It’s time to shine a spotlight on another title that is coming soon to arcades via the Exa-Arcadia EXA platform, this week I’ll be looking at one of the oddball titles that is a reboot of an obscure early 80’s arcade game. That title is Cosmic Digger 3671.
If you missed a previous Closer Look post, then click on any one of these links if they sound interesting to you: Vritra Hexa; Bayani; Blazing Chrome. You can also go here to read more about the Exa-Arcadia system in case you missed it.
As mentioned, the title that is at the focus of this week’s showcase is a bit obscure for us Westerners, particularly as it did not receive wide recognition or distribution outside of Japan. The original title is better known as Heiankyou Alien, released to arcades in 1980 as the one and only video game by a company called Denki Onkyo. Distribution and later the IP seems to have been handled by Nichibutsu (Data East). While obscure, this game did introduce a game mechanic that would be adapted by Namco a couple of years later to much wider success, namely the concept of digging in a video game.
As you can see from this emulated footage above, you control a man (a police officer of Heiyankyou, the old capital of Japan, now known as Kyoto) who must stop the aliens invading the city by digging a hole, then burying them inside. With a stronger focus on strategy than action, it becomes one of those games that may not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea,’ but it is something unique and different. It also reminds me a little of Lode Runner, a game that was released in 1983, but also has a strong fanbase in Japan.
New versions of Heiyankyou Alien would be released on