With the drawn-out death of video arcades and the rise of online multiplayer, opportunities to play video games with friends in the same room are becoming fewer and farther between. Swedish designer Love Hulten has created an elegant, nostalgic answer to that dilemma in the form of Battlecade, a custom, portable, two-player gaming platform that hearkens back to classic arcade cabinets and the board game Battleship.
“Conceptual arcade console for two players, inspired by classic board games like Battleship,” reads the description on Hulten’s website. “Instead of the classic side-by-side setup, you and your opponent sit facing each other. With a mid section including two 12-inch LCD monitors, neither of you can see the other’s game strategy. It has built in storage for quick access to accessories like power supply and detachable joysticks. When not in use, the console in three sections folds into a convenient carrier.”
Hulten, a Gothernburg-based designer and craftsman, fuses modern technology with a beautiful, retro aesthetic and fine woodworking to create functional works of art. He drew some American press earlier this year for his gorgeous Pixelkabinett stand-up arcade cabinet.
Despite the cheeky, Milton Bradley-reminiscent mock-up above, don’t hold out hope for a retail version of the Battlecade any time soon. Hulten’s works are all handcrafted, and thus more suited for the expensive tastes of collectors than those of your average gaming enthusiast. He lists a few of his creations (although not the Battlecade, currently) for sale on his website, but costing on the order of 2,500 to 3,700 euros (or roughly $2,900 to $4,200). If you’re looking for an extremely high-end gift for a very lucky retro gaming enthusiast in your life, you can contact Hulten about commissions. The rest of us in the 99 percent will simply have to gawk from afar or take up woodworking.