First thoughts on The Act (my review for the week)

Shaggy October 25, 2007 7


The reason why I am calling this my first thoughts and not my final review is because I am having a little issue with the sound – nothing comes through the on-board PC sound port for standard PC speakers. I have not yet had a chance to hook it up to a JAMMA cabinet (I attempted to do so with my Superman cabinet but the kit wouldn’t fit in the space due to the way the cabinet is setup) so until I can do so, I’ll have to go without sound.

Still, the game is playable and after playing it, I am even more disappointed that this game is not coming to arcades en mass. It is quite fun, very entertaining and unique. In0160.jpg fact there is nothing quite like it on any game market. The knob controller controls the main character Edgar and his actions/reactions. By twisting the knob in a certain direction it invokes his emotional response. It seems that twisting it to the left invokes more serious or negative reactions (depending on the situation) and to the right more positive or fun reactions. On top of that, the more you twist, the more intense the reaction. You have to be careful in twisting the knob however, sometimes it’s a small difference between each reaction.

The game is split into a story-mode that the player cannot control and then the interactive mode where the player takes control. This is represented by a slate in the lower left hand corner of the screen. The operator can adjust how many chances you get, if you screw up by contrasting the wrong emotions you loose a slate. Loose them all and it’s game over. I am not 100% sure how many different scenarios there are but all of them are quite entertaining and some are hilarious as you attempt to do things such as win over the girl of your dreams.

Hit the break for more, including news on the cancellation of the game we just received from The Stinger Report.

Graphically the animation is top-notch, being inked by ex-Disney animators and the overall style appears just like a good Disney cartoon (you know, before everythingact2.jpg started to go over to 3D animation). The best part about The Act is that there is no delay in the reaction of your character compared to when you move the control. This really pulls you into the game as it feels as though you are truly interacting with the game.

The control is fluid and there even is one scene where you have to do a physical activity by moving the knob back and forth. I have also heard that there is another physical activity scenario but I have not made it there yet. This creates a very unique scheme for a knob when tied into this type of game. I can’t see this game playing the same with any other type of controller. The knob is a bit larger than I expected but it works out just right when you take control of it.

Now after reading about how great this game is, you may be overcome with disappointment at the news that we broke a few weeks ago that the game was cancelled. I was lucky to get my hands on a kit of this game from eBay and there are only a few that are being sold to the public. The Stinger Report reveals more about what happened with the cancellation of this amazing title:

Stinger sources revealed that a number of test units of the proposed cabinet had been fielded through discussions with key distributors, but due to totally incorrect placement (one test unit even placed in an aging bowling alley), the company had become disillusioned with their treatment and the difficulties of working in the amusement field – now turning all its efforts to getting the game out in the consumer sector. Questions have to be asked why so few newcomers are encouraged to succeed in amusement, and if certain vested interest are stifling creativity rather than supporting it — to maximize their market share and control.

It is quite sad to hear that they may have received some bad treatment in the industry – if so one has to wonder where this came from. Are we an industry that only will help out a company that is already large with a well-known name? This game could have brought some great attention to the industry, far more than any racer, light-gun or dance game has in years.

UPDATE: For a couple of short video reviews on the game(with sound), check out the links below

[The Act Arcade Gameplay Footage Part 1]

[The Act Arcade Gameplay Footage Part 2]

[Discuss on the Forum]


  1. twistedsupreme October 26, 2007 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Jealous 🙂

  2. A. Silver December 1, 2007 at 3:28 am - Reply

    Shaggy, how did you manage to snag the conversion kit for a mere $400? Given the prices for the rest of the auctions, I’m extremely curious how that went down.


    A. Silver

  3. Shaggy December 1, 2007 at 3:57 am - Reply

    Actually from what Cecropia told me, I was lucky. They said that someone had a snipe bid in for a certain amount but their snipe software apparently failed them on the auction. I’m not sure if the snipe bid was as high as my highest bid though, I had put in a fairly high max bid.

  4. A. Silver January 21, 2008 at 12:53 am - Reply

    Here’s another question. Since the hardware for The Act is simply a PC (pkus a usb spinner), and you have a CD/DVD of the game included with your conversion kit, are there any plans to release the game to the arcade community at large – so everyone could play it, as opposed to a lucky few?

  5. Paride September 27, 2009 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    is there any news about this game?
    Is there any chance to get this game?
    I mean..can you make a copy of the disk?

  6. Shaggy September 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    I have not heard any updates on it since the company folded and I have not heard about any emulation efforts being made on it although I can check.

    • A. Silver November 25, 2009 at 5:34 am - Reply

      It would be interesting to know if the included backup disk could be made to work on other setups. It is a customized Linux distro, I hear, so it should be possible.

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