Not long after Chuck E. Cheeses announced their bankruptcy last year, things were looking pretty dicey for the other giant arcade chain in the US, Dave & Busters. Fortunately, they were able to navigate the lockdowns in a way that kept them from following the same bankruptcy route, and as was recently reported, they have a big summer comeback planned, with several new games making their debut at their stores. The first in that wave is the new Minecraft Dungeons Arcade by Raw Thrills/Play Mechanix.
I first heard about them starting to show up a couple of weeks ago, when one of my regulars posted a pic of the game off at the Salt Lake City location. Given that SLC isn’t exactly a major D&B hub, I wondered what that might mean for all locations; Then this weekend, The popular channel The Arcade Couple posted the first footage of the game in action:
Judging by that, the game does play differently from the console version, so I think it’s pretty safe to call this an arcade exclusive build. Here the game plays more like a beat ’em up like Golden Axe, with the camera stopping in areas for you to do your hacking/slashing/shooting before moving on; Then of course there’s the card aspect of it all. I did briefly speak with Raw Thrills this weekend and asked them about the game, as it has been technically on test for the past little bit, where they said it was doing “phenomenal” so far.
After seeing the video above though, I reached out to Kevin Bachus of Dave & Busters and confirmed that the game has rolled out to “all locations,” which indicates the game’s debut to the market. Where I already have gone through the process of leasing one, earliest I’ve been told that my unit is shipping is “end of June,” so that would indicate a limited time exclusive for D&B. They also are getting a slightly different model – Kevin confirmed that they are all coming with a 75″ monitor, while other available units will ship with a 65″ model.
As it is, I’ve moved this game to the release column of our 2021 game tracking page; I will also have an unboxing and direct capture footage of it as soon as I get my hands on it, but as mentioned, it’ll still be about a month before I can do that. What do you think about this from the footage above?