I first learned of a company called Universal Space a few years ago when I made my first visit to IAAPA. They surprised with an arcade version of Cooking Mama and a strange game called Ultimate which borrowed a page from a Namco arcade-title called Panic Park. The game itself and general cabinet design was different from PP, aside from the control scheme which was the same, involving sliding joysticks. With their newest game called After Dark, the Namco love continues in a similar manner, the game appears to be different and the cabinet itself isn’t exactly the same as Deadstorm Pirates, then you look at the controls and have to wonder.
Comparing apples to apples, the gun designs are not exactly the same, the shells and joysticks are different, although organized in a similar manner(dual sticks attached to the gun base). So nothing to worry about there as many different games have gone that route. The only thing is the steering wheel, which has been made to look like an old ship wheel, just like in Deadstorm Pirates. Again, mixing a steering wheel with guns has been done on various games, and borrowing ideas in the arcade industry is a common practice I just think they would be better served by at least changing the wheel design to not be so blatantly like DSP. Being that this is probably a prototype they could still change it to look like some other kind of wheel and avoid disputes. The deluxe cabinet has a Dark Escape 4D vibe to it, although it is also different enough and honestly looks pretty cool in its own right. The standard version has a 47″ screen, the deluxe a 55″ and also includes a motion seat. There is a very good chance we will see these games at IAAPA as UNIS tends to show off a number of new games at the show, although that does not necessarily indicate that they will be released out West; They once showed off a light-gun game called Forest Guardian which was kind of like Halo meets AVATAR with a 3DTV screen but they ended up not releasing that game as far as I know. I have wondered if a similar thing might happen with another light-gun game they showed off back East a few months ago called Iron Heart, which they still don’t list on their website.
Similarities aside, if this is at IAAPA I would like to get a look at it and compare as Dark Escape 4D will be there too. Given what I have heard about the DE4D price tag, UNIS could have prepped this as a challenger in that regard but we will have to see how software quality compares too.