IAAPA 2018 Wrap-up #4: ICE, Raw Thrills, Stern, UNIS, Coastal, Bay Tek

arcadehero December 7, 2018 0
IAAPA 2018 Wrap-up #4: ICE, Raw Thrills, Stern, UNIS, Coastal, Bay Tek

Time for another look at some of the products that were at the IAAPA 2018 trade show in Orlando, FL this past November. If you missed one of our previous Wrap-Up posts, then you can get up to speed by clicking on the links below:

For the games we are looking at today:

  • Super Kixx Pro (ICE)
  • Halo: Fireteam Raven Super Deluxe (Play Mechanix/Raw Thrills)
  • Deadpool Pro (Stern Pinball)
  • Night Hunter, upright model (UNIS)
  • Dragon Hunter/Zombie Land Battle/Bug Cruncher (Coastal Amusements)
  • Lipstick Challenge (Gravity Amusement)
  • Slither.io (Raw Thrills)
  • Willy Crash & Piano Keys (Bay Tek Entertainment)

As a note, I’m pretty sure that the next wrap-up post will be the last for this IAAPA; then, we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming ๐Ÿ˜›

Super Kixx Pro (ICE)

When IAAPA was in full swing, Sara Z. wrote up an article about this game, as it was found on test near her at the same time. It’s essentially the same thing as Super Chexx Pro, just with a soccer theme, although I find it a little easier to play and it goals happen more frequently. That’s due to the difference between hitting a smaller, flat puck compared to a nice sized ball. This one can also be programmed with the different national anthems of the represented teams, which is a nice touch.

Halo: Fireteam Raven 4-player (Play Mechanix/Raw Thrills)

I covered the Halo: Fireteam Raven 2-player model first as that was the cabinet style that players hadn’t seen before, but the Super Deluxe still deserved some official attention on the AH video line-up. I did find some subtle differences in the gameplay between the two models, which was also mentioned by Raw Thrills in that the designers were different. The Super Deluxe is quite the experience, best if you are joined by three of your buddies, but just fine when playing with strangers. I guess you don’t feel as guilty for stealing kills on the other screen if playing with the latter ๐Ÿ˜›

Slither.io (Raw Thrills)

With instant appeal for kids (my 9 yr. old daughter saw me editing this and so she started playing it again), Slither.io is looking to storm videmption-cades in 2019. If you haven’t played it before, it’s kind of like the classic Snake game meets Pac-Man (or if you really like obscure games, Broderbund’s Serpentineย is closer in overall style). Eat the glowing dots to grow, be the last snake standing. Or slithering.

The arcade version is a little different from the web/mobile versions though, something that I should have elaborated on a little more in the video. As mentioned, it’s 1-3 players, it has music, the action happens all within a single arena and there are power-ups. One thing I heard some lamentations about was the length of the game, in that it seemed to be over faster than you were expecting. That is something that can certainly be adjusted by the operator though; perhaps they’ll change how the game alerts you when you time is almost up (this is not the final version of the game). I think what also threw me or some others off is that everything else in the game continues happening while your snake just dies if time is up. This is because any player can join at any time, as opposed to everyone starting together. I didn’t see anyone get the jackpot, which probably would have been good for the video. I guess it’s something to try and film the next time I come across this. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I did like how the worms/snakes control – using that spinner allows for easy, sharp turns, which was also due to how the controls were calibrated.

Deadpool Pro (Stern Pinball)

I finally got a chance to see what Deadpool was all about, and I liked it. I was particularly into the old school Midway video game sounds, although I have to imagine that designer George Gomez has used those in some of his other pinball tables (I don’t recall if Transformers pinball did that or not). Overall, I liked it as a table, even though I don’t really follow Deadpool at all. I always appreciate a table with humor, and this has plenty of it. My brother on the other hand, is a Deadpool fan and said that while he liked it overall, the voice acting for Deadpool himself was not his cup of tea.

Night Hunter Upright (UNIS)

Night Hunter was at IAAPA 2017, a sequel of sorts to another creature-of-the-night shooting game that UNIS had made way back in 2012 called After Dark. That said, this doesn’t really seem like a sequel, but it’s own thing (I haven’t played or seen After Dark since 2012, maybe 2013, so I can’t recall the story details). After Dark felt a lot like Van Helsing, while this doesn’t have as strong a vibe.

One issue with the game last year though, was that it was unfinished. With it back in an upright cabinet design, the software was fine-tuned and complete, making for a better experience. There’s still plenty of “cheese” to be found in the voice acting, although I could only get that from the subtitles as UNIS turned the volume on this one way down. Overall, the graphics are nice and the levels are long, although the level design makes it feel like you are just going through the whole story in one bite – there are no breaks or chapters that I saw, and those would be welcome.

Dragon Hunter; Zombie Land Battle; Bug Cruncher (Coastal Amusements)

Following the smashing success of Ice Man, everyone is now jumping on board the Chinese-made Sit Down Co-op Wave Shooters (we probably need a better name for these…CMSDCOWS doesn’t exactly work, although SDCOWS kind of does). Coastal Amusements was responsible for bringing Ice Man over in the first place, and at IAAPA they brought three other video games that were made for redemption. With this renewed focus, there was no sign of Coastal’s 65″ app-to-arcade ports that have been prominent in previous years (Temple Run 2, Subway Surfers, Breakout, Qubes, etc.).

Both Dragon Hunter and Zombie Land Battle are rehashes of Ice Man’s gameplay, just without the water cannons and improved graphics (mainly in the frame rate department). Dragon Hunter does use ping pong ball cannons for that style of force feedback, while Zombie Land Battle eschews any gun gimmick for something more traditional (and smaller, the target audience for it being kids). ZLB also featured more walking around levels as opposed to the VR style gameplay of “stand here and shoot at waves of enemies that walk at you.” Both of these are definitely for kids; my brother wouldn’t have bothered with them unless I had him work as my game model.

Bug Cruncher was off in a lonely corner of the booth and I almost missed it due to how small it is; the gameplay is essentially the same as the fishing games that were all the rage a few years back, just with bugs. I liked the chameleon controllers on it though, and I’m sure its the kind of game that would earn decently in a Chuck E. Cheeses-type venue.

Lipstick Challenge (Gravity Amusement)

Here was a nice little surprise – an interactive merchandiser that had the user playing a simple video game in order to win the desired lipstick or make-up prize. I don’t know if places like Sephora or Ulta would go for such a machine, although perhaps an astute operator could find a way to convince them on a rev. split. This would probably do really well in a venue that has those Japanese fingernail sticker machines.

The game itself is one of timing and skill…not super compelling, but kind of in the realm of “easy to learn, difficult to master.” Overall, bonus points for doing something different and good use of the LED lighting.

Willy Crash & Piano Keys (Bay Tek Entertainment)

Last but not least are two other videmption titles by Bay Tek Entertainment. Willy Crash allows the user to live out their dreams of being a human cannonball, the TNT-style plunger working as a great controller for the fun. I did forget to mention that after you coin-up/swipe, the cannonball begins to move the angle – all you have to do is time your plunge with what looks like is going to land you at the best ticket zone that you want. In this regard, it reminds me of the good ol’ Scorched Earth (yeah, I’m loaded with the nostalgic game references today).

A nice touch for this one is that there is some incentive to fail, as there is where it can be amusing to see Willy go through a series of America’s Funniest Home Videos-style pratfalls.

Piano Keys is for it’s part is a good way to get that basic music game into a location, without it taking up quite as much space as the Grand version.

That’s all for this round, but stay tuned next week for our last bout with IAAPA, which will also include the extensive VR offerings that were at the show. Thanks for reading!

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