Not big on digital gaming? Now you can play off cartridges designed for smartphones

A Japanese company is releasing classic games on cartridges that plug into the headphone jacks of Android and iOS devices.

Pico Cassette

A crowd-funded company is bringing old school gaming to the digital age with this take on gaming cartridges for smartphones.

Having just released its first game, Pico Cassette is a crowd-funded project that is bringing the days of cartridge swapping to iPhones and Android devices. And with indie game studios making many of their games for mobile, the Pico Cassettes will give developers the ability to release games without going through app stores.

Perhaps the one thing that most remember fondly from the good ol' days of gaming, a thing that's lacking in this very digital age, is the tactility of a physical gaming cart. Plug-in-and-play is just one thing that can't be compared to, and that's what the Pico Cassette is hoping to bring to smartphones.

The company has just released its first title for the plug in device, a retro NES game by the name of Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, a save-the-princess affair that pits your brave ninja against a tyrannical warlord, similar to Donkey Kong or Alex Kidd. Having raised over $30,000, with over two months remaining, the company is set to make further games in the Pico Cassette range, with more titles to be announced soon.

Currently, the Ninja JaJaMaru-kun cartridge is being sold on the Japanese crowd-funding site Makuake for ¥4,980 (US$45, AU$60, £30), which is a little steep, but closer to the official release, the prices are expected to drop to ¥3,000 (US$28, AU$37, £19) with a wider selection of titles to choose from.