In our youth many of us played the classics such as Asteroids, Pac-Man or Defender. But what do the kids these days get out of the arcade? That is an interesting question that is tackled in the latest Stinger Report. It seems that arcade manufacturers across the board have become very interesting in the age groups of 5-12 and as such they are releasing a number of games to appeal to kids. This certainly is not a bad idea when I visit an arcade I usually see kids mostly getting into the redemption games and not so much the video games.
Sega appears to offer the strongest line-up of kids games; we have seen Dinosaur King and Love and Berry: Dress up and Dance both of which appeal to opposite genders respectively (boys love dinosaurs and girls love dressing up). In Japan they also have released games such as Marine and Marine (fish-based card collecting and battle game), Beatle DASH! (sequel to MushiKing), and Thomas the Tank Engine. Soon they are set to release Rhythm Nation (this got some attention on some mainstream sites only because it was based on a GameBoy Advance title) and BowWow which is a cross between a kiddie ride and a dog collection game. There is a lot of information to pour over here so hit the post jump for more on this as well as Mario Kart Arcade 3.
Not to be outdone, Namco Bandai is also getting into the children’s games with Animal Kaiser a fierce beast card-battling game (obviously aimed at boys and probably Japan-only as you see with these card battling games) and after having released Mario Kart GP 2, Stinger reports that Namco and Nintendo may be in fact working on a third installment of the Mario Kart arcade series.
Now time for a personal assumption about Mario Kart GP 3 – seeing how Nintendo just announced Mario Kart for the Wii, I would not be surprised if they released the Wii and arcade versions around the same time. That also may lead one to assume that they could integrate online gameplay between the two. It’s not like this would be entirely unusual as F-Zero Arcade let you use Nintendo GameCube memory cards to transfer information between the two units. Letting the next installment of Mario Kart arcade work with Mario Kart Wii through WiiConnect24 doesn’t seem like a far-fetched idea at this point. Now someone just needs to get Namco back to work on StarFox Arcade.
Getting back to the kid games, Taito has a couple of titles for kids including DinoKing Battle and the upcoming Dragon Quest Monster: Battle Road. Capcom has Won Tertainment: Music Channel and soon will have RockmanEXE: Battlechip Stadium. For all the names of these games, we have few details and pictures to go by.
In the States a few vendors have stepped up to the plate with games such as SpongeBob Squarepants Bikini Bottom (a racer), Gone Fishing, Jett-Rider, ZooFari and Speeding Ticket. They still have a little way to go if they wish to catch up with Japanese vendors of course but it is becoming clear that it is a market that cannot be ignored.