Online Retro Software

You can now play retro games for free, but is Antstream Arcade any good?

Photo by Sei on Unsplash

Antstream Arcade, a retro video game streaming service, now has a free tier. You can sign up to it with no obligation, credit card details, or limits on use. If you love playing vintage games or simply fancy a dose of nostalgia, Antstream has over a thousand titles available for you to enjoy. Let take a look at what’s on offer.

Is there a catch?

A free Antstream account gives you full access to the streaming service – and without having to sign your life away to get it. However, it’s worth noting the following:

  • The free Antstream Arcade tier will include some advertising. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear too obtrusive and certainly hasn’t spoilt my experience.
  • You play the games through the Antstream app. The app is currently available for PC, Mac and Linux computers, Android phones and tablets, Nvidia Shield and Amazon Fire devices. Unfortunately, at the moment, you can’t use your iPad or iPhone to get your retro fix.
  • Although touch controls are available for phones and tablets, you’ll get the best experience using a game controller. You’ll also need a gamepad if you play Antstream Arcade on a Nvidia Shield or Amazon Fire Stick. The Antstream app supports most of the popular controllers, and this list will help make sure you have what’s needed to enjoy the games.

Sounds great. Where do I sign?

If you’re now ready to take a trip down memory lane, or to have a look at what us oldies used to play back in the day, click here to sign up for your free Antstream account.

You can either use your Facebook details, or enter your email address and a password to create an Antstream account. Don’t forget to tick the privacy policy box, and then click the Create User or Continue with Facebook button depending on how you wish to create your account.

Is Antstream Arcade any good?

If you create an account using your email address, Antstream will send you a verification email. Once you’re verified and signed in, the next step is to download the Antstream app. To do this, click on Download at the top right of the website.

Is Antstream Arcade any good?

If you are using an Android or Kindle device, you can also install it directly from the relevant app store.

Is Antstream Arcade any good?

Once installed, open the app on your device and sign in using the same details you used to create the Antstream account.

After signing into the app, you can explore and play all the retro games available. Enjoy!

But is Antstream Arcade any good?

On the whole, I’m impressed. The interface is slick, user friendly and very Netflix. I would have liked to see games listed by device such as Spectrum, Arcade etc., but you can always use the search option to find them. The games I played all ran smoothly and without a hitch, although a poor broadband connection may cause problems: if you have trouble watching videos on YouTube, you’ll likely have issues with Antstream too.

I also think Antstream Arcade appeals more to a *cough* certain age group. The games are mainly from computers, consoles and arcade machines of the 80s and 90s, so if you consider the Playstation 3 to be retro, this may not be for you. However, I would recommend anybody to sign up and have a go – who knows what gaming gem you might come across, and it’s all available for free!

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About the author

Mark Parvin

I have worked with and wrote about computers, video games and consumer tech for more years than I care to admit.
I currently run my own IT support business and write about the wonders of tech whenever I can.

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