Wahlap is a company that we haven’t discussed in quite a while. This Chinese manufacturer made headlines several years ago when when they released Storm Racer to the US market. Their US division has been setup at events like IAAPA every year, although their product selection for overseas markets hasn’t changed much since 2014 (at last IAAPA, they were showing off Overtake VR, but did not want to allow filming of it for some reason).
I do not know if their US division is still in operation or not – the English side of their website hasn’t been updated in a few years and they aren’t taking out ads in places like Replay anymore. But, they still are setup in China, where they have recently listed a few new titles to their Chinese website that we’ll look at here.
As a note, there is no guarantee that these games will be released here – both Monster Eye 5D and the upright version of Teratoma: The Last Rebellion were, but those did not seem to be strong sellers.
Monster Eye 2
Monster Eye 5 was a kind of “answer” to co-op, environmental shooter games like Deadstorm Pirates and Let’s Go Jungle/Island. It plays similarly to those games and had pretty solid graphics. The two features to make it stand out (and “5D”) were a motion base and a Kinect sensor for special in-game events like simulated swimming. Here’s a video of it in case you missed it (or forgot; this also includes footage of Teratoma, a game we’ll discuss further down):
While I do not see a video for Monster Eye 2, we have a couple of assets to look over. There is little data on the game itself that I can find…by what we see below, it looks to have a little bit of a King Kong meets Godzilla vibe to it. The giant bat and roller coaster ride are also prominent on the cabinet. It also was developed by IGS as was the first game, but they have yet to add any information about this one on their website either.
Next up is something new-new, in that I’ve not heard of this IP before and it’s not a sequel. I also want to keep calling it Bounty Hunter, which is likely what the name would be if this one comes West. Bounter Ranger has an Old West theme to it, where you play as either “Leopard” or “Catwoman” (not of DC Comics fame, of course). From the online translated description, this one sounds like it follows the typical pattern of co-op mounted shooters, with a slight Chase HQ vibe to it. While you fight off other enemies, you are always after the bounty for a particular bad guy.
The cabinet looks a bit like the Let’s Go Island Motion Deluxe cabinet that Sega had out for a time around 2011 – enough that the image of the control panel is a photoshopped version of that same panel(you can see the artwork on the side of the guns, which is the same thing as LGI), while the rest of the cabinet image is a rendering. Odd.
Teratoma: The Last Rebellion Deluxe
If you watched the video above, then you got to see Teratoma upright in action. As another mounted gun shooter, it was pretty difficult for it to stand out in the crowd of such games at the time. The game had a sci-fi theme to it and played ok by what I remember, but otherwise it was easy to forget.
In this industry, “bigger is always better,” with environmental cabinets always seeming to do the trick in helping a game earn more. Still, it’s a tough market to play in as operators only have so much space and budgets to make a bunch of environmental games work out.
Will we see these games receive distribution out West? Who knows. Wahlap put a lot of marketing efforts into Monster Eye 5D and Teratoma back in the day, but operators were leery about picking up games from a newcomer. So far it appears that these games are just going to focus on the Chinese market, where they probably stand the best chance for some sales. Such games are a crowded market and then to have three titles within the same vein crowds Wahlap on their own line-up. Either way, IAAPA 2018 is approaching fast and Wahlap does have a decent-sized booth once again (booth 839). Perhaps we’ll see one or all of these games then.