Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
Video redemption games aren’t usually as polished or complex as Plants Vs Zombies: The Last Stand. The point is to allow players to win tickets they can redeem for inexpensive prizes, which cost significantly less in cash value than was ever fed into the machine, and simplicity and player turnover is king in this space.
An arcade truism is that skill kills, but it’s certainly the case for ‘videmption’ games. The balance comes in making players feel a game demands just enough skill that their input is necessary, and The Last Stand does just that, then dares to raise the skill ceiling to reward sharpshooters.
Standing tall in a massive bespoke cabinet, The Last Stand’s play sessions last longer and the demand for quick reflexes is higher than most, even if it is basic. It’s a lightgun take on Plants Vs Zombies, with one lane and one Peashooter to fend off the advancing hordes. The game ends if the zombies cross your last line of defence, followed by the dispensing of tickets based on your survival time. Sega has even made a line of fuzzy PVZ merchandise, plus an online leaderboard powered by QR codes. It’s a top-of-the-line production for the lower end of the market, and a better use of the licence than could ever have been expected.
Game Plants Vs Zombies: The Last Stand Manufacturer Sega