Another amusement/arcade tradeshow has come and gone, and I was there to check it out. As always it’s great to see and talk with many in the business face-to-face, and play the games instead of just looking at photos or videos of them. However, not everyone can or wants to attend such events, so I captured some footage for you to enjoy of these new titles.
As expected, the industry is still reeling from the effects of the lockdowns and other problems which have hampered production around the globe. Due to this, I’ll spoil some of the upcoming video content that will likely be posted in recap #2 – a lot of booths were the same or had even less content in them compared to IAAPA. This made it disappointing for someone like myself who went to IAAPA but not really surprising. It’s understandable why – each company that is going to attend such a show looks at what potential sales they’ll get out of it, so if you’re probably not going to get much of anything, you’ll hold some product back. Still, there are some companies who had the same booth setup & mix as we saw at Amusement Expo 2021, and that feels weird. For those who didn’t bring anything new-new to play, they did at least have the latest software to enjoy, so I got to play an updated version of Pac-Man Battle Royale Chompionship, as one example.
Speaking of that game, here’s the version where you use a phone to control it that wasn’t operating at IAAPA but was working this time. It helped that I used a mainstream browser on my phone instead of an oddball one:
So far the most popular video I’ve posted has been about a remake of a 40-year old EM arcade game – Ice Cold Beer. In the short time I was at the booth, several people stopped by and commented on it, talking about how the original was a strong earner for some of their locations through the 90s. Of course with the bar/arcade market of today, it’s the kind of game that’s very likely going to do well. Once this one gets out of the gate, Zeke’s Peak is going to get the treatment as may some other related concepts.
A lot of the new-new content at the show was in the videmption category, where most of the time one plays for tickets. Most of the games have an Amusement-only option though but I do wish that manufacturers would put signs on games that do so when they bring them to expos like this.
One surprise of the show was to find the game Skill Shooter on the JET booth, which was under the new name Quickshot. Skill Shooter was recently launched in Europe, it being a skill-based shooting gallery light-gun game that offers a solution for locations who liked the idea behind Taito’s GunArena/OnPoint but didn’t like the real airsoft pellets/BBs being fired at the screen (and the various issues such a thing brings with it). Another part of the surprise was JET carrying the game – they are known in redemption circles but it’s been rare for them to dabble with video. That said, they did buy up Family Fun Companies a while back, and FFC did a few videmption pieces, so it’s possible that this stems from that acquisition. Quickshot operates as a redemption or amusement only game, something that ops can set it to:
For a bigger name in videmption was Sega’s new Jumanji. I’ve covered this game when it was announced and it was at EAG a couple of weeks ago but this was the first time that I’d seen it. One little surprise about it is that the developers behind it are 3MindWave, the same company that Sega has worked with on ATV Slam and VR Agent. It features 12 mini-games that you can play, which one you play depends on the game’s randomization shuffle after crediting up. After each game, you climb some rungs to reach the top and “save Jumanji” by inserting the green stone into the hole. I’m not sure when this one will hit production but it should be soon, probably in time for the summer.
Another game that I’d read about but hadn’t seen in person yet was Arcade Collection by Incredible Technologies. It’s not new in the sense that the software has all been available to arcades for years – Target Toss Pro, Silver Strike X, and PowerPutt Golf – but you’ve not had all three available in one cabinet like this. That really makes it a great buy for locations where sports games and IT games in particular tend to do well.
On the subject of Incredible Technologies, the single player software for Retro Raccoons was there, so I took the opportunity to film a full playthrough on that. It’s still best played with someone else, but in case you find yourself alone at the arcade or bar and this game is there, now you can enjoy it too:
Back over to videmption was Andamiro USA and their new Bobblehead Baseball. As mentioned in the video, we haven’t had many baseball games in arcades in modern times, although one exception I forgot to mention would be LAI’s Hyper Pitch. The premise of this game offers a simple take on baseball – you pick a pitcher and a batter (from real contemporary MLB players), then use the buttons to swing the bat and hit the ball at the targets near the back of the field. After every pitch, the values of the targets changes and of course you’re trying to get as many tickets as you can before striking out. For my first time playing the game, I think I did all right 😉
After being teased for a while, I finally got a chance to see UNIS’ Wicked Tuna. This isn’t the first time that UNIS has dabbled with a fishing game, particularly one that uses a fishing reel controller, although it is the first time that I can recall them using a force feedback cable to simulate that portion of the experience. That brings it closer in feel to Sega’s old Bass Fishing game, but this one comes with a license and is available in 2 and 4-player cabinets. I’ve never watched the show but it was a nice touch where you could pick the fishing captain you want and they all have different stats; It also has some brief voice overs from each guy when you select them. It also features different environments to fish in (changes every time you play) and two difficulty modes.
Also in sports was a cool little concept for FECs (maybe some arcades if the price is right) called MiniGolf.io. This is mini-golf with a dynamic floor that can change the pattern of obstacles that a player faces. The lowest cost version comes with pre-programmed 18 holes, while customization is available, along with other sizes of floors. Right before I started filming the guy playing this got a hole-in-one, but sometimes you’re not ready to film when people are doing the good stuff 😛
For some photos of things that I didn’t get a chance to film for one reason or another, we first have Hit The Green by IGPM Distribution. It’s punching/kicking game where you have to hit the targets when they are green and not red. Green adds points, red subtracts them. Interesting evolution of the boxing machine:
Here’s Kevin Williams using Birdly VR. This one was at IAAPA and was popular at both shows (it simulates flying in a wingsuit). There was a lot of VR stuff at the show, so I’ll probably be getting to all of that in Recap #2.
This does NOT mark the end of videos that I have to share, I’m still in the editing process on what I’ve got. I’ll end with a photo from something that will likely be in the next video – I know those interested in the Sega R360 will be curious about it 🙂