Arcades are dead, but that isn’t stopping thousands dozens of people around the world from attempting to recreate the nostalgia for BO-infused sweat-boxes in their own homes. The following homemade cabinets range from the weird to the weirder. They may be set to “free play” or feature new games but these out-there homemade creations will make any arcade rat worth their tokens yearn for track balls, joysticks, and over-sized buttons.
Merging two distinctly old-school styles, this Nintendo-centric table-top cabinet recreates the timeless look of the NES controller with arcade sensibilities. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of stomping goombas while cooking mushrooms.
Dr. Frankenstein’s Steampunk Cabinet
It’s alive! This Frankenstein-inspired monster sports an incredible amount of detail, from the glowing neon portholes featuring the titular monster to the Victorian-style motif. Unfortunately the owner probably has to worry about neighbors armed with pitchforks and torches trying to bust down his door to give this cabinet a shot.
Sega Dreamcast Cabinet
At least one person is still angry that Sega dropped out of the hardware business. His name is Tjerk Otten, and to celebrate the dead-before-its-time Sega Dreamcast he built this sleek cabinet. It’s missing a second set of controls, but at least he doesn’t have to struggle playing Capcom Vs. SNK with the gimped Dreamcast controller’s d-pad.
With the ridiculous amount of buttons on this jutting cabinet it’s hard to imagine playing anything, except maybe Pac-Man. And what’s with the track ball off to the side? That’s like putting a joystick by the quarter slots.
Guitar Hero Cabinet
An arcade cabinet in look only, this authentic amplifier casing (complete with wheels!) means that even if the volume isn’t at 11 you’re still rocking out.
Yes, that’s a fully-modeled Mother Brain floating inside this work of retro art. The detail on this cabinet is amazing with numerous cool touches — note the Chozo statue “holding” the track ball. It even has slots for NES, SNES, and N64 controllers.
Arcade Odyssey LED Cabinet
Ever wondered if you could set a high score in Donkey Kong while a bunch of LEDs were flashing all around you? Or if you could fight Juggernaut in Marvel vs. Capcom while suffering from a seizure? Robert Downey did, and this was the result: the Arcade Odyssey cabinet.
We mentioned this last month but feel it bears repeating. Garnet Hertz’s plan is to attach the OutRun cabinet onto a go-kart and program software that would allow the screen to display the real-world in 8-bit, essentially allowing you to drive around and (hopefully) not crash. Sadly, you won’t actually be able to outrun much.
Grateful Dead Cabinet
This hippie homage to both The Dead and arcades features some great art, and the glowing trackball in the skull is a nice touch. Unsurprisingly it’s rigged so if you push in the quarter slot a dime bag falls out.
La Boite Cabinet
“La Boite” is French for “Awesome Robot Cabinet.” Well, it should be. The distinct construction makes it the Amityville house of cabinets, but without the murder and ghosts. Only 30 of these were made apparently. And yes, it isn’t technically an arcade machine but its ability to connect to a gaming console nets “La Boite” a spot. If you can read French, check out the official site.
Justin Massoud thinks way too much about video games. He also writes for GameSpy.com and Asylum.com.