Play Mechanix & ICE Team Up For Angry Birds Arcade – D&B Exclusive Through Labor Day

arcadehero July 27, 2015 18

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?

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  1. IcePagoda July 27, 2015 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Played this over the weekend… the mechanics of it are interesting and would play well if the plunger works. I could see this becoming quite an issue over time if the spring wasn’t maintained because half the time the balls I shot at the screen would only go halfway on a full plunge. The good news is that the game doesn’t count it against you if you don’t hit the screen, so it compensates, but it can still be a pain if the spring doesn’t get the balls to the target 100% of the time. Not a bad game by any means though.

  2. Manny July 28, 2015 at 4:28 am - Reply

    When I was at Playmechanix, I worked on an Angry Birds prototype. I overheard someone talking about getting the license at some point, so I quickly put together a proof of concept of using a physics engine with our in house engine. I didn’t really show it around much (I was always working on prototypes of some sort), and nothing came of it.

    The code for that prototype was eventually used as the basis for the Barrel of Monkeys demo, which was one of the last things I worked on before I left. Barrel of Monkeys actually made it to production about two years later (although I’m sure none of my prototype code remains). We were able to prove out the concept so quickly only because I had this Angry Birds code laying around.

    The cabinet looks really cool. The Playmechanix/RawThrills games coming out lately look way better than when I was working there!

    • arcadehero July 29, 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing that info Manny – I’m sure you can’t talk about most of what you worked on while there but I think that would be fascinating to look into (I love prototype stuff 😉 )

      • Manny July 31, 2015 at 5:23 am - Reply

        Most of the prototypes I worked on were things that I put together myself, without any sort of blessing from management, and they were usually just simple gameplay and technology demos. I would often raid the back room for parts and combine them with stuff from radio shack to try out new input methods. So, nothing as cool or complete as RIP squad was.

        One of my favorites was playing big buck safari with a bow. I bought a children’s bow and arrow set and mounted our gun hardware to the middle of it, and used a flex sensor to detect the pull of the bow. Once released, it would fire a shot into the game as usual. I thought it was cool, but it really was kind of unwieldy.

        There is one prototype that I really would like to talk about, but I’m still holding out hope that it’ll get produced at some point. It was a very darn good idea. “V-darn”, I’d say.

  3. Jdevy July 31, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Surprised to see this as an arcade title, I thought an app arcade game like this would never happen…

  4. Leon August 5, 2015 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Wow! I wish it would be in any arcade!!!☺☺☺☺☺☺

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