Friction. Killer Queen Arcade. Skycurser. Cosmotrons. Tipsy Raccoons. Rashlander. These are just a few of the indie titles that have found their way to coin-op arcades over the past several years. Now there is another title that is out there which is joining the fray by the name of DeathBall.
Designed by Tony Hauber, DeathBall came into being in part thanks to Killer Queen Arcade, and the competitive scene that has grown out of that. From the DeathBall website, here’s a snippet of how it started:
DeathBall started in 2017 as a 6 day project during Tony’s final days in San Francisco leading up to 3rd Annual SF Killer Queen GDC Tournament. While the tournament raged on at San Francisco’s Brewcade, there was small laptop with two XBOX controllers in the corner that was drawing more and more attention. A simple concept, two wizards, one ball, one bubble, one button, lots of possibilities. […]
Designed to be a simple one-button, one-joystick game packed with an expressive set of moves, DeathBall quickly grew an awesome fan bases as it toured Killer Queen tournaments and Arcade shows in 8 different states around the US. Now it can be played in 8 different locations [Editor’s note: This is now up to 11] around the country, with many more coming on line soon.
It’s interesting how it has been able to gain some attention by connecting with KQ, and using some of the same methods that game did to gain recognition. According to Tony: “We have 3 leagues going for it nationally and have already had 4 major tournaments.” Leagues & tournaments really seem to be the way for retro-style games to gain traction in today’s world. It is also nice to see another kind of game with a retro feel that is made for bar/arcades. The collector market has seen major changes in recent years thanks to all of these locations scooping up classic games. The more new content that appeals to the crowds there, the better for both operators and collectors.
By controlling the action with a single joystick and button, this does make it easy to learn, but by the looks of it, difficult to master. The cabinet keeps it simple, with no artwork on the front panel or bezel, just keeping things black & white apart from the marquee, some side art and a little art on the control panel. Although the side art is for Limited Edition backer cabs; only two of those are left, so if you want that you’ll want to jump on it fast.
As the game is available, any interested location can grab it now. It was particularly made for bar/arcades, but will work anywhere you have classic games or a customer base that appreciates simple retro fun. Orders can be made directly with the game designer, Tony Hauber via his email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by giving him a call. You can also order the 2 remaining backer cabs online by clicking here.
Unfortunately, putting a game into an arcade cabinet is not a sure-fire path to success, and the costs associated with building cabinets limits marketing budgets to little more than social media outlets. Having launched at the SF Brewcade in August of 2017 and it already being out there in 11 locations, I feel embarrassed to have overlooked it until now. Big thanks to Shane Gutbrod of Cosmotrons for connecting me with Tony and making me aware of this game.
If you want to see this unique twist on soccer (it’s a little bit of Joust meeting a little bit of Pong with wizardry thrown into the mix), you can see the game in action below.
Have you had a chance to play it already? What do you think of this game?