Keep­ing an eye on the coin-op gam­ing scene

While cer­tain poorly main­tained old cab­i­nets in the dark cor­ners of sea­side ar­cades might give you pause be­fore you lay hands on them, some ma­chines are de­lib­er­ately out to elec­tro­cute you. The lat­est ex­am­ple is a 2D beat ’em up from Ohio-based cre­ative out­fit Real Art. Un­veiled at SXSW, the one-off ma­chine sees digi­tised rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edi­son go at it over elec­tri­cal stan­dards.

The War Of Cur­rents of­fers a scant four stages and the tit­u­lar pair of char­ac­ters with which to do bat­tle. Land enough hits and you’ll build up a charge of en­ergy that can be re­leased as a spe­cial move which zaps your on­screen op­po­nent and causes mas­sive dam­age, while also send­ing a small elec­tri­cal charge to the hand of who­ever’s grasp­ing the ma­chine’s other metal joy­stick. Nat­u­rally, as an in­cen­tive to avoid los­ing, it proves a lit­tle more ef­fec­tive than sim­ple pride.

The strik­ing yel­low-and-black up­right cabi­net caters for the game’s sim­ple me­chan­ics with dual two-but­ton and stick con­trols, and re­jects the fash­ion for enor­mous screens creens for some­thing a lit­tle more in­ti­mate. While the cabi­net net is a be­spoke build,uild, it’s now taken up per­ma­nent res­i­dence­dence at Real Art’s part­nerrt­ner project, Proto Build­bar, a com­bi­na­tion of f maker space and café where peo­ple can build ld and print their cre­ations, which h hap­pens to be right next door r to Real Art.

Game TheWarOfCur­rents: Tes­laVsEdi­son Man­u­fac­turer Real Art

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