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Game Report 2012

Game creators bring detailed 3-D and app-inspired games to the marketplace

by Peter Manougian

As arcades and FECs worldwide continue to compete with the gaming capability of smartphones and home-market systems, game companies face an ongoing challenge to bring new and exciting games to the FEC market. However, there was no shortage of innovation at IAAPA Attractions Expo—here are a few new games hitting the market now.

“Dark Escape 4D” (available now) by Namco (www.namcoamerica.com) is an attraction for any location. It has high-definition 3-D graphics, Dolby 5.1 audio, air cannons, rumble seat effects, and even heart-rate sensors that help to create the ultimate fourth dimension. Players try to fend off monsters by using a machine gun. Monsters jumping out of the screen in 3-D can startle the most experienced shooter, like me.

In Global VR’s (www.globalvr.com) “Swarm” (available now), players fend off an alien attack to save the world. This 3-D machine-gun-style game allows players to launch grenades, shield themselves from attack, and shoot special weapons, such as chain guns and shotguns. Players wear 3-D glasses while navigating seven levels, 13 secret rooms, and multiple paths to encourage repeat play.

Ice (www.icegame.com) debuted the “Doodle Jump” (available now) redemption game based on the hit smartphone app. Ice brought the app to the arcade world by developing an attractive cabinet with a 42-inch high-definition monitor. Players utilize an oversized handle to move from left to right to navigate up the maze, simulating the app very well and creating a fun gaming experience. It encourages repeat play through the superbonus, which challenges players to work their way all the way to the top of the maze without falling down or getting sucked into a black hole.

Coastal Amusements (www.coastalamusements.com) showcased “Temple Run” (January), a redemption game based on the hit smartphone app. Players use a track ball to navigate through the playfield by jumping, sliding, and moving left and right to avoid obstacles, which could end their game. FECs have the option to include ticket redemption with this game, adding an extra layer of fun for guests.

First Raw Thrills (rawthrills.com) exhibited “SnoCross” (available now), which features officially licensed ESPN racers and seven tracks that are based on the actual tracks that the ESPN racers used, such as in Alaska and France. While players drive their snowmobiles, they lean from left to right to steer, simulating driving a real snowmobile. One fun aspect of “SnoCross” is the ability to throw snowballs and slow down opposing racers. Players use a keypad saving system, whereby they can save and customize their snowmobiles with extras like engine and aerodynamics upgrades. Players can also upload their high scores to Twitter or Facebook by using their smartphones to read a QR code. 

Peter Manougian is the manager and has been the game purchaser of Fun World, a large FEC in Nashua, New Hampshire, for the past 10 years.