Game Room Reviews

AuthorReview
xxW0LFxx TFD
170,268 (117,469)
xxW0LFxx TFD
TA Score for this game: 660
Posted on 28 March 10 at 12:29
This review has 58 positive votes and 16 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Ok, so this is not a review as such, it’s hard to review something like Games Room due to the fact it’s a virtual world filled with retro games.

View this more as thoughts on it and it’s games so far.

Games Room is a free download in the Games On Demand section, along with a further 2 game packs for download in the game add-ons section (both are free)
However once you get into your own private little world your going to have to get the wallet/purse out and start spending.
The idea is simple enough, Games Room is a virtual area that you can fill with retro games like Millipede, Red Baron and more.
These actually come in the form of cabinets that you can place around your virtual Arcade where you and your friends can then view them and of course, play them.

This virtual Arcade is a bright and cheerful place, made up of seperate “rooms” which you can furnish with themes, props and, of course, game cabinets.
As you get game cabinets your friends Avatars will pop round and you can watch them playing your games and doing the odd dance.
Sadly you cannot actually take control of your Avatar and walk around which I feel is a missed opportunity, instead you just switch between rooms with a flick of the stick.

Ah but a saving grace is the ability to go check out your friends Arcade, with just a few button push’s you can go into their Arcade and check out there games and redeem Tokens to get free plays on games.
To further inhance the experiance you can also challenge your friends to beat your high score’s on games along with the option to send a Taunt to them as well.

Games Room also has a levelling system, oddly.
As you earn medals, which you gain for beating high scores etc, you Level up allowing you to unlock new themes,props and more.
It does seem to take a good bit of effort to level up though and your going to have to buy a few games just to get to level one.

Of course it’s the game that are the main focus and on release Games Room has an initial roster of 30 games:

Centipede (arcade)
Asteroids Deluxe (arcade)
Tempest (arcade)
Crystal Castles (arcade)
Lunar Lander (arcade)
Jungler (arcade)
Road Fighter (arcade)
Scramble (arcade)
Finalizer (arcade)
Tutankham (arcade)
Shao-Lin’s Road (arcade)
Super Cobra (arcade)
Red Baron (arcade)
Gravitar (arcade)
Battlantlis
Astrosmash (Intellivision)
Mountain Madness Super Pro Skiing (Intellivision)
Armor Battle (Intellivision)
Space Hawk (Intellivision)
Sub Hunt (Intellivision)
Sea Battle (Intellivision)
Space Armada (Intellivision)
Astrosmash (Intellivision)
Star Raiders (Atari 2600)
Outlaw (Atari 2600)
Yar’s Revenge (Atari 2600)
Millipede (Atari 2600)
Football (Atari 2600)
RealSports Tennis (Atari 2600)
Combat (Atari 2600)

It’s a hit and miss mix of titles but does have some standout games like Red Baron, Shao-lin’s Road and a few others.

The first time you select a game you get an intial free demo that last’s ten minutes, you get this on each game.
However you only get this FREE demo once for each game, after the first time you will have to pay 40 MS points to have a single session on it.
Happily the initial demo is normally enough to tell if you wan’t the game or not.
If you do wan’t it then you have 2 choice’s:

pay 400 MS points: this buys the game for BOTH Xbox 360 & PC.
Pay 240 MS points to get the game for the Xbox 360.

I do feel that 240 points is a little over-priced for some of the games.

Game’s Room is a mixed bag, for those who have never even had a vague desire to go play the old-school games then you won’t find me to entertain you here.
But for those who love retro or just wan’t to have a look back at the origins of gaming then it’s a treat, though an expensive one.

To get people interested it would of been nice to provide each person with 1 or 2 free games just to get them going.
If you have a small friends list them some of the features will be left unused which is shame.

You can also unlock up to 1000 Gamerscore which is a nice touch.

For me Game’s Room is a good diversion, something to spend a quick half hour on if I don’t know what to play or if I just feel nostalgic.


Taken from my site www.wolfsgamingblog.com
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sincespacies
87,420 (62,760)
sincespacies
TA Score for this game: 640
Posted on 19 April 10 at 13:05
This review has 36 positive votes and 8 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
OK. We've all seen retro compilation before. But none from Microsoft. There's a reason for that. They're still the new kids on the block and have no REAL history yet. But they are here attempting to provide a venue for third party companies to unload some old prehistoric titles with newly attached mechanisms such as "challenges" and "medals" to spark new life into these crusty old ROMs. Now I'm a big retro gamer from way back. I do miss the smell and sounds of the suburban arcades. But there's something about this Game Room title that urks me. Microsoft have (in true form to Micro$oft) gone about a great idea all wrong.

But before I rip it apart I'll give ya a run down on what Game Room offers. Game Room is a Xbox 360 or Game for Windows title that allows you to decorate a three story Arcade joint with themed rooms for your virtual game cabinets. You'll see peoples Avatars walking about, playing games and pulling all sorts of faces but... they are just randoms. Not based on any activity actually taking place. You get to unlock items to decorate your arcade with and you can buy (yes BUY with MS points) mascots to run about your place with.

Now the cool thing here is that all the games have a virtual cabinet that looks exactly like the original thing. Each game has medals to earn for either Points Earned, Time Lasted or Total Time played. You can send challenges to friends but... THEY MUST ALSO OWN THAT GAME. Lame. Here's the thing. You download the Game Room title. You download the Game Packs (currently #1 and #2) but... YOU GET ZERO GAMES! You must fork out if you wanna decorate your Arcade with an Arcade Game. This is the titles biggest drawback which urgently needs addressing as the gaming world in general are slagging out this title and it's so not fair to the programmers who designed the sweet presentation that is in this new look on a bygone era.

Currently the games are few. 30 in all from the likes of Atari, Intellivision (I own one!) and Konami. But Capcom are soon to launch Final Fight and Microsoft are talking up having a game a day being released when things get into full swing. Remembering that some of these titles belong to companies since shut down it's not hard to remember that Microsoft has to fully gain the IP rights to avoid being sued! But hopefully Sega will release a virtual Mega Drive list of titles along with more gems from Capcom, Vectrex and Activision. This is a case of a great idea poorly executed but can be recitified if Microsoft do the right thing and fix things.

Download it for some free Achievement points but remember games cost:

400 Microsoft Points: buy once and play on both platforms – Xbox 360 and a Windows PC.

240 Microsoft Points: buy to play on anyone platform – either the Xbox 360 or a Windows PC.

40 Microsoft Points: play a single game only once.

Here's a list of the titles available so far:

Adventure
Armor Battle
Asteroids Deluxe
Astrosmash
Centipede
Battlantis
Crystal Castles
Gravitar
Lunar Lander
Red Baron
Combat
Finalizer
Football
Tempest
Jungler
Millipede
Outlaw
Road Fighter
Realsports Tennis
Sea Battle
Scramble
Skiing, Mountain Madness/Super Pro
Space Armada
Space Hawk
Shao-lin’s Road (Kicker)
Star Raiders
Super Cobra
Sub Hunt
Tutankham
Yar’s Revenge

UPDATE: I just realised that this was produced in Australia. Sweet. But if only Microsoft would lighten up on the pricing!
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SaigoStyle
148,624 (85,155)
SaigoStyle
TA Score for this game: 938
Posted on 06 June 10 at 00:44
This review has 28 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Game Room Review

Introduction:

Game Room is the result of the development teams at Krome studios and Microsoft to bring back a blast from the past in the form of ancient arcade, Atari 2600, and Intellivision titles playable on the PC and 360. The premise of “Game Room” is to allow gamers to outfit their own virtual arcade with downloadable (At 240 Microsoft Points) arcade cabinets while offering more custom arcade décor unlocks obtainable by leveling up through playing and earning medals in your purchased titles. The majority of the downloads include 3 types of medals in the typical gold, silver, and bronze variety which include a Point Buster medal for high scores, a Survivalist medal for time spent alive, and a Time Spender medal for the amount of time spent playing a certain title. However, it should be noted that while most titles include the ability to win 3 medal types there are a few titles that only offer the “Time Spender” medal (An excellent spreadsheet has been offered with special thanks to Edward Hyena at http://www.tinyurl.com/GameRoomMedalChart that includes wonderful information on medal conditions and medal types per title). Finally, Microsoft expects Game Room to have a 3 year life with content downloads weekly, offering new titles, themes, and arcade mascots.

Note: It should be noted to those weary of achievement ratios and scores that entering the “Showcase Arcade” from the title screen will forever unlock the “Show Me” achievement eternally brandishing “Game Room” to your played titles. In addition, it should be noted that gamepacks are not free games! These are simply demos of the games you have the option of purchasing outright (240 MSP or 40 MSP per session).

The Good:

• Great Features—Game Room excels with features including leaderboards (Top 20 players per title), the ability to rewind time and change game variables in classic play, the option to send challenges and compete against friends with similar titles, and the chance to visit friends arcades through Xbox live.
• A Blast from the Past—Offering the ability to play forsaken, forgotten, and hard to find titles at the portion of the cost of the original hardware.
• Updates—With a 3 year run of weekly updates in the works, Game Room will eventually have a very extensive library of old school classics.
• Environment and Sound—Game Room truly captures the feel, sound, and flare of the arcade without distracting from the actual gaming experience.

The Bad:

• Everything comes with a Price—Nothing about Game Room is free. You can demo each title once but subsequent plays cost Microsoft points and in order to unlock most of the achievements you MUST purchase titles. (240 Microsoft Points)
• Old and Outdated—Most of the games available for download are older than the gamers who’ll be playing them. Subsequently, graphics, sound, controls, and every other aspect of the titles are as outdated as the games themselves.
• Limited Market—Most of the games in Game Room won’t appeal to anyone aside from those who still glorify in the bygone days of arcades past.
• Achievements—As with everything in Game Room, even achievements come with a price. In order to obtain a complete 1000 Gamerscore you’ll need a minimum of 25 titles, which at 3 dollars a pop will cost you a minimum of $75.
• Fun Factor—The titles offered by Game Room may be appealing to some but most gamers will find the games trivial, frustrating, and generally boring.

Conclusion:


While the idea behind “Game Room” is good in theory, the limitations, general lack of appeal in retro games, the cost of titles and achievements, and overall fun factor, result in a poor gaming experience. Though “Game Room” isn’t without appeal, the irony of paying for achievements or games older than most gamers will undoubtedly be appreciated by only a few.

Saigo Says: Give it a try if you’re curious or retro games appeal to you. The download is free and allows you to demo each game once without cost. However, if you’re worried about achievement ratios or your gamerscore percentages be weary on the options you select as achievements will unlock with the download.

~Saigo Out~

As always if you have any questions or complaints feel free to email me through the site and I will address them accordingly.

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Eskobar M92
539,020 (348,911)
Eskobar M92
TA Score for this game: 6,154
Posted on 27 September 10 at 20:32, Edited on 27 September 10 at 20:59
This review has 19 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Game Room Review:

The design and presentation of the Game Room is very good. You have 3 floors with 4 rooms each floor to place game cabinets or items in. More floors and more achievements are welcomed to happen in the near future. The sound of the arcade is very realistic like if you were in a real-life game room. A nice touch is the leaderboards and replays, you can watch the top 20 players in the world on each game that has a highscore. You can demo every game for 10 minutes before deciding to purchase or not.

Also you can use tokens (you start with 20) to play demo 10 minute games with (costs 5 tokens) and you earn more tokens when people visit your arcade and plays in your arcade. You can also send challenges but your friends must also have that game to compete.

The bad parts in the game room is the steep price of single play and full games, and some games have only one medal instead of 3. Sometimes games lag but this rarely happens. Not too many games, currently there are 44 games but in the future this will extend up to 1000 with 7 coming out each week. The ability to walk around and interact in the game room would have been nice. Or even seeing friends playing in your arcade (when they actually are) instead of random friends walking around.

The prices are:
- 240msp to own a game on xbox 360
- 400msp to own a game on both xbox 360 and pc.
- 40msp for a single play on a game.
- 40msp for a mascot.

The games are mostly from the 80's and most of us wasnt even born at the time these games came out. so a few games from newer consoles, Sega etc would have more young gamers interested (not only for playing for achievements and medals) but for reliving favorite games. I ofcourse speak for us young people here. The older gamers would love to relive these classics in the Game Room like it was back in the day of the 70's and 80's.

The levels and medal system is very nicely made and makes you want to continue playing the games over again to get gold medals.
Most of the gold medals are easy to get (atleast within getting the gold time-spender) a few are more difficult to get.

You can customize many things like items on the ground, wall and roof of each room, as you progress you get rewarded with new items and themes to place around your arcade. Also there is mascots you can have walking around your arcade, you can get them free on release day for the games or buy them seperately for 40msp.

Graphics in the arcade is superb, almost every cabinet is unique with arts and are displayed like the real thing. Graphics in the games is pretty old but if you like retro you know how fun and challenging these games are.
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JoeCool7835
268,946 (173,615)
JoeCool7835
TA Score for this game: 6,154
Posted on 22 March 11 at 02:21
This review has 17 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Now, typically, I avoid reviewing a game that had already been reviewed by a lot of other people. However, I'm making an exception here because of the nature of Game Room.

First of all, I am speaking from the perspective of a guy who had grown up with the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision. Hence, I can give a first-hand comparison between the original renditions and the Game Room versions. Secondly, I am nostalgic enough to find joy in old games. Hell, my mother doesn't find such joy anymore! Now, let the analysis begin!

Okay, just so you know, every positive in Game Room has a negative that ALMOST completely counteracts it. This leads to an experience that is just barely better than average. First, there is the game line-up. With the 14 packs available, there is a good number of true gems for arcade, Atari 2600, and Intellivision. River Raid, Pitfall, Centipede and Gyruss are every bit as fun as I remember. Game Room also provided the means to discover other greats that I missed at the time like Buzz Bombers and Space Duel. However, there is a crap-load of filler that just didn't need to be there. Seriously, why did they include both the arcade AND 2600 versions of Asteroids and Missile Command? Also there are plenty of games that just plain suck. 3D Tic-Tac-Toe? WTF?

Second, there is the interface. I applaud the addition of dip-switch controls for the arcade titles and the recreation of the 2600 console interface. However, those options can only be used in unranked play, which I hardly touched since part of the appeal was getting my score on the Leaderboards. Also, the Intellivision interface sucks. I know it would've been a challenge given the set-up of the original system, but pressing the Back button to bring up the numerical keypad that the original controller had? Lame!

Third, there is the control. The arcade and 2600 games that just used a stick and a couple of buttons worked fine. However, the games with unique controls like spinner knobs (like Tempest), a trackball (like Crystal Castles), or the 2600 paddles (like Circus Atari) all handled very poorly. The analog thumbsticks of the 360 controller just aren't a good substitute. Most of the games are still playable, but I could've done better on Circus Atari with the original paddles. Also, the Intellivision controls and any 2600 games that used the numeric keypad just plain sucked.

Finally, there is the cost. 240 points is steep, period. Don't even think of the 400 point option for playing on both the 360 and PC; it's not worth it. Just choose one format. Also, 40 points for a single play? Whose brain-dead idea was that?

Game Room was designed for the old farts like me that can still derive enjoyment from these antique games. If your game experience starts with the NES, don't bother with this one. Even if you still take pride in your score on Asteroids, take advantage of the trials, and see if your warm and fuzzy feelings are worth the cash.

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Groqik
208,641 (107,145)
Groqik
TA Score for this game: 6,154
Posted on 27 February 11 at 16:29, Edited on 27 February 11 at 16:30
This review has 21 positive votes and 9 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
To give a short French touch to this site, here is a review in a French style. Sorry for the english players. But i's easiest for me to play with words in my native language. Hope this review will despite everything appreciate as it is : a review.

(This is my first review, so try to be compliant)

Petit coup de gueule...

Pour le complétioniste que je suis, GameRoom est à mon sens le plus gros coup marketing de Microsoft. Et je l'avoue, je suis en pleine contradiction, car d'un côté, comme dans ce post, je vais critiquer la méthode autant que le fond, d'un autre côté, j'ai acheté plus de 30 mini-jeux pour obtenir le fameux sésame des 1000 GS.

Comme beaucoup je pense, j'ai chargé ce jeu mis à disposition gratuitement par la firme à Bill uniquement parce qu'il était gratuit. Point. Sans vraiment aucune intention d'aller plus loin que de jeter cet œil curieux qui me caractérise.
La trappe vient de se refermer sur le nigaud que je suis également,

Car c'est à ce stade que le fondateur de la maison Microsoft (facile quand on s'appelle Gates et que son produit est Windows) applique sa stratégie (qui a permis de rendre son OS incontournable du moins jusqu'à aujourd'hui) qui vise à piéger le consommateur en faisant en sorte qu'une fois le doigt engagé, vous n'ayez d'autre solution que d'y mettre votre bras et votre porte-monnaie par la-même.

Car comment résumé autrement Windows que comme étant une plateforme nécessaire (mais pas suffisante) pour faire tourner les logiciels dont nous avons besoin pour travailler, plateforme dont vous devez subir les bogues, les défauts, les lourdeurs... plateforme dont la mise à jour ou l'achat sont totalement hors de prix en regard du service fourni. De surcroît, vous voilà obligé d'upgrader votre matériel hard face à sa gourmandise croissante en termes de puissance, pour au final disposer de gadgets, d'animation de fenêtre qui ne font rire que les banquiers de l'état de Washington.

Donc nous voilà avec entre les mains une bombe commerciale à retardement dont la mèche est si courte que à peine activée, elle vous explose en pleine figure.
En effet, comme tout joueur prudent, j'aime à tester les jeux avant de me lancer dans l'aventure d'une découverte plus complète.
Mais ici, point de démonstration, point de préliminaire, le mariage forcé se retrouve consommé avant même d'avoir pu dire "Oui".
Car la perfidie aura été d'attribuer ces 5 GS miséreux mais ô combien vils dès l'ouverture du jeu.

Quand je vois les presque 60.000 "tracked gamers" qui ont ce jeu dans leur liste, je me rassure en me disant que je ne suis malheureusement pas le seul pigeon, mais en même temps, je me morfond en me disant combien nous sommes tous crédules. Crédules car, comme tous les papillons de nuit par la lumière d'un jeu gratuit, comment avons nous pu croire que cette lumière était celle de la générosité venant de Mircrosoft alors que depuis des années et pour des années encore la seule lumière visible est celles qui brillent dans les yeux des financiers de la firme.

Vous voilà donc avec vos 5GS qui tel un tatouage vous marquent de manière indélébile dans votre historique de jeu.
Et comme tous les lendemains de cuite, le réveil est difficile.
Vous vous réveillez le matin avec à côté de vous une mariée dont la seule préoccupation est de vous pomper le contenu de votre compte en banque (et pas autre chose).
Vous vous rendez compte que à partir de là, vous devrez mettre la main à la poche pour obtenir les mini-jeux qui vous permettront d'obtenir les 995 GS restants.

Au final, peut être une trentaine de mini-jeux seront nécessaires, soit une modeste somme globale de 60 €, le prix d'un jeu "normal", mais celui-là vous ne l'aurez pas forcément choisi, il vous aura plus certainement été imposé.
La leçon commerciale est amère, mais avouez que d'un jeu gratuit à la base, soutirez 60 € du client floué était un coup de maître. Il faut tout de même rendre à César ce qui est à César.

Pour en revenir au mini-jeux eux-mêmes, il y a de quoi pavoiser. Payer 3 € pour un vulgaire jeu de boxe avec une définition de 80 par 80 pixels, c'est un peu dur à avaler. Heureusement, tous ne sont pas de la même veine.
A la base, le fait de remettre au goût du jour des jeux datant de l'age d'or des jeux vidéos est une bonne idée, mais l'arnaque commerciale qui en a découlé en gâche toute la beauté et l'intérêt.

J'avoue que je n'y ai trouvé aucun plaisir. Et une fois passée l'amertume et la rancœur de s'être fait "blousé", je n'avais que pour seule objectif de solder le contrat que j'ai signé sans possibilité de me rétracter avec Bill, et de virer cette mariée vérolée de mon lit le plus rapidement possible.

Le divorce est enfin consommée. J'en suis ravi.

La seule chose que l'on peut se demander au final: tous cet argent que génère les achats des micro-jeux nécessaire à l'obtention des GS, à qui vont-ils ? Aux concepteurs initiaux des jeux (paix à leur âme depuis le temps) ? A Bill puisque c'est jeux doivent être tombés dans le domaine public des "abandonned games" ? En tout cas, voilà une manne financière qui n'a pas demandé beaucoup d'investissement ni de travail...

Mais comme jura ce vieux corbeau sur son arbre perché une fois le vil renard retourné dans son repaire de Redmond, je promets que l'on ne m'y reprendra plus redface

Groqik
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robbietk94
45,414 (30,414)
robbietk94
TA Score for this game: 112
Posted on 03 May 10 at 11:46
This review has 17 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
If I'm honest, this is an odd thing to review. It's not really a game but an idea, an idea that's been a bit mismanaged from the start.
When I first heard about this I was like "Oh yeah, I can play some old classics without buying the old consoles off eBay for ridiculously high prices", so with that being said, let's review.

GRAPHICS:
Graphically these are great, the arcade's look like something from the 21st Century mixed with the actual cabinets of the old classics. Even if Ironically, all the titles so far are from Atari 2600, Intellivision and Collecovision, not from proper arcades. The avatar influence is a good idea, although you can't move your avatar, and that's something needed.

CONTROLS:
Now as someone who was never born, not even thought of when these consoles were in their heyday, it's fair to say, I have no clue what any of the controls are, when I was a child, there were two buttons you pressed on the console and that was the on/off and eject. I never had these difficulty switch thingy's or reset to start the game malarkey. I also have no clue what the overlays mean on most of the Intelli/Colleco games. This is fine if you were born with the console, but what about those who weren't, those who are your new audience, who mostly play your console.

PRICING:
Did I mention, the cost. Both game packs come with 30 games, or 30 trials. To buy one game for life would cost at least 240MS Points. That's £2.06 a game or $3.00. That's $90.00 for a whole arcade! On ONE console. Yeah, it costs $4.80 for both PC and 360 for one game. C'mon Microsoft, it's cheaper probably to go on eBay buy myself all 3 consoles and games you're offering.

SUMMARY:
Overall, good idea, but bad pricing and the controls are a little too difficult on some.
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CheetahCurtis
75,787 (38,375)
CheetahCurtis
TA Score for this game: 1,920
Posted on 25 January 11 at 15:47
This review has 14 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
This game is a great one, but if you are trying for achievements then it will be a waste of money. This game could end up costing you over £100 to get all the achievements on, so f you are only here for achievements then look away now.

In this game you own a game arcade and you must buy games with microsoft points to fill your arcade. You earn medals and level up from playing the games.

Downloading this game from the marketplace is free but it is 240 microsoft points for a game. When you need about 65 games to complete it, it totals up to over 15000 microsoft points. I have never heard of a game where you have to spend that much money for 1000 Gamerscore. Also, you would have to spend 36 hours of playing games to get one achievement. You can earn over 10 achievements without spending 1 microsoft point though.

If you are looking for some good entertainment for the next few days then you should get this game if you dont mind spending a bit of money. The game is very good. You can send challenges to your friends and there are leaderboards to try and get onto for every game. You can style your arcade to your liking and visit your friends arcades. This game would be hard to get bored of if it was free.

P.S. My First Review
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Dracophile
109,529 (68,774)
Dracophile
TA Score for this game: 6,154
Posted on 07 May 11 at 19:37, Edited on 07 May 11 at 19:44
This review has 13 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Calling Game Room a game is a bit of a misnomer. It's actually an app for the Xbox Live Marketplace that happens to have achievements. Game Room is free, and the "Game Packs" are free as well, but don't let that fool you into thinking that this is a FREE 1000/1000, because it is far from it. If you wish to obtain every achievement in Game Room be prepared to fork out about $100 (USD).

Graphics: 4/5
For the most part the renditions of Arcade, 2600, and INTV classics stay faithful to their original counterparts, so there's not much to judge here; the games themselves look just like they would if you had the originals nearby.

The app itself is kind of cartoony, and has lots of advertisements thrown all over the place, though, so it kind of detracts from the overall atmosphere of the arcade when in between every arcade room is a television advertising something you haven't bought yet, especially because once you DO buy all the games you like these TV's will show nothing but, well, crap.

The cartoony look and feel of the arcade kind of detracts from the originality of the games themselves. The app comes with too many goofy settings like caves, pirate ships, and scary attics to really give you a bunch of good options to create actual arcade-ish environments. Likewise, even if you wanted to make a scary arcade room many of the props are all dumbed down and goofy looking, so really all you get is a bunch of soft gimmicky decor to place around your arcade.

If it weren't for the stark contrast between the decor and theme of the app and the content of the games themselves I'd have given this section a perfect score, but because of that detached kind of feeling you may get, especially considering some of the props are really weird and don't seem to fit in anywhere, the overall feel of the app's environment kind of suffers.

Audio: 3/5
One thing you are going to remember from playing these classics, especially 2600 and INTV ones, is that they are noisy and sometimes are an orgy of bad sound effects. They are true ports of the originals for the most part, so that is to be expected, but for many gamers who are used to modern-day effects and such, they might be turned off by the bleeps and bloops if they don't have suitable respect for the old games.

Additionally wherever you go in the arcade you are surrounded by various "arcade sounds" such as music, explosions, bleeps, and whatever sounds your mascots emit (more on them later). If you have a lot of stuff going on the sound can become a little overwhelming, but other than that the "feel" of an arcade in terms of sound is definitely there.

Game Room tends to hit you more with amalgamations of sounds rather than having its own soundtrack or effects to go with anything. It's hard to pick out sounds since each and every item in the app has some kind of sound effect (mascots, arcade cabinets, TV's, decor, themes, etc). Instead it all mashes together, which I believe is what the developers were going for, but in the end makes it hard to hear anything other than just electronic white noise.

Playability: 3/5
There are a lot of interesting and fun twists in Game Room, such as the "time warp" function and the option to play with the difficulty settings on arcade games (where applicable), which add tons of options to step up your game (or to numb the difficulty if you're a beginner). Overall it seems the arcade games squeezed by fairly well, but the same cannot be said about the console ports.

The Atari 2600 games are probably the better of the two console ports, seeing as how there was just a joystick and one button on the original controllers. The trickiest part is figuring out how to use the Atari 2600 console layout (difficulty switches, game select, reset, etc), as many achievement guides and such feature a brief cutaway that explains how to use this. Once you figure out how to start the game (most Atari games require you to reset the console first) you should be good to go. The developers tend to not mention, however, that many Atari games come with TONS of variations and settings if you flick the "Game Type" switch enough times.

Intellivision, though, is where Game Room becomes frustrating. Whereas the Atari controller was a simple joystick, the INTV gamepad looked like a telephone -- complete with 12 buttons plus a side button. Converting this cumbersome controller onto that of an Xbox 360 one is bad to say the least. You will find yourself constantly checking the controls for games because some of them are so nondescript they become confusing, and in many cases (such as Night Stalker) I find that the INTV in general are very clunky and difficult to appropriately play.

If you're in Game Room only for arcade games then you should be fine, but be warned about the console titles. It's best to give them all their free demo run before you hop on the purchase option.

Achievements: 5/5
Game Room's achievements are painfully easy to obtain, so long as you have enough games in your arcade. For the sake of the review I'm assuming you do. The list of achievements in Game Room revolve mostly around playing a wide variety of games and collecting medals in them, as most achievements deal with getting X number of a certain medal or "leveling up", which is done by earning medal points. The rest of the achievements are divided up between being social-based (sending Challenges and visiting a friend's arcade) and decorating your arcade (placing props and themes, etc). Game Room will take you at least 36 hours to complete, as there is an achievement for spending this long playing games in your arcade. A very steep amount of time, but if you have ample games -- and using the time rewind function counts toward your cumulative total -- you should be able to get it passively. Overall the achievements in Game Room are no-brainers and with an available 5,000+ TA points... well, who can resist?

Cost: 2/5
This is where Game Room falls apart in my opinion. Playing classic games is great fun and all, but the price point of the Game Room store structure is just terrible. One play of an arcade game after your free one is 40MSP ($0.50), to buy one for either Windows or X360 "for life" it costs 240MSP ($3.00), and to buy it "for life" for both platforms simultaneously it will run you 400MSP ($5).

This doesn't sit well with me because for $5 you can get ENTIRE Arcade titles from XBLA complete with achievements and everything else that comes with it. Of course, that is an extreme scenario and most people won't be interested in buying games for both platforms, so really you're looking at $3 per game which is moderately affordable, if not in small doses only. Ultimately the price wards off a lot of would-be gamers, mainly because Game Room itself is a free app and the Game Packs are all free to download, so getting all this free stuff and then being immediately whacked with charges if you want to go further is a little upsetting, especially considering gimmick titles like Venetian Blinds managed to get into Game Room.

Also available for the Game Room are "Mascots", and every game has one. A mascot is a character or representation of each game that you can have float or wander around your arcade. Each mascot also has an original sound or music bit representative of the game it is from. The mascots go from understandable (a dolphin emitting sonar waves) to boring (a Breakout paddle) to downright crazy (a dancing black guy who brings his own music wherever he goes). Each mascot is actually only 40MSP, making them quite affordable and well worth the laughs they bring,

However, because of the seemingly steep price of the games, what could have been an active hotspot for XBLA games instead turns into a kind of repository where you end up tossing odd-numbered amounts of points after buying avatar clothing, etc.

Overall: 3/5
In the end Game Room is a fun app to use but it unfortunately costs a lot of money to get the achievements and have fun with it. If you're well off financially then you can feel free to indulge in the game and have fun with it, but for the rest of us who don't have $100 burning a hole in our pockets Game Room is something that came with a lot of promises and freebies, but ultimately became a letdown.

If you can get over the price point of the games offered then what it comes down to is an enjoyable arcade experience, if not one that's a little wacky, but at its heart is a mostly solid app.
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Cpt Tripps 2012
34,668 (24,841)
Cpt Tripps 2012
TA Score for this game: 199
Posted on 27 January 11 at 09:52
This review has 24 positive votes and 16 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
I was very excited by this before it was released. I am big classic game nut. One of my hobbies is restoring classic arcade cabinets. The Idea of having a virtual arcade room where I could play with my friends sounded awesome.

Unfortunately, the games were WAY over priced.

At first they did have some great classic coin-op arcade games, but then over time Microsoft seemed to decide not to renew the licenses on the games that were in anyway decent and they soon disappeared. Own them for life? I guess not.

All that was left was crappy Atari and Intelivision console games. Lame. I can go to the game shop and buy an Atari with all the best games they put out for about $30 - $50 dollars. The real thing, with the real joysticks, and physical cartridges that wont mysteriously disappear when Microsoft decides not to renew the license agreement.

I really wish I had never even downloaded it, because when I ran it for the first time it gave me 5/1000 gamer score, skewing my completion percentage forever. Now if I ever want to fix it I'll have to spend $100 on crappy games I don't want to play.

My advice, steer clear of this one like the plague,
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Cobalt Robot
208,308 (121,121)
Cobalt Robot
TA Score for this game: 6,154
Posted on 20 May 10 at 05:26, Edited on 26 July 11 at 15:22
This review has 23 positive votes and 18 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Graphics: 2.5/5
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The mixedest bag of them all. Game Room faithfully recreates the graphics of ancient arcade, Intellivision and Atari 2600 games, which can be good when it's good and terrible when it's bad.
I mean, take Finalizer. A classic, top-down shoot-'em-up that could honestly contend as a modern-day downloadable title. Although nothing in Game Room really qualifies as gorgeous by today's standards, there are quite a few titles that really get the point across. Visuals are almost entirely sprite-based, though there are a couple of arcade titles that have those nifty wireframe models (such as Red Baron), but c'mon, coming from the 70s and 80s, what more could be expected, right?

And then there are titles like Adventure...

Adventure is a game that I vaguely remember from my childhood. You play as a square. You carry around keys, other squares, cups, swords, a... bird... thing...
I can't figure out what Ninja Turtle Ice Cream induced seizure made it possible for me to tolerate that crap as a kid. Nevermind paying three bucks for it nowadays.


Music and Sound: 1/5
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As with the graphics, the audio of the old arcade/Atari 2600/Intellivision games is intact. This means that, while playing a game, you can experience its sounds like never before, on your awesome 5.1 Surround Sound system. However, when not actively playing a game -- when you're just hanging around in your customizable, digital arcade -- you hear the generic mishmash of sounds that you would hear in a real arcade. The bleeps, bloops, blips and general cacophonic crap that made a generation of gamers deaf. I honestly have to keep my sound down between games because it just plain bugs the snot out of me.


Gameplay: 4/5
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Game Room is a virtual arcade. You get to customize the arcade with props, themes, mascots (which fly around your arcade and just plain look cool) and, obviously, games. You get to choose from an ever-growing library of games from arcades around the world, Atari 2600, and Intellivision (though this can and likely will be expanded upon).
Game Room is available on both PC and 360, so your platform of choice is really up to you. It's a free title -- but WAIT A SEC -- it's not free. How does this even happen, you ask? It works as such:
- Download Game Room for free on either 360 or PC or both
- Download game packs for free on either 360 or PC or both
- PAY FRIGGIN' MONEY TO UNLOCK GAMES THAT ARE IN THE FREE GAME PACKS
You get to play each game for free, once, then you have to start shelling out the dough. A single play costs 40 Microsoft Points, or fifty cents. That's a ripoff. To OWN THE GAME on one system (either 360 or PC) to play forever, costs you 240 Microsoft Points, or three bucks. To own the game and be able to play it on BOTH the 360 and PC whenever you feel like is 400 Microsoft Points, or five bucks. Now, three bucks to own a game isn't terrible, but considering the other games available on XBLA for roughly that price makes this a bit too steep to swallow.
The concept is sound -- especially the ability to purchase a game, then have the option of playing it on the 360, and, for example, on the go on a laptop. The thing I can't get over is that this game will not run on my laptop. I can run massively-mulitplayer, real-time action-combat in Phantasy Star Universe on my laptop, but a few rendered arcade machines and some 70s-80s graphics are too much for my poor laptop to handle. Sounds like some bad coding to me, but that's besides the point.
Where was I? Oh, right. The concept is sound, but the prices are absolutely outrageous. For that same 400 Microsoft Points (or five bucks) I could purchase Doom, which is leagues above anything in Game Room.
As for individual titles, I can't really comment an incredible amount. There are 45 available games as of this writing, with the promise of more being added every week, so there's no problem with lack of availability. My favorites so far include (but are not limited to):
Asteroids Deluxe
Centipede
Finalizer
Scramble
Pitfall!

So, yeah, the retro gaming goodness is amazing, but as I already mentioned, insanely overpriced. Also, the titles now have "medals" you can collect. They include high-score, time survived and time played medals to keep things fresh and so you can brag to your friends (assuming you have any friends who care that you survived in Super Breakout for forty-five minutes).


Controls: 3/5
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As with every single other thing in this review, each game in the Game Room has its own control scheme. Some of them are let down by the 360's lack of, you know, a trackball. Games that once had their own propietary control systems are now mapped out on the analogue sticks and buttons of a 360 pad. Since I didn't play many of the games in arcades, it doesn't bug me a whole bunch, but I can see how Centipede needs a trackball to not be frustrating with the damn spider.

Seriously, up yours, Spider.

Closing Comments
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To sum it up as easily as possible: Game Room is a solid, awesome idea that kicks you in the soft bits and swipes your cash when you're down. The high prices and unfortunate arcade sounds are the only downsides. It's also been put through the rumor mill that classic Sega arcade games and DOS games of yesteryear may be popping up on this service, so I'm definitely going to keep my eye on it -- as well as a hand on my wallet. They're planning seven games per week for at least three years. That's over a thousand games, son. If you can stomach the cost, then by all means, dig it. There's a lot of classic, retro awesomeness for anyone who's interested in those passed decades of hardcore gaming.

Rating: 3 out of 5
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maruderkid
159,351 (102,568)
maruderkid
TA Score for this game: 3,260
Posted on 02 November 11 at 03:16
This review has 0 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
well i was really excited or this when it first came out and i was satisfied with it too but after a while i grew tired of having to pay for all the games and eventually stopped because none of the games caught my eye i thought it was going to be better that it is and it is very unpopular now wich saddens me because this could have been a great thing if it was tweaked a bit more and had more games and maybe if the games were cheaper. i bought asteroids and still havent gotten the last medal after spending hours of screaming at the game i gave up and never touched it since. also the atari video pinball game sucks the flippers dont even hit the ball with any force causing you to loose eventually. yet another game i gave up on i eventually intend on going back to game room but probably not anytime soon i still think they should come out with more game packs though
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This review has 2 positive votes and 7 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
For Retro gamers, Game Room is where the Xbox Live Arcade is headed. Microsoft has created Game Room.
This is where everyone looking for their downloadable old-school arcade can get their fix!
To download it, you'll have to head to the Games on Demand, it is a free download that comes with 1,000 achievement points.
BUT, to unlock most of those achievements you'll have to start tossing microsoft out some serious money though.
The full version of the games are around 240 Microsoft points (US $3.00).
Right now theres only a handful of old school games now available for purchase with the promise of more.
I'm hoping for Namco's stuff like Pac-Man, and also Donkey Kong would be great!
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NeonCthulhuCult
173,488 (105,163)
NeonCthulhuCult
TA Score for this game: 2,278
Posted on 07 July 12 at 22:18, Edited on 07 July 12 at 22:25
This review has 1 positive vote and 7 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Great Idea On Paper But Fails In Execution
1. We were mislead to invest in GR in the beginning and were promised 1000 titles in 3 years time.
2. Microsoft has made no official statement as to why production halted relatively short after release. Rights issues with original IP?? A shut down of Krome Studios also ensued?? Any ones guess is fair game.
3. Shovelware, Almost the entire 2600 catalog and half the Intellivision are absolute "SHIT" I'm not trying to win a review popularity contest here with votes so I am not afraid to tell you this Is the absolute truth. The Arcade titles are mainly F-list from konami and big ones are missing. No licensed IPs are anywhere to be found. ( Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, E.T. Raiders of lost ark 2600 etc. )
To 1000/1000 you will spend at least 4000 msp on this app.
I wanted Game Room to work and at least have some support longer than it did. My best theory is Its just a hassle between Micosoft the original IP holders about $$$ and sadly the demographic that is most lucrative does not care or even know about these games. Plus 240 msp (3$) isn't worth it to the powers to be to divide in half. Most of these Arcade games in game packs were already on marketplace as well.
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Darklord1899
338,257 (216,493)
Darklord1899
TA Score for this game: 4,532
Posted on 04 December 14 at 17:22, Edited on 18 December 14 at 11:46
This review has 8 positive votes and 14 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
December 18th Update.
I played 2 games of Amidar, then when I went for the third game GR had crashed again.

Game Room was supposed to be this retro heaven where you got loads of games you liked for the early 80s for reasonable prices. A couple of weeks in I was hooked and steadily bought by favourite Atari 2600 games and arcade games with the occasional Intellivision title. Things were going great. You could challenge your retro friends to a game of Amidar and just enjoy winning or losing. They were the glory days when it was first released. There were going to be 1000s of games to choose from.
Then Krome went bust. Support became patchy the advertised games did not materialise. If you check my gamer score you will see I am close (or was close to completing it.) About a year and a half ago it wiped all my online medals. For a while it also wiped out all my games. Then they fixed it. Every time I played it I get a couple of games it crashes. I was up to level 3 and I put it on today and it had erased my online saves again. As such I have mostly given up on it.

Hopefully it is only me who has problems with it. At the current time I do not think that this is worth purchasing.
Oh if you do get it never get Starship. You get to play it for 3 minutes

My list of games.
Amidar. A superb maze game
Astrosmash; Intellivisions answer to Asteroids
Detana Twin Bee; great shootemup
Food Fight ;Fight with food
Frostbite Activision version of Q Bert
Hero; Rescue trapped Miners
Jackal;
Juno First
Millipede
Missile Command
Pitfall 2 The lost Caverns
Sea Quest
Strategy X
Tempest
Tutankham
Yars Revenge

I love the games I have on it. If I could play a game without it crashing I would recommend it.

Games that you have to say MS are taking the **** selling for 1.99.
3d tick tac toe
Barnstorming
Bridge
Codebreaker
Combat
Concentration
Dragster
Laser Blast
Space War
Star ship
Street Racer

Games that should have been on it.
Atari 2600 ones
Solaris
Secret Quest
Cross Force
Megaforce
Joust
Space Cavern
Robot Tank
Consoles that could have been emulated
CBS Colecovision.
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Lambo Fan 08
51,942 (32,364)
Lambo Fan 08
TA Score for this game: 82
Posted on 26 April 10 at 20:19, Edited on 26 April 10 at 20:20
This review has 2 positive votes and 9 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Its a good idea to play classic games of the 1970s & 1980s on your xbox and customise your own arcade and invite your friends to see it.
However, I downloaded what i assumed were free game packs, but you actually have to PAY a fortune for games that were flops or just ridiculously hard to control.
Personally, I suggest an emulator and a ROM file to play these because seriously, its not worth the moneywarning
The only way to play these games for free is to use the 20 bonus tokens you receive when you launch Game Room for the first time. But it costs 5 to play a game for free, and you can earn anymore.laugh
Another rip-off to waste your hard-earned money, dont bother.
Solution: Emulation
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