Three Awesome Arcade Games

Video arcade games have come a long way since the early 1990s. The arcade game developers have to adapt, offer something that the older arcade games could not, or else risk fading away into obscurity. My last article focused on games that continue pushing the arcade towards obscurity. This article focuses on the games that should help keep the arcade relevant.


Dark Escape 4D

DE4D SS04NAMCO America put together a highly unique gem with this game. On the surface, the game is nothing more than jump scare after jump scare. Enter into a new area, have something attack you out of nowhere, and leave to the next area. Pretty simple. The game mechanics resembles House of the Dead with a turret-type gun rather than a pistol. But what this game does more than any other game of its type is create an experience that draws the gamer in like none other can.

Like panic sensors. The game actually monitors your heart rate. It records it to keep track Dark Escape 4D gun handleof when something scares you in game. And boy do they know how to scare. 3D glasses help pull you into the game, but what makes it feel real is the breathing you feel on the back of your neck while hearing monstrous growling coming from the surround sound speakers. Put it all together and you have a truly terrifying experience. It’s one thing to be playing a game like Resident Evil and knowing zombies were chasing you. It could get a touch nerve-wracking. But it’s another thing to feel the ground rumbling under your feet, feeling the zombies breathing down your neck, and hearing growling coming from behind you.

Dark Escape 4D does a lot more to create an experience for the gamer than most other arcade games out there. It’s not perfect, though no game is. But this game is a wonderful step forward to the future of arcade games.

Pac-Man Battle Royale

Pac-Man Battle Royale is fun. There’s no other way to describe this game.Just look at the following video of people playing it.

It’s like the original Pac-Man in almost every single way. You control Pac-Man, eat pellets, avoid ghosts, eat ghosts, and run around the maze.

Battle_8f14e4You can do more with this game that that. You can play with up to three other people. There are four Pac-Mans on the screen. All of them going head-to-head. You get to compete against others for pellets and ghosts. There’s more! You can actually eat the other Pac-Mans. This is a game that’s most fun with friends, obviously. There’s nothing more enjoyable than eating your three friends, then doing a victory dance. It’s a a three round series; the one who wins the most wins the game. Let’s face it, the winner will have serious bragging rights.

There’s something indescribably fun about Pac-Man Battle Royale. Making Pac-Man into a head to head competition makes an all-time classic even better.

Interesting side note: the plural for Pac-Man is Pac-Mans. It’s not Pac-Men.

Pac-Man Battle Royale will be released on February 25th, 2014 on the PC as part of a collection set called Pac-Man Museum. Could be worth checking out. Though for the truly fun experience of the game, you need to try it out at the arcade.

Infinity Blade FX

This arcade game is an unexpected treat. Infinity Blade FX was originally an on the Apple app store. You probably know it, as this game was the fastest selling app of all time.So let’s assume you are already familiar with the game. This arcade game is a direct port of the app. It was a fun game. Now, imagine playing it on a 46 inch screen.

Swiping your hand across a huge screen to attack an unbelievably large enemy. It’s a rush like you wouldn’t believe. To be honest, Infinity_Blade_Render_45c48cI ended up pawing at the screen as fast as I could to wear down the enemy. I was excited to play it. That extra kinetic motion that was required pulled me into the game in a highly unique way. The touch screen interface wasn’t just a novelty, it was the game’s strongest selling point. I could imagine being in that situation, fighting just like my character was fighting.

The game requires the player to be point-blank with the incredible speaker system. While it wasn’t surround sound like Dark Escape 4D, the sound was intense enough for me to feel the impacts against my character’s shield. It sounded quite realistic.

It made me want to see more games like it.

Final Thoughts

Arcade games need to be innovative in order to stay relevant. Though I’ll miss games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, those games can be played at home. In order to justify any arcade game, it has to do something that can’t be done at home. Things like touch screens, a full environment, or fun group games that’s arcade exclusive are what arcades need in order to survive.

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  • I agree that arcade games should offer an experience which cannot be replicated in the home, but I would not recommend titles such as these. The problem we had an the arcades through the 90s was that a very large section of the audience were not actually interested in games, they were only interested in machines which mimicked a real-life activity. While this is fine if your business could survive on curious passers-by, the reality is that you need a dedicated gaming audience at your venue as these people are the ones who spend the most money and do not demand ever more elaborate gimmicks (provided by space-hogging expensive machines) to keep their attention.

    The greatest arcade game I have played in recent years is DariusBurst. The huge double-wide display consists of a pair of 16:9 displays side-by-side with some clever mirror trickery involved to give the effect of one continuous screen with no bezel between the two sides. The enemy waves and attack patterns are designed specifically for this display and there is quite a learning curve involved trying to get your brain to process the entire display instead of concentrating on one spot. DariusBurst is the embodiment of what made arcade games so great in the first place; tight, beautifully constructed game systems and mechanics hosted in a fashion which cannot be replicated in the home. Arcade games are pure spectacle, they are massively social and are badly needed right now in today’s gaming climate, but I’m afraid the examples in your article are the same gimmicky, expensive space hogs which brought the industry down in the first place. We need the best of the best games presented in the best possible way, in an environment which encourages the social scene the arcades in the 90s enjoyed, not this.