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These Handheld Digital Games Will Bring You Way, Way Back to the Future

Relive your pocket-full-of-quarters days with classic handheld arcade games and computer-lab favorites.

Graham Steinberg

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These days we’re reminiscing about a simpler time — a time of stale popcorn, stacks of quarters, and greasy Atari joysticks. Let’s relive the arcade days with these handheld games!

1. Basic Fun Carmen Sandiego Handheld Game

Where in the world is she?! Indisputably the hottest game at my middle school computer lab, Carmen Sandiego is back in handheld form with all her classic missions ready to be replayed by the next generation (and probably some parents too).

2. TMNT Pinball

Everybody’s favorite nonsensical cartoon creatures, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, are back in a big way. We’ve crushed a fully functional pinball machine into the palm of your hand. Take it with you on the plane, on the train, or while battling criminals in the sewers of New York.

3. Basic Fun Mini Arcade Games Frogger

Teach your kids why they should always use the crosswalk as they try to navigate Frogger across a freeway that would give Los Angeles a run for its money. This arcade classic has the look, sound, and feel of the game you remember from your childhood.

4. MicroArcade Tetris

We’re just going to keep going smaller and smaller. This old-fashioned Tetris game is the size of a credit card but packed with loads of sound effects, bright colors, and all the controls you need.

5. Tiger Electronics Little Mermaid Edition

Tiger Electronics Little Mermaid Edition

Tiger Electronics

Inspired by the original Tiger games from the 1990s, these great handhelds are brought back to life. Help Ariel pick up the possessions she needs to become human while dodging Ursula the evil sea witch!

6. Tiger Electronics Transformers Edition

The next Tiger game brings us into the battle of the millenia, between the Autobots and Decepticons. Help Optimus Prime through four stages of gameplay as he stops Starscream from creating total destruction.

7. Tiger Electronics X-Men Edition

We love these handheld arcade games so much, here’s a third option! This one will have you playing as beloved X-Men team member Cyclops as he fights Juggernaut and Apocalypse.

8. Tiger Electronics Sonic Edition

Our final classic handheld arcade game will have you playing as the speedster Sonic through six jampacked stages of gameplay as he battles Dr. Eggman.

9. Speak & Spell

Your favorite robot synthesizer is back! Help your early readers and writers learn how to spell over 200 words using a variety of games in this classic from the 1970s.

10. Oregon Trail Handheld Game

And now for my personal favorite… Choose a profession, stock up on supplies, and set off on the Oregon Trail in one of the most popular computer games of all time, revived in handheld form. While we’re all stuck hanging around inside, this is the perfect way to see the great outdoors for kids and adults alike. Don’t forget to watch out for that pesky dysentery!