It’s time to present more news from the IAAPA 2021 tradeshow that took place a couple of weeks ago, with a strong focus on touring the different booths that were there. If you missed part 1 of this coverage, then click here. Otherwise, let’s get to it!
I’m going to do these in order that I recorded/posted them; For each of these, I had a lapel mic that I connected to my camera which ended up providing better sound than using the standard built-in camera mic. While that built-in mic is good, in these situations it picks up far too much background noise. Another thing to mention is that pretty much everyone’s booth was smaller than in previous years, except for Elaut and Raw Thrills.
Sega really packed their space with games to make the most of it. They showcased their Mission: Impossible Arcade and Men In Black games right at the front, although a lot of people seemed quite interested in VR Agent. Just a note that the model at the show is not the same cabinet that is being released by Sega, but the game will be the same.
This is the first show I’ve ever been to where Raw Thrills didn’t have anything “new-new” to show, although everything seen here is their latest and presumably running the latest, publicly available code. One commenter did claim that Minecraft was operating with a new level and some other features but I confirmed that wasn’t the case (that said, there is a big new content update coming to the game next year). Overall, their booth was similar to what was shown at IAAPA 2019, just with King Kong and Minecraft.
Bandai Namco Amusements
I already covered two of their new launches, Maximum Tune 5DX+ and Pac-Man Battle Royale Chompionship, but they had some other stuff there, which is covered below. The biggest change from their typical IAAPA setup was no content from Raw Thrills or Adrenaline, which is usually there due to Bandai Namco Amusements Europe representing their games in that region:
LAI’s booth was also similar in make-up to their 2019 setup while introducing Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade and Angry Birds Coin Crash. One that was missing was Outnumbered; but Asphalt Legends 9 grabbed plenty of attention for the video game side of things.
Similar in size to Sega’s booth (maybe slightly bigger), they had a few new games to show, including Elevator Action Invasion, Bigfoot Crush, and some crane machines. None of their Elite Park stuff that had been revealed in 2020 was there or hinted at, but OnPoint finally had the enclosure that had been mentioned in the past. I was curious to see Wicked Tuna that had been talked about just prior to the show, but it wasn’t there.
Stern tends to spend their big booth bucks on Pinball Expo, but they still had a full booth with Godzilla (particularly the Premium model) being the star. They also had the Insider Connected setup going, although thanks to my lack of data on my phone, I didn’t try it out. Still, I have a couple of kits on order so hopefully, I have them in hand soon.
American’s booth was one exception to the space reduction rule, but there was no redemption game here to take up real estate like last time – just pinball. They had their new Legends of Valhalla of course, the only game not around being Oktoberfest.
The star of this booth was definitely Hungry Hungry Hippos, although as you’ll see in the video, pretty much all of their games had no trouble getting attention. Twister is fun to watch people play, although I didn’t try it to be able to opine on how it goes exactly. Unfortunately, no Drakons was on hand, so we’ll have to wait and see if that one makes the cut at some point.
I haven’t generally covered Elaut in the past since this isn’t a crane/prize blog, but since adding Benchmark Games to their family, videmption titles have gained more prominence there. They’ve also brought on Boxblaster and Touch Magix product lines as has been mentioned on the blog previously. Thanks to that, here’s a look at their video side:
Amusement Source International/Wahlap
The only two China-based coin-op game companies at the show were UNIS and Wahlap, which left a bit of empty space in some areas of the show. ASI has long worked with Wahlap though and was there to show off a few video games and several redemption pieces. No Speed Driver 5 was there, unfortunately, but they did have Speed Rider 3DX, Skip Time, Overtake VR, and Monster Eye 2.
Creative Works (Plus Major Mega & VR Studios)
Here’s one company that I don’t cover too often, as they don’t really dabble with arcade games, they’re more into attractions. They have a few things that are riding the fine line between arcade & attraction, with their primary focus falling on FECs. The SpongeBob VR game was developed by Major Mega, which also produces the Hyperdeck system you see at the beginning. The Hoops Madness is being done by VR Studios, as they debuted this piece in what they are calling the Fury cabinet (more info on this below the video):
While I had thought that I was done with the booth tours after Creative Works, turned out I had one other, I just didn’t do commentary at the time. That’s for the best though as I really needed to do some research on this one prior to posting. I reached out to Bob Cooney for some info, who clarified that the cabinets you see below are VRsenal’s design, which has been contracted out to VR Studios for their Hoops Madness game. VR Studios calls it the Fury cabinet, but VRsenal called it the V2:
Rhythmatic is available to link multiple units together (up to 8) while Space Pirate Trainer will add multiplayer in March. Vader Immortal continues to be a single-player game, but you can run the two on separate screens as seen above.
While I did cover them in the last IAAPA post, since then I added another video so might as well show it here. Note that Axel City 2 is also a full exA exclusive, with no console port existing or planned. I also hope to be able to share some stuff on Samurai Shodown V Perfect, but we’ll have to wait to hear about that:
The Really Big Crane Company
I didn’t capture a video of this booth, but I did get info on a couple of products. First was a completely new version of Zombie Jam, their video basketball game. Gone is the 2D zombies climbing ladders game, the present is a 3D stop-the-zombies-coming-at-you title. Note that this software was specially setup for tradeshow play; They were saying that the game otherwise features levels with increasing difficulty and some other changes.
Also at this booth was the Amusement Payment System. While at first glance it was just another card payment system joining the fray, I was told that there are two parts to the APS – the payment system, where the kiosk can take multiple forms of payment – and the telemetry system, which simplifies remote bookkeeping and maintenance for crane machines and other amusement products. Operators can grab just the telemetry system if they wish, which is also capable of working with older, non-RBCC cranes.
No, I did not capture a video of this booth either, but the company did have something worth mentioning – a big ad for a sequel to their popular Ice Man videmption game, Ice Walker:
This distributor (and AH advertiser) had brought Cosmotrons to IAAPA 2019, but this time they were just focused on reproduced/refurbished classic games such as Robotron 2084 and The Simpsons (they’ll use LCDs though which I know some collectors were not happy about). They also helped me quite a bit with things like food/transportation/hotel, so big H/T to them on that.
S&B Candy & Toy Company
One reader asked me about the S&B Toy/St. Louis Game Company booth; While I don’t really cover cranes, I snapped a photo so here you go. They have a smaller version of their Carnival Crane on hand but I didn’t really take much of a look at them to get details on the rest. The pic was taken on Monday, the day before the show started, so a couple of machines were off, but they were on whenever I walked by on other days.
Ok, that’s it for this post – I have more to showcase and a few more video to upload, although I believe that I’ll be done with them by the end of this week. Stay tuned to YouTube for more if you aren’t already; I also tried doing BitChute, but they’ve got a 2GB upload limit and some of my videos are bigger than that, so it’ll have to wait as I convert some of those down to 1080p.
Here’s something that was drawing some interest at the show that wasn’t arcade-related. Not endorsing any political candidate or figure, but people did enjoy taking pictures of themselves next to the Trump or Biden heads:
Until next time!