Let’s finish this – almost a month later! If you are already subscribed to the Arcade Heroes YouTube channel then you should have seen these, but if not, here you go, plus some additional commentary.
If you missed part 1 of this round-up, click here.
I’ll start with individual games, then get into company booths. There are a few repeats in this mix as far as games I filmed at IAAPA but perhaps you missed them last time so perhaps you’ll discover something that fits your interest that was overlooked.
Rush (Stern Pinball)
Rush was the only new-new pinball machine there and it seems like the perfect piece for fans of the band. I’m not one of them, although I’m familiar with a few of their songs and found this to be fun, but it’s hard to say if it would do any better at my arcade than one of the other music pins.
I’ve got a section dedicated to booth videos further down but since we’re talking Stern, here you go:
Ice Walker (Coastal Amusements)
The sequel to Ice Man finally made an appearance and while it’s pretty much the same game, I’d definitely go with this one just due to the superior frame rate:
Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade (LAI Games)
I’ve filmed this one before but it seems that people want more, so I did again. The game is quite different from the mobile version, so that’s a plus, and I hear it’s been doing really well:
Pac-Man Battle Royale Chompionship (Bandai Namco Amusements)
The latest software of Pac-Man Chompionship was on display, although when I filmed it it was just myself playing. Last I heard is that this game is supposed to start shipping this month, although that’s the sort of thing that can change without notice. It still would be one of the more affordable new games for operators to buy though.
Elevator Action Invasion (UNIS)
This was the first time I had come across the SD version of the new Elevator Action and interestingly enough, the software was a little different from the DX version I’d seen at IAAPA. The most welcome aspect is being able to select your difficulty mode, as what I played at IAAPA was quite prone to taking cheap shots that it wasn’t much fun. I also covered UNIS’ other new piece, Wicked Tuna, in the last post.
Break The Plate (Coastal Amusements)
Ending the singles with an original videmption game that hearkens back to the carnival (although no theme park or carnival I’ve been too has had a plate breaking game, or perhaps I just didn’t notice it). This one makes the plates virtual, so no mess or constant expense to worry about.
No video or pics of this but I figured it should be mentioned – there were a lot of slot makers at the show. I didn’t catch anything fancy like that new Dune slot, but I also walked past those booths without paying them much attention. I’m not a gambler and know next to nothing about slots; That and Utah has some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the country so it’s just never been on my radar.
Slot makers have been showing up in previous years too but it still feels like an odd mix for the show – I know there are various places out there where it’s fine, but it still feels strange given how hard the arcade/pinball industry has worked to remove the stigma of being considered gambling titles.
When it comes to “odd mixes,” one I’d love to see make a comeback with AEI is doing it with the Pizza Expo. That one made sense as there are various pizza parlors out there with some arcade machines on hand. But alas, it doesn’t appear that the two shows will coincide any time in the near future.
For those who prefer to just have a quick walk around each booth, here you go. Some of these were the same or had less than their IAAPA booths:
There was a strong focus for VR products at AEI2022, although I do find this to not really fit with the original intent of the show – another “odd mix.” That’s because the Spring show used to be more about the street operator, but things change, one of those being the continued prominence of FECs. Admittedly, new stuff for the street has dwindled in that FEC growth wake – however, the bar/arcade market has exploded with equal force yet strangely we’ve not seen a lot of new products that would appear there – not nearly as many as the FEC market gets. Of course the ultimate answer to it all is money – FECs have big money to spend on big attractions, and if there’s one thing that VR demands is that all-mighty dollar.
As it is though, my lack of enthusiasm for VR stems from it being entirely for FECs – not a single VR product out there makes any sense for a typical street location, although there might be a product here and there which works for something like a traditional arcade – assuming they have the space and the budget for it. For my operations, I didn’t see anything in this class that made me try and work out how to grab one. That said, I’m sure there was something that an FEC caught that fits their fancy such as:
SquarePants VR (HyperDeck/Creative Works)
Another filmed previously, but running the latest software. This one is available now:
VR Agent (Sega)
I’m not sure when we’ll see the advertised 2-player version of this game come along, but it should be shipping now.
Storm VR (Trio-Tech)
This is one that’s been out for a while now but I had not filmed it like I should have when it was around previously – so here you go:
Some VR products, particularly arena ones, just aren’t that exciting to film for standalone videos, so I lump them together. I know I’m not making good friends on the VR side of things this way but it’s just how I see it – as an attraction. Attractions are cool and all and yes, some VR arcade things post some really great numbers. But these days, I’m a lot more stingy with the money I’m going to invest when it comes to my businesses and there’s just nothing screaming at me that it’s going to make this kind of meteoric impact like the sales pitches are trying to convince me is there as long as I fork out the money for it. Funny enough what really got people out to my arcade recently was the release of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 – this past weekend ended up being the best weekend I’ve seen since the pandemic lockdowns first hit. That makes it similar to what I saw in the past – when big name family movies came out, I was busy.
As mentioned in that video, it was a fine expo – nothing spectacular though, which could be blamed on it being too close to IAAPA (I’d really like it if IAAPA took place in mid-October instead of the week before Thanksgiving but maybe I’m in the super minority on that) and continued pandemic related production/shipping issues.
The next show that I know I’ll attend for certain is IAAPA 2022 but who knows, there are a lot of shows coming up this year so perhaps I’ll find my way to another one.