version of this product comes with a vertical screen and arcade ROMs, making it more enjoyable for gaming enthusiasts.
- Battery Dependency: Depending on battery power could lead to ongoing expenses for replacing batteries, which may be a consideration for some users.
- Limited Multiplayer: With a single-player capability, it may not be ideal for those looking for multiplayer gaming experiences.
- Accessories Not Included: Some necessary accessories, such as AA batteries and a USB-C cable, are not included and would need to be purchased separately.
- Packaging Concerns: There have been reports of packaging issues, with some users receiving damaged packages that affected the handheld game.
4. Taito Egret II Mini Arcade machine
A top product among these tiny Arcade games surely is this one by ININ.
The reasons why this is the best one in the class, will be explained below.
Taito Egret II Mini – Limited Blue Edition
Number of Players
Item Dimensions (LxWxH)
5.9 x 7.8 x 8.2 inches
Approximately 1:6 Scale
TV Plug & Play
– A total of 40 pre-installed games, including classics like Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, Lunar Rescue, Darius Gaiden, and more.
– Features a 5-inch 4:3 rotating monitor with 1024×768 resolution, allowing for horizontal and vertical game alignment.
– Play on the console or connect to your TV via HDMI (2m cable included).
– SD card slot for adding additional games.
– Stereo speakers and two USB Type-A controller ports for optional EGRET II mini controllers.
– Special in-game features such as save states, adjustable lives, and rapid-fire.
The Limited Blue Edition is strictly limited to 5,000 pieces worldwide.
The good and the bad :
- Extensive Game Library: The product comes with a total of 40 pre-installed classic Taito games, offering a wide variety of gaming experiences. Reviewers spent a significant amount of time exploring these games.
- Versatile Display: Featuring a 5-inch 4:3 rotating monitor with adjustable resolution, it allows for both horizontal and vertical game alignment, optimizing gameplay for various titles. Reviewers found this rotating screen to be a unique and valuable feature.
- TV Connectivity: Users can play games on the console itself or connect it to their TV via HDMI (2m cable included), providing a larger display for an immersive experience.
- Expandable Game Library: The inclusion of an SD card slot enables users to add even more games to their collection, enhancing replayability.
- Controller Compatibility: The console supports two USB Type-A controller ports for optional EGRET II mini controllers, offering a more authentic arcade gaming experience. Reviewers found the controls to be responsive, and they appreciated the rapid-fire control.
- Build Quality: The product is described as feeling well-made, compact, and not cheap. Reviewers believe it seems durable and suitable for transporting to friends’ houses.
- Unique Features: Reviewers appreciated features like the rotating screen, which enhanced the gameplay experience for certain titles like Rayforce.
- Fast Boot-Up: The console boots up quickly after connecting to a computer or television.
- Power Brick Not Included: The console requires a semi-special power brick, which is not included. Users may need to purchase this separately.
- Built-In Speaker Quality: Reviewers noted that the built-in speakers are on the weaker side in terms of audio quality.
- Game Library Selection: While there are many great games included, some reviewers felt that, for the asking price, there might not be enough standout titles, especially considering the inclusion of early 80s games that may not have as much replay value.
- Preference for Different Game Eras: Some reviewers expressed a preference for the late 80s and 90s Taito games and more shooters to take full advantage of the rotating screen.
- Limited Game Expansion: While there is an SD card slot for game expansion, reviewers mentioned that the availability and pricing of additional games may not be favorable.
- Price Consideration: The price of the product is quite steep, especially in consideration of the number of games that some users may not find appealing.
5. Tiny Arcade Boardwalk Arcade Dance Dance Revolution
A rather peculiar “dancing” game with your fingers! (I think I might prefer the real thing, to be honest)
Tiny Arcade Boardwalk Arcade Dance Dance Revolution, Red, Miniature
3.5 x 5 x 6.5 inches
Approximately 1:8 scale (estimated based on dimensions)
Ages 8 and up
Play by following prompts on the screen with “dancing” fingers
Hi-res LCD screen with full-color graphics and neon lights
Three levels of difficulty and three original songs: Keep on Movin’ by N.M.R., Make it Better by mitsu-O!, and PARANOIA by 180
The good and the bad :
- Nostalgic Gaming: Revives the worldwide arcade game phenomenon from 1998, offering a nostalgic gaming experience for fans of Dance Dance Revolution (DDR).
- Compact Design: Measuring only 3.5 x 5 x 6.5 inches, it’s a compact and portable miniature arcade machine, making it easy to place anywhere.
- Original Arcade Gameplay: Features original arcade gameplay, allowing players to experience the excitement of DDR in a smaller form factor.
- Dance Interaction: Provides a unique “dancing” interaction as players follow prompts on the screen, mimicking dance moves with their fingers.
- Hi-Res LCD Screen: The high-resolution LCD screen is complete with full-color graphics and neon lights, enhancing the visual appeal and gaming experience.
- Difficulty Levels: Offers three levels of difficulty, accommodating players of varying skill levels, from beginners to experts.
- Original Songs: Includes three original songs: “Keep on Movin’ by N.M.R.,” “Make it Better by mitsu-O!,” and “PARANOIA by 180,” adding variety to the gameplay.
- Multiplayer Fun: Provides an opportunity for friendly competition, challenging friends to see who can remember and complete the iconic dance moves.
- Age-Appropriate: Recommended for ages 8 and up, making it suitable for a wide range of players, including children and adults.
- Battery-Powered: Comes with batteries included, ensuring immediate gameplay enjoyment.
- Limited Game Selection: While it offers original DDR gameplay, the miniature arcade may have a limited selection of songs and content compared to full-sized DDR machines.
- External Accessories: Additional accessories, such as the Thumby Link cable, may be required for certain multiplayer modes, incurring extra costs.
- Solo Play: Some players may find solo dance gameplay less engaging than the traditional DDR setup with a larger dance pad.
- Limited Age Range: While suitable for players aged 8 and up, it may not cater to very young children or older adults who may have different gaming preferences.
- Niche Appeal: The game’s appeal is primarily targeted at DDR fans, limiting its audience to those familiar with the game’s mechanics.
- Functional Issue: Some users have reported issues with song selection or gameplay functionality, which may affect the overall experience.
Something extra cute! A tiny Game Console on a Keychain!
Ok, not really a tiny arcade machine, I admit, but who can resist this cute little Game Console that you can have on a keychain? A little shoutout!
Introducing the TinyCircuits Thumby, the cutest and most adorable electronic miniature that’s not just fun, but also a fantastic STEM learning tool!
Imagine holding a tiny game console in your hand, no bigger than a keychain charm. Thanks to the support of over 6,000 Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers, the Thumby has become a reality!
What’s inside this little wonder? Well, it’s preloaded with 5 retro games, perfect for triggering some nostalgic moments. And yes, it’s not just for show – Thumby has 6 functioning buttons that you can fidget with for hours of entertainment.
But here’s the fun part: You can dive into solo gaming adventures or challenge your friends with the Thumby Link cable (available separately). It’s all about gaming on the go!
Thumby is not just about playing games; it’s a creative canvas too. You can upload your own drawings and videos to personalize your tiny gadget. Plus, the gaming library is ever-expanding, so there’s no shortage of entertainment.
Who’s it suitable for, you ask? Well, everyone! It’s a perfect electronic miniature for kids and adults alike. Whether it’s for a gift basket goodie, a family holiday present, a thoughtful friendship gift, or even to place in your dollhouses’ Barbie game room, Thumby is the way to go.
No review for this one, I just wanted to mention it in my enthusiasm haha!
My Final Conclusion
I hope that you enjoyed this blog post on mini Arcade games and that you can find one to use in your dollhouse.
If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to ask them in the comment section below or join me on my social media channels below or my cozy Facebook group.
I wish you happy crafting!
My name is Lizzy, and I am an amateur miniaturist obsessed with everything in the dollhouse and miniature world, ever since I was a teenager.
I love to write as well about all things happening in the miniature world, hence the reason why I created this blog!
I wish you happy reading and crafting!