Sparkfun PiRetroCade Review

The Sparkfun PiRetroCade lets you reclaim your youth without the need to make change for a dollar.  After about an hour building and one quick retrofit we were back in 1989 playing video games like we were at a sleepover.


  • Using the box as a joystick is a perfect.
  • Great stepping stone into building a full-size or table top arcade machine.
  • Assembly is straight forward.
  • RetroPi "OS" is a great as a standalone and adding ROMs is super easy.


  • The wire lengths are not forgiving.
  • You can easily make a rat's nest in a box.

As a child of the 80s trips to the arcade were what dreams were made of.  Home consoles were great - however you never got the same experience as standing there with a pocket full of quarters.  The PiRetroCade seriously brought me back to the 80s and 90s playing arcade games and even capturing the fun that home consoles brought.

Sparkfun PiRetrocade Assembled and Tested by Free Radical Labs
This is what happens when things get out of hand....


Straight out of the box, you can expect this to take you anywhere from 30-60 minutes to assemble.  Sparkfun has a great assembly tutorial which can be found here.  There are really two things you only thing that you really have to pay attention to: wiring the relays (i.e. signal vs ground wires) and NOT cutting the box on the dotted lines.  Read the instructions all the way through before you open the box and you will be fine.

If you'd like to take the plunge and start building your own PiRetrocade - we have them in stock!