What's up at EAG International this year? Follow the guide!
Sonic has the place of honour at Sega! And it is legitimate since the blue hedgehog celebrates its 25 years this year!
The flagship game is Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Arcade Edition presented here in its 4-player version with cameras filming the actions of the players. This is the fifth game in the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series and the first one to be released in arcades. The game includes 9 events: 100m, 100m hurdles, long jump, trampoline, 100m freestyle, hammer throw, javelin throw, archery and rhythmic gymnastics. You can choose between 20 characters each with its specificity (power, speed and technique).
The cabinet features a mat equipped with sensors, so the player must really run in events such as the 100m and jump at the appropriate time (we won't ask why the 100m track has a jump zone...)
The events are varied. Rhythmic gymnastics, for example, resemble a game of DanceDanceRevolution since the actions to be performed are scrolling down the screen. On the picture, Donkey Kong competes.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Arcade Edition is truly the ultimate multiplayer experience. A very good original and colorful game that will appeal to players of all ages. The release of the game is scheduled for February 2016. [Video]
In the Sonic game series, here comes Sonic Blast Ball. It's a redemption where a continuous stream of air rotates a ball around the game board. A button must be pressed to activate a valve that cause it to roll down into a game of bagatelle. Simple and efficient
The path is broken down into three strips, a large pad is used to switch from one band to the other, the player can also jump and put in a ball to avoid obstacles. The player incarnates at random one of the 9 characters from the world of Sonic.
The course ends with an encounter with Eggman whom the player will have to beat to win the jackpot. Be careful, defeating the boss is an arduous task. A high production value for a ticket game that will attract the general public. [Video]
Star of 2015, Showdown is presented in both twin version and special attraction for 2 players with 65" screens and a pivot system to move the seat. Unfortunately, although the game is visually pretty, it doesn't provide enough sensations to be a good arcade game. [Video]
A sure value from Sega: Transformers Human Alliance in theater version with its 55" screen. Shinichi Ogasawara, the producer of Transformers, now oversees the development of Sega games made for the European and American markets. [Video]
Ghostbusters by ICE puts ghost hunting back on the agenda with a video redemption faithfully reproducing 8 key scenes from the first two films (a third will be released this year). Each game ends in a tough confrontation against the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. This is a shooting game where real balls are sent to the screen in a deafening sound. This sound is covered by the famous Ghostbusters theme music which will not fail to attract players.
Players confront multiple enemies including Slimer and Vigo the Carpathian. Graphically, the game is really beautiful but the machine is huge (it hosts 2 players) and the ball system is a little anecdotal since these balls have no impact on the gameplay. One can not help but think that the developers could have gone further and make Ghostbusters a real shooter such as Transformers Human Alliance or Jurassic Park Arcade. [Video]
The player has 3 balls to crush 4 pigs, so it will be necessary to maximize the effect of chain reactions to clear the levels. If he crushes the four pigs with a single ball, he wins the jackpot.
Another famous license for a video redemption: the pink panther! In Pink Panther Jewel Heist by ICE, you have to steal a large diamond by entering the roof of a building and descending the 100 floors without being roasted by the safety laser beam that descends behind you.
The further the player goes, the faster the laser progresses and the slightest error of appreciation becomes fatal.
The game runs at full speed, hyper-fast reflexes and nerves of steel are required to handle the pressure. [Video]
Still featured: Kung Fu Panda Dojo Mojo is available in both deluxe (as seen on this picture) and standard versions (without any decoration around the machine).
Sonic Sports machine series (Basket Ball and Air Hockey) received a new clothing (with Sonic themed sounds for the air hockey). You can see the new Air FX from ICE on the right.
The main event at Bandai Namco Games event is the release of Star Wars Battle Pod Flat Screen Edition. This new edition of the Star Wars game released in dome format last year is proposed in a cockpit cabinet equipped with a 42" screen. The screen and the seat are inclined by 20° to improve immersion. The seat is equipped with a sub-woofer that sends vibrations with each explosion. One eye-catcher is that the resolution of the screen is higher than that of the projector in the dome. The high resolution and reduced field of vision make it easier to follow the on-screen action.
The other new feature of this Flat Screen Edition is the network game. It is now possible for two players to play cooperatively. It's very nice! For the rest, the game is the same as before. There are the 5 stages of the dome version: Yavin, Hoth, Endor, Death Star II and Vader's Revenge. All these stages are taken from the first films, it would be great that Bandai Namco Games would offer an update à la Mastermind Edition for Star Wars Battle Pod with stages taken from the second trilogy: the Battle of Naboo from Episode I, The pursuit of Count Dooku in an assault gunship of the Republic on Geonosis from Episode II and the rescue of Chancellor Palpatine from Episode III.
Star Wars Battle Pod Flat Screen Edition is a modern version of Star Wars Trilogy Arcade (without the lightsaber fights and FPS phases), the only downside is that the missions are very short. Despite this, it's certainly the game you can buy with your eyes closed! [Video]
The other big new title comes from Raw Thrills. It's MotoGP developed by Play Mechanix. It's been a long time since we saw a realistic motorcycle racing game. With its official MotoGP license, this motorcycle game offers 10 real circuits, real motorcycles of the biggest brands and authentic professional racers like Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.
This new game has nothing to do with the MotoGP game which was in development at Namco in 2007. The 42" screen displays spectacular graphics and the gameplay is top notch! To reinforce realism, air blows in the player's face as he rides. Like Dead Heat and Mario Kart, the cabinet is equipped with a camera that displays the players' face in the game.
Although realistic, MotoGP is not penalizing for beginners because the bike is brought back into the race in case of crash, which does not slow down the pace of the game and makes that even bad players have a chance. Up to 8 machines can be linked-up for multiplayer. The many LEDs of the cabinets gives it a very good visibility! When you think that many operators still have an old Manx TT, this is the opportunity to change! [Video #1] [Video #2]
Time Crisis 5 Mastermind Edition is the complete version of Time Crisis 5 featuring 6 levels instead of 3. Players can choose at the beginning of the game to start directly at the fourth stage. Buyers of the original version have received the upgrade free of charge. These new levels unveil the end of the story with a big twist. This is for us the best Time Crisis since the second episode. If you have room for it, it's a sure bet! [Video]
The return of a legend! Point Blank X is an updated version of the famous shooting game that was an arcade hit in the '90s.
Nothing has changed beside graphics; players test their accuracy in a series of shooting galleries events. It is often necessary to destroy a number of targets of the right type or color, but there are other challenges, such as breaking the good part of a statue or shooting the falling leaf of a tree.
40 stages are announced. There are 3 levels of difficulty: Practice, Beginner and Expert. The version presented here was a prototype using Time Crisis 5 guns. Hopefully they will keep guns with recoil effect for the final version. The cabinet is equipped with a 42" screen, numerous LEDs and a ticket dispenser. It's also relatively compact.
Despite looking like a little funny game, Point Blank X offers a real challenge. The formula differs from the usual light gun games and makes it a great alternative to classic shooting games. Point Blank X will be released in March. [Video]
Jurassic Park Arcade is the best closed booth shooting game of the moment, both in standard version and with movement. The motion version has been modified since the prototype presented last year [Video]. Aliens Armageddon remains a reference [Video].
Animal Kaiser Evolution comes to the UK with new lethal attacks and brand new cards such as the ultra rare Lion of light Galleon and the ''Forgotten Beasts'' (super powerful prehistoric creatures).
Mario Kart Arcade GP DX is presented one more time. This time, it's version 1.04 Export. Announced as the launch title for the Banapassport service in Europe, not only does the game not use it but in addition, a European Banapassport is no longer considered. That said, things can change quickly... With or without Banapassport, it's a very good game. [Video]
Ace Angler is a new fishing game for 6 players developed by Namco. The playing surface is composed of 2 screens of 42" placed side by side. There are 4 different fishing environments with specific species of fish each for a total of 70 types, the stage changes every 8 minutes. There are three types of fishing rod that catch different types of creatures: normal, super, special super, gold and monster. The monster fishes are giant creatures that only appear at the end of the level and are worth 100 points each. The machine can be equipped with optional ticket dispensers.
Galaga Assault by Raw Thrills/Namco is a redemption version of Galaga. Each inserted coin adds an extra ship on screen allowing the player to build a line of 12 ships making the game a lot easier. Each game is composed of a single level at the end of which a giant boss appears.
You have to destroy the boss' core to win the jackpot, it's not so simple because the boss is surrounded by shields rotating around him and has clamps blocking access to his core. The QR code displayed at the end of the game allows the player to publish his score on Facebook. The screen is a 42" HD monitor displaying 1080p graphics.
Get ready for something big with World's Largest Pac-Man, another collaboration between Raw Thrills and Namco. A big Pac-Man using LED panels with a height of 2m70 and a lenght of 2m85. The prototype shown at the show includes two games: Pac-Man and Galaga.
Adrenaline Amusements is the specialist of video games giving out tickets (aka videmptions). This year, they have a hit with Crossy Road Arcade, the arcade port of a game for mobile phones by Australian developer Hipster Whale.
You have a single button to control your chicken or duck. Each press of the button will cause it to advance one step or make one step aside if the way is blocked. Each successful move will earn you a ticket. You must avoid trains, cars, falling into the water and falling off the screen. Of course, the scrolling never stops!
Only a few video games are seen among the ticket machines in Belgium. It's a shame because there are many titles and unlike mechanical games where the winnings are often due to chance, here the number of tickets won depends directly on the player's skills. And that's what motivates players to keep playing! Whatever, Crossy Road Arcade is one of the best videmptions on the market today. [Video]
The goal is to catch a maximum of tickets without touching a wall or crashing into yourself or your opponent. Obviously, your snake grows a little more with every ticket eaten!
The branches are on both sides of the tree and the player must use the opposite button to move the butcher and avoid the branch as the pine goes down. It's very difficult! [Video]
Face Place Photo Studio Deluxe is Apple Industries' ultimate photobooth: more than 5000 colour-changing LEDs, high class retro-reflecting technology, touchscreen, more than 20 videos to guide users, green screen support, sublimation printing, custom frame and backgrounds, ability to save photos on USB sticks, etc... The size of the machine makes it possible to welcome groups of friend for imperishable memories. What more do you want?
Ticket Racer is a redemption racing game aimed at children from Injoy Motion. The game was previously released as Kiddy Dido. The characters and circuits are from Dido Kart. Each race takes 6 minutes where the child has to catch various objects (stars, gifts, sweets) to earn points that will be changed into tickets at the end of the game. There are also notes scattered on the circuit. Catch all the notes of a melody to win bonus tickets. [Video]
Like Sonic All-Stars, Pac-Man also has his own themed machines. The beautiful Pac-Man Air Hockey for 4 players with its colour changing playfield (thanks to numerous LEDs). It emits characteristic Pac-Man sounds and give out tickets. Unlike Pac-Man Smash, there's no multi-puck system but the price is lower.
Knock out ghosts in Pac-Man Alley Ball! another classic game benefiting from Pac-Man artwork and sounds. The machine has a well-studied lighting and the integrated ticket dispenser is a welcome feature. Fun for the whole family!
Batman and Superman are the stars of Bandai Namco Amusement Europe prize division this year with several plush models and themed gadgets (bath ducks, lava lamps, frames, egg cups). Other DC Comics stuffed toys are available such as Robin, Flash and Wonder Woman.
The particularities ofPolar Igloo are the fish-shaped controller to choose where to drop the ball, fun animations and a marquee showing the current jackpot value.
It's up to you to gauge the size of the fish; Pull too hard and the line breaks, leave too much slack and the fish will escape.
The intensity of the force feedback is really impressive and increase the satisfaction experienced when catching a big fish. [Video]
The very good Monkey Shake Down (pictured) is also available as a mini version called Monkey Shake Down Jr. It features 4 levers instead of the 6 seen on the original.
Despite looking like a prehistoric DDR, Speedy Feet plays more like a Whac-A-Mole video game.
There are 3 levels: lava, ice and rock. The cabinet is equipped with a 42" HD screen topped with a large counter of bonus points.
Attention, the game requires a good coordination of movements. A simple and original concept with dinosaurs, what more do you need? [Video]
Here's now Super Big Rig, an educational game designed to give children the desire to become truck drivers. Behind the steering wheel of his truck, the young player has simple tasks to fulfill, such as delivering flowers.
A microphone allows an attendant to control certain truck functions or activate special effects in the game (display a rainbow, fireworks or a shooting star).
An optional ticket dispenser is available for your redemption needs. The game looks good, it's very well done and is more interesting than a classic kiddie ride. A very good surprise! [Video]
In Jurassic War, you shoot balls at dinosaurs appearing on the screen to stop their attacks. The game is very ugly and not very fun but it doesn't matter since this game is primarily a bouncing ball vending machine.
But also a home production in the form of Dino Rider b>, an interactive kiddie ride where the child rides a dinosaur. This game could become a hit if it had a Chocobo license.
Although released in Asia 2 years ago, this shooting game has not aged at all! The action takes place in a futuristic universe depicted through beautiful graphics.
The futuristic atmosphere is very cool and the story is full of twists. It's a very good game. It's really strange that we didn't see it land in Europe earlier.
The only negative point is the duration of the boss fights that drags on a lot (the game replays the same scenes over and over until the boss is dead). Hopefully, the bosses difficulty can be setup in test mode... [Video]
Many Chinese video kidie rides and videmptions are available at AMR Amusements, a Bristol-based distributor in business for more than 30 years.
The animals are represented with bear, owl and pony themed machines with changing colours thanks to a clever LED lighting. The three different cabinets house the same software. Let's also mention the Beverage House videmption where the player can win cans in addition to the usual tickets.
Following last year's success of Go Go Pony, JNC Sales extends its offer of advanced video kiddie rides with Dolphin Star and Captain Sub, also produced by IGS and i-Cing. All of these games can be networked.
The latest Stern pinball tables are as popular as ever on Electrocoin stand! This year, the exhibited tables are the Vault Edition of Spider-Man (with many improvements and a new design from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon) as well as pro versions of Star Trek, Kiss and Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones, is probably the most popular TV series of the moment. This pinball table recreates the intensity of the battles animating the seven kingdoms of Westeros to the sound of the famous main theme and the voice of Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann). The game board is equipped with a dragon that furiously returns the ball to the player. The iron throne is obviously present but is only a decoration on the pro model intended for operators.
On premium and limited edition models, the throne offers a reward if one attains it. These versions are also equipped with a small raised playfield with 2 additional pinballs. The Game of Thrones pinball has a very bright LED lighting. The rules are complicated and strategy will be needed to reign over the whole land of Westeros. No doubt this table will please all fans of the series.
Older, the Kiss pinball will delight Kiss Army members with an enormous Demon head capable of spitting balls as well as a Starchild figure standing proudly above the board. The playfield is also equipped with a "Backstage Pass" trap. Like all last Stern tables, this one is driven by the new SPIKE PCB . The machine has LED lighting and a 3-channel Stereo audio system.
Drawings are made by Kevin O'Connor who had previously worked on the Kiss pinball machine released by Bally in 1979. The artwork on the sides of the box and the bumpers of the new table heavily reminds the old one but the comparison stops there, the new playfield being much more elaborate. A very good pinball, even if you are not a fan of the band.
British manufacturer Heighway Pinball present once again its, now available, Full Throttle pinball. The limited edition (250 copies) is available in black with red metal parts and red with black metal parts. The standard edition is shown in the back. One of the peculiarities of this pinball tables is the ability to easily convert it into another game. Coincidentally, Heighway announces the future arrival of an Alien themed table later this year.
Our compatriots at Elaut had brought several E-Claw cranes, the Big One and Ticket Circus. It's a coin pusher for 6 players where each rectangular plaque falling from the playfield is worth tickets. Each playfield is equipped with a bonus wheel which value rises whenever the player misses it. A few tokens are given to him so that he can retry. The more you miss, the easier it becomes to win the bonus. A good way to encourage the player to keep playing.
Whitehouse Leisure is still the undisputed leader in the plush toys and licensed toys sector. This year, Star Wars is well represented thanks to the release of the 7th feature film in December. All sort of goodies are available; lightsabers, cups, posters, ... and of course quality fluff toys.
The collaboration with Disney doesn't end with Star Wars since merchandising of other Disney movies are available. Plush toys of the timeless Frozen are still very popular. The Good dinosaur, the last Pixar production, is also well represented with stuffed toys of the main characters: Arlo, Buck, Spot...
Famous in Japan, Disney TsumTsum are ready to invade Europe. These cuddly toys depicting Disney characters can be stacked on top of each other to build pyramids of characters.
Our favourite new games this year are: Star Wars Battle Pod Flat Screen Edition from Bandai Namco, more affordable than the original dome version. What the game loses in immersion, it gains in clarity and finesse thanks to the higher display resolution. At Sega b>, we select Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Arcade Edition for its originality and its appeal to a wide audience. MotoGP by Raw Thrills is the motorcycle game we've been waiting for. Also note the return of the famous Point Blank b> with Point Blank X which should be released in March. On the redemption side, Crossy Road Arcade by Adrenaline Amusements is a must have with its excellent concept and its funny animations. Angry Birds Arcade from ICE is also a very good machine with its mechanical slingshot.
Another excellent edition with lots of quality games! The next EAG International exhibition will take place at the same location from January 17 to 19, 2017. Save the dates!
Text / pictures: Sophie & Nomax.
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