UPDATE: New cabinet images have been added to a slider below
When it comes to “traditional” arcade games like pool/billiards, air hockey, foosball, and shuffleboard, creative innovations are generally few and far between. Out of those categories, air hockey has seen the most changes in recent years, from square tables to projection mapping to puck dispensers and more. When it comes to shuffleboard though, that is one type of game we don’t mention very often as it hasn’t rocked the boat much at all.
Until now, with Fozzy Football.
Fozzy Football is an independently made project that is billed as the “the world’s first full-sized football table game,” combining the complete rules of American football with shuffleboard. 2 players take turns sliding the pucks across the field, aiming to land them on certain game rules found on the opposite end. This video introduces the game, starting with the game’s creator, Steve Braun, explaining a little about the development process before showing it off around the 1:06 mark:
After watching that, I reached out to Steve and asked a few questions to gather more info. The prototype model shown above is not coin or bill operated, designed for locations that typically have a time fee pay model just like most locations that handle pool or shuffleboard (hand over your driver’s license then pay x amount for an hour or just pay for time spent afterwards). He has been talking with Fun Company about manufacturing, so I imagine that they will see if a pay-per-play model is feasible too, although with the likes of shuffleboard that also isn’t common (coin-op shuffleboard uses a device called a pingate, which prevents people from using a table free play. Most tables I’ve come across don’t have such a feature). Steve also mentioned that there would be other improvements made to the game, so we will have to wait and see.
One question that came to mind was the control pad(pictured below the quote), since each user has to input what play that the puck lands on. There are sensors that detect the puck passing the center part of the field, but not under each individual "rule" on the ends. As it relies on the honor system of the players, I asked what happens if there is no button press after a throw or, if someone pushes the wrong button:
If a player doesn't press a button, the game will wait for the input until they do. Nothing else will be possible to do on the table until a "play result" is entered. There are lasers that are built into the black stands that recognize a puck passing. Underneath the football field, directly under the yardage markers, there are two LED lights; one is green (the line of scrimmage) and the other is orange (the first down marker). When a puck passes, the crowd noise crescendos, and the green Line of Scrimmage LED light flashes, signalling to the thrower that the table awaits their input of the result of the puck throw. Once the player inputs the result of their throw, the announcer comes on and says, the result of the play, the new down, sometimes the distance for the first down, and sometimes the yard line of the line of scrimmage. There are almost 400 audio files in the game that play as a result of different scenarios during game play. There are even multiple audio files for the same occurrence in order to prevent the game from sounding repetitive.
For example, if the puck lands on a 8 yard pass, the announcer may say, "Pass over the middle for a gain of 8. First down at the 36 yard line." Or, "Screen pass on the left side, picks up 8. Brings up second down and 2 at the 36 yard line." Of course, all of this is dependent on the down and distance at the time of the play.
There is an "UNDO" button on the keypad in the event that someone fat-fingers a button press. It basically resets the table assume a puck was just slid and to await the input of the result of the last slide. It works well. In real game play, there isn't ever a need to "UNDO" multiple plays in the past.
Here's what the control panel of the prototype looks like:
Fozzy Football will make it's first public debut at the Billiard & Home Leisure Expo in Las Vegas in July. What do you think about it from what is shown above?