Back in February during the JAEPO Expo in Tokyo, Konami had unveiled a unique videmption (or interactive vending) game, originally called Disney ZamZam, which was changed to Disney Tsum Tsum. I mentioned it briefly (scroll down most of the page to find it) but hadn’t really discussed it otherwise as it was figured that being a Konami Japan piece it wouldn’t find its way into distribution here.
With location test fever reaching a pitch in the US recently, Round1USA at the Puente Hills Mall in Southern California brought the game in this week for some testing. Now branded as Tsum Tsum Arcade, this VS. touchscreen matching puzzle game still maintains the Disney characters in their extra cutesy “Tsum Tsum” form in the game. For the Tsum Tsum product themselves, they are NFC-enabled (ala Skylanders or Amiibos) collectible toys that vend in small capsules. They can be tied to a user’s Konami e-Amusement account and as shown in this location test video here, with two players activating them, you can enjoy a vs. match where 2 out of 3 wins. Vs. play looks like it would be fun, just like other Vs. puzzle arcade games from the past (Super Puzzle Fighter II, Puzzle Bobble, etc)
According to the test settings, you could just play the game for $1 or if you want a Tsum Tsum, that would run you $5 (which would include a game). Some special edition Pink Micky/Minnie Tsum Tsums were included in the product batch; the game also includes Elsa from Frozen and Winne The Pooh, which are certain to draw some attention to it.
While I’m not aware of how well prize capsule games generally do on the arcade market, they are out there. One made waves not long ago called Monkey Bizz-Ness with the Sidebox, which would vend a capsule and if you got a key then you could win a bigger prize to the side but that isn’t really a game, it’s more of an elaborate vending machine. While Tsum Tsum has this vending angle to it to draw in interest, this style of game is quite popular. Combine it with Disney characters and it seems like it should be a win-win-win. Now the question would be whether or not this did well enough on test and if it would be available in wide arcade distribution and who would handle manufacturing since Konami hasn’t had such capacity in the US for many years. What are your thoughts about this?