Archive for October 31, 2009

Prepping for 2010 with a look back at Combatica

October 31, 2009



A short time ago we reported about a new company that is joining the amusement industry called Titan 4 Games. Their plan is to bring gesture-based motion gaming to the coin-op industry next year and as we are finding out from The Stinger Report, they aren’t the only ones looking to do the same thing. As such it is looking like next year will be the year of the gesture-based game and Kevin Williams sent us this brief piece to remind us where the next possible fad in gaming all started.

The Stinger Report is just preparing coverage regarding new motion-tracking arcade systems in the works, (Arcade Heroes already reporting on one – the ‘Titan-4-Games’ system – revealed this month). And wanted to mark the 10th anniversary of the use of motion-tracking technology in video games originated (as always) in the amusement scene.

Launched in 1999 – the ‘Combatica’, from Holoplex, allowed two players to have their movements represented on fighter game characters, in the companies unique cabinet enclosure; many years before the EyeToy, or the proposed Natal home console system peripherals. Similar initiatives went on to be used in the ‘MoCap’ system from Konami, and more recently the ‘UFO Stomper’ from TrioTech – but was originated some 10-years ago by Holoplex.

[Discuss on the forums]


Lunar Lander goes mechnical

October 31, 2009


Back in 1979, Atari jumped into the vector monitor market with an arcade title called Lunar Lander. As the name implies, you pilot a lunar landing module and have to balance your speed and fuel in an attempt to land on different spots on the moon that are worth different points. Come down too fast and you’ll crash, equaling game over. It was a fairly difficult game but certainly unique in it’s presentation. Even more unique is this machine created by engineer Iain Sharp in the UK. He has recreated the Lunar Lander game mechanically, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the moon landings that came this year. The game took about a year to build, cost $800 and to top it off you can play it if you drop by the Southwold Pier in Suffolk, England. To see the game in action, check out the video below

[Official site:] [Via] [Discuss on the Forums]

Exergaming with Dogfight V2

October 31, 2009



Exergaming has become a lucrative commodity for gyms and Nintendo in recent times but it can also be a nice addition to an arcade location. One company that is in the business of developing exergames is Electronic Sports and we have previously reported on Dogfight, a title by the company that combines an exercise bike with a flight simulator. Players turn the plane with handle bars located on their side and the game can be linked up with a second unit where players can duke it out head-to-head. The reason for this post on the game again is the company has released an updated version of the game (aptly named Dogfight V2 and yes we are a few months late on this) which includes at the very least an improved cabinet that looks much nicer than the first edition. Unfortunately the website doesn’t get into any details regarding the software and whether they updated that but the video I embedded below shows the UI from May 2009 which should be what they are using in V2. The game does make heavy use of online functionality and users can create profiles where you can earn ringtones in the game and have that sent to you. Overall, the concept behind the game is cool, it’s certainly something different and the exercise appeal behind it could make it something worth trying out in arcades. I have contacted the company as to whether or not these can be built with coin mechs or not and also how much a unit goes for.   I will update this post when they get back to me and in the mean time you can see the latest version of the game in action below. After doing some research it appears that there are a couple of places in my state which already have the game so I will have to find some time to drop by and check the game out first hand.

[Electronic Sports website][Discuss on the Forums]

Chuck E. Cheese posts profit jump in Q3 – How is your arcade doing?

October 31, 2009



For the past little while, the only stories we have posted regarding Chuck E. Cheese have been negative stories, dealing with the wave of adults who get into fights with each other at their kids’ birthday parties. So it’s nice to see a positive story about the company popping up for a change, especially where they are posting a nice increase in profits for the 3rd quarter of 2009. With this story dropping it leads me to ask those of you out there who are running an arcade/FEC/route location – how did your business do last quarter (or how has it been doing for the past year)? I have heard from some operators recently that they have been having a good year, one even told me that they were having their best year ever. Personally the beginning of this year was pretty bad but after I moved locations last quarter we are seeing our best earnings yet but since we are in a different spot, it is difficult to pin it up against last year seeing how the new place naturally picks up more foot traffic by being inside of the mall.

If you would like to share how your arcade is doing, comment below or discuss it on the forums.