Welcome to the first Newsbytes of 2021, where I collect some quick news stories from around the world of arcades & pinball for your weekend reading pleasure. It was a bit delayed and almost didn’t happen for the weekend as I had to get our first item done in time and had other things to do.
The Arcade & Pinball Games of 2020
With 2020 over, we can now showcase the released games. While this says that it’s primarily for North America, all of the exA games are available worldwide. You’ll also notice that exA has given a pretty strong boost to the numbers and the genres; Otherwise this video would’ve been quite short given how many games were canceled & delayed into this year:
Speaking of new games, the page tracking 2021 releases is now live.
Long Lost Eugene Jarvis/Larry Demar Game Discovered: Conquest
Is this what became Sinistar? It’s hard to say for sure without someone from the Sinistar design team chiming in, but there are definitely some similarities between it and this newly reconstructed prototype called Conquest. To quote Code Mystics, who found the ROMs and put the game up online for all to enjoy:
“After Larry DeMar & Eugene Jarvis created Defender, they, as “Vid Kidz”, started on a 2D top-down follow-up: Conquest. It only got as far as a VERY early prototype, but we’ve reconstructed the ROMs & now you can try it out”
While “very early,” what is there is playable – and a little tough. You can see how close to Sinistar it is by clicking here.
First Footage Of Formula Race
Some years ago, UNIS had teased a racing game called Formula Zeta, but then it didn’t show up at IAAPA and we didn’t hear about it again. Then when their Showcase 2020 event took place this past October, they unveiled something similar – possibly the same as FZ – called Formula Race. They only showed off an image of the cabinet, but in checking out their virtual showroom, I found that they added a video for it recently. This was screen captured so it isn’t the best quality, but still gives you an idea of how it works:
As a side note, I have been surprised by how ‘Formula Racing’ has fallen to the wayside in recent years. It used to be that most racers were based on that style – from the likes of Atari’s Sprint, Namco’s Pole Position & Final Lap, Sega’s Virtua Racer and others – then it just mostly went away. The only other recent game I can think of to use the style is Tecnoplay’s RaceCraft.
The New Logo For Genda/Sega Arcade Locations In Japan
Also with a new year comes logo changes – You’ll recall the news of Sega selling off their arcade operations to a company by the name of Genda…so seeing this new logo will make more sense.
Stern Pinball’s New EULA Generates Controversy
If you’ve been following any pinball-focused forum, streamer, podcaster, or website over the past couple of weeks, then you’ve probably heard about the new Stern Pinball EULA that was included with the latest round of code updates that Stern Pinball put out in Christmas. This video covers the sides of it, including Stern’s reasoning for why – which comes down to licensors demanding that modders & streamers cut it out. That’s a big weakness in such reliance on licensed properties…although I guess it means that you won’t have to worry much about Black Knight. A lot of fans are extremely unhappy about the situation (to put it mildly), so hopefully, some kind of balance can be figured out here, otherwise, Stern’s fanbase will revolt on them and that won’t end well:
Dennis Nordman Joins American Pinball
In happier news, well-known game designer Dennis Nordman is now a full-time employee of American Pinball. He’s been involved in pinball game design since the 1980s and has worked on games for pretty much every pinball company in the business. He’s still finishing up a contract design for Chicago Gaming on a licensed title, so he isn’t sure yet when his work will begin on his first effort for AP. Read all the details over at PinballNews.com.
A New Indie Arcade Game: Yell
I can’t recall hearing much about the arcade scene in Uruguay, but now they’re on the map thanks to this twin-stick shooting indie game that seems to take a page or two out of Jeff Minter’s psychedelic playbook. Unsure if this will be made in more than one cabinet…here’s a trailer brought to us by Indie Arcade Wave; The developer’s Facebook page can be found here.
That’s all I could find for today. Thanks for reading and have a great week!