Keeping an eye on the coin-op gaming scene
Large-scale ‘interactive theatres’ are becoming an increasingly common sight in locations able to accommodate them, and usually allow a group of light-gun-armed players to cooperate against a common enemy, sometimes buffeted by haptic feedback. But Kansas-based Fireshark Studios is taking a slightly different tack with its Fireshark Theater, which swaps lightguns for modified Xbox 360 controllers. Sixteen players (only eight of whom are afforded a seat) can compete in teams or all-out death-matches in its launch games. In Mech Mayhem, players choose from seven mechs, each with four unique abilities, and then do battle in Free For All or Capture The Flag modes. Rift Heroes, meanwhile, is a Smash Bros- style brawler that offers eight characters; deathmatch, team deathmatch and dominion modes; and league and tournament play. The 20’x8’ enclosure uses projection mapping to turn its angled walls and floor into a giant screen, while scoreboards sit on either side of the players. While Mech Mayhem’s top-down action looks good on the wraparound screen, Rift Heroes’ side-on arena takes on a three-dimensional form that attempts to make you feel like you’re floating in space in front of it. Fireshark Theater is in select US arcades now, with more games to follow in future.
Game MechMayhem/RiftHeroes Manufacturer Fireshark Studios