There is only one thing that I know I will always have on me. My cell phone. I don’t go anywhere without it. When I saw the opportunity to combine my phone with my love of retro gaming, I had to jump on it. Stumbling across a phone case that plays retro games meant that I did not need to carry a second device.
The New HD Gaming Case, from Chief Cases, offers the ability to bring retro games with you in your pocket. It has a two-inch screen, D-Pad, A and B button, and comes pre-loaded with 36 games. This all sounds amazing, especially when you get it on sale, but how good is it?
The ability to easily play games is great, but this is a phone case. It must protect the phone, or it is just not worth it. The website claims it has full bumper protection and will protect the phone against all drops. I cannot speak to this fully. I have dropped my phone only once since I have had the case on it, and it did not break. It doesn’t look as protective as my usual case, but that doesn’t mean it’s not.
The only real negative I can say about this as a case is that it is pretty thick. I figured this would be the case when I bought it. I carry two phones with me, and I would prefer it to be slimmer, but I don’t know how that would be possible. Honestly, this case is not thicker than some of the overly protective ones on the market.
What about the gaming experience? For starters, it has 36 games on it, but at least half of them are garbage. This is something else I expected going into it. Some of the games are ones that I could not even figure out, like mahjong, Chinese chess, and five chess. A few others are just bad. I tried them all, and that was the last time I will play most of these games.
The flip side of this is that there are some really fun games on the New HD Gaming Case. It has Super Mario Bros., Super Contra, and Donkey Kong. It also has some fun games that had never played, like Battle Tanks, Tennis, and Lode Runner. On top of all that, this case has a few shoot’em ups that are perfect for playing in short bursts. These are the games that I will be playing a lot while I am using the case.
When I first booted up the case, I was worried about how good the sound would be. I was pleasantly surprised. There is a speaker on the bottom left portion of the case that puts out very good sound. The player can choose between three volume levels or have the sound off. Being able to mute the game is helpful if you were to bust it out in a crowded area.
This device is made to look like a GameBoy, and, for the most part, it accomplishes this. The D-Pad on the case is just OK. It feels a bit squishy, but it’s definitely useable. It felt a little off while playing PacMan, but I found no issues during other games.
The one place the controls are really messed up is that the A and B buttons are reversed. They work just fine, but the A button should be on the right. This really hit me when I was playing Super Mario Bros. Jump and sprint become reversed and it messed me up. For most other games, this didn’t cause me much of an issue, but it bothers me as a concept.
All in all, the gaming on the New HD Gaming Case is good. You won’t find 36 games you actually want to play, but you will find enough to keep you busy while you are sitting in a waiting room. If you are one to enjoy a quick play of a retro game, this case is a good get. If you just want it because you are a “gamer”, then don’t bother. Put a better case on your phone and carry a 3DS in your other pocket.