Back in October of last year, we ran news the JAMMA-based “Airframe” platform would be getting a new game called Rashlander. Airframe, as you might recall, is the first JAMMA based kit to have launched in a while, coming to us from Griffin Aerotech (developers of Skycurser). While a neat idea to help refresh older game cabinets, the platform has been left wanting for content as Skycurser has been the only title available for it since units began shipping in April 2017.
What is Rashlander?
Where Skycurser was a side scrolling shoot ’em up, Rashlander is a bit different than that. To quote the website:
RASHLANDER is a lander-roguelike that feels like sliding slowly across an icy parking lot while dodging every SUV and Smart Car before settling miraculously into a perfect parallel park. Except in space. And everything is exploding.
While most gravity space games like this seem to follow Atari’s vector aesthetic of the late ’70s/early ’80s, this eschews that for something that is closer to mid-80s computers. The shader effects are modern however, providing for some fantastic light & shadow effects along with a hint of stereoscopic 3D. The soundtrack also features heavy influences from ’80s computers & game machines.
I received a list of features to mention, here you go:
- Easy to understand, difficult to master
- Modern gameplay that “makes sense” next to Classic titles
- Designed with Speedrunners and High Score Chasers in mind
- Operator Menu with Freeplay options and Difficulty Settings
- Overall and Daily High Score tables
- Thumping original soundtrack by Fat Bard, the prolific musical duo whose magic touch appears in work for Disney, WB Games, and Butterscotch Shenanigans
- Discover SO MANY SECRETS
Here’s a trailer – it’s almost a year old now, so it’s possible that the game has seen some changes since, but this should still provide a solid idea of how it works:
A few years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined that developers would be bringing such non-driver/light-gun content to arcades unless it had a ticket dispenser slapped onto it. Fortunately, the tastes of the market have been maturing and we’re seeing more unusual titles make their way to coin-op.
If you’re looking to get your hands on this one, Griffin Aerotech has setup a special page that includes four options: A software kit (for those who already have an Airframe system), the Pro Kit, the Deluxe kit and a Dedicated Cabinet. “Packages range from $599.99 to $3499.99” according to the press release. From the player quotes at the bottom of that page, it also sounds like Tappers Arcade Bar in Indiana has this one; I also know that ShouTime has one, meaning that it is possible that it is available to play in Tokyo.
We’ll be paying attention to see if any other titles will be joining Rashlander and Skycurser soon; I know of a couple that have been in development, but all has been quiet on that front for a while now.
If you have had a chance to play this one already, what did you think about it?
Having had the opportunity to try this one out, I have to say that it is quite the treat. The developer has poured a lot of time and effort into making a modern arcade experience with many exciting moments. Rashlander’s visual/sound effects are fantastic, and the overall atmosphere is very enjoyable. There’s a lot to discover, with many surprises waiting around the corner.
I would say the game has a wide appeal, although it is reasonably challenging and a lot of its depth is clearly geared towards more experienced gamers.
RASHLANDER is an incredible game. It’s a dangerous mix of easy enough to get into and hard enough to keep trying…over and over and over… And the fact that I discover some new hidden secret nearly every time I play makes that “over and over and over” bit where the fun really is.
I anxiously await the second installment in the RASHLANDER series. The promo videos for that one make me think I’ll have a lot _more_ to learn in that one.