Retro is the new old, so it's no wonder that retro gaming is an integral part of this year's Gamescom. In the Family & Friends Zone, you can gamble to your heart's content on veteran gaming systems. Whether the Sega Megadrive, Nintendo's NES or NEO GEO: retro consoles are all the rage. Anyone who thinks that the ancient game systems only scored points with their nostalgic charm is really wrong, because retro gaming is a lot of fun.

Dancing means gambling

When two sweaty gamblers hop around in front of an antique slot machine, it may be a little confusing at first. However, if you watch the spectacle for more than 30 seconds, you will quickly notice that retro gaming can also entertain active players. In moving pictures the whole thing looks something like this one Video. Michael from the music game community "Four Arrows" traveled from Konami to Cologne with the Dancing Stage Evo Mix 2 music game machine to teach inexperienced dancers the right moves and to really heat up dance mat experts. Kyle Ward, the founder of the American company Step Revolution, which develops these music games, showed us what it looks like when a real professional rocks off on Konami's dance mat. According to Michael, playing music games is exhausting, but easy to learn. "It's like reading," says Michael. “You don't have to see every single word to understand the text.” Unfortunately, we didn't have our tracksuits with us: So we didn't try the dance game Dancing Stage Evo Mix 2 ourselves, but just watching it was extremely entertaining.

Virtual worlds on board game tables

The Retrogaming Community Insert Game from Solingen in North Rhine-Westphalia is represented as an exhibitor at Gamescom for the first time. Carmelo D'Alú, the founder of the community, raves about his hobby. He also plays modern games, but only "real retro games" that have a unique look and gameplay that cannot be copied are really fun. It is the pixels and sprites, in combination with an unmistakable gaming feel, that make retro games into real top titles even today. The retro gaming community Insert game has existed for three years now and is financed through membership fees and voluntary donations. "Just organizing games and tournaments is not enough“Says Carmelo. And so the retro fans from Solingen have their hands full to make their hobby accessible to a wide audience. It goes without saying that the people of Solingen also use social media and, in particular, their own Twitch channel.
The differences between traditional retro games and modern games that only copy the tried and tested look are in the details. A casual gamer would probably hardly notice the differences because the graphics or sound are copied almost perfectly.

Pure nostalgia at Gamescom 2016: retro gaming and indie games
Pure nostalgia at Gamescom 2016: retro gaming and indie games

"The gameplay elements of retro games are much more important than good looks"Says Carmelo from Insert Game. Based on the classic Twinkle Star Sprites, which originally appeared for the video game console Neo Geo and was then implemented as an offshoot for Sega's Dreamcast and Sega Saturn, Carmelo clarifies his objection: "Twinkle Star Sprites only becomes perfectly playable through the noticeable slowdowns. “Slowdowns are slowdowns in the course of the game in order to enable the player to successfully avoid moving objects. In Carmelo's opinion, this not only affects the feel of the game, but also the gameplay and difficulty. Without slowdowns, pixel games like the one mentioned above play well Twinkle Star Sprites just a lot harder. Carmelo mentions the so-called input lag as another factor that prospective retro gamers should consider. Remastered retro consoles can easily be connected to modern screens. "With real retro consoles, the technical hurdles are higher because of the input lag if you don't want to do without the quality you are used to from the past," says Carmelo D'Alú. "Simply connecting often works, but the quality sometimes suffers significantly." From a technical point of view, fans of nostalgic gaming systems should therefore avoid LCD screens with more than two frames. "The input lag is particularly noticeable in fast games such as beat'em ups like Street Fighter"Carmelo adds with a smile that shows real fans pay attention to these details.

The fact that collecting antique play systems can be an expensive leisure activity is proven by the purchase prices that retro lovers are willing to pay for their hobby. A slot machine costs between 800 and 2000 euros and there is more than one of them in the premises of the Solingen retro community. By the way, fans welcome the trend towards new editions of real retro consoles, because they offer their hobby a public platform. If you want to put your hand on the joystick yourself, you are cordially invited to visit the community in Solingen.