H/T to Joe at Indie Arcade Wave for this news.

One issue with IAAPA is that there is so much going on that one can easily miss something as important as a new arcade game launch. That is particularly true if the game isn’t at IAAPA itself – but it was in Florida at around the same time. Unfortunately I was unable to stick around for the reveal event for Throwback! Jai-Alai Heroes, which made it’s debut at Free Play Florida. Still, my apologies to Brian and Caris for missing it up until now – let’s boost the signal and discuss!

The game is available for arcades to grab now but what is it? Let’s start with a flyer and go from there:

Throwback Jai-Alai Heroes by Astro Crow GamesIt’s an indie game! Unfortunately the pandemic really slammed the brakes on a lot of indie arcade developments but this and Nidhogg II have been showing a comeback in that regard. Jai-Alai itself is a sport (pronounced “High-Lie”)that originated in Spain and as the flyer sums it up above, it’s “hot potato wall ball.” I don’t know if there are any other video games based on it (a search of Steam shows zero results but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any others somewhere out there) so Throwback! is definitely offering something unique here.  We also don’t have a ton of sports video games out there for the modern market(aside from golf & bowling), so this helps fill in that space while giving us something fresh. What I also find interesting about it is that this is apparently similar to the one game in the movie TRON, which I always thought was kind of Pong but now I realize it was more Jai-Alai. Here’s a video of how the game plays – you’ll notice the graphics are very bright and have a 1991 aesthetic energy to them:

This game was first announced five years ago, so it’s been a long time coming; It also is available in 2p and 4p configurations. The cabinet art definitely stands out from your typical upright arcade cabinet, inspired by the original Missile Command cabinet that “meets 1970s meets 1980s meets 1990s” for it’s look. This is probably a great way to stand out without covering the cabinet in LEDs:

Throwback Jai-Alai Heroes 2p cabinet

Joe at Indie Arcade Wave has interviewed the team a couple of times but here is the most recent one discussing the launch of the game and some changes that have been made to it since its inception, as well as what it took to finish it and bring it to market:

If you are interested in grabbing one for your location, you can contact Astro Crow Games directly or Joe at Indie Arcade Wave. I’m not sure what the price is but it certainly won’t cost anywhere near your major manufacturer games.

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