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
NAMCO 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 of 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.
You 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, I 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.
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.