retrograde arcade cabinet from surface tension

You will probably have seen our prototype upright machine already if you follow our facebook page, so I’m finally writing a blog post for it. Retrograde was produced earlier in the year and first exposed at the Revival retro gaming event where it it was extremely well received and got a good play-test! It’s surface tension‘s own spin on the classic upright arcade system.

We wanted to make something that stood out a little for the first one, so opted for ebony macassar veneer, which has a wonderful contrasting finish. The centre black sections are finished in gloss black following on the trend from our arcade tables. On to the pictures and specs…

Upright arcade cabinet right

Ebony macassar veneer sides, black hi-gloss panels and 24″ LCD.

Control panel reflections

Ultimarc Ultrastik 360 joysticks, Happ pushbuttons and 2 1/4″ trackball.

Arcade machine option buttons

Powder coated aluminium control panel with screen print.

Arcade machine tweeters

Component tweeters aimed at head height.

Arcade speaker cover

Discreet woofers close to the player.

Arcade control panel print

Smoked, toughened glass.

Arcade door

Enclosure for housing the PC and peripherals, using invisible hinges.

Arcade marquee

Illuminated marquee.

Like our arcade tables, we also fitted this out with a Shuttle PC, running Windows 7. All arcade games launched using the GameEx interface. We also had the Steam platform running at the show as there’s some excellent cab-friendly games available.

We’re looking to launch this product in a range of finishes early Q1 2014.

Get in contact if you would like to find out more on this or any of our other products.


Rubik’s Cubes back in stock!

We now have a new batch of Rubik’s Cubes back in stock at surface tension!

A photo from Revival, May 2013

Measuring in at 45cm x 45cm x 45cm and weighing around 20Kg, they will catch everyone’s eye whatever you choose to use it for. Made from 18mm MDF and finished to a high quality in black gloss, you can choose order or chaos with a solved or unsolved sticker finish!

Back in stock at £199.

Go to the surface tension website to find out more…

Space Invaders Acrylic Chess Set

There’s a lot of great stuff appearing with the Kickstarter revolution. This Space Invaders chess set effortlessly caught our eye. The pieces are made from laser-cut fluorescent acrylic which snap into black bases so they can move around on the laser-cut, etched chess board.

Space Invaders Chess

As mentioned, this is a Kickstarter project, though the goal has already been reached, there are some full sets remaining at $65 but no early bird sets.

Space Invaders Chess

You can find the project here on Kickstarter.

Dual arcade table sale

In case you missed it on our website…

Dual arcade table

That’s right, 10% off our Dual arcade table until the end of December 2012. 60 games and 2-player head-to-head action!

surface tension Dual

Mario Aluminium Can Art

When it comes to recycling aluminum cans, most people don’t go beyond hauling them to recycling facilities, however there are a rare few that take old cans and turn them into art.  I am the proud owner of a tuk-tuk made from Singha beer cans, but Japanese artist Makaon has produced something even more awesome than my Thai taxi.

I can’t find much information about the artist or how many cans he used to make Super Mario and Luigi but if this is where skill, vision and the results of an unending thirst collide, then it’s a beautiful place that I wish we could all visit.

Makaon’s website, Empty Can Craft, shows just what can be done with a lot of empty cans, some imagination and a lot of patience.

via: Global Geek News

These Pixelated Animal Sculptures Will Have You Questioning Reality

Every so often you come across an artist who really does say something new, Shawn Smith is one such artist. He is a genuinely talented guy, and I love what he does, as I’m certain you will.

Fascinated by the fuzzy intersection between the digital world and reality, Shawn Smith typically makes sculptures from tiny cubes of wood that are tactical, three-dimensional versions of pixelated images – ‘re-things’ is what Smith calls his sculpture.

“My work investigates the slippery intersection between the digital world and reality. Specifically, I am interested in how we experience nature through technology”. To view more of Shawn’s work take a look at his website Shawn Smith Art

This is definitely my favourite peice, called “Vicious Venue” it’s made using balsa wood and mixed media.

Hand Painted 8-bit Sunglasses

When I started this post some cool new sunglasses seemed a perfect purchase for the lovely weather we’ve been having, but in typical English summer tradition it’s now raining and it’ll be an umbrella I end up buying! Still these amazing Super Mario sunglasses might just be the thing to bring the sun out again.

Etsy seller ketchupize is selling these hand-painted Super Mario Bros sunglasses for approximately £29.00. These customised wayfarer style glasses are also available with Pac-Man designs and are beautifully painted on both sides.


Landscape photos are often beautiful to look at but generally quite serious stuff but 8-bitscapes flips that convention on its head with their series of prints.

Originally created by artist/illustrator Jamie Sneddon and photographer Kevin Rozario-Johnson, 8-bitscapes combines fantastic pictures with elements of classic video games. Sonic running for rings in Köln. A Mario Kart banana peel dropped by an unseen Toad (it’s always Toad) ready to cause catastrophe for the approaching car. And, our favorite, Speedy the ghost waiting to seek his revenge on Pac Man in a converted Manhattan.

Each of the print runs is limited to 150 or less, so pick one of these up to hang on your wall before they become harder to find than an original Atari to play Pac-Man on! Available from  8-bitscapes  £50 – £690 per print.

Some creative, cool and interesting drinks coaster sets

Why are we talking about interesting drinks mats? To shamelessly mention our very own drinkUP Arcade Buttons Coasters, that’s why. Here they are…

Arcade Button Coasters

But there are some other great sets out there, nearly as good as ours, which would create a talking point wherever they are.

Read the rest of this entry »

Map for Movie Lovers

I bet this map was a blast to put together, the Film Map is loosely based on those vintage Los Angeles streep maps. It features over 900 film titles and includes such favorites as Forrest Gump (which is, of course, a forest), The Green Mile, Reservoir Dogs, and the Valley of the Dolls. It even has its very own Red Light district.

Designed by Dorothy design company there is also a Song Map available. I’m hoping that one day Dorothy may put together a Retro Games Map, now that would be awesome!

Available from Dorothy, the open edition prints cost £25 each and the limited edition signed and stamped prints are going for £100. Of course this begs the question: Where would you want to live?

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