Sega's New Arcade in China - Courtesy of Kotaku
The new application of the evolving amusement scene has seen a mixing of technologies and applications – with this the sector has embraced the new title of ‘Digital Out-of-Home Entertainment’. Amusement and interactive large scale attractions are all now vying to apply the latest interactive gaming elements and so create unique and compelling experiences “unachievable at home”.
Launched at last years major amusement trade event, Bandai Namco Games returned too their cooperative game roots with the new title ‘Tank Tank Tank’ – this networked tank game (up to four participants) offers the usual competitive element, but mixed-in with the game-play a major co-operative component with large end-level bosses too vanquish that can only be beaten if the players work as a team.
Likewise, Namco has previewed another new release for 2010 called ‘Deadstorm Pirates’ – this 2-player "closed booth style gun game", with players blasting at ghostly pirates and monsters, also offers the element of increasing the individual players fire-power if they converge their targets and shoot together – this co-op shooting showing the roots of the ‘couples’ game elements from the companies past.
Japanese amusement factory SEGA has revived the co-op genre by applying it to the driving concept – with the new game ‘HUMMER DLX’, 2-players sit alongside in a motion cockpit representation of an off-road vehicle, both with steering wheels. Depending on the skill of the player the driving control swaps – co-op play enabling the team to complete the course and beat other racers.
Another new release from SEGA – called ‘Tetris Giant’ – the game incorporates enlarged joystick controllers to steer the Tetris pieces on screen with force-feedback. However the game adds a co-op as an option to the two player element – a unique feature to the basic Tetris game-play.
The more we see greater investment into unique interfaces and game element to these new series of amusement titles, the more we see developers revisit the cooperative game component – titles such as TrioTech Amusement’s ‘UFO Stomper’ using the latest motion recognition technology, marries this with fun mini-games, some of which including co-op elements.
2010 is expected to include more games that follow this path as amusement entertains a captive audience that is willing to participate in gaming. So making network co-op products that support this market offer a great opportunities – especially as the amusement platform can incorporate much more innovative game elements compared to the play restrictions of a console and its peripherals.
This has been a brief overview of the co-op genre as it has been defined by the amusement and arcade sector – if I have missed out any arcade titles that readers feel should be included as contributing to co-op in amusement, I would be grateful to hear about them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Feature writer Kevin Williams is founder and director of the out-of-home leisure entertainment consultancy KWP Limited (www.thestingerreport.com/kwp.