During the recent Reddit AMA with Dave & Busters Senior VP Kevin Bacchus, he mentioned a couple of times that they would have a new game on test “soon” that was also his current favorite, a spot ahead on his personal favorites scale of Bandai Namco’s Star Wars Battle Pod. We now know what game that is – the long-awaited official entry of Angry Birds Arcade to the coin-op market.
Ever since the industry began to port over mobile apps to the arcade space (Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump, Temple Run, Subway Surfers, Flappy Bird, etc. etc.), we’ve had talk of an Angry Birds Arcade machine but aside from the occasional Chinese bootleg(scroll down that page a ways), nothing has officially come to fruition until now.
This cabinet is quite the monster – about 8′ long with a 55″ screen at the back. It was developed by Play Mechanix (Big Buck Hunter series; Terminator Salvation; Aliens Extermination & Armageddon; Barrel of Monkeys and many others) and ICE with some help from Dave & Busters, this takes the Angry Birds concept and turns it into something that stands out from a mobile experience – it is not a touch screen based game but a ‘launch the foam ball into the screen’ game. The front of cabinet has an encased slingshot/ball plunger device, controlled by something that looks like a yoke controller.
As mentioned in the headline, all 77 Dave & Busters locations have this game locked up as a timed exclusive, from today (July 27th) through Labor Day and the new game will be included in D&B commercials. After that, other FECs will be able to get their hands on it.
Admittedly I thought that Angry Birds would have passed as a fad by now but they continue to churn out new titles for it on mobile so demand is still there. It has one of the biggest names in mobile gaming and their merchandising of the brand is still strong among kids so with a unique angle towards launching the ball at the screen (I recall musing about a possible Angry Birds Arcade game design in my book, The Arcade Experience while making the point that arcade hardware can help software stand out in unique ways), this could be the next big hit among videmption gaming for our industry. What are your thoughts about it?