PureGear’s Retro Game Cases bring device protection with a twist.
For those just tuning in, I’ve been reviewing Galaxy S4 cases over the past couple of weeks, some of which have been pretty decent, some of which have failed miserably. In my latest review, I want to show you all a really interesting batch of cases from PureGear that put a unique spin on device protection. Say hello to the Retro Game Case lineup.
Available in three different flavors, which I’ll detail here in just a bit, the PureGear Retro Game Cases each feature a different little metal ball game on the back of the case. The cases are made of thermoplastic urethane (TPU) material that wraps fully around the back of the case and have a raised edge to protect the phone while it’s on its face. The games are encased in a clear plastic backing, raised slightly off of the back of the device. The cases do add a small amount of bulk, but it’s nowhere near as big as cases like the Griffin Technology Survivor, which basically turns your phone into a brick.
As for the different game styles I mentioned above, here’s what we’re looking at:
Amazing: Navigate the ball through the challenging maze from start to finish.
Groovy: Maneuver the balls until all are in the center at the same time in a game of wits.
Undecided: Hold vertically and shoot the ball for a magically answer to your question.
If you played these types of games as a kid, I’m sure you can relate and appreciate the awesomeness of these cases. They always draw attention in a crowd, but on the downside, everyone will want to hold your phone to play the game, so whip them at your own risk.
The Retro Game Cases fit the Galaxy S4 very well. In fact, they fit so well that they immediately impressed me enough to rethink my initial feeling that they would be cheap and crappy cases. There are cutouts for the headphone jack that allow easy access for plugging in headphones or an auxiliary cable, the IR blaster is uncovered, so is the charging port and barometer sensor at the bottom of the phone.
The device’s speaker is covered, which caused some concern for me initially, but that was quickly cleared up the first time I played music with the case on. Surprisingly, it almost seems as though the case amplifies the music. I’m not 100% sure it does it, but it definitely doesn’t hinder the volume by any means.
The volume buttons and power buttons are covered, which usually doesn’t sit well with me, but I don’t mind these button covers because they actually work as intended. Bravo to PureGear for getting this part right on the money!
As far as protection is concerned, these cases should do a pretty good job holding up against minor drops and tumbles. Of course, being that your screen is completely exposed, there’s always risk for damage there, but the raised edges on the face of the phone will at least help when your phone falls flat on its face. They do a fine job of keeping your device safe from normal wear and tear that comes with daily usage.
Final thoughts and rating
I was leery of PureGear’s Retro Game Cases when they first showed up on my doorstep. I was afraid they would have a cheap and undesirable feel, and that the games on the back were nothing more than a gimmick to make up for it. Fortunately, I was completely wrong — these cases work surprisingly well and they look amazing while doing so.
The only thing I’m not fond of is having to keep the back of the case clean. As you can imagine, the clear plastic encasement that holds the game in place can (and does) get smudged up very easily. I’m pretty anal about keeping my screen clean, and now it’s like having to worry about both sides of the phone at all times. Not a huge deal, but just figured I’d point it out, since it’s the only negative thing I could come up with.
Final rating: 4.5/5
Where to buy
You can find these cases on the PureGear website for $29.99. This is a pretty fair price for a very nice case, so do yourself a favor and check them out. You won’t be disappointed.