One of our Best of Show Finalist Award winners from the 2013 CES, PureGear’s Retro Game Case for iPhone 5 ($30) is a series of three different styles: Amazing, Groovy, and Undecided. The base of the three cases is the same, but each features a different classic analog game built into the back. While thicker than standard cases, they’re attention grabbers for sure. Thankfully, PureGear didn’t rely on the novelty factor, as these are actually good cases.
All three start with the same half inch rubber frame, albeit in different colors. There’s enough give to the material that installation is easy, but it still holds tightly around the body of the iPhone. The Sleep/Wake and volume button coverage is well implemented, as they’re all fully covered without diminishing the tactility when you press. In addition to an accommodating headphone port hole, along the bottom there’s a one inch opening centered around the Lightning port. It’s large enough to support Apple’s Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter, but only just so. Half of the speaker is covered still, with eight small holes allowing the sound through.
The back of each case is a sheet of hard, clear plastic, with the corresponding game nestled underneath. Amazing is a series of concentric circles with gaps, with the goal of getting all three metal balls into the smallest circle in the center. Groovy is a more complex line-based maze with a single ball, and Undecided is a pachinko-style collection of pegs with a launcher to help you make random “yes/no” decisions depending on where one ball falls. Only the launcher on Undecided pokes out, but PureGear has reinforced it and it feels strong.
While none of the games are complex, they’re fun, and great conversation starters. The fact that PureGear put in the time and energy to form proper cases around them makes them that much more intriguing. For a very reasonable price, you’re getting a fun, protective case that’s truly original. The only real downside is the bulk, but there’s no getting around that with the style. Ultimately, it’s a very good case, and earns our strong general recommendation. While it’s not for everyone, PureGear got a lot right here, and we really like the result.
Company and Price
Model: Retro Game Cases
Compatible: iPhone 5