Bowl Expo 2024 – The Wrap-up

arcadehero July 3, 2024 0

Bowl Expo 2024 is now over and done with, although my plan to be there and check it all out in person unexpectedly fell through thanks to me missing my flight. Fortunately, Brandon Willey of the LBX Collective did attend, and kindly sent some photos and a video so that we could all get a solid glimpse at what was there. Let’s take a look:

Bowl Expo 2024 – From Our Sponsors

For a quick refresher on the show, being for the bowling alley business Bowl Expo is not as focused on arcades as most of the other trade shows we cover, and some of what was there that was brand new in amusement is more from the prize redemption side. As usual, we’ll start with our advertisers on the site, then get into everyone else that was at Bowl Expo 2024.

First off though, thanks to Brandon, here is a video of our advertisers all in one:

Amusement Source Intl.

Also called ASI, this company joined up with the Chinese neon crane manufacturer Dreamfuns to showcase the latter’s line-up, as well as some new videmption & redemption games out of other companies in China. One of those new videmption titles is Zombie Rolling, an augmented reality alley bowler that projects animated characters over the holes that you roll balls into. Here’s a brief video I was sent through email (hence the compressed image quality) showing how that one works, to compliment the footage above:

Some shots that Brandon sent from ASI’s booth includes the new Palm Fun-made redemption pusher game, Burger Mania, then the video game they debuted at Amusement Expo, Firestone Amusement’s Thunder Attack. Wahlap’s Thunderbolt Shot, which was at IAAPA, was also at ASI’s booth. You can see most of Zombie Rolling right behind that:

Here are some of the Dreamfuns cranes that were a part of ASI’s offerings:

Raw Thrills

Raw Thrills’ latest games were at the Betson booth, as they usually are, and their big showcase this time was the industry debut of NBA Superstars. Thanks to their timed exclusivity deal where the game has been available to them since the end of May, I decided to visit my local D&B to try and grab some original gameplay footage in the absence of videos from the show floor. They were kind enough to allow me to film the game – turns out I played a bit more than I had expected to…

From Brandon, here’s a glance at their booth setup:

Raw Thrills, Bowl Expo 2024

TouchMagix

TouchMagix had a new software build for their Pudgy Penguins videmption game, along with an official Pudgy Penguins crane. The crane doesn’t have video elements tied to it, but it’ll be perfect for vending Pudgy-branded plush.

Bowl Expo 2024 – Everyone Else

And onto the rest of Bowl Expo 2024. No official numbers, but I did hear that the show wasn’t super well attended – perhaps it was the time of year being so close to a holiday like the 4th of July or perhaps some ops are belt tightening (I’m in the latter, still).

Bandai Namco Amusement/ICE/Team Play @ Moss Distributing

Nothing new-new here from the likes of Bandai Namco Amusement, or particularly many existing games (e.g. Animal Kaiser Plus) besides the original Pac-Man’s Pixel Bash as far as I could see. Not especially surprising though as we didn’t even believe they would be represented until just before the show. After disaster struck Team Play at Amusement Expo (the truck carrying their equipment had a crash), they were at least now fortunately able to show off the new Pixel Pix Gen 4 photo booth and Ver. 2 of the Photo Motion kiddie ride/game/photo booth (it’s purple/yellow and there are some other subtle changes):

Bay Tek Entertainment

Bay Tek had a smaller booth than AEI, particularly in the size of the games (Goatz ‘N Ropes being the only super tall game they had)

Coastal Amusements

Coastal had their new redemption game, Level Up, at the front of their booth, then plenty of their other game offerings. I’ll need to follow-up with them to ask what the deal is with Slide Up (the pinkish/black game on the right). It keeps popping up at Coastal’s trade show booths, but its still not listed on their site nor their distributor sites:

Elaut USA

Elaut recently launched a new Popeye boxing machine, and now they are taking that license further by applying it to a coin pusher. This one eschews the trend of building coin towers for… a giant bag of coins to drop on the playfield, a mechanic also first seen in medal games by the likes of Sega out of Japan.

LAI Games

As expected, LAI’s booth was similar but downsized from their AEI offering. 2x SMASH games instead of 4, a single pair of Asphalt Moto Blitz DX, etc.:

Player One Amusement Group

P1 had a selection of existing product from just about everyone – Andamiro USA, ICE, Kalkomat, Rilix, and UNIS.

Sega Amusements

Though their Amusement Expo space was similarly small, I was a little surprised to see Sega Amusements’ booth was slightly more sparse than I had expected. They did pack a lot more into their Bowl Expo space last time, but have brought less in other years too in preference of promoting it more at IAAPA. The photo below is from SAI’s social media – Brandon had a different angle that showed some Sega signage, Skill Fall Revolution, and one of their Capto Candy cranes were also set up around Mission: Impossible Arcade DX. But besides a few tables with the nice touch of some game artwork on them, that’s about it:

UNIS

As well as being represented on Player One’s booth, UNIS had their own booth space with a lot of cranes:

It wasn’t total prize domination though, as they did additionally have their two current big licence pieces Bigfoot Mayhem and Godzilla Vs. Kong Smasher. 

Overall

Again, huge thanks to Brandon at The LBX Collective for all of the pics above. I’m sad I missed Bowl Expo 2024 as my trip had been fully planned out, but that shouldn’t happen in the future (unless it’s something outside of my control – this time it wasn’t, so I have to own that). Even if less so for video, it looks like the show was solid for some new redemption pieces, and though I did not hear if there was anything specific to bowling that was announced there, I’m sure that I may have just missed those announcements.

It’s more focused on the retro side of things, but I should be at California Extreme (CAX) later this month. Then all eyes will certainly be on Fall for the first of the next round of big arcade shows – before main IAAPA here and Amusement Expo in Japan during November, there is also IAAPA Europe and GTI Expo in China taking place during September. Those should serve up some fresh new announcements and reveals in all areas and genres to chew on.

In the meantime, did you manage to make it to the show? If so, what did you think of Bowl Expo 2024?

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