Pica-pic.com is “Hipopotam’s digitised collection of handheld video games” available for play on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Oh, and it’s awesome.
Maybe the best thing ever.
Even if you never played a handheld game, you really should do yourself a favor and check out the site.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. GAME SELECTION
While they don’t have each and every handheld game that ever graced the market, with 26 titles, they have an impressive catalog nonetheless. Including games from Nintendo, Tiger, Acclaim, and even some old Russian ones that most folks on this side of the Iron Curtain never had a chance to play.
There is a whole range of games, all of which are easy to learn as most are of the two or three button variety, but offer a challenge and hours of entertainment.
From combat games involving tanks, planes and subs, to games where you wait tables in a coffee shop or cook people meals. Adventure games, racing games, even officially licensed products; pica-pic.com has got something for everyone.
2. IT’S FREE
Unlike a lot of games for your smartphone or tablet, pica-pic.com is absolutely free to play. There are twenty-six different games… all for free. And it’s not like some of them are free but then in order to get the premium content you have to pay. It’s all free, all the time. No bullshit.
Granted, when these games were designed there was no such thing as “premium content” and none of them have any content that could properly be called premium, but hey, the price can’t be beat.
Well, unless they played you to go to their site, that would be better than free, but as that’s not going to happen you should just try to appreciate what an amazing deal this is.
3. A NOSTALGIC HISTORY LESSON
This is a video game history lesson come to life. If you had the opportunity to play and enjoy handheld games before you’re in for a treat—odds are you’ve played at least one of these. And if you didn’t play handhelds then prepare for a blast from your past.
That’s right, you too can now relive a commute, flight, or family road trip in the 1980s, complete with sound—okay beeps–they mostly just beep.
But you can also learn about some of the progression in handheld games through the decade as they have games from 1981 all the way up to 1990.
Info the site provides about each title, as well as the manufacturer and country of origin—see I told you it was a history lesson. Plus you’ll learn something about how ridiculously addictive video games can be, and how badly people want and cherish high scores.
4. THEY REQUIRE YOUR FULL ATTENTION
These old school games weren’t the type you could just check in on for a moment and then minimize like so many of today’s tap-tap games—they hadn’t even conceived of minimizing anything yet.
These games are for people who want to spend their time playing video games, actually playing, fingers at the ready hovering above buttons.
You can’t stop once you’ve started one of these beauties. And I don’t think you can actually ‘win’ most of these games as most tend to be endless, going on forever and ever incrementally increasing in difficulty. You’re playing for a high score if you can get there, but mostly you’re playing until you run out of lives or quit. And nobody likes a quitter.
5. WHADDYA GONNA DO INSTEAD, WORK?
If you’re fortunate enough to be employed you probably work at a computer, and if you’re unemployed you look for work on a computer and if you’re a student in take you’re computer to class. And let’s face it everyone knows computers worked best as procrastination machines—if you’re reading this at work right now you know what I’m talking about.
So next time you need a little time out from your bring job crunching numbers or alphabetizing clients or entering data swing on over to pica-pic.com and wile away a few hours.
I guarantee a decrease in productivity for the rest of the day, if not week, month. And if the boss asks how you’re doing on those progress reports, tell them you’d love to get on those but the skydivers keep falling and if you don’t catch them in your boat the sharks will eat them.
Your hands are tied.