• Graeme Mason

Antstream Arcade: 2021 Review

It’s been another cracking year for Antstream Arcade with new games, tournaments, features and

more all arriving throughout 2021. Join us as we celebrate the highlights of another glorious classic gaming year on the world’s biggest and best retro gaming streaming platform.


After a quiet start to 2021, the year really got going for Antstream late in January with the news that we were entering into a partnership with a little-known entertainment company called Disney. The first games of this collaboration were crackers too: Super Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return Of The Jedi all debuted this month, expanding the range of both licensed and Nintendo games on the platform.


Our tournaments continued to prove popular throughout the year and the Pac-Man competition we hosted on the 12 th February was a very special one. Forged in partnership with Amazon Fire, for every completed round of the Pac-Man challenge played by Antstreamers, Amazon donated a whole dollar to the charity Extra Life, raising valuable funds for children’s hospitals in Canada and the United States. It was a busy month at Antstream HQ; just four days later, a fantastic quintet of

awesome arcade games arrived, from classic shoot-‘em-ups Stargate and Sinistar, to the wonderful multiplayer dungeon romp, Gauntlet. With more challenges and tournaments rounding off the month, there was a big addition waiting to drop in March…


Antstream Arcade has always been about community at its heart, so it was with great pride on the

9th March that we announced the new share button on the platform. Now players could quickly tap a button to share onto social media the game they’re currently playing. While it’s not recommended for anybody who wants to quietly remain on the podium, this feature quickly became a hit among fans. While St. Patrick’s Day saw three new games including the frenetic homebrew shooter, ReShoot R on the Commodore Amiga and the classic arcade smash-‘em-up, Rampage, along with its own instant tournament, we rounded off March with another charity tournament. This time, people could play Bubble Bobble and raise cash for War Child UK at the same time.


As the UK began to emerge from lockdown, April brought a slew of notable new games to Antstream Arcade. Top of the pile was the brilliant Joust (a firm favourite of Antstream Arcade Twitch partner AshSaidHi, who featured on the Joust tournament later in the month), followed by fellow arcade classics Gauntlet II, Root Beer Tapper, Xenophobe and Dragon Spirit.


The legendary arcade games kept on coming in May (Rampart! 720 Degrees! Centipede!), but it was the addition of the fabulous first two Monkey Island games that really caught the eye this month. There were further tournament hijinks with another Twitch affiliate, Louise_LCX, celebrating the 25th anniversary of her favourite game, Metal Slug, and it was in this month that Antstream Arcade finally became available in Australia – now that’s some bonzer news! As the warmer European weather of June settled in, Antstream’s latest collaboration with SevenSquared apparel offered up a timely crossover of smart gaming tee shirts with a combined Worms tournament helping Trista Bytes and SevenSquared earn money for charity Safe In Our World.


With the 2020 Euros finally kicking off in June, we offered up an opportune tournament in the form of retro sports classic Sensible World Of Soccer early in July along with another partnership

competition, this time alongside Insert Coin Clothing. Meanwhile, the Star Wars love continued later in this month with the debut of the three original arcade classics. This trio of games, particularly Star Wars from 1983, are revered by gamers and made a distinguished addition to the platform, while later in July both Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis (Amiga) and Indiana Jones Greatest Adventures (SNES) took their rightful places in the Antstream Arcade museum.


August brought another change to the Antstream UI with an in-built volume control. Games-wise

there was more LucasArts entertainment thanks to Loom (Amiga) and classic point ‘n’ clicker Maniac Mansion (NES), while September produced arcade gaming love in the form of the loveable Rockford in the brilliant Boulder Dash games and frantic first-person shooter, Space Gun. Throughout the Autumn the fab new games kept coming along with regular tournaments and fresh taxing challenges.


In October, it was time for users to help us with the opening of the Antstream Arcade Beta Testing

Program. This proved remarkably popular with Antstreamers and we were quickly inundated with

applications. Also in October was the unveiling of Bug’s Quest For Tapes, another great little

homebrew game, and the first Amstrad CPC game on Antstream Arcade. As the Antstream team

headed up to Blackpool for Play Expo, the new games continued, including the long-awaited Sega

Mega Drive version of Sensible Soccer.


There was some majestic news on the 18 th November with the arrival of Antstream on the Epic Game Store, expanding our reach to another legion of eager retro gamers. Also incoming was another debut system with Antstream Arcade CEO Steve Cottam’s favourite computer, the MSX and that friendly little burrower Rockford in its version of the classic Boulder Dash. Tournament-wise there was a special contest in November with Antstream Arcade leaderboard king, Ronnie Weston, raising funds for The Rainbow Trust and Young Minds.


With the new games and challenges coming thick and fast even as Christmas looms, it all adds up to another fantastic and hectic year for Antstream Arcade. Here’s to an even better 2022! Happy New Year everybody and keep on (retro) gaming!

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