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Historic joy

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My husband’s sixth grade social studies project on the history of video games didn’t win any prizes — because it was ahead of its time. But now you can take your vid-kid back to the Asteroids Era (which predated the Pac Man Era, but came after the Pong Era) with Basic Fun’s Atari Plug & Play Joystick.

Cartridges and consoles are a thing of the past with this all-in-one that’s shaped like the legendary system’s controller — with 10 games built in. Just pop in four double-A batteries and connect two jacks into your television, and you’re ready to go.

In “Missile Command” you protect your cities from nuclear destruction with a Reagan-era Star Wars defense system. “Centipede” has you shooting the eponymous creature that may have come to life thanks to nuclear fallout. And “Volleyball” lets you play on a beach that may or may not still exist thanks to global warming.

Best of all, these vintage games don’t require hours of screen time to have fun. Twenty minutes at a clip with your Mini Me is all it takes.

Atari Plug & Play Joystick by Basic Fun, $19.99, www.Target.com.

Updated 9:44 am, January 23, 2018
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