When it comes to indie game development, one annual show certainly tops the rest in bringing the spotlight onto such games and that is the Penny Arcade Expo or PAX for short. The events of PAX East have been grabbing some headlines, especially the demonstration of an official sequel to Midway’s Hydro Thunder called Hydro Thunder Hurricane (Specular Interactive was not involved in the development of this title but a small independent studio was; Microsoft now owns the rights to Hydro Thunder BTW). But beyond the console gaming stuff, there was a small arcade full of rare games to be seen at the show. We were promised some pics of that arcade but as they haven’t been sent to us yet, I’ll have to point you to a gallery on Kotaku for now. (If we get those pics, I’ll update this post)
There also was this article on Wired.com covering the arcade there and in particular a rare laserdisc arcade game I had never heard of before called Us. Vs. Them. Released as a conversion kit for MACH 3 machines and programmed by Warren Davis who also did Q*Bert, Us. Vs. Them is a shmup that features action similar to MACH 3, with sprites overlaying video images that play in the background. It also includes a number of cut-scenes that pop in during each level, showing different people reacting to the battle you are waging against aliens overhead. I found a video of the game in action, not from PAX though.
Other rarities at PAX’s real arcade included Joust 2, Spy Hunter Pinball, Quantum, Leprechaun, and Crazy Otto.