Hello! Are you ready to get much more for your investment in video games? Then start thinking about the latest trend: multiple arcade games in one cabinet, generically known as a multicade.
That’s right. Now, you can have several, not just one, classic games in a video game cabinet.
Instead of just, say, Ms Pac-Man in one Ms Pac-Man game cabinet, now you can have Ms Pac-Man, plus Galaga, Frogger, Donkey Kong and dozens of other classics all in one cabinet.
There are many possibilities for multiple games available in the market. Here is a brief description of some of the most common:
1. Multicade. The original Multicade system consists of a computer and game discs. However, the manufacturer is no longer in business. But, the system still exists, and there may be a new company that has taken over the brand.
Name multicade it is now commonly used to describe almost all multi-game setups.
2.Ultracade. Ultracade is another multi-game platform that features various classic arcade games emulated on PC hardware running a proprietary operating system and emulation code. The company is no longer in business. And the name ultracade it is also sometimes used generically.
3. Arcade Classics 60 in 1. This is a JAMMA printed circuit board (PCB) featuring 60 classic arcade video games.
4. Capcom 18 in 1. Are you a fan of head to head fights? Then check out Capcom’s multicade.
5. Choice of game 10. The Nintendo PlayChoice 10 system can be upgraded to play dozens of classic games.
6. Neo Geo. SNK’s NeoGeo Multi-Video System (MVS) is a widely available cartridge-based multi-game system. They are celebrating their 20th anniversary.
7. 1940-in-1 Multigame JAMMA System family of games. Yes, that’s right: 1940 games and many of the best too. it’s a monster
8. MOM. The MAME (multiple arcade machine emulator) is a computer system capable of emulating practically all arcade video games. This multi-chain setup is usually done only by very dedicated hobbyists.
9. Williams Classics. Several of Williams’ classic games (Joust, Defender, Stargate) are available in a dedicated cabinet.
10. Meeting of Ms. Pac-Man Galaga. This is a great dedicated game featuring two great classics. The game’s PCB (Printed Circuit Board) can be installed in any cabinet, including a Ms Pac-Man cabinet or a Galaga.
11. Multiple JAMMA PCBs. It is possible to install multiple JAMMA gaming PCBs in one case and switch between them.
12. Modified Ms. Pac-Man. It is possible to modify a Ms Pac-Man PCB to be able to play Pac-Man as well, and in the fast or slow version of both.
13. Galaga Switch Ms. Pac-Man. It is possible to add any of the game PCBs to the other game cabinet and be able to switch between the two.
These are some of the most common solutions for multiple games, but there are many others.
An important distinction between cabinets:
There is an important distinction to understand about arcade game cabinets.
Classic games like Ms Pac-Man and Galaga are played using a vertically mounted monitor. While there are some classics like Joust, almost all modern fighting games like Street Fighter use a horizontally mounted monitor.
More importantly, game types are not immediately interchangeable between cabinet types. It is possible, for example, to modify a horizontal cabinet to accept a vertical-mount monitor, but the reverse is usually not possible. This is because the cabinets for the two types of monitors are built differently. The horizontal cabinet will be a few inches wider than the vertical cabinet.
The point is that the style (horizontal or vertical) of a cabinet matters – some will work for a classic multi-cade upgrade and some won’t.
My favorite multi-game solution: the classic 60-in-1 multichain:
Today, the most nostalgic multicade experience is achieved with the JAMMA 60-in-1 PCB.
It is possible to take any vertical mount monitor cabinet (Ms Pac-Man, Galaga, etc.) and install hardware that will allow you to play 60 great classic games on one cabinet (see exceptions below).
And, since the game would be a standard install of JAMMA, the hardware is easily repairable and will be around for a long time. Also, a JAMMA enclosure is versatile in that it can accept many of the other 100+ JAMMA gaming PCBs.
Here are the classic arcade video games 60 in 1:
- Ms. Pac-Man
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Junior
- donkey kong 3
- Mr. Do
- space invaders
- cap man
- Galaga 3
- tank battalion
- burger time
- J.R. Pacman
- time pilot
- Super Cobra***
- space panic***
- super break**
- New Rally X
- Juno first
- Mr. Do’s Castle
- moon crest
- pinball action
- super pacman
- The path of Shao-Lin***
- king and balloon
- Van-Van Car
- Pac Man More
- dig dug 2
- Smoke gun***3 buttons
- The end
- 1943 Kai****
- congo bongo
- Ms. Pac-Man (quick mode)
- Pac-Man (fast mode)
- Galaga (rapid fire mode)
- Jr. Pac-Man (quick mode)
- Pac-Man Plus (quick mode)
**Indicates a game that requires a trackball to play (numbers 17, 23, 29, and 31). Whether or not to install a trackball would be determined by the size and configuration of the control panel.
Therefore, the 4 games that require a trackball may not be feasible for some types of cabinets with smaller control panels.
However, all 4 games can still be played with the joystick. Although the game is not the same as with a trackball, many people learned how to play Centipede, for example, with a joystick.
If the control panel allows it, a trackball can be installed.
***Indicates a game that requires 2 (or more) buttons to play, for example a fire button and a jump button. However, most classic games only require 1 button, like a Galaga with only one fire button.
Therefore, the approximately 8 games that require the installation of additional buttons (7 require 2 buttons and 1 requires 3 buttons) will also be determined by the size of the control panel.
When the size of the control panel allows it (and it usually does), the installation of up to 2 buttons (fire and jump) is usually standard.
****Indicates a game (there are 2) that requires 2 sets of player controls to allow simultaneous play by two players. There is usually no room on a classic game’s control pad for comfortable gameplay with two sets of controls (2 joysticks with two buttons each).
One set of controls is usually standard, since most of the classics are played with two players taking turns. If two sets of controls were desired and possible, they could be added. But that would probably prevent the addition of a trackball.
Any of the 60 games can be turned off individually, so they don’t show up on screen in menu selection. Which means, for example, that it could feature only the three games with left-right controller action: Galaga, Galaxian, and Space Invaders.
Use the information in this article to help evaluate the many styles of multicades available. Multichaining may seem complicated, but it’s worth any extra effort. Simply because they are cheap to own, save space, and offer a wide variety of arcade video games.