I’ve played with a lot of mini arcade machines, but none as impressive as New Wave Toys’ RepliCade X Dragon’s Lair. The incredibly detailed 1/6 scale cabinet features an authentic scoreboard, a miniature laserdisc player, and a lovely 4.2-inch screen displaying a video game that looks like a Don Bluth cartoon.
Most of the arcade machines I own, both mini and full-size, play games that were built with pixels and/or vectors. The $120 RepliCade X Dragon’s Lair, officially licensed by Digital Leisure, runs a reasonable facsimile of the laserdisc sensation that swept arcades in 1983. Turn the 12-inch-tall cabinet on and it starts playing that same dramatic intro that rang out over the bleeps and bloops of ‘80s arcades. My nine-year-old son Archer, unfamiliar with Dragon’s Lair but an aficionado of retro games, thought the cartoon was an ad before the game. “No, the cartoon is the game,” I told him. Now he loves it. He takes the arcade machine with him on long car rides.
I probably shouldn’t let the nine-year-old play with the high-end adult collectible. This mini-cabinet is definitely a collector’s item. Not only is it crafted from wood, metal, and plastic and painstakingly detailed, with a die-cast metal coin door and illuminated marquee, it also comes with a replica operator’s manual, little coins, and a tiny laserdisc player that slips into a drawer in back of the unit.
The laserdisc player has a tiny remote. The laserdisc comes in its own little sleeve. How much fun is that?
The whole unit runs off USB power and holds a charge long enough for my child to annoy everyone in the car during an hour-long ride.
Oh yes, and the game plays quite well. The screen flashes, I move the joystick in the wrong direction, Dirk the Daring dies horribly, repeat. It sounds great for such a small box. It’s definitely Dragon’s Lair, a gorgeous game that’s incredibly easy once you know how to play.
I’m very impressed by the RepliCade X Dragon’s Lair cabinet. It’s an astounding little tribute to one of arcade gaming’s greatest. Check out the official website for more on this dragon-slaying dream machine.
(Updated 3/3/22 with new details)