Posted tagged ‘Textminator’

National Textminator tournament now live in the UK

February 16, 2010

If you live in the UK, you’re good at texting and you want to win some prizes, then the Textminator tournament is for you. PMT Sales has reported that the tournament is now live and that the game can be found at the Hollywood Bowl in Leeds along with five other machines in the country. 50 machines are scheduled to go out to different locations in the UK over the next 30 days so finding one shouldn’t prove to be too difficult. At the moment the monthly prize is a Playstation 3 and players will also have a chance at £10,000. PMT Sales states:”Initial reaction has been fantastic with kids realizing quite quickly that their texting skills could be used to for their further education.”  More info on the tournament can be found here.

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PMT Sales now running big tournaments for Textminator across the UK

January 8, 2010

If you live in the UK and you are good at texting, then this is for you. UK distributor PMT Sales has let us know about some big competitions they are currently running on 100 Textminator arcade machines that are placed in various locations throughout the country.  What they are offering is nothing to sneeze at – random winners can win brand new mobile phones and later this year they will hold a large competition looking for the “fastest texter in the UK” with a grand prize of £10,000 (about $16,000 USD at current exchange rates). According to PMT:

We have 100 machines going out before easter and each one has a monthly unique prize. If the winner wants to he can then be entered into the final play off at the end of the year. Each machine will have its own leaderboard sent to our new website so customers can keep up to date on scores to beat

That website would be blingmobiles.com. Also from the PMT site, I noticed that they also have custom artwork for Textminator cabinets that can be tailored to a specific phone manufacturer. It’s a pretty smart use of the idea behind the game and I wonder if other companies in different territories around the world will pick up on this as well.

PMT also let us know that they are now hold exclusive distribution rights to Universal Space games, which I covered at IAAPA (Textminator was covered in that same post in case you missed it). UNIS is one company I have been watching since IAAPA as they revealed their first in-house developed game, Ultimate and of course the Cooking Mama video redemption title.

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IAAPA 2009 videos – Dead Storm Pirates, UNIS booth (w. Cooking Mama & H2Overdrive motion), Big Buck Hunter Open Season, Textminator

November 23, 2009

I have finally resolved the problem with Youtube not accepting the videos for Dead storm Pirates and the UNIS booth – convert them to AVI files. Unfortunately they become blocky and lose detail so I will be trying to find another way to get the better quality versions online soon. In the meantime…

Dead Storm Pirates (Namco) – I was surprised to see this game at IAAPA – we hadn’t heard anything about it possibly coming over to the US although it seemed like the style of gameplay would be a nice fit over here. The software was 60% complete so there were only a couple of levels to play but it was a lot of fun. There’s also more to it than being Let’s Go Jungle with a pirate theme, Namco is taking the time to help the game stand out on it’s own. The emphasis on shooting the targets at the same time is greater and if you both can keep your sights together long enough, the shots become more powerful. Another exciting part of the game I saw is when you man the cannons to blast another ship out of the water – hopefully there will be a few more scenes like that in the final release. Also the rudder wheel feature is pretty cool, with the game presenting you with so many seconds to turn the thing for a pass or fail event. In several wheel events the game goes into “bullet time”, slowing down just enough so you can attempt to turn. DSP is running on Namco’s System 357 hardware, which is PS3 based and is the same hardware used on Tekken 6 and Razing Storm. As such the game looks spectacular but unfortunately due to the uploading issues I have had with getting this on Youtube you won’t notice those details as nicely.

Universal Space booth – We broke the news about UNIS bringing Cooking Mama to arcades and I have noticed that a number of blogs have picked up on that news but unfortunately only one source gave us any credit for that (so we tip our hat to them GameSetWatch). Such is the nature of the blogging biz I suppose. Either way, one detail that needs to be emphasized about the game is that it is available in the US right now – and I already saw it’s appeal to younger kids. When I was posting the IAAPA pics at my arcade, a girl who was about 8 or 9 years old saw the picture of Cooking Mama and asked if we would get it saying she would play it all the time (right after my brother was saying that no one would play it).

Overall I was happy with the UNIS booth because there was a number of different and new ideas there that other companies don’t have.

One of those was Butterfly Garden – which is an interesting return to the tabletop game with four players. You control a net and you attempt to capture as many butterflies as possible. It’s another cutesy game that is something different. They had a couple of virtual bowling games which were fun and I was also impressed with Panda Family, a party game by IGS that uses a face avatar feature. There are a number of mini-games to pick from and movement is controlled by large buttons. The cabinet is really nice and this is one I wouldn’t mind getting for my arcade.

Of interest to Panic Park fans they also had a game called Ultimate. The control scheme works exactly like Panic Park does where you play tug-of-war on the controls in each mini-game. I was very impressed by the price on this one – only $4600 for a game with a 46″ screen. I couldn’t get a good feel for how the mini-games played in it however as you really need two people to get the full effect.

H2Overdrive fans will be pleased/surprised that UNIS had a new version of H2Overdrive at their booth. This version uses a motion base and it was a collaborative effort by UNIS, Tsunami Visual and Bandai Namco games. The motion version should be available in the US in 2010, with the game also going to Asian markets.

Apologies for the bad video and sound quality in this one, it’s another one I had to convert from MOV to AVI.

Big Buck Hunter Pro: Open Season – I got a chance to check this out but where I am more familiar with Big Buck Safari than I am Hunter, I couldn’t notice the differences in the update off the top of my head. I do know that there is more focus with online play via the Coin-Up network, like they do with Safari. I also found the mini bonus games to be a little more entertaining than what is in Safari (they even have an Asteroids bnous round, not sure if that is new or not)

Textminator – Strangely enough this game is attracting all sort of attention on various tech blogs all of the sudden, even though it has been out for a while. This was the first time I had a chance to play it myself and while I am not a texting person by any means, it was a decent game. Words fall from the top and you have to text out what it says before the word hits the bottom. One thing that could hurt the appeal to this is how many cell phones are converting over to full keyboards, making the old way of texting out-of-date but still, this is something unique and the cabinet catches your eye as well. The pads are interesting – it’s like using a payphone pad but it seems like they should hold up to the normal pounding found in your average arcade.

Yes, I still have a few more videos to go!

IAAPA 2008: Final Round-up (now with some release dates)

November 28, 2008

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We’ve received a final batch of pictures from the IAAPA show in Florida (thanks again to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report)and it’s only fitting to ‘finalize’ our coverage of the event. Overall I think that it was a great show, in terms of new games and what we can look forward to coming into 2009. While there isn’t any new game seem here, we do get a better look at a few games.

Slambot was at the show – I know that they have been to previous IAAPA events and I’m glad to see that they were there. In case you have missed previous coverage of Slambot, it’s an arcade game that uses robots inside of an enclosure as they slam into each other and colored buttons around the edges. I almost got one for my arcade but there was a few month waiting list so I wasn’t able to get it at the time. (Videos of previous Slambot versions here and here)

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Here is a new game, Xball by Unis (or Universal Space). It is similar to a couple of games we’ve seen in Asia that came up with the ‘throw a ball at the screen’ concept. I’m just waiting for someone to make one of these games where it’s a virtual snowball fight, which could be a lot of fun without the need of getting pegged with iceballs.  While Universal Space’s website doesn’t list Xball on it yet, I noticed that they do have IGS’s Pirate Revenge game there, which I had thought would not come over to the US.

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For another video redemption title we have Jungle Drummer. It says that it’s part of the Percussion Master series so I wonder if this has something to do with Pump It Up Jump (which was not at the show but I talked with Andamiro about it at AMOA). I like the cabinet design, very eye-catching for kids.

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Similar to what you see above is a DDR clone called Boogie Down. The dance pad is simplified and with the brighter color scheme this also should attract kids pretty well.

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Here’s a couple more shots of Brick People. I heard that when the game is finished, the game clears the bricks itself but at the moment it sounds like that feature is sort of clunky with how it works and may not clear it properly every time. They still have time to figure that out though.

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Big Buck Safari Deluxe was at the show and from what I heard it was working better than it was at AMOA and ASI. I’m still not sure when we’ll see it though.

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Here’s a little more on Textminator by LAI Games. Here is a picture of the promotional flyer for the game where you get a look at what it’s about and notice that there is a pad on this much like DDR but no foot controls of course. I wonder if it’s DDR meets texting. It probably won’t be my cup of tea but for it’s target audience it will probably do really well, especially where it has ticket payout.

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Here’s a variation of the new pedestal cabinet from the Fun Company for Incredible Technologies. I like the lit up version on the right better than the standard ones.

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These racing simulators are cool. I’m not sure what racing game they are playing but they would be quite attractive at any amusement park.

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And finally, what post would be complete without more pictures of girls playing Guitar Hero?

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As for release dates – Guitar Hero has been given a date of February and I hear the price tag is around $7000. The game will also include a hook-up for a separate TV so more players can see what’s going on. American Idol is scheduled to come along in January and while I haven’t heard a price, it’s going to use the CoinUp network extensively. Also according to some distributor sources of ours, Namco is planning to release Razing Storm and Nirin in March, just in time for ASI/AMOA. R-Tuned Racing is set for January, Hummer for March and Harley Davidson for “1st quarter 2009”.

So where does that leave us off? I counted at least 24 new games if you count video game redemption titles and I know there was more for just regular redemption. Still, for the video sector that’s pretty good and not what I’d call a dead and buried industry. Of course we will have to see how operators take to all of these games next year. 

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IAAPA: Power Boat, Textminator, Sea Wolf, Tank Adventure, more misc stuff

November 19, 2008

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PLEASE NOTE: This post has been updated to include new information from the show floor

There’s more at IAAPA and first off here are some games from a company that used to be called iMotion but is now InJoy. While we had first posted a video for Power Boat quite a while ago, we hadn’t heard anything about it since and I had wondered whether the game was still coming to the US. InJoy answered that question today by showing off the latest build of the title at IAAPA, along with some brand new cabinets for their tank combat game, Panzer Elite Action. PEA has been available for some time in a different cabinet form but I guess they decided to give it a new, more appealing design. They have kept the motion for both games though, which is a good thing, it helped make Panzer Elite a more interesting game when I played it.

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Next up is Tecway Developments and their entries into the US market. They had demonstrated Tank Adventure some time ago in Asia and with them bringing it to the US it will compete directly with the Panzer Elite Action game mentioned above. Also from them is a new game called Ski Jet – from the pic below you can see it lets you choose a boat or plane to play and it’s a shooter in the same vein as Sea Wolf.

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Speaking of Sea Wolf, Sea Wolf : The Next Missions was at the show with it’s new cabinet designs. With an upright cabinet and new gameplay it should be interesting to see how this is received as at ASI it was very popular.

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For the next game I am not sure who is creating this but LAI games has developed an interesting idea targeted towards the “text generation” and it’s called “Textminator”. The game turns the ‘art’ of texting on a cell phone into an arcade game but right now it’s still unclear as to what the gameplay entails at this moment. “Typing of the Dead” pops into my mind for it but I doubt this is about using text messages to fight the zombie hordes.

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Games that use motion capture (immersive reality) in some manner were abundant at the show. 1st is a pic of two people playing a pong game using their whole body (by a company called PlayMotion); 2nd is called Chatterbox (by Anmialive) where you sit in a green screen booth and chat with a virtual character; the 3rd I’m not sure what it’s called but it puts you in front of a green screen and simulates something close to the Playstation Eye Toy.

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There also was something called MagiQuest at the show which had a huge booth, Kevin snapped several shots of this one. Labelled the “World’s Largest Interactive Video Game”, one component we see here seems to be some sort of sensor grid that detects your arm movements above it the movement of a wand in your hand so you can throw spells. The control panel allows you to take different actions and the game plays like a more interactive version of those old CD games that were popular, like 7th Guest, etc. MagiQuest will also roll out a waterpark version of their idea next year using gloves instead of wands (pictured below)

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Finally, a very interesting picture that Kevin got was of something called Trans-Force, which even features the Transformers font. When looking online, I found a site about a company that makes 3D/4D amusement rides using the Trans-Force name so I assume this setup @ IAAPA is from them but it looks like the dome screen concept. There are flight joysticks inside but it’s not clear at the moment what kind of game[s] it plays. Check back later for more details on this and other games at IAAPA. UPDATE: More information found on this in this post.

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