Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
‘Sandbox’ is an overused term in videogames, but Sega’s new arcade cabinet can’t really be described as anything else. E-Deru Sunaba (which roughly translates to, ‘the sandbox where a picture appears’) allows players to mould real sand in a pit. The cabinet then uses dynamic projection mapping to overlay colourful graphics onto the changing topography and the surrounding area.
If you dig down to the base of the sand pit, for example, you’ll expose water filled with virtual fish. Landmasses will grow flowers and grass, or become rocky if built high enough. The seasons will change as you play, shifting colours and bringing with them a variety of insects that scurry across the playspace, and even onto the hands and arms of players, who should react with a mixture of delight and terror.
The sand itself is an odd consistency that moves with the mouldable viscosity of diluted Play-Doh when compressed, but crumbles when broken apart. While it’s a charming idea, machines will presumably need to be monitored closely by arcades if they hope to have any chance of keeping their stock of Sega sand where it’s meant to be. And while mucking about with insects is amusing, the tech is crying out for a port of Populus or From Dust.
Game E-DeruSunaba Manufacturer Sega