I enjoy a good space combat game but they are hard to find these days. Such games used to dominate the arcade scene but they have all but died out in recent years. So my interest piqued when I caught a glimpse of an unidentified space game seen at the recent GTI Asia Taipei Expo and I asked the user who posted the video about that particular title to discover what it was all about.
Turns out it is a space combat game called Thunder 5 by Gauss Enterprises. They focus primarily on creating gambling games but this one looks to have taken a slightly different direction than their usual content. You can see from the graphics that the game is certainly nothing special to look at, as though it could have come out in the late 80’s to a lukewarm reception. Unfortunately the makers of the game have decided to rip-off a couple of different properties to try and make the game interesting, including Star Trek : Deep Space Nine (which is seen in some of the artwork on the game cabinet as well as in some in-game backgrounds) and the Raiden series by MOSS. In fact they list the name “Raiden V” in the title of the video. Some of the cabinet designs seen on their page also use the 3D models of the Raiden spacecraft. I’m not an expert in legal matters but I’m pretty sure that it’s a bad idea to infringe on these properties but that won’t stop some people from trying.
Here’s a video of the game in action. It supports up to six players depending upon the cabinet configuration. As a one player title it looks rather boring as you control a reticule and can shoot down slow moving spacecraft that traverse across the screen. As a four or six player game I could see it as being somewhat exciting as you compete for a high score although admittedly it would be more interesting if you were controlling a space craft on the playfield.