(Thanks to everyone who sent this in! I did send an e-mail to the developers looking for more info, but they had not responded yet, so I’ll just go with what is public for now)
It has been a little while since we last heard from the indie team known as Griffin Aerotech, as they have been busy cooking up a brand new game concept. To get you up to speed on who that is in case you missed past coverage, they are a group out of Indiana that created a modern PC-based JAMMA kit known as Airframe back in 2017. The kit supports the likes of Skycurser and Rashlander, but after the latter game had been released last year, we’ve heard little to nothing from them – until now.
If you’re in the gaming world at all, then you know that E3 2019 is in full swing this week, starting off with the Microsoft press conference, followed by Bethesda and then Devolver Digital. Devolver is a publisher responsible for many home video games from the Serious Sam series to many others, so it was a bit of a surprise to find out about this announcement of a brand new arcade game from their E3 presser (I say it’s a surprise, as getting new arcade game announcements from E3 is practically unheard of):
If you’ve been craving for a unique take on gun games(and dungeon crawlers), then there you go. I honestly never expected to be typing about dungeon crawlers on the blog. 😛 It is based upon a top-down shooter called Enter The Gungeon which is available for every home platform except mobile. The official website for this edition it is found here, where we also get this description:
Enter the Gungeon: House of the Gundead will be available in early 2020 as an exclusive dedicated arcade cabinet ready for public arcades, bars and home collectors. Ready to run in free-play or pay-to-play format, the cabinet features a 43″ high definition monitor, classic arcade styling and beautiful top-to-bottom artwork.
Here’s a shot of the cabinet, although keep in mind that between now and the release date, anything can change in this regard:
Now, where does Griffin Aerotech come into this? First you’ll notice that the game page is a part of the GA website; by what I gather, they are primarily building the arcade version, using Dodge Roll’s Gungeon as a basis. I am curious to know how involved both Dodge Roll and Devolver are in this, although for the latter I think it’s obvious so far in that they’ve given this game a massive marketing boost that indie games rarely get to enjoy out of the gate. Whether they will be handling cabinet production and industry trade show appearances is another question we’ll have to wait and see on.
I am very glad to see that this is supporting a modern display; I’ve had a CarnEvil sitting around collecting dust and have a Time Crisis II out of order going on a few months now because of expensive and dead-ended efforts to try and get them working so far (Skycurser natively supported CRTs, so you had to use a convertor board if you wanted LCD). Speaking of TC2, you’ll notice that the gun colors in the trailer mimic that same scheme, but I’m curious what position sensing system they are using:
You’ll also notice that the art style is just like what was found with GA’s first game, Skycurser (footage below is streamed from Mikado Arcade in Japan; I likewise grabbed an early prototype of the game in 2015).
House of the Gundead is already available for pre-order via the Griffin Aerotech website, where you can nab one for $4,999. While gamers accustomed to home market prices will scoff at that, it’s pretty competitive in the current arcade pricing space. In the class of upright gun shooters available at the moment, there isn’t a huge selection to choose from. You do have Sega’s Target Bravo, Raw Thrills’ Aliens Armageddon and Adrenaline’s Tomb Raider & Rabbids Hollywood games, but the lowest priced of those is around $8000 (Target Bravo). There is one other upright shooter on the horizon called Outnumbered by LAI Games, but no price has been revealed on that yet.
Beyond that, most shooters are sit-down affairs, using larger, more expensive environmental cabinets like Halo, Transformers Shadows Rising, House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn, etc., (or large sit-down shooters like Nerf Arcade and Space Invaders Frenzy) which start in the $12,000+ range and go up from there. Granted, all of those games have a widely recognized license attached to them, but with the visibility boost that Gungeon has via Devolver Digital and a $5k price tag, I think it will overcome those issues. The next hurdle – distribution/sales when release time comes.
Anyways, enough inside baseball about it – what do you think of Gungeon: House of the Gundead from what we know so far?