Namco Museum 50th Anniversary

Namco rolls out some golden oldies and takes us on a trip down memory lane

Depending on your outlook, the current retro boom is either a long overdue reappraisal of our shared gaming heritage, or an unhealthy backwards-looking obsession for a generation yet to wean itself off the teat of childhood nostalgia. One question, though: who bought an Xbox to play retro games?

If, like us, you share the latter point of view, you won't have even got this far. If, however, you're in the retro-loving camp, you'll find lots of authentic lo-fi amusement in Namco's latest collection.

A total of 14 age-old Namco games await you, and unlike many similar compilations, the majority of these can truly lay claim to classic status. It's hard to argue that games like Pac-Man, Galaxians, Pole Position and Dig Dug didn't help set the foundations for our beloved pastime, and it's testament to their simple, yet effective design that they can still demand your attention for a few minutes, or hours if you include loading times.


Even less famous titles such as Bosconian and Sky Kid offer more than a few minutes of entertainment, while more recent offerings, such as the 1987 shooter Rolling Thunder, give proceedings some much-needed variety.

Things fall down a little in the presentation. A circle of arcade cabinets is your only interface, a far cry from the charming interactive exhibits of the original Namco Museum discs on PSone, and the soundtrack is half-arsed, a mere handful of tracks from the likes of Fine Young Cannibals and Dexy's Midnight Runners repeated over and over. The price is also steep for 14 games, seeing as Atari's outing featured dozens of titles for the same tag.

The verdict

A basic-yet-endearing trip down memory lane. Don't bother if you've owned these games in a past life, though.

Namco Bandai
Namco Bandai