Product review: Pandora’s Box

Okay, all jokes and kidding aside, Monster Gamez has found the pinnacle of human achievement, the end goal of millennia of history – and it can be had for under $200 on Amazon. We’re talking (writing?) here about a device called Pandora’s Box, a video game system which includes 700 classic arcade games – and in some consoles, a single very famous classic home game to be revealed later.

But let’s get this straight: The Pandora’s Box is a full-on emulator, RaspberryPi-style but in plug-and-play fashion. These are the *real freaking games*, guys, which the Japanese-built OSes taken directly from the source.

How many versions of Pandora’s Box are there?

The versions making its way to North American and European shores in 2018 are the 6 and 6S. These contain 1000 and 1299 titles, respectively. Earlier versions readily available in this part of the world go back to the 4 and 4S. These contain 700 and 800 games, respectively.

What games are on the Pandora’s Box?

The actual games list for any given version of Pandora’s Box are available online in PDF format, and each is naturally pages and pages long. Perhaps the only drawback to the Pandora’s Box is that, since it is a Chinese-designed and -manufactured product, alphabetization of any list is simply not an option. (Written Chinese does not have an alphabet, per se.)

This lead-in is to say that now viable way to list all the games on all the Pandora’s Box systems is possible in this space. We might make things simpler by listing what’s not in any Pandora’s Box: Any game produced by Williams (so no Defender or Robotron 2084) and about ¾ of those from Atari (no Asteroids games or Tempest, for example, but both Dig Dug games are here). That’s it. Virtually any aracade game you can remember from the 1980s and even early 90s are included.

What is in all Pandora’s Boxes from version 5 up: All the Pac-Man games; all the Mario games from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Bros.; zillions of soccer and baseball games, including RBI Baseball; staples like Frogger and Qix; the original Mortal Kombat, Double Dragon and almost innumerable fighting games; and essentially every other arcade game you’ve ever seen that’s not based on an extant franchise such as Star Wars or Star Trek.

What home game do you get in Pandora’s Box?

For some reason, hidden among the hundreds of other games – often literally so, as it’s usually buried under the title of a different game – is the original Sonic The Hedgehog as designed for the first Sega Play Station. Weird, but awesome!

Who produces Pandora’s Box?

That’s the weird thing: Nobody outside of China seems to know. As much as Pandora’s Box is about games of the past, the product itself may be a hint of the future. Pandora’s Box is available through Amazon and eBay through any number of (usually) North America-based distributors, but dmaned if any of ‘em know where the Box comes from.

AT the top of one Pandora’s Box game list PDF file is listed the name “Potech Technology Co. Ltd.” The trace amounts in English from the company which may be easily found online self-describe the company as “Experts in Manufacturing and Exporting slot games, jamma PCB, game spare parts.” The Pandora’s Box would seem to be kinda within Potech’s acumen, but little else connects the company with Pandora.

No matter. Check out your favorite ecommerce site to find one (like, now) but be very certain that it carries the Pandora’s Box brand. Other models are known for bugs, glitches and display problems that Pandora avoids. And, because of the dicey gray-area transactions behind it, little legal recourse is available to the scammed customer. ON Pandora’s Box more than ever, the old caveat rings true: Know what you’re buying!