The big surprise of Amusement Expo 2019 for me, was the strong focus on indie-made arcade games. These are titles that have not been developed by one of the major manufacturers that we generally focus on, but rather by an individual or small independently funded team (often they are self-funded). The console world knows indie game quite well, but while such efforts are made in arcades, it is harder for them to get attention, even though they take on the much more expensive challenge of hardware and manufacturing cabinets. It is always easier to just throw a game onto Steam and call it a day, but not when it comes to indie arcade heroes.
One game that I wanted to focus on for this post is one of those titles that I came across at AEI19 called Galactic Battleground. Designed by Minnesota-based developer Slackerz Inc. and released back in November 2017, I’m ashamed to admit that I had not heard of this project until AEI19. This is one good reason why I highly recommend that if you are an indie developer with a real coin-op machine you’ve created, it’s a very good idea to go to an industry trade show and not just collector events. Not because I’ll be there, but because a lot of potential buyers (i.e. operators) will be able to see your project. But I digress…
Galactic Battleground is a 1-4 player space battle arena game that combines elements from Asteroids, Galaga and the obscurish Atari 2600 game Demons to Diamonds, along with some ideas of it’s own. It comes in two ‘flavors,’ the Konami-style upright ($6495) and a more compact 2-player cocktail ($2495). Here’s some video footage I shot of the upright in action at AEI19, but keep reading for additional details that I received this week from the developers:
For additional data that I missed for the video:
There are 9 ships per team, making 18 total to choose from; 11 power-ups/special abilities that each ship can use (you pick which one you want at the beginning of a match); 10 different battle maps and there are 20 solo missions (with “more on the way”) to explore if you just want to play single player.
They are currently taking orders direct, but are in talks with distributors and are also looking into offering finance options. Lead times are presently 60 days to ship. If you want a chance to try it before you buy, they have a few installed at locations in Minnesota, with one in IL and one in WV as well. They will be attending a few different events in the near future, including: Midwest Gaming Classic, 2D Con, Combo Breaker and the Bumble Bash 4. I did not get a chance to play single player, but it’s definitely a game that is a lot of fun when you’ve got 3 or 4 people on it at once. You can also find Galactic Battleground online at their main website, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
What do you think of it by what you’ve seen and read (or, if you’ve had the chance to play it)?
As 2nd gen 30+ yr operator of coin-op equipment in New England bowling alleys, amusement centers and street locations, I immediately stepped back due to the price of Galactic Battleground… for nearly $7k, the game should be presented with at least a 42″ screen and small pedestal as opposed to a glorified 4 player LCD video cabinet harking from the Nineties.