DISCLAIMER: The following product may change drastically from what you see below OR it may not be released at all. It is a prototype product going through testing and is subject to change or cancellation without any notice. Potential buyers, please do not contact your distributor about it yet, as they will not have any information to share beyond what you’ll read in this post.
The Star Trek franchise isn’t exactly a stranger to the arcade market, as I once covered in this now outdated post from 2009, and now it’s time for the series to boldly go where no redemption game has gone before with Star Trek Battleground by Raw Thrills.
Before we really get into it, thanks to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report for sending these photos my way.
Spotted on test in the Chicago area this week, we have a new videmption game in the works by Raw Thrills that uses the Star Trek license and theme. The cabinet is definitely carrying an unusual shape, in part because this does not use a traditional flat screen display, nor a VR headset as the most recent Star Trek arcade release does.
The giant saucer sections on the cabinet as you see above are partially for aesthetics, but the one in front is also to help darken the ambiance as the game employs projection mapping. This appears to be Raw Thrills adapting the tech that they originally tested out with their never-released Mario Party Challenge World game.
As you can (mostly) see from the photo above, there are spherical bumps on the playfield, which give some “pop” to the overall appearance. I believe that the areas where the saucer sections are are shaped to try and appear like the 3D models of those ships (with a bump in the center where the bridge area is). The player info spots in the lower corners are also elevated at angles. It’s not a touchscreen or gesture-sensing interface though, you control the action with a spinner (for aiming) and a fire button:
So how does it play? Since I didn’t come across this in person, I have to do some educated guessing. Best I can tell, it is in the same genre as overhead arcade fishing games like you saw with Harpoon Lagoon, Ace Angler and Pirate’s Hook. Instead of hooking/spearing fish however, you are blasting iconic spaceships from the Star Trek series (in the pics I’ve seen the Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi and the Borg). My assumption is also that you’re firing photon torpedoes, since that requires timing and leading fast moving targets. In this form, there is no amusement-only element to it; it’s strictly a redemption game.
As with all redemption games, the goal is to nab as many tickets as you can before time or shots run out. In this case, the “jackpot” or bonus is called the Borg Bonus. At the center top of the battlefield, there is another raised object that is called the “Borg Meter.” Again, it’s hard to tell how this works from a static image, but it looks like there are special targets there with a shield in front of them. Perhaps you can blast one of those, removing the shield, then time the shot to hit the target on the next round (I would assume that those targets are constantly in clockwise motion).
Again, I need to stress that any one of these elements can change after testing; I wouldn’t be surprised to see if the Enterprise changes (where you’ve got a few to choose from, but the original and the 1701-A are almost the most recognized), or the placement of the 3D objects on the playfield. I really do hope that if it makes production that it keeps the projection mapping element, as that sets it apart from being just another game with a license attached to it.
What do you think about this from what we’ve seen so far? Also stay tuned to the AH video channels, where I will be posting a VLOG about this (with a couple of additional pics) later today/tomorrow.