Lately it seems that when arcade news in the Japan/US/Europe part of the market slows to crawl, then we can take a look at what’s going on in China and something new is being done. Sometimes it’s not exciting when we see a straight clone or bootleg but when something a different/original comes along it’s worth mentioning. So it is with a company called Xinyu Games, who have a couple of new titles that we’ll take a look at here.
(Click on the images for a full-view)
First is a puzzle game called Panda Panda. The control scheme uses a set of sliding sticks which is familiar although it’s used infrequently – something we first saw with Namco’s Panic Park (2000) and most recently with UNIS’s Ultimate (2009). Here the dual-sticks are used to control panda’s at the bottom of the screen who throw colored bubbles up at a string of moving bubbles to combine at least three colors to burst them. We’ve seen that basic idea used often in games like Puzz Loop but at least this throws a new twist on it. It can work as a video-only title or it can accommodate ticket redemption.
Next is a game called Black Sea: Strikes Back, which at first I thought was a Sea Wolf clone but then noticed that it’s a cross between that and something like AfterBurner. The game comes in a sitdown configuration that uses a yoke controller(!) that gives you control of an aircraft blasting enemy boats and helicopters on the Black Sea. Like Panda Panda, it’s not a graphically complex game but from the pic above the water looks nice. Your aircraft looks ridiculously small however. It’s one of those games you probably need to see in action to get a good feel for it however and whether we’ll ever get that chance, it’s hard to say as it is often hit-and-miss with video of arcades from China.
You can see more about Xinyu on their official website, which also includes Feeding Frenzy arcade. I’ve seen that same machine on CoinopExpress though, so not sure if they are bootlegging it or if the company was the first to develop that for arcades. The pictures show one screen with text in Chinese, English and Spanish so who knows.