January has been sort of slow on the arcade news front, but at least we get to end it on a ‘bang!’ as Raw Thrills has released some info on new titles that we can expect to see as 2020 continues to bloom. They did so as a part of their latest e-mail newsletter.
Before we get to that, let me mention something about Big Buck Reloaded – I have confirmed that it is NOT launching in January (today was the last day for that to happen), but instead it will release in March. Just hang tight there Big buck fans!
Now for something that we first heard about from a location test spotting in September of last year, Bust-A-Move Frenzy. I am a little surprised by this, since it didn’t show up at IAAPA, and no one seemed keen to discuss it, so I kind of figured it had failed testing. That assumption was incorrect, as we now have a look at the cabinet and some other minor details. It is still using the “Frenzy” format that they used with Space Invaders, sporting a giant LED screen and mounted gun controls. The gameplay is only described as “Fun for everyone “Match 3”-style puzzle gameplay” with 2 player co-op (instead of competitive). Use the mounted blasters to aim your shots, then clear out lines to win tickets. It is also being aimed as a videmption game first, although we’ll see if a points-only/amusement version is in the cards. This game is in production now, although it is limited availability at the moment. It will be at Amusement Expo 2020 in New Orleans. As far as I know, it is the only puzzle game on the market right now.The last time that this name was seen in arcades was with Bust-A-Move Again, although it is also known in certain regions as Puzzle Bobble, where Taito did release Puzzle Bobble 4 in 1998 for the Taito F3 arcade platform. Still, it’s been a while since we’ve had it around in our sector.
KING KONG of SKULL ISLAND VR
The newsletter also contained some new information about their first VR project, throwing a little friendly shade at competing VR arcade products. This is a part of Eugene Jarvis’ message for the newsletter:
And now for the worst kept secret ever – Raw Thrills is going VR in 2020 with KING KONG of SKULL ISLAND. Are you as tired as we are of over-hyped, overpriced and/or under delivering VR arcade experiences? Well guess what? It’s time to end the VR shell game with the REAL DEAL! We are putting everything we got into this one. We have to earn our keep one game at a time – and we never forget it – and that’s why we pack each Raw Thrills game until it is smoking – even exploding with secret sauce. We’re not going to stop until KING KONG OF SKULL ISLAND VR is a great game at a great price! So watch out for KING KONG OF SKULL ISLAND VR. VR will never be the same after this!
That’s a lot of hype(below is a photo I snapped of the display they had going at IAAPA 2019 to tease it)…we’ll see how it lives up to it when the game debuts at Amusement Expo in March!