Coin-Op Remains Core Focus for UNIS
Licensed Bigfoot Crush Rolling Out; Company Lays Out Innovative Elite Park “Exergames” Program Combining Games & Physical Activity
Ready for your arcade at the start of 2021, UNIS will be ringing in the new year with a license they’re super excited about in a monster truck racing game called Bigfoot Crush.
The action-packed game is designed for younger kids, and can be played by one or two players at a time. They can earn points by collecting coins and bonus objects while avoiding obstacles along the way.
Players can choose between six different monster trucks and three courses – Metropolis Mania, Alpine Attack and Jurassic Jam. Simple and intuitive, the first truck to finish the race wins the game.
The cabinet itself comes with an easy-to-use steering wheel and gas pedal to control speed, and has a seat wide enough so that Mom or Dad can sit and play with their child. It features two vertically-mounted 32” screens, allowing for competitive play when 2-player mode is selected. Bigfoot Crush has the same footprint as their Duo Drive, which they say has been a terrific kiddie game and enjoying tremendous worldwide success.
“Bigfoot 4×4 is a very powerful license,” said the company’s general manager Steven Tan. “Their products are recognized in 40-50 countries around the world. This is a solid anchor for us in our next generation of family games.” Added Ann Trent, the president and CEO of Bigfoot 4×4, “We are so excited to be working with UNIS on this awesome project. The kids – and their parents – are going to love this game.”
Tan explained that licensed products have sold quite well for UNIS in the past and are well-liked by players, and he expects Bigfoot Crush to continue the tradition.
“We’ve seen the difference in the cash box,” he said, pointing to UNIS’ Atari license, which began in 2017 with the reimagining of the classic Pong and continued with their release of Mini Pong Jr. to Arcade1Up.
Bigfoot Crush has been testing in markets across Asia this year, and will be ready to ship by the end of 2020 to facilities in the United States and elsewhere.
UNIS debuted Bigfoot Crush and other new coin-op machines during their Showcase 2020 virtual show (read more about that on the next page). Tan said most of the other games are still in the testing phase, but will be ready to go at the planned in-person Amusement Expo next May in Las Vegas.
Also discussed at their Showcase 2020 event: Elite Park and UNIS’ new lineup of “exergames” – that is, machines that combine physical movement with arcade gamification.
“Elite Park is a concept that really encourages being healthy,” Tan said, noting that the exergame concept is a big trend all over Asia and that Round1 has been popularizing it more and more. He also said that UNIS has a lot of intellectual property ready for this lineup, such as existing software as a part of their Elite Basketball product.
Although coin-op still remains the company’s core focus, Elite Park and the exergame concept is a part of diversifying their product offerings.
Elite Park products are selected based on popular sports activities like rowing, cycling, soccer and more. The simplicity of getting players active through video games is evident with all of the products. Elite Pogo Jump, for example, combines a trampoline with a 55” video screen. Players jump to control their character, and can be in competition with another player to be the first to cross the finish line.
In recent years, UNIS has developed products for the consumer market, too, and has plans to continue expanding in that direction with Elite Games, the consumer version of Elite Park. (The Elite Games also work well for smaller coin-op locations).
“We’re trying to look for games that require activity,” Tan said. “Fun, active and healthy is a big part of our core theme we’re trying to develop for the future. It distinguishes us.”
To take a deeper dive, a virtual viewing of their coin-op, consumer and Elite Park games is available at www.uniselite.com/showrooms.
UNIS Hosts Virtual Showcase: “Innovating into the Future”
Featuring virtual game rooms with their coin-op, consumer and Elite Park product lines, UNIS spent Oct. 21 hosting its 2020 Showcase – giving the industry a look into their plans for now and the future.
Apart from the company’s focus on coin-op and its new licensed game Bigfoot Crush, UNIS general manager Steven Tan discussed the company’s emphasis on Elite Park – the lineup of products that promotes fitness, health and fun.
“Launching Elite Basketball and Elite Trampoline were our first steps to solidifying our Elite Games platform,” he said. “Elite Park is the commercial side of things. Our exergames are a new category for us, and also new for the industry.”
Four products are getting ready to launch now – Pogo Jump, Spin Racer, Hyper Glider and Rowing Champs…all highly physical games. Tan explained that many types of esports games have players sit around for hours, while the exergaming model is an important trend.
“Our past, present and future games rely heavily on video content,” he said, “and many of our existing games require some form of physical motion combined with arcade gamification.” The Elite Park products also include On Point, the Taito-developed shooting game shown at IAAPA 2019, and Ultra Moto, a motorcycle simulator also first shown at that trade show.
Innovating with unique products like Smash Arena is also on the agenda, Tan told Showcase attendees. Smash Arena is a curved air hockey machine that combines the physical air hockey element with a video screen (another physical game with that “arcade gamification” element).
As Covid restrictions are lifted around the world, Tan added, “We have to encourage people to get out of their homes and continue to be in social groups.”