Antstream, the new proven cloud gaming service dedicated to retrogaming

Antstream, the new proven cloud gaming service dedicated to retrogaming


The services that allow you to play video games in streaming are no longer a big news, given that for years there are already several up and running. Many still look at them with suspicion, but they are increasingly establishing themselves, especially among those who have such connections that they can use them without problems. After all, they are very comfortable and, by now, almost all offer the possibility of being enjoyed on the screens of very different devices. Once you have freed yourself from the single platform, that is, you have breathed in the scent of freedom, it is really difficult to go back.

Many will surely know Stadia, PlayStation Now or xCloud, just to name a few, but the reality is that there are many other cloud gaming services on the square, some dedicated to more specific users. A little over two years ago we tried Antstream, a cloud gaming service designed for retrogaming. At the time, the platform was very immature and lacked several features. It also had a not inconsiderable monetary barrier, which made more than a few retrogaming enthusiasts turn up their noses. Now many things have changed and, taking advantage of the increase in players due to the gift made by the Epic Games Store, we have decided to return to play it to see what has changed and if the situation has improved.

In short, we tried Antstream again, to the delight of those who want to know this service better.

Basic information

Antstream is a service dedicated to retrogaming enthusiasts The first thing to note is the monetization system. The monthly and annual subscriptions, from € 9.99 and € 95.88 respectively, are still there, but they are different than they were before, as they are no longer needed to have access to the games. Currently it is possible to subscribe for a free subscription and still play all the titles in the catalog of the platform. The only price to pay is to buy some advertisements. The platforms officially supported by Antstream are many: PC, Mac, Android tablets and smartphones, Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV and the Atari VCS (the latest version of the console). We tried it on PC and on an Android smartphone and it went very well. In addition, we installed the application on an Android television and we were able to play without problems by connecting a Bluetooth controller (an 8bitdo M30, for the sake of the news). This is to say that it has the same versatility of use of more well-known and renowned services.

Organization of contents

The main screen of the Antstream Windows application From the point of view of use, Antstream turned out to be a nice surprise. Compared to two years ago, streaming quality has improved a lot and we've never had a problem launching games or playing them. Graphic artifacts only showed up in games with more complex pixel art (like Metal Slug), but they didn't stop us from playing. | Once the application is started, you are in front of the main page, which is organized by horizontal bands, similar to Netflix. So we have the menu bar at the top of the screen, where we can access a lot of information, such as our profile data, unlocked goals, active tournaments (which we'll talk about in a bit), their rankings and settings application.

Also here we find the button to go back to the main page and the search button, which as you can guess is used to navigate the vast catalog of the platform. The latter is a particularly important function, because it is the only way to have a complete list of the games on Antstream, which are really many (more than a thousand). Consider that the search also allows you to apply different filters and also gives user nicknames as results. To give an example, looking for Armalyte brings out the classic Thalamus shooter, but also a user who has adopted the name. Immediately below the menu bar are the banners of the main events, which show the active tournaments and some prominent games.

The selection of games by categories made by the platform itself begins under the banners. So we have the games chosen directly by the managers and highlighted. Or the titles to replay. Special mention deserve the "Games with Challenges" which are one of the reasons why Antstream is worth trying.

The Antstream catalog now includes more than a thousand games. Basically they are games with challenges generated by the platform, such as scoring a certain amount of points using a single life, finishing a level as quickly as possible, and etc. Each challenge yields medals (bronze, silver and gold), which give gems to spend to participate in other challenges or tournaments. These challenges, together with the tournaments (specific challenges with which you are confronted with all the other players entered in the competition), are the best part of the service, because they motivate you a lot to play and replay to do better and better. If you want, you can also ignore them, but it would be a shame to do so, because it is one of the best features of the platform, especially if you have some friends to challenge. But let's get back to us.

The games run very well, as this image from Cadaver demonstrates. The other ranges of titles selected for the home page concern genres, current games, new ones and so on. This is a very useful way to find something to suit the player by taking a quick look at the home page. When you have chosen a game, just confirm it and its tab will appear. Using an officially supported controller (but also with many of the unsupported ones) starting to play is really easy and immediate: you access the game card and press the play button, perhaps after reading some supporting information, such as the year of publication or the original publisher. All the keys needed to play are configured to perfection, both on the controllers and on the keyboard. So there is no need to really do anything, other than go crazy. At this point you will understand that it remains only to play.

Games and platforms

The game cards give some information Antstream supports many gaming platforms. Searching its catalog, you will find titles for Megadrive, Super Nintendo, Commodore 64 or Amiga, ZX Spectrum, NES and, recently, MSX. Listening them all seems really superfluous, but it is still possible to give a general opinion on the catalog. From our point of view this is a good selection, which allows you to replay many classics without too many headaches. For example, there is all the software of the Bitmap Brothers, or that of Sensibile Software, just to mention two names which surely the oldest of you will be linked. Staying on the subject of classics, looking for games of the caliber of Metal Slug, Bubble Bobble, the Impossible Mission, Manic Miner, Bad Dude's vs Dragon Ninja and many more. There are also some big crap, like Super Noah's Ark 3D for Super Nintendo, just to name one, but they don't spoil the overall impression. Furthermore, compared to our first trial, the catalog has really grown a lot, so the choice has also increased. The bottom line is that you can't really complain about the amount of games on offer, at least not in the short term. Too bad for the lack of classic titles from some publishers, such as Capcom, which create flaws in the historical discourse carried out by the platform.

The new Antstream test has really convinced us. In the space of two years, the service has grown quite a lot. Those who launched it reflected on the mistakes made and put a piece of it, to put it colorfully, improving the improvable and removing the constraint of money. Currently it's also worth taking a look at us with a free account, so why not do it?


Extra services are good Games are added on a regular basis Playing in the cloud doesn't give problems DOUBTS The lack of titles of some publishers is felt Have you noticed any errors?

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