Have Every Retro Nintendo Game at Your Fingertips for $150

A Kickstarter-launched video game console can make your retro gaming dreams come true with barely any effort on your part. While the Nintendo miniature NES Classic Edition made it possible to play Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong the way you did as a kid, it only comes with 30 games, and there's no way to add more (without some significant technical skills). But Allcade's Itty Bitty Collection can do a lot more than that, Gizmodo reports, allowing you to play virtually any Nintendo game you want.

The console, built inside NES- and N64-style cartridges, runs on a Raspberry Pi 3 motherboard and all you need to do is hook it up to your TV with an HDMI cable. Plug in a controller (or two) and play away. The product comes with one pre-loaded game, but the idea is that you will download your own game files (ROMs). Admittedly, there’s a bit of a legal gray area when it comes to downloading copies of games, since you could be violating copyright laws, so you should only be downloading games you either already own (which is much like ripping some .mp3 files you already own onto a CD) or that are public domain.

When you insert your USB drive with ROM files loaded on it, the console should recognize them and play them automatically. While Gizmodo’s Christina Warren warns that it’s not a completely bug-proof system, she notes that overall, the Allcade 64-bit experience is largely seamless. You can plug it in and be playing your favorite games from the '90s in minutes.

The consoles start at $150. While the NES Classic Edition is only $60 (if you can get your hands on one), if you’re not technically savvy enough to build your own console emulator, it’s a great way to put all the retro games you want at your fingertips.

[h/t Gizmodo]

All images courtesy Allcade

Barbie Is Now Giving Coding Lessons

Mattel wants to help 10 million kids learn to code by 2020, and the toy giant is enlisting one of its most career-focused assets: Barbie. According to Engadget, Mattel is working with the coding education company Tynker to make seven Barbie-themed computer programming lessons.

Barbie has been a pilot, an architect, the president, and a computer engineer, so there may be no better character to teach kids the joys of coding. The lessons, arriving in summer 2018, will be designed for youngsters in kindergarten and up, and will teach Barbie-lovers more than just how to make apps. They’ll use Barbie’s many careers—which also included veterinarian, robotics engineer, and astronaut—as a way to guide kids through programming concepts.

An illustration depicts Barbie and her friends surrounded by cats and dogs and reads 'Barbie: Pet Vet.'

A screenshot of a Barbie coding lesson features a vet's office full of pets.

There are plenty of new initiatives that aim to teach kids how to code, from a Fisher-Price caterpillar toy to online games featuring Rey from Star Wars. This is the third partnership between Mattel and Tynker, who have already produced programming lessons using Hot Wheels and Monster High.

Kindergarten may seem a little soon to set kids on a career path as a computer programmer, but coding has been called “the most important job skill of the future,” and you don’t need to work for Google or Facebook to make learning it worthwhile. Coding can give you a leg up in applying for jobs in healthcare, finance, and other careers outside of Silicon Valley. More importantly for kids, coding games are fun. Who wouldn’t want to play Robotics Engineer Barbie?

[h/t Engadget]

All images by Tynker

"American Mall," Bloomberg
Unwinnable Video Game Challenges You to Keep a Shopping Mall in Business
"American Mall," Bloomberg
"American Mall," Bloomberg

Shopping malls, once the cultural hub of every suburb in America, have become a punchline in the e-commerce era. There are plenty of malls around today, but they tend to be money pits, considering the hundreds of "dead malls" haunting the landscape. Just how hard is it to keep a mall afloat in the current economy? American Mall, a new video game from Bloomberg, attempts to give an answer.

After choosing which tycoon character you want as your stand-in, you're thrown into a mall—rendered in 1980s-style graphics—already struggling to stay in business. The building is filled with rats and garbage you have to clean up if you want to keep shoppers happy. Every few seconds you're contacted by another store owner begging you to lower their rent, and you must either take the loss or risk them packing up for good. When stores are vacated, it's your job to fill them, but it turns out there aren't too many businesses interested in setting up shop in a dying mall.

You can try gimmicks like food trucks and indoor playgrounds to keep customers interested, but in the end your mall will bleed too much money to support itself. You can try playing the bleak game for yourself here—maybe it will put some of the retail casualties of the last decade into perspective.

[h/t Co.Design]


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