At AOU 2010 in February, Taito revealed a 4-player light-gun shooter and a new version of their game Hopping Road called Hopping Road Kids. Hopping Road itself is an original arcade title that has players taking part in pogo-stick racing in a cartoony, cutesy world. Despite it’s appearance (if you’re turned off by cute) it looks like a fun game, there’s nothing quite like it in arcades right now, and it even gives a player a small workout so it’s appealing to fans of games that require physical activity. The downside to any game requiring such activity though is the potential for it to break down so I’d be curious to know how these have fared in the field so far. The first video below shows some footage from the Japanese version of the game but before you write this off as another crazy title no one will see outside of Japan, think again. Hopping Road is available in both Europe and the US, although I do not know of any US locations which have picked it up yet. You can see the English version in the second video below, filmed at the Trocadero in London. Taito also has a page for HR on their English website.
Anyways to get back on track, Taito has announced that the Kids version is now available in Japan, which you can see here. While they have not yet indicated when they will be releasing this internationally, I think it would be an even easier sell to operators since the game already appeals more to kids than adults and with plenty of locations out there already catering to kids with ticket redemption, this offers a nice video-only alternative (although some operators would certainly prefer a redemption version of this). Assuming the kids version also comes with a smaller price tag, that can certainly improve it’s chances.Hopping Road Kids can be linked up to a standard version for four player pogo races between kids and adults
Japanese Demo from the standard version of the game
Footage of the English version at the Trocadero