| submitted by /u/ElizabethBoland
Named Quimitchin by Malwarebytes and called Fruitfly by Apple, the ‘new’ back door may actually have been lurking in the background of macOS for years, taking advantage of vulnerabilities in code that hasn’t been updated since the late 1990s, according to the antivirus software publisher’s blog post.
A masterclass in simplicity, the malware contains just two files designed to open a backdoor into the Macs it infects, letting it receive instructions from the hacker’s computer, known in the cybersecurity world as a command and control server (C&C).
Thomas Reed from Malwarebytes said: “These are some truly ancient functions, as far as the tech world is concerned, dating back to pre-OS X days. In addition, the binary also includes the open source libjpeg code, which was last updated in 1998.
“However, we shouldn’t take the age of the code as too strong an indication of the age of the malware. This could also signify that the hackers behind it really don’t know the Mac very well and were relying on old documentation.
“It could also be that they’re using old system calls to avoid triggering any kind of behavioral detections that might be expecting more recent code.”
Thomas Reed goes on to say that ironically, despite the age and sophistication of this malware, it uses the same old unsophisticated technique for persistence that so many other pieces of Mac malware do: a hidden file and a launch agent. “This makes it easy to spot, given any reason to look at the infected machine closely (such as unusual network traffic). It also makes it easy to detect and easy to remove.”
The good news is that Apple has released an update that will be automatically downloaded behind the scenes to protect against future infections.
Also, as you might expect, Malwarebytes will detect Fruitfly, or Quimitchin (Why the name? Because the quimitchin were Aztec spies who would infiltrate other tribes. Given the “ancient” code, they thought the name rather fitting!).
There have been a few amusement/arcade industry deaths to occur this month, hopefully the families of those affected can find peace through the grieving process.
Masaya Nakamura – Various outlets are reporting that Namco founder Masaya Nakamura has died at the age of 91. The cause of death was not released by the family but Replay Magazine has some good history. It’s important to note that he founded and ran the company but a lot of the headlines that I am seeing are either implying or outright incorrect in stating that Mr. Nakamura was the creator of Pac-Man when that was Tori Iwatani (who was an employee of Namco at the time and is still alive). Here is a story via the BBC in case you are looking for more perspectives.
“Marvelous Marvin” Yagoda – I kept forgetting to mention this in a newsbytes, my apologies about that. The creator of Marvin’s Marvelous Museum in Farmington Hills, MI died earlier this month, as announced on the Museum’s Facebook page. The Detroit Free Press has a little history of the man who was known for being a little eccentric but quite the class act.
Dick “The Hawk” Hawkins – Also mentioned in the Replay article above is the passing of former AMOA president and Minnesota route operator Dick Hawkins. Replay notes that it was because of his ‘tangle’ with manufacturers in 1987 that made some changes that would end up bringing operators and manufacturers closer together. (Mr. Hawkins is on the right)
Rest In Peace gentlemen. I think it is safe to say that they all lived good lives
The post Industry Passing’s: Masaya Nakamura (Namco); Marvin Yagoda; Dick Hawkins appeared first on Arcade Heroes.
Chris Brown, noted R&B singer and domestic abuse-enthusiast, learned a valuable lesson in Knowing Who The Hell Has Your Car when his Lamborghini Aventador was found, completely mangled, on a Beverly Hills road early Tuesday morning. Brown is fine, since he was not driving the car. In fact, nobody’s sure who was…
wow what a surprise
Continuing upon our reflections of games past, we jump forward from 1977 to 1987. A major difference you will notice between the two lists is the explosive influence of Japanese game makers had. This started with the success of Space Invaders, then Pac-man, followed by American developers stumbling in 1983-84. Many companies took advantage of that opening and thus the landscape of gaming had changed beyond the technological improvements.
Here are your arcade games turning 30 from 1987:
We’ll go in alphabetical order this time, covering 25 different games from this year:
#1 : 1943 : The Battle Of Midway (Capcom)
Capcom first made waves on the market with their vertically scrolling shooter 1942 (1984) and created this game to follow-up on that success.
This built on the 1942 formula by adding a “lightning/tsunami/cyclone” attack, an energy bar for the player, aerial and low altitude sequences, new power-ups, simultaneous co-op play and more elaborate boss battles. Those battles require you to inflict at least 70% damage on the boss to continue on to the next stage.
#2: After Burner (Sega)
Sega was an old name in the business by the 80s thanks to their work on EM games before the video craze took over. They really hit their stride in the mid-80s thanks to pioneering technology with scaling effects in games like OutRun, Space Harrier and the intense jet combat of After Burner. This is one that would set the standard for dogfighting arcade action in many games to come.
Players blaze across 23 stages, blasting This came in two hardware flavors cabinet, a distinct upright cab and the Deluxe motion model that offered pitch and yaw effects. Outside of the hardware, the game aimed to make you feel like you were piloting a fighter jet with some distinctive arcade flare. Shoot down enemies with your vulcan gun or lock-on to them with your missiles and let those do the work. This made barrel rolls cool before talking animals made that a meme. The last couple of minutes on this video shows the Deluxe in action
#3: APB – All Points Bulletin (Atari Games)
You control Officer Bob in his quota quest in this fairly deep but humorous cops ‘n robbers title. Presented in an overhead view, you pass a level (tracked in ‘days’) by reaching your daily quota by arresting a variety of offenders or capturing the APB criminal. To help, you can also unlock a variety of enhancements to improve your police cruiser.
What you have to watch out for are accumulating too many demerits, which occur from making mistakes like crashing your car. With a unique sit-down, cop car themed cabinet, this title became a staple in many arcades of the late 80s.
#4: Arkanoid – Revenge of Doh (Taito)
Eleven years prior to the release of this game, Atari’s Breakout kickstarted the Golden Age of video games. With Arkanoid’s release in 1986, it showed that players were still into the concept, they just wanted modern upgrades like power-ups, different brick types, shiny graphics and one final boss battle.
Taito had this sequel to Arkanoid ready to go relatively quickly, with more bosses, enemies, brick patterns, power-ups and warp gates. Those gates one could choose at the end of a round to pick your difficulty.
#5: Bionic Commando (Capcom)
Capcom wasn’t just about sequels yet, they were still interested in producing original and unique content to satisfy the arcade market. Run-n-jump platformers were a hot item in those days, thanks in great part to titles like Super Mario Bros. But with Bionic Commando, Capcom found a way to be a little different. This also marked the company’s first title to be released as a dedicated game instead of a kit:
Instead of jumping, you used your trusty bionic arm with a grappling hook to latch onto platforms to get where you need to go. There are enemies aplenty as you climb along with a number of power-ups that parachute their way down. You can use your bionic arm to stun enemies or grab power-ups that might otherwise be out of reach. As the flyer above states, this was positioned as a sequel to Commando. Alternate flyer is found here.
#6: Black Tiger (Capcom)
Another platformer from Capcom minus a bionic arm but with a morning star whip, throwing daggers and more of a Ghouls ‘n Ghosts flare to it.
With Zenny to collect (the in-game currency that could be used at the occasional shop), wisemen to save, secrets to unlock, goblins to bash and dragons to confront, this game was a lot of fun but also quite the challenge. Part of that challenge stemmed from some difficult jumps, in particular a high jump on level 7 that end the quest of many a gamer. It’s too bad they don’t make them like this anymore. This was known as Black Dragon in Japan.
#7: Contra (Konami)
If you were ever curious as to where the Contra franchise got it’s start, here it is. You also can’t mention the 80s arcade scene without at least one opportunity to share one of Konami’s amazing flyers:
Looking at that you wouldn’t know that Konami had a whole new franchise on their hands. Compared to other run ‘n gun style games, this offered various power-ups to make the battles more enjoyable, a sci-fi theme inspired by the Alien & Aliens movies and 7 stages including behind-the-back pseduo-3D sequences. Granted, it has enjoyed more action on consoles than in the arcade but if you preferred the NES version (which many gamers did for a number of reasons), the game was also available in that form thanks to the NES PlayChoice Arcade cabinets.
#8 – Double Dragon (Technos Japan / Taito)
Here’s another franchise starter although the Double Dragon series has seen more bumps in the road than series like Contra has. Double Dragon IV is releasing to consoles on the 30th of January although they decided to go with NES art style instead of the original arcade. Given that DD was ported to everything under the sun (even the Atari 2600), I’d think arcade would be the way to go but I guess that’s just me. We should also mention Double Dragon Neon while we’re at it.
Double Dragon wasn’t the first “beat ’em up”/brawler game but it hit a nerve among 80s culture that it jumpstarted the genre and gave it life until 1v1 fighters took everything over. The co-op play was enhanced with weapons that you could take from your enemies and special moves that injected a little bit of strategy into how you would approach fights. then of course there was after-final boss fight if you were playing with a friend. Good times.
#9 – Dragon Spirit (Namco / Atari Games)
It should be apparent by now that we had a thing for dragons back in the 80s. I don’t know why that is but I remember being fascinated by them too. Thanks to Namco’s Dragon Spirit, you could play as a dragon instead of trying to vanquish one, which was pretty rad at the time (just throwing in some 80s lingo for you there).
As a game, this was a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up that jumped head first into the fantasy theme. Like many games of the time, it also featured a ‘rescue the princess’ back story but was improved by a soldier who transformed into the hero dragon. Collect power-ups to gain heads and thus extra fire power. Like Xevious, you could also shoot ground targets. With nine levels, a sweet soundtrack and large bosses, this was a great game to come across in the arcade or a 7-11 at the time. It did spawn one sequel but that one didn’t sell too well; it was nice to see it as a part of Namco’s Pac-Man’s Arcade Party that was released a few years ago (and is still in production).
#10 – Heavy Barrel (Data East)
Heavy Barrel was Data East’s answer to titles like Commando and Ikari Warriors. Sold primarily as a kit, the game used rotary joysticks to turn your player in various directions while allowing him to continue moving in a different direction. It was a solution that allowed twin-stick style play without needing two joysticks (albeit not as smooth).
You play as a One Man Army commando, navigating your way through jungles and elaborate fortresses while blasting everything that moves. Pick up extra grenades and other weapons (including flame throwers and spread shot guns) as you avoid/shoot the hordes of fodder enemies, robots and turrets. On your way you collect piece of the ‘heavy barrel’ weapon, which when assembled gives you devastating firepower for a few moments. It’s a frantic game that still holds up pretty well.
#11 – Operation Wolf (Taito)
Gun games were occasionally found in the 80s but they did not dominate the scene like they have since the late 90s. With this one, Taito found a hit that ended up on many consoles and spawned a few sequels. I’m a little surprised that the company hasn’t revisited the series after resurrecting Elevator Action, Darius and Space Invaders.
Operation Wolf puts you in the role of a special forces commando who is looking to rescue hostages from the evil army. This was certainly their way of getting a Rambo-like game without getting the Rambo license. Unlike most modern light-gun titles, this one re-enforced the “One Man Army” notion as it only supported one gun and no linked units(this changed for the sequels); you also had limited ammo with ammo pick-ups, so no yelling “FREEEDOM!” while spraying ‘n praying if you wanted to make it very far.
#12 – Pac-Mania (Namco/Atari Games)
Pac-Man Fever had subsided a bit by 1987 but the character still was one of the most recognizable faces in the world. Faced with the task of refreshing the game formula for new players and veterans alike, Namco came up with Pac-Mania as the answer.
This kept the idea of eating dots in a maze while avoiding the ghosts but now it did so with detailed isometric graphics, a maze larger than the immediate screen (sort of like Jr. Pac-Man) and a new jump ability. Unfortunately for Namco, this did not light the world on fire like Pac-Man & Ms. Pac-Man did and after this, the franchise would take another break in arcades for several years.
#13 – R-Type (Irem/Nintendo)
By the time 1987 had rolled around, Nintendo was basking in the glory that the success that the NES and various new franchises had brought to the company. Kids everywhere knew Mario & Luigi, Link and Samus Aran. With that, Nintendo had begun to pull away from the arcade to focus their efforts at home but they still would throw a bone or two to arcades. By licensing Irem’s R-Type in the US, they did just that (link to the 4 page Nintendo flyer).
R-Type is a horizontal scrolling shoot ’em up with cavernous levels and a variety of both robotic and bio-mechanical enemies. Large sprites (especially with the bosses) as well as the color dazzled players who came across the game. It came with a couple of features that many other games would borrow such as the charge shot; the way that the drone wingman worked was also a little different. The unforgiving difficulty didn’t need showers of bullets to make it tough.
#14 – Rastan (Taito)
Here’s another game that tapped into the ‘macho man’ mania of 1980s pop culture, particularly the part fueled by movies like Conan: The Barbarian. This was known as Rastan Saga outside of the US where there was an exclusive opening sequence at the start of the first level.
The game itself is a side scrolling hack ‘n slash (‘n jump) title where the levels had depth to them so it wasn’t simply “walk from the left area to the right” like Rygar. You even had the occasional swinging vine to use, ala Jungle Hunt. There were power-ups to collect and bosses to defeat as you would expect which combined with big colorful sprites meant a winner for arcades.
#15 – RoadBlasters (Atari Games)
Atari Games had received a bit of mileage out of their Namco relationship this year, manufacturing various Namco created titles but they still had their own ideas to create too. RoadBlasters was one of those original games, providing Atari’s “answer” to the likes of Spy Hunter that had been released a few years prior. The hardware for this featured a unique steering wheel that felt like a yoke controller but worked like a steering wheel should. This was Atari’s best-selling game until KLAX.
In RoadBlasters, you are in a post-apocalyptic future and are competing in The Ultimate Race – “half road race, half battle”. Another game whose graphics engine goes for a 3D feel despite being 2D, you zoom through the cities blasting pretty much everything in your path while collecting fuel globes, avoiding mines and surviving for as long as you can. One thing this game does really well is convey a sense of speed, which I would often screw up by reaching top speed then running into something. When starting you can warp ahead with a score bonus; a jet will also drop in once in a while to give you a special weapon. I have rarely come across the cockpit version of this one but that was the way to play if available.
#16 – Rolling Thunder (Namco / Atari Games)
Another Namco/Atari partnership, Rolling Thunder tapped into the James Bond/spy movie genre for inspiration and blended that with a side-scrolling platformer and run ‘n gun game. Even the soundtrack has hints of James Bond themes peppered throughout.
The storyline sends you on a straight-forward romp through the enemy base on your quest to save a captured female agent by the name of Leila. What set Rolling Thunder apart was the ability to high jump onto the platform’s above and you could enter into various doors found in the levels to collect ammo and other items. You could also go back in the level which was a nice touch.
#17 – Shinobi (Sega)
We’ve had fantasy warriors, spec ops commandos and super spies to pick from this year, so you can’t leave out ninjas! Shinobi was the perfect blend of a game that tapped into people’s penchant for karate, platformers and romanticized ninja legends.
With an evil ninja clan having captured innocent “ninja children”, it is up to you, Joe Musashi, to rescue them and defeat the thugs of the evil ninja clan in the process. You could punch/kick/slash enemies that were close, hit far away enemies with your shurikens (or gun if you grab the power-up) and when things got really tense, unleash your ninja magic power to clear the screen (or dish out some heavy damage to the boss). With large sprites, great level design, a cool bonus round and the other aforementioned features, it isn’t a surprise that this turned into a franchise that Sega has got some good mileage from. I used to own one of these after a great thrift store find (only $25 but I didn’t know it was a Shinobi until I replaced a fuse and powered it up) but it was in a horribly converted cabinet that had removed the coin door and made some other weird changes so I ended up selling it off a few years ago.
#18 – Sky Shark (Toaplan/Taito/Romstar)
This ‘answer’ of Taito for the 194x games isn’t remembered very well outside of shooter fan circles but it did offer vertically scrolling airplane action in case you were looking for an alternative in this genre. Also known as Flying Shark.
Released as a kit, this had solid graphics and sound which was enough to keep players interested if they came across this. It was simply a fun shoot ’em up game that didn’t go over the top on the difficulty. Supported 2 players but on alternating turns.
#19 – Spy Hunter II (Bally Midway)
One company that has been absent from our list until now was Midway. This is because 1987 was a little slim for them after a flurry of releases in 1986 (like Rampage, Power Drive, Trivial Pursuit and others). They still did release a few games this year, one of which was a sequel to their popular Spy Hunter.
Unfortunately Spy Hunter II wasn’t quite the sequel that many fans had hoped for (kind of like Joust 2, 1986). As such, not many of these were made so many arcaders of the late 80s may not have even come across this one. The screen is split in two so each player gets a narrow view of the action (not unlike some mobile games today, heh). The bar in the center is a bit large which doesn’t help matters. You drive along the road shooting and bumping into enemies like before and you have the upgrade van, which now plays a little cutscene as your car receives the upgrade. The road however looks strange as you drive over hills and around the occasional turn. You do not transform into a boat this time..seeing enemies just kind of float around the screen also ruins the feeling that this game should have. Overall if this had been more like RoadBlasters I think it would have done better. As it is, it is a bit bland.
#20 – Street Fighter (Capcom)
We’ve mentioned many “big” names on this list that people immediately recognize but I think that this one takes the cake as far as overall influence in the video game business and culture goes. As mentioned with Shinobi above, the martial arts enjoyed a surge of popularity in the 80s. Many games and movies bolstered that popularity, the games allowing you to participate in a fight without worry of actual physical harm. The very first Street Fighter was a perfect way to enjoy living out that virtual fantasy.
While this would not have the same effect on the market that the sequel would have, it still made waves at the time. Available in two styles, a standard six button model and the deluxe air hose button model, this established many aspects that became standard for the series. That included the six-button setup (3 for punches, 3 for kicks), the 2/3 round format, hidden moves, traveling to different worldly locations to fight, announcing the name of the special attacks when pulled off and characters like Ryu and Ken. Picking your character wasn’t in the cards yet but there was still enough to convince players to come back for more.
#21 – Tecmo Bowl (Tecmo)
Are you ready for some football? This one comes to us from the days where sports games didn’t need the license of a major sports league or player names to get attention.
Borrowing the idea of using a half-silvered mirror and a big cabinet to house two screens for one super-wide playfield, this offered arcade style sporting fun for 1-4 players. Players on the left of the cabinet play as the ‘Wildcats’ while players on the right are the ‘Bulldogs’. Many gamers will likely remember the NES version more than the arcade just due to availability but this provided a solid sports title for arcades who maybe wanted something other than another One Man Army or space shooter game.
#22 – The Real Ghostbusters (Data East)
I was a big fan of the Ghostbusters back in the 80s but when I would come across a GB video game, I usually came away frustrated and disappointed. That’s because I didn’t play Data East’s The Real Ghostbusters, which was a very different game from what Activision had done for home consoles.
In The Real Ghostbusters, this combines elements from both the original film and the cartoon which was popular at the time and put those into a scrolling shooter not entirely unlike Heavy Barrel. The objectives were straightforward – “Capture the ghosts, collect the keys, save the city”. To make this task a little easier (and to fit in with arcade style play), you don’t have to drag and trap ghosts, just zap them and they are instantly trapped for you. The variety of ghosts you run into is high enough to keep things interesting and it supports up to three players for co-op fun (not sure why they didn’t do four to stay with the GB cast).
#23 – Twin Cobra (Toaplan / Romstar)
While looking through games, I get the sense that Romstar really phoned it in when it came to sales flyers. Just a single page drawing with the game name and that was about it. See Sky Shark above.
Twin Cobra is another vertical scrolling shooter from Toaplan that shares various similarities with Sky Shark (they use the exact same hardware in fact) but now instead of a biplane, you are flying a helicopter. However there are elements of Twin Cobra that make it a slightly better game. First, it has 2 player simultaneous co-op instead of alternating turns. Then the power-ups are more varied, giving you different weapon styles to enjoy. In a way, this feels like a predecessor to Raiden, as you watch the video you can catch various elements where you can see the influence.
#24 – Xenophobe (Bally Midway)
It would stink if Spy Hunter II was the only Midway game worth noting this year so fortunately they released Xenophobe. Designed by Brian F. Colin, who also created Sarge, Rampage and others for Midway, you can see his subtle humor in the cabinet design too. It sort of looks like E.T. with the narrow neck going up to the wider montior.
Another game influenced by alien blasting movies of the time, Xenophobe was made for 1-3 players to enjoy some alien blasting action . You choose one of your characters from a roster of nine then head to one of the overrun starbases to begin the exterminating process. While this also divided the screen up, it did it in a better way than Spy Hunter II, giving each player their own ‘strip’ of space that worked for a side view kind of action game. As you progress, the starbases get larger and more elaborate which gives the player reasons to keep going back to the game to explore.
#25 – Xybots (Atari Games)
Last but not least is a game that again combines elements of the macho man commando with a space alien/monster shooting game. But it did it using some nice technical features that would precede the First Person Shooter genre by a few years.
That involved creating the appearance of a 3D maze in a 3rd person view. Using rotary joysticks, the maze smoothly moves when you give it a twist. The player’s camera is not shown full screen and instead a 3rd but it is smooth and the action stays exciting. I suppose it would be fair to say that Xybots is the evolution of the Berzerk concept. You and a friend navigate through the labyrinth of a starbase, blasting the evil Xybot enemies and opening up secret rooms. Clear out the level to open the teleport to the next level, where you can spend some of the money you collect for various power-ups.
Honorable Mentions – I’m keeping this brief since the above took so long to compile but it’s worth mentioning:
Super Hang-On – I may replace Sky Shark with this in the near future as I find the time. Sequel to the game that finally brought motorcycle racing into the arcade as a true simulator experience.
Time Soldiers – I have come across that one many times over the years so it just stands out for just being common
That’s all for now for those games turning 30 this year. There were other games released in 1987, if I missed one of your favorites then mention it below. Next week: Games Turning 20 in 2017!
The EAG International Expo 2017 event has come to a close and with that, we have some more media to check out of the arcade games at the show. Many thanks to those that sent information and media our way.
Splash by InJoy Motion, Specular Interactive and Raw Thrills
This one was a real surprise, even though as far back as two years ago I was told by InJoy that they had a new jetski game of some kind in development. When InJoy appeared at IAAPA 2016, there was no indication or mention of this game as they were focusing on their Futuretown VR project instead. As such, I forgot about it as nothing had been said further – lo and behold it shows up at EAG 2017 with both a Raw Thrills logo and a Specular Interactive logo on the marquee to boot. Specular you might recall created H20Verdrive, Dirty Drivin’ and Batman but they have been fairly quiet since developing a project for Simuline back in 2014.
I reached out to InJoy, Raw Thrills and Specular Interactive about it but as of this writing have not received a response. So all we have to go off of at the moment is this photo above. Thanks to Walter from PrimeTime Amusements for this photo.
The seat does not appear to move but it likely has feedback under the seat (not unlike Arctic Thunder). I do know that InJoy will have focused on the hardware platform while Specular would be handling the software for the most part. This is still a prototype as those lit up buttons on the handlebars is from Raw Thrills’ Snocross Winter X Games. How much of a prototype and what engine they are using to power this however remains to be seen. It has been quite a while since we had a jet-skiing game in arcades so this could certainly fill a niche.
We will share more information about this game as soon as we can get it!
Daytona Championship USA
Graham Cookson of SegaNerds.com had a chance to play the latest build of Daytona Championship USA and has shared his detailed impressions. This did include more tracks including Dinosaur Canyon. Read his impressions here.
Thanks to some sent in videos, we have another new look at Daytona Championship USA – first part of the video is from AH partner The Stinger Report while the second part is from new AH advertiser PrimeTime Amusements.
Also, check out this great, high-quality video taken by Arcade Belgium:
The Walking Dead, Cruis’n Blast, Space Invaders Frenzy & Choppy Wood
We saw The Walking Dead and Cruis’n Blast at IAAPA 2016 and later today I will have my hands on a pair of Cruis’n Blast machines so that means an “unboxing” video is incoming. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos plus a better photo of their new videmption game Choppy Wood (pics via PrimeTime Amusements):
World’s Largest Galaga
I thought I might have made a mistake when I had retweeted something indicating that Galaga was back on World’s Largest Pac-Man (due to the date of the tweet) but this image and the Space Invaders image above confirms that Galaga has indeed returned to WLP. When this update will be rolled out is anyone’s guess but Bandai Namco did recently send out an email with a link to download V1.38 for Galaga Assault. I downloaded that to the USB stick that came with the game and it worked just fine so I imagine the same could be done here.
Pinball, Pinball, Pinball
I posted a short video that was sent to me of Heighway Pinball’s upcoming Alien Pinball machine. In case you missed that, you can see it here:
Here’s a photo – part of the reported technical issue might have been with the monitor image as you can notice the image in the backbox wasn’t full screen:
Stern also had a much better showing at EAG than they had at IAAPA. That included Ghostbusters but also Batman 66 and Aerosmith.
That’s it from EAG 2017 for now. Again, thanks to those that sent in media to share since I was not able to attend. Stay tuned for any more news as we get it!
The post EAG 2017 Part 2: Splash; Daytona USA; Big Galaga; Pinball; + More appeared first on Arcade Heroes.
F U D P
i am going to grampout, floating away waving good bye. you can find me in whatever town i float to - where i will start a small life running an arcade.
The first major amusement/arcade trade show following IAAPA is upon us, the annual expo that graces the city of London that is presently known as the EAG International Expo or EAG Expo for short. Many of our readers hail from the UK or Europe and a few are attending this event including Toby N. who took many of the pics below.
Let’s start with new products that were not brought to IAAPA
Disney Crossy Road
One surprise that we hadn’t heard about comes to us from the licensed videmption scene, a piece by Adrenaline Amusements that blends Crossy Road with Disney characters. The game plays just like Cross Road Arcade (single button play for two players; auto path finding for side movement) but has this skin. You’ll also notice Fix-it Felix and Wreck-It Ralph on the side art at the bottom. I’m noticing that Shooty Skies is not showing up on the AA website and it doesn’t appear to be here so perhaps it is receiving further work or it was canned (personally I think that game could work, it just was in the wrong cabinet with too large of a screen).
(Pics via Toby N.)
Choppy Wood & The Walking Dead
Within this group of photos you can see Pump It Up Prime 2 (Andamiro), The Walking Dead (Raw Thrills), Space Invaders Frenzy (Raw Thrills), World’s Largest Pac-Man (Bandai Namco) and Let’s Go Safari (Sega). In the photo showing The Walking Dead (which also appears to have the zombie art removed from the walker opening the doors; instead you have black spots that art normally attaches to), you can see Raw Thrills’ new wood chopping game, Choppy Wood. We have mentioned this one on the blog before and expected it at IAAPA but due to their launch of both Cruis’n Blast, The Walking Dead and Space Invaders Frenzy, they opted to not throw too much out there.
This game is similar to TimberMan by Barron Games where you are chopping trees down while avoiding the branches that are coming towards you. The main difference here: it has two trees and two lumberjacks, both of which can be controlled by a player. Otherwise you compete against the computer in single player.
— Toby (@7Ten) January 17, 2017
If you’re dying to see Stern’s latest machine, they brought it to EAG. What better way to show it than with a Bandai Namco rep playing it in one of their Pac-Man suits?
— Electrocoin Ltd (@electrocoin) January 17, 2017
Ok, here’s a better look:
— salagiochiusati.com (@UsedGames1) January 17, 2017
Not sure who makes this or what it’s about aside from guessing that it’s a shooting game for kids. Looks like it is from a Chinese or Taiwanese factory. Also by Toby N
Now for games that we have already seen or heard about
Daytona Championship USA
As mentioned the other day, Sega’s latest racing effort made another appearance at a trade show, this time sporting a red dashboard. I have not heard about the track selection yet but the shifter is still the 2-position. Don’t fret, there is still plenty of time for that to change
— Toby (@7Ten) January 17, 2017
— Sega Amusements (@SegaAmusements) January 17, 2017
I’ve been waiting to get my hands on a pair of Cruis’n Blasts but delays, delays, delays. Hopefully by the end of this week will refrain from promises until they have shown up at my door. Reports ‘from the wild’ I’ve been hearing indicate that these are performing really well, better than Super Cars did. We’ll see soon enough
— Toby (@7Ten) January 17, 2017
World Tour Foosball
Barron Games International brought their World Tour Foosball game over to the UK for the first time. They did not bring their other titles like Fly O’Clock as regional agreements have Sega promoting that over there. This embed is from Facebook so you may have to like their page and be logged in to see it:
When it comes to EAG, you don’t really have as many manufacturers separated from the other – Bandai Namco has their products plus Andamiro plus Raw Thrills; Sega has their stuff plus ICE plus Barron, etc. These pictures cover the rest – note that Maximum Tune 5 is NOT present at this show. As we had mentioned around IAAPA time, MT5 is a North America only release. That may change for Maximum Tune 6 however:
— Martin R (@martin_sega) January 16, 2017
Heighway Pinball was at the show with 3 Full Throttle machines and 2 Alien machines but there was a technical issue with the Alien pins so hopefully that is sorted out by tomorrow.
— Toby (@7Ten) January 17, 2017
Let’s end with this “Rcade” cabinet that looks totally legit, amirite?
That’s all for now from EAG Expo 2017, stay tuned for more!
The post EAG Expo 2017 Day 1: Disney Crossy Road; Choppy Wood; Aerosmith and More appeared first on Arcade Heroes.
i loved this show.
(Thanks to Stingray_Travel for the tip from the other day)
The name Starcade likely brings back some memories for any of you classic gamers who caught the TV show back in the 1982-83 period that it was on the air. Contestants played real arcade machines on the set, aiming to win a full sized and brand new arcade game. It was great to see many of these games in action from when they were new while you also could witness the awkward battle between children and adults at times. We’ve mentioned it before, particularly how you can still watch many of the episodes right here on Starcade.tv (also some are on Youtube as you can see below). Now thanks to entertainment house Shout! Factory, the show is coming back.
Breaking News: SHOUT! FACTORY SECURES RIGHTS TO REBOOT ORIGINAL STARCADE GAME SHOW FOR TELEVISION! Details to come.
— Shout! Factory (@ShoutFactory) January 10, 2017
If you are unfamiliar with Shout! Factory then a quick visit to their website can get you up to speed. I’ve been familiar with them for the past few years thanks to their Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD releases. I did reach out to them with some questions (I am curious to know if the show will focus only on retro games or if they will work with any of the modern game makers; where viewers will be able to watch the new show, etc.) but as of this writing, I have not received a response. It is likely still a bit early for those details so we will keep an eye on it.
I’ll post the press release here but first, one of the first episodes and a question: Are you looking forward to this and what would you like to see as a part of the new Starcade?
Press Release as posted at Retroist:
Shout! Factory, a multi-platform media company, has acquired worldwide television format and ancillary rights to the classic TV game show STARCADE from JM Production Company and show creators James Caruso and Mavis E. Arthur. The agreement provides Shout! Factory the rights to develop and produce a reboot of the show for television, as well as production of additional projects for a global audience. Shout! Factory will executive produce these projects with JM Production Company, creators of the original game show. This announcement was made today by Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos; and show creators James Caruso and Mavis E. Arthur.
“STARCADE is a classic game show from the ’80s and is pure nostalgic fun. We couldn’t be more excited to work with the original show creators to ‘retro-boot’ STARCADE for a new generation of fans,” stated Shout! Factory’s founders. “As we continue to actively expand our reach into production and development for new series, movies, unscripted shows and specials, this deal exemplifies the type of content we plan to pursue which taps into the interests and passions of our company’s loyal fanbase.”
Created by James Caruso and Mavis E. Arthur, STARCADE first aired in 1982 during the dawn of the video game era and is widely recognized as the first-ever video arcade game show, featuring great gamers competing against rivals playing the most popular games of the day in front of a live studio audience in order to win huge prizes. Alex Trebek hosted one of the first pilots for the show which was later picked up by Ted Turner to air on his then-fledgling cable station, WTBS; STARCADE went on to air more than 130 episodes over three seasons on Turner.
“I consider myself lucky to have been part of the first generation to grow up playing video games and watching STARCADE in the 1980s,” said Shout! Factory’s Development Director, Jeremy Whitham. “Back then, no one could have predicted video games would one day become the world’s most popular form of entertainment. I can’t wait to see today’s crop of celebrities, pro gamers and e-sports stars compete head-to-head and find out who is the top player on the planet.”
“We’re thrilled to be part of this STARCADE revival,” said Jim Caruso and Mavis E. Arthur, producers of the original STARCADE series. “We look forward to bringing the show back for all those avid Starcaders who have been waiting for years, as well as a new class of gaming heroes. Game on!”
The deal was negotiated by Shout’s Jeremy Whitham and James Caruso, the creator and executive producer of the original STARCADE.
The post 1980s Arcade Centric Game Show Starcade Being Rebooted By Shout! Factory appeared first on Arcade Heroes.
With a new year upon comes the opportunity to reflect on games past. As usual we will start with the 70s and games turning the ripe age of 40. Prepare to feel old!
Here are your games Turning 40:
In no particular order
#1: Space War/Space Wars (Vectorbeam/Cinematronics)
The history of Cinematronics and Vectorbeam is an interesting one, with plenty of drama going on behind the scenes. It was based on the popular game that was found on various mainframes across the country, this launched a whole new genre of games thanks to the vector monitor design. Vector monitors had existed previously but not in a way that the amusement business could use them.
The arcade version of Space War would provide similar 1v1 action with each player controlling a space ship that could fly around the screen and fire. The game also featured keyboard-style keys on the control panel that allowed the user to play different variations (such as the addition of a star in the center). Space Wars quickly skyrocketed up the charts and was the number 1 game in the industry until Space Invaders came along the next year; even then it stayed in the top 10 earnings wise for a few years. I came across one of these years ago and was surprised by how many ribbon cables were in the machine.
#2: Super Bug (Atari/Kee Games)
One of the last games produced under Atari’s ‘Kee Games’ label but mainly significant for the graphics technique that it used. That was the first documented use of 8-way scrolling in a video game. Such a technique would become vital to many games down the road. It also was Atari’s first game to offer multiple language options.
Compared to modern racing games this one isn’t particularly exciting against the timer+the procedurally generated track instead of opponents. It did have a four speed shifter and a cool ‘crunch’ effect when you would crash. The cabinet also had excellent artwork as Atari was prone to add to their games.
#3: Starship-1 (Atari)
Another significant title from Atari that came along in a year where sci-fi fever was getting another jump start thanks to the release of Star Wars. This game had more of a Star Trek flare to it however, as development would have started before the world knew what Star Wars was. You pilot the “Starship Atari” in an effort to “save the Federation”. Enemies look just like Klingon ships or the Doomsday Machine (with a goofy face) while friendly ships would use a design that would show up in Star Trek II five years later.
This game pioneered another effect that would become big news in game consoles in the early 90s, scaled raster effects. It also sported elaborate artwork on the cabinet, particularly on the monitor bezel. Atari would attempt to make a version of this for their Atari 2600 game console that same year but it wasn’t very good.
#4: Car Polo (Exidy)
This driving game really stands out among the releases of 1977 thanks to the full color graphics running on a 25″ color monitor. While it wasn’t the first video game to do so, this was still a rarity among arcade titles of the day.
The game itself was a unique multiplayer experience for up to four players (the computer would control any car that a person didn’t). Each player controls a car that they use to bump, push and pass a ball around the playfield to make a score on the opposing team’s goal. It didn’t get more complicated than that but it didn’t have to.
#5 – Circus (Exidy)
Here is a game that gained a lot of attention on home consoles but not through an official port. Atari would ‘borrow’ the concept (like so many had done to them with the likes of Pong, Tank, Breakout, etc.) for their Circus Atari game on the Atari 2600. If clowns aren’t your thing, then it is time for some nightmare fuel via the Circus arcade machine flyer:
Granted the original Exidy arcade version did have better resolution graphics than Circus Atari as the balloons look like real balloons instead of blocks. The game plays just the same as you have a paddle controller that is used to move the clown+springboard from side-to-side. The monitor was a B&W tube with color overlays.
#6 – Triple Hunt (Atari)
Going back over to Atari is this interesting concept that offered up the interchangeable game idea. Triple Hunt featured three different games that the operator could switch between: Hit The Bear, Witch Hunt and Raccoon Hunt. They were all gun games that were essentially shooting gallery style in nature.
As the computing technology of the time was still very basic, operators would not only change out the software of the game they wanted but the artwork inside of the cabinet too. Just install the corresponding artwork and you were good to go. This was also possibly the first game to use the half-silvered mirror effect in a video game meaning that the graphics would appear to overlay the detailed artwork thanks to the trick used.
#7 – Canyon Bomber
This is one of those games whose concept sounds great at first but kind of falls flat when you play it – at least in solo. As the title implies, you are bombing a canyon. Why you are doing so doesn’t matter, what does is that you rack up the most points by the end of the timed round while getting as few misses as possible. Rocks are marked with a number, indicating how many points they are worth.
Where this game does shine is in 2 player as you battle it out with a friend to see who is the best bomber. You can play as a blimp or a bi-plane.
#8 – World Cup (Sega)
At this point in game history, the technology had improved enough that you could create sports games that involved a ball without it being a ball & paddle game ala Pong and the many produced variations. Such was the case with Sega’s World Cup video game. Granted, this is a far cry from Virtua Striker and a bit of a rarity but it still managed to be interesting, thanks to the controls.
This one used a fairly unique control scheme – a trackball (that they call in the flyer a “ball-type control”) for player movement and a knob for ball control.
#9 – M-79 (Ramtek)
Nobody remembers Ramtek, but it wasn’t due to a lack of trying on their part. They wouldn’t survive to see the Golden Age reach the fever pitch but they did produce this mounted grenade launcher game with cast aluminum guns.
More importantly is the tech behind the game. Games using microprocessors/CPUs had been done since 1975 with Midway’s Gun Fight but this game upped the ante by using a CPU in the monitor too. This game used a true memory-based raster scan display, which later became standard.
#10 – Pool Shark (Atari)
Last but not least is yet another game from Atari. That kind of happens with any decade in the 70s and there is a good reason why they dominated the scene at the time (when we do 1987 here soon however, that will change). Pool Shark brought video billiards to the arcade although this did not have quite the effect that video pinball would have up against pinball machines.
Among Atari machines, this one is not very common. I imagine it would have fared better had it used a color screen instead of a B&W one.
Games that would have a spot above if they had more of a name or if there was more info about them
Twin Course T.T – Long before Manx TT there was the predecessor Twin Course. This game is virtually unknown as like many Sega releases from the 70s, there is little information to be found on it. It did feature two monitors in one cabinet though, allowing users to race against an opponent without having to share you screen.
2 Game Module – Another concept from Atari that was a unique cabinet design created to run two existing Atari titles in the same cabinet while taking up little space. It also pioneered the use of two monitors in one cabinet.
Boot Hill – Midway’s follow-up to Gun Fight. Not much changed in this Wild West shoot out game, other than adding a colorful background overlay behind a half-silvered mirror for a cool effect
Bazooka – This mounted bazooka shooting gallery style game stood out for that controller, otherwise it has been forgotten by time, much like the game’s creators, Project Support Engineering.
maybe they can also pay someone to clean the shitters for them jeezus
I’m not sure what it is about January 4th and Stern but last year it was Spider-Man Vault Edition getting an announcement and today it is the long rumored Aerosmith.
Kicked around the pinball rumor mill for a while now (particularly when some concept artwork for it showed up online), this marks yet another entry for Stern’s love of older rock bands (is it ok to use the term ‘classic’ yet or would that make too many of us feel old?). This follows the likes of Elvis, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Metallica and KISS. This table is designed by John Borg.
The design follows in the footsteps of the soon to be shipping Batman 66 in that it makes use of a large color LCD screen in the lower backbox. The hardware for this has been dubbed “SPIKE-2” for handling the HD visuals and high fidelity audio. Unlike Batman 66 however, Stern is doing a Pro model this time and so far there is no “Super Limited Edition” model announced. Granted, when certain machines sell more units than others, Stern has rolled out special Premium editions before (ex: AC/DC Luci Premium model).
Among other features that all models share are the “Jacky’s 3D sculpted mechanical ball locking toy box” which appears to work just like the Ark of the Covenant toy from Stern’s Indiana Jones pinball (2008). Some people love that (it’s a great way to surprise the player with the multiball), some hate it (the latter due to the playfield damage over time from falling balls). Players can also choose their multiball number at 3, 4, 5 or 6 multiballs, which is an interesting feature. All models also have 3 pop bumpers, “Rats in the Cellar Spinner” and more. You can check out the full breakdown of features here (click to enlarge)
Each model also features their own unique art package designed by “Dirty” Donnie Giles, who has produced artwork for many bands as well as Stern’s Metallica pinball.
Accessories such as inner art blades (to cover up the black sides) will also be available.
Stern already is setting the game up at the CES 2017 trade show. It’s too bad that they give the arcade/amusement industry less attention with their new releases (such as not bringing Batman 66 to IAAPA 2016) but their target market is more collectors than operators these days, so that would be why. If you want to see a sneak peak at the game from what Stern provided on Facebook today, click here.
As you would expect, the Pro model is the least expensive of the model choices and thus it comes with fewer features. Among those are lacking the mini playfield that the Premium and LE models have.
I’ve long felt that if you are going to get a Stern pin for a commercial location then Premium is the way to go. No need to go over the top with the more collectible LE while getting more features that makes the game more interesting and fun to play.
Aerosmith Limited Edition
For the Aerosmith collector who has to have it all and has the money to buy it
Stern has stated that it is available through Stern distributors although I do wonder how soon it will begin shipping as I am hearing that only now are Batman 66 orders starting to ship.
Let’s post the official PR for Aerosmith and ask: What do you think of this from all of the info released today?
Leading Pinball Manufacturer and Global Brand Management Firm Epic Rights Announce Newest Addition to Rock Lineup
ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – January 4, 2016 – Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines, and Epic Rights, Aerosmith’s global licensing agent, jointly announced today the availability of a new line of pinball machines that honor the classic and iconic rock band, Aerosmith.
Stern Pinball’s Aerosmith machines reflect the high-energy and excitement that accompanies the experience of a live Aerosmith concert. Players will rock to nine famous Aerosmith hits in the concert arena playfield and embark on an exhilarating pinball experience. Players score points and finish game objectives to raise the audience’s levels of energy, thrill and enjoyment. Higher scores amplify the experience–the higher the energy level, the bigger and louder the show–resulting in an Aerosmith pinball experience that cannot be matched.
The hard-hitting feisty American rock group best known for their powerful fusion of rock and blues has reached fans for more than four decades. This colorful band includes the much loved pop culture personalities of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. With sales of more than 70 million albums in the United States and more than 150 million albums worldwide. Aerosmith is one of the world’s all time best-selling American rock bands. To date, they have been awarded 25 gold albums, 18 platinum albums and 12 multi-platinum albums.
“We’re thrilled to have Aerosmith join the ranks of Stern Pinball’s rock and roll line-up,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball. “Aerosmith is an iconic band with a devoted fan base. Fans of both the band and pinball will be able to appreciate the extraordinary experience that the Aerosmith pinball machines provide.”
The Aerosmith machines all feature original hand-drawn art provided by “Dirty” Donny Gillies, who has produced work for bands including The Hellacopters, The Melvins, Queens of the Stone Age, The Wildhearts, Electric Frankenstein and the 126.96.36.199’s, but is most noted for his work with metal band Metallica. In addition, the machines feature custom speech from Brendon Small, creator of Metalocalypse, the American animated television series centering around a death metal band. Players will be mesmerized by the interactive “Jacky on the Box” mechanical feature on the playfield. Jacky sits on a toy box allowing players to launch pinballs through the air and slam dunk the steel ball into the box. The more balls launched into the box, the higher the opportunity for a player to earn multiballs.
“The Aerosmith pinball machines are an ideal way to expand the band’s global brand because they provide a unique and fun experience for fans and consumers of all ages,” said Lisa Streff, Executive Vice President, Global Licensing, of Epic Rights.
In addition to the heart pounding music and game experience, the machine features a full-color high-definition display. In conjunction with Stern Pinball’s new SPIKE-2 electronic platform, the display enables high-definition graphics and innovative animations. The game includes a high-fidelity 3-channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations. Aerosmith Pinball entertains with an amazing array of modern and classic features, making it suitable for all skill levels.
Aerosmith Pinball is available through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world.
Pro Model: $6199
Premium Model: $7899
Limited Edition Model: $8999
About Stern Pinball, Inc.
Stern Pinball, Inc., headquartered just outside Chicago, Illinois, is the oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball games in the world. Stern Pinball’s highly talented creative and technical teams design, engineer and manufacture a full line of popular pinball games, merchandise and accessories. Recent Stern titles include Batman ‘66, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, The Avengers, X-Men, AC/DC, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, Iron Man, Batman, Spiderman and many more! All of Stern Pinball’s’s games are crafted by hand and assembled by Stern Pinball’s expert team. A broad range of players enjoy Stern’s games from professional pinball players that compete in high-stakes international competitions around the globe to novice players who are discovering the allure of the silver ball for the first time. To join the fun and learn more, please visit www.sternpinball.com.
About Epic Rights:
Epic Rights is a full service global branding, licensing and rights management company dedicated to building celebrities and entertainment brands via its broad global network of retailers, licensees and agents. Working with a roster of top clients and brands, Epic Rights’ services includes licensing/branding, music merchandising, social media management, VIP ticketing and fan clubs. Epic Rights also oversees sponsorships and endorsements, digital archiving of all creative/photos/media assets and manages worldwide e-commerce for its clients in addition to providing in-house legal resources for trademark registration and audit management. Epic Rights is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit: www.epicrights.com.
**Game Features Shown Subject to Revision or Change
Love is blind: NPD says Android customers are so committed that exploding Note 7 did little to help Apple
that's because there is really no alternative other than a rotten fruit.
Like loyalty to a political party or hometown sports team, smartphone users are extremely passionate about their choices -- a commitment that led many customers to stick with Samsung, despite the disaster of its downright dangerous Galaxy Note 7.