As announced yesterday, the arcade port of the iOS game Infinity Blade known as Infinity Blade FX would make it’s first public appearance at the GEEX show in Sandy, UT. As that is nearby to where I live I decided to take a short trip down to the South Towne Expo Center to check it out.
As a little background, this is the second game made available for the TouchFX arcade platform that was released at the beginning of this year by Adrenaline Amusements. The first title was Fruit Ninja FX. Next month they also will be releasing Flight Control FX as we have already discussed. This version of Infinity Blade has been in development for a year and as you will see, it has some perks that give it an advantage over the handheld versions of the game. It has done pretty well on iOS devices, grabbing enough interest to warrant a sequel in Infinity Blade 2 that the Salt Lake City based game developer ChAIR is working on for a release in December
The most obvious perk to begin with is the high quality, very durable 46-inch multi-touch screen. It runs off PC hardware that also allows them to improve the graphics over the iOS version and unlock the various features of the Unreal 3 engine in terms of shaders, lighting, textures, etc. You also get the advantage of better sound, although it was partially drowned out in my video due to the noise of the show.
The game itself works perfectly for the TouchFX platform, what it boils down to is a series of boss fights. Use your hands to activate blocking or dodging, swipe at the enemy on screen to slash them with your sword. Occasionally tapping is required and you can also parry attacks by timing your swipes just right. Timing is important and will mean the difference between victory or death in this game (cue The Last Starfighter Victory or Death sequence here) You keep going until you run out of health; I found that the Round 4 fight was usually where I had to continue. The game also gives you a tutorial as you play, helping you quickly learn to to duke it out with these bulky bad guys. You also get to purchase upgrades between rounds – each match gives you some money to spend on these upgrades which includes improving your sword, helmet, shield or armor – which also increases your stats to better handle the next fight. With this version you cannot save your upgrade status however.
The game can support tickets although it is optional. If so, there are many options the operator can set to adjust the payout that I saw. Even without tickets I found it a compelling game to play that is certainly worth trying even if you have the iOS version in your pocket. It marks the first time an RPG has come to US arcades since Gauntlet Dark Legacy and the first I know of to use the Unreal 3 engine. Infinity Blade FX launches on October 28th at every Dave & Busters location where they each will have two units on hand for multiplayer. It will be available for other venues to pick up as well. While a violent game due to all of the sword slashing, there is no blood so operators don’t have to worry about the content in that regard. It is the kind of game I would happily place in my own arcade, partly as I love RPGs but also it has some name recognition, it looks great and I found it to be fun. I think it would easily grab attention among the other games I have since it would be quite a different experience. I wasn’t the only one to think so as both of the units at the show were constantly being played.
Here is a video look at the game sort of being played.
Here’s a second video where I don’t say anything, just show the game in action