This purchase happened for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, my son wanted this Pac-Man cabinet for Christmas. Second, and top secret, James and I needed this puppy for our very first episode of the upcoming web series. I’m a regular guy, this is an honest review, and I’m going to give it to you straight.
The build time. The build time for this clocked in at approximately 1 hour. It would have been 45 minutes but I encountered 2 minor problems. First, a set of pre-cut holes were off and I had to improvise, meaning I had to drill my own set of holes. Second, even though the cabinet comes with a small bag of “extra” hardware, I was still missing one of the large screws that hold the control panel down, so I spent a few minutes digging through my own toolboxes to find a similar screw. All in all the build was fairly simple to do.
The quality. This is not exactly the same quality as an arcade cabinet from the local arcade, but at $299.00, I wasn’t expecting it to be. There are some flimsy spots (namely the back of the arcade) but these exists for visual purposes only. Most of the cabinet is sturdier than I had hoped and I believe it will hold up well over time. The monitor and control panel were both on par with what I was expecting. The sound on this cabinet is spectacular and the only problem I’ve encountered is slight fading on the control panel.
The Service. I’m not giving Arcade1Up a free pass here, but they are a new company. This is the best Pac-Man emulation available, it’s a quality product for $299, but I’ve also heard some out-of-the-box horror stories. After requesting a control panel protector (it’s free), I was informed that there is a 30-day waiting period. I assume this is either because they are seriously swamped as a new company or because they want the consumer out of retailer return warranty to ensure the sale. Either way, even for a new company, the wait time is ridiculous. Broken monitor? It’ll be a month. Power issues? You’re waiting a while, my friend. My advice: if anything beyond a missing screw is discovered return this thing to the retail store immediately and get a refund. Doing so forces a company to either get their act together or cease to exist.
The Verdict. I don’t regret the purchase but I sympathize with those whom I see on social media begging for a response from Arcade1Up’s customer service department. It’s too big of a purchase to essentially play Russian Roulette and hope that you get a good one. Luckily we did, but when you’re throwing down $300 at once, luck should have very little to do with it.
I’d score this a 7 out of 10 and wish you the best of luck. Like Russian Roulette, 5 buyers will get the thrill of a lifetime while the 6th buyer will essentially end up with a dead-on-arrival product and a customer service department that appears to be just as dead.