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EAG Expo 2011 report

EAG 2011

Here comes 2011. ATEI disappears after 66 years of existence. Initiated last year, the reign of EAG ad the only large Londoner Amusement trade show is just beginning. Over 140 exhibitors from all countries had come to present their latest products and services. Let's take a closer look...

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Located in East London, ExCeL (Exhibition Centre London) is easily reached by Docklands Light Railway.

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Let's start with service company Maggi & Maggi who recently started to distribute Money Controls products such as this brand new hopper.

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Spanish manufacturer Reacreativos Presas presents Soccer Pro (a redemption football table), Nano Crane (a compact crane) and the Internet Xtrem terminal (internet access and on-line video games).

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Since 1984, Industrias Lorenzo manufactures a wide range of accessories for amusement machines (steering wheels, joysticks, trackballs, buttons, pedals, doors,...)

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Tommy Bear is a Taiwanese company manufacturing cranes, slot machines and figurines. It sells its own products but can also design and manufacture custom machines and figurines on demand.

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Intermatic Manufacturing showcases its candy floss vending machine equipped with the new automatic bowl cleaning facility allowing the vending of up to 1000 candy floss without maintenance.

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Photo-Me International unveil its new photo booth made in collaboration with well-known designer Philippe Starck.

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Other new machine, MyPocketBook automatically creates your photo book. X-Factor machine is shown on the right, it offers hundreds of songs to perform live.

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Photo-Me is also a major player in the kiddie rides manufacture and operation business as reminded by this Noddy carousel.

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E-Service repairs machines and sells replacement spare parts (e.g. 26'' TFT screens to replace defective 29'' CRT monitors). E-Service now offers free collection and delivery of spares repaired by Sega Total Solutions

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Spanish company LAIV makes vending machines selling candy (Chupa Chups, Orbit, Mentos, Crazy Dips, Pringles) and capsules sized up to 10cm in diameter. All orders can be placed online.

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Located in the Hampshire, Cash Handling Systems distributes coin and banknotes sorting and counting machines from Talaris and Glory. Their main customers are arcades, bingo halls and casinos.

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Founded in 1980, Feng Yung Cheng is the biggest Taiwanese manufacturer of kiddie rides. They manufacture original models as well as models imagined by their customers. Feng Yung Cheng also creates layouts for amusement parks and entertainment centers. They export to Asia, Middle-East, North America and South America.

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FIAM Automazione provides bulk vending machines and mini pinballs as well as the associated merchandise (gadgets, bouncing balls, tattoos and stickers). They distribute products from Beaver Machines Corporation, AllStar Vending and Bandai's Gashapon: Ben 10, Star Wars, Thomas and Friends, Power Rangers, Pokémon, Hello Kitty, ...

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Empire Games showcases a new genre of slots: a redemption with slot reels. The first machines of this kind are the Sega Sonic series themed after Sonic and his friends. Up to 13 machines can be linked in a master/slaves configuration.

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Wessex Coin provides all kinds of gaming and amusement machines. Shown here: Winner, Evolution and Paragon from Gameswarehouse as well as Barcrest Group's D.I.C.E.

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They also sell video games such as these racers: Global VR's NASCAR Team Racing and Raw Thrills's Fast & Furious.

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Gaming specialist Astra Games has a spacious stand this year where it showcases its latest machines including the mutiplayer games Everybody Nudge Now and Spinwall.

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LEDs are the main attraction on Suzo Happ Group booth, useful to transform the look of one's old machines. Also available there: SAS speakers, buttons, LCD screens (including touch screens), ticket eaters, Miliken clothes for pool tables, ...

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BACTA (British Amusement Catering Trades Association), organizer of this show, represents all categories of the amusement sector, from the small arcade to the large manufacturer. BACTA Charitable Trust, which is the charitable branch, is also represented. This stand is also a meeting point and relaxing lounge for its members.

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Macmillan Cancer Support helps people living with cancer as well as their families and funds nurses and healthcare centers. Since 2 years, Macmillan has a special place in the heart of BACTA members.

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For 25 years, Heywood Pool and Snooker provides professional pool tables. The company is endosed by the World Eight-Ball Federation and IPA. Products: Supreme Prince and Supreme Winner pool tables and Roberto Sport football table.

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Functional Media develops photo booths that integrate customer's head in funny animations. The Spanish company also offers 3D visualisation.

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United Distributing Company is the exlusive distributor of Adrenaline Amusements' TouchFX. TouchFX's originalities are its 46'' multitouch screen, the ability to switch games (by now, only Fruit Ninja FX is available), an optional redemption feature and up to 3 monitors per cabinet.

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United Distributing Company offers many older but popular titles such as Pump It Up Fiesta, Manic Panic Ghosts, Twisted, The House of the Dead 4 and Crazy Taxi High Roller.

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But they also present brand new games. Here is Friction, a lightgun shooting game born from the collaboration of Friction Game Studios, American Family Fun Centers and Coast to Coast Entertainment.

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Friction is a fun, nervous and technically well-done where evrything is destructible. Blood can be disabled according to the targeted audience. It is available as a low priced conversion kit fitting all cabinets. A perfect way to turn your old cabinets into money making machines. Highly recommended!

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MDM Leisure distributes games by Astra (Spinwall) , Barcrest Group (Royal Fortune, Rainbow Riches with its 55'' plasma screens as well as Party and Bingo versions), Electrocoin, Fair Games, JPM, Project Coin and Reflex Gaming.

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Kevin Weir, Andrew Murden and the whole team welcomes you on Electrocoin stand. Aside their own gaming and redemption machines, Electrocoin manufactures European versions of Taito and Konami games. They also distribute Stern pinballs, video games from Incredible Technologies, Injoy Motion and Rassen, redemption games by Elmac, Vogos and Apac Electonics as well as Odrex slots.

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Let's start with the latest dancing game by Konami: DanceDanceRevolution X2. It offers a impressive list of more than 400 tracks, a new game mode aimed at beginners and displays the amount of calories burnt during play. Dance platform was improved since DDR X, which makes it a needed upgrade. Other Konami game, GTI Club Supermini Festa! is also present.

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Another very popular music game, DJMax Technika by Pentavision comes back in a second version bringing many new features. DJMax Technika 2 - Crew Race includes 110 songs to touch the screen in rhythm, a DUO Mixing mode allowing two players to compete on the same machine and the Crew Race where players fight for online ranking and buy new songs and emblems in the Maxpoint Shop.

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Regarding Taito, Elevator Action Death Parade lightgun shooting game celebrates its European release in a cabinet similar to the Japanese model with its surround sound system.

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Players sometimes have to quickly close elevator door to prevent enemies to enter the elevator or choose the next floor to clean up. Despite the originality of the elevator feature, it's a classic shooting game, which is good nonetheless.

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Battle Gear 4 Tuned 2010 in a D1GP Arcade cabinet. Clearly, this racing game is more accessible than D1GP Arcade. Fun and beautiful, we unfortunately couldn't test the multiplayer mode. The offering is quite complete with 24 courses and 53 tunable cars. Cabinet features a 32'' LCD screen and a handbrake. Up to 4 machines can be linked up. On the showcased version, the speed shifter is placed on the left side of the dashboard but a right-hand drive version is also available.

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Manufactured by Electrocoin, European model of Taito's pogostick game Hopping Road is now a redemption game. The game is still so fun and original that it appeals to a wide audience.

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Panic Museum is showcased in a new deluxe cabinet equipped with new guns featuring recoil effect. They contributes to make the game a bit more nervous. The game is still so kitch, but varied. We'll regret the absence of Gaia Attack 4, a 4 player humourous gun game which is a worthy descendant of Point Blank. It is currently being location tested in the UK.

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A coin-operated kiosk hosting a video game console for hotel use. It features a Samsung screen.

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A nice surprise: the English version of Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition hosted in a Delta 32 cabinet by River Service.

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This new version adds 18 new characters, two being arcade exclusive: Yun and Yang. Currently, one kit must be purchased per player. But a versus kit will be released in March. One kit (mainboard/game) will then support two players. A good news for European and American operators.

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Taiwanese manufacturer Injoy Motion has made the trip to England with two games in his luggage: Top Gunner and Power Boat GT. Top Gunner puts you in control of a gunner on board an aircraft during World War II. Unfortunately, this game is a bit dull.

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Power Boat GT is a powerboats racing game where the screen (32'' LCD) follows seat movements. Up to 4 machines can be linked up for multi-player. Motion makes the game fun and thanks to its compact format, it fits every location. No show for Dido Kart that was announced, presumably because of lack of space on the stand.

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Golden Tee LIVE 2011 from Incredible Technologies features 5 brand new courses, numerous game modes, new clubs, balls and clothing. Wireless connection allows players to enter worlwide tournaments and share YouTube videos of their best shots. A tutorial video welcomes new players. Mini-golf game PowerPutt is showcased on the right.

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Last year prototype left us with a good feeling, Vulcan-M by Korean company Rassen is available in its final version boasting a new mini-gun design. Special features such as smoke coming out of the barrel, blow back effect, 5.1 sound and foot-stand vibrations when hit are retained.

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New levels were added since the last version. Graphics are detailed. When the mini-gun overheats, player has to wait for it to cool down to shoot again.

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Apac's Fast Gunman 2 adapts the principle of carnival shooting to redemption. We appreciate the visuals borrowed from Resident Evil 4 and Ghost Rider.

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Here are the latest Stern pinball tables: Avatar with its 3D backglass and The Rolling Stones in a prototype version (software and playfield are not finished yet). As each year, Gary Stern himself meets customers.

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Sound Leisure presents its latest audio and video jukeboxes as well as the V-Hub entertainment terminal and the Ol' McDonald redemption.

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Northern Leisure, which celebrates its 25 years old this year, showcases its latest kiddie rides: Big Red Bus, Scalextric Rally Car and Swing Boat. Also shown: I-Claw crane by Leisurematic which gives a prize every time.

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Game Time International publishes the Game Time International Magazine and the annual Game Time Encyclopedia containing information about Taiwanese products of the year. GTI also organizes the GTI Asia Taipei Expo in May and GTI Asia China Expo in August.

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Regal is the official provider of Super Nova machines, showcased products are: Pokerkard, Super Skill Ball Deluxe, Skill Ball Deluxe (maxi and conversion) and Big Tony's Texas Hold'em AWP.

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Lotelle recreated the illuminated dancefloor of the 70's dance clubs. They also sell The WON kit for Elaut Intelligrab cranes and the Gold View system linking video slots and other B3 machines to the CCTV system.

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As usual, Crown Direct showcases the latest novelties in gaming, redemption and amusement (including the latest Sega and Konami) video games.

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More than 40 machines from various manufacturers at Bandai Namco Games this year. The stand was divided in several sectors: video games, redemption and prize (with Namco Prize Division Europe). Tank! Tank! Tank! is there, it remains a reference of fun and originality.

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To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Pac-Man, the yellow ball is honored with Pac-Man's Arcade Party (in upright and cocktail formats) and Pac-Man Battle Royale. Pac-Man's Arcade Party gathers 13 Namco classics: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, Galaga, Galaxian, Galaga'88, Xevious, Dig Dug, Mappy, Rally X, Bosconian, Dragon Spirit and Rolling Thunder.

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The only regret is that the LCD 19'' doesn't match the render of the original CRTs.

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The yellow design was retained over the wooden style for the Pac-Man Battle Royale production model.

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The gameplay is very simple. Up to 4 players play in the maze, when a Pac-Man grabs a power-up, he gets bigger and can eat other Pac-Men and ghosts. Whoever eats the most opponents wins. Pac-Man Battle Royale is great fun and will find its place in all pubs, bowling alleys and other gathering places.

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Here is the new Bandai Namco car racing game: Dead Heat. Race against three of your friends on realistic urban courses (London, New York, Chicago and San Francisco) driving one of the eight tunable sport cars (Ford Mustang, Ford GT, Corvette, Dodge Viper GTS, Mazda RX-7, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, Nissan 370X and Skyline GT-R).

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Dead Heat uses the Nam-Cam to display your picture above your car. PIN code system allows you to save your progress and the game analyzes your driving style to reproduce it while you're away, so your friends can race against your ghost. A well-done good racing game with very nice graphics.

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Only the non-motion deluxe version of Deadstorm Pirates is showcased this year (super deluxe version is of course still available). This time, it's the final version of the software. The game features 5 stages with the first 4 (Stormy Sea, Mountain Rapids, Forbidden Cave and Giant Whirlpool) being playable in any order. One of the best gun shooters currently on the market.

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Fans of Play Mechanix/Raw Thrils's Big Buck series will be happy to discover Big Buck World, which combine Big Buck Open Season and Big Buck Safari Outback. That's a total of 17 different animals to hunt (including 3 new species: ibex, rusa deer and blackbuck), 18 trophy animals, 77 critters, 51 bonus games (9 new), 51 hunting treks and 255 hunting sites on 4 continents (Africa, Asia, Australia and North America). Big Buck World also offers a new game mode named Team Shootout. It allows two teams of 2 players each to compete on the same machine.

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Despite the new cabinet design and the use of a 42'' LCD monitor (or 32'' depending on model), the third episode in the Fast & Furious series (named Fast & Furious SuperCars), is just more of the same. Bacause even if content was added, gameplay and graphics haven't evolved.

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This new version features a total of 27 courses, 10 new tunable cars and a new sound package. Savegame system (PIN code) is retained with a twenty achievements unlocking upgrades. Up to eight machines can be linked-up. Easy racing game fans will enjoy it, veteran drivers won't.

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Other new game from Raw Thrils: Super Bikes 2. Here too, the cabinet has received a facelift with a 42'' LCD screen (compared to the 27'' CRT screen of the first episode). This element contributes to the player's immersion. Super Bikes 2 surpasses its predecessor in every way.

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New content: 11 new courses in addition to the 9 original tracks, 12 motorcycles (Yamaha, Ducati, Kawasaki, ...), new stunts and new shortcuts to discover. This motorcycle racing game series doesn't take itself seriously, and this sequel is even crazier since characters include a Terminator and a TRON character and race locations range from Paris to space and the Himalayas.

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Unveiled last year, Terminator Salvation is still a sure bet (at least the Deluxe version)! 32'' Standard (with guns fixed to the cabinet) and 42'' Deluxe versions are showcased but we'll regret the no show of the Super Deluxe version which is equipped with a 100'' projector screen.

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After video games, let's have a look at redemptions with Meerkats offering a classic but still effective concept. Despite its subject and orange colour, this machine has nothing to do with a certain operating system.

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Redemption version of Frogger from ICE. We'll discuss it a bit later.

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Space Ballz by Jennison. The player has to drop the ball at the right time by pressing the plasqma button. This machine features a 32'' LCD screen showing a tutorial and various game information. An attracting design for a future hit!

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Same principle for The Price is Right which reproduces the Plinko game from the famous television show. Drop tokens to lit all six letters of PLINKO and have the chance to turn the wheel to win a lot of tickets.

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Another ICE title: Knock Out Punch simulates a boxing match. You just have to punch opponents moving on a conveyor belt. Sound atmosphere is provided by the cheers of the crowd and the voice of the referee. Simple and effective.

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Formerly at Sega, Simuline products are now distributed by Bandai Namco Games. Here is the well-known Mini Rider 2, a coin-operated 2 seat ride simulator equipped with a 42'' screen and a ventilator providing a face-wind effect to the riders. A choice of 4 films is presented to the passengers.

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X Rider is once again part of the show, this motion theatre features 8 seats, 3D display, 4D effects (snow, wind, bubbles, fog and flashes) and a 6 DOF (Degrees Of Freedom) motion base offering new sensations.

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Namco Prize Division presents merchandises from numerous licences such as plushes of the British children TV series Shaun the Sheep.

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Plushes and pillows of the notorious Namco's mascot: Pac-Man.

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American TV show Ben 10 action figures, plushes and toys which Namco Prize Division owns an exclusive licence for Europe, Middle-East and Africa.

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Originality of the Clena-Flex crane is its modularity. It's indeed possible to attach several ends to its arm such as a grab, a hook and a sucker and define a zone where the player has to drop the prize. A big success in Japan!

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Harry Levy presents Double Top, the only pusher rewarding the player with tickets, coins and prizes. On the right is It's a Cracker, the 12-player straight pusher already showcased last year. Both machines are fitted with the ''fast-feed coin entry system'' for faster gameplay.

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Other classics: 12-player round pusher Clown Around...

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and Jack in the Box (8-player).

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And last but not least, the new Tutti Frutti 6-player pusher and its gluttonous design.

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Harry Levy also showcases redemption games, such as Pull My Finger from Bay Tek Games where the player must send a ball into portals of different value.

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In Crazy Clock, players must stop the mad hands at the right time.

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Classic skill game Operation arrives in arcades in a maxi version.

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Waterpark Splash is an original shooting game since players have to shoot water at a video screen.

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Located in Staffordshire, RLMS Sales distributes numerous brands in gaming and amusement: AlcoSense, Bell-Fruit Games, Concept Games, Crystal Leisure, Electrocoin, Empire Games, FatSpanner, Jabro Games, JPM, Leisurematic, Mazooma, Project Coin, QPS Interactive, Sound Leisure, Stoneygate Trading and Storm Games.

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Games Warehouse demonstrates his SWP: Paragon (supporting online and DVD updates), Winner, Evolution and Prize Farm.

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This year, Fair Games unveils Double Spin 2 Win and Bar 7 Sit Down AWPs. These novelties complete the Timeless range consisting of Bar 7, Cash X and Cherry WinFalls.

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Nexus Gaming develops skill games. Skillette games are available as conversion for a wide range of machines such as Tab2, Paragon, Indie and Fatbox. Nexus Gaming sells and rents reconditioned Tab2 machines equipped with their software.

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Cashpoint, an Austria based company present in 6 European countries, is specialized in online sport betting and manages 3500 betting terminals through Europe. Horse racing live bet terminals are among the proposed products.

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BAPTO (British Association of Pool Table Operators) is a non-profit organization promoting pool. It offers a complete assistance to its members.

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In addition to many spare parts and LED lighting solutions, Hazel Electronics distributes Site Manager Enterprise software from JCA Systems. This system offers a central management solution allowing player tracking, cash control, machine management and electronic audits.

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Beat Point manufactures the Beat Box, a karaoke studio for shopping centers and special events. Content can be updated through the net.

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Mexican company Arion Group showcases their best digital jukeboxes: Soho and XEL Box.

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The star this year at Elaut is the Wizard of Oz 6-player machine where players have to push tokens and points out of the playfield. It differs from traditional pushers by the fact that it's fully automatic.

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Unveiled last year, E-Claw is also well represented. Aside its smart lighting, its of course equipped with the latest Intelligrab technology.

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The classic Rotary in a trendy poker outfit. Like cranes, it is now equipped with the Intelligrab sytem.

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In the Fantasy Soccer redemption video game, player must drop the ball at the right time to win a maximum of tickets. The new feature is that you can catch and release the ball during the fall to alter its course. Goal values change on each game.

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Two new redemption games at VdW International this year: Roulette 30 and Magic Ball. As its name implies, Roulette 30 is based on the casino roulette but distributes chips and tokens. 8 players play simultaneously.

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With its attractive look, Magic Ball skill game allows the player to control the rotation speed of the plate to put the ball on the desired number. He then wins the number of tickets shown. The game features a progressive jackpot.

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Let's end this Belgian corner with Caroline Verheyden who creates personalized plastic chips, posters and loyalty cards. She also provides metal tokens for pushers.

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Polish manufacturer Ritter presents its latest excavators which are very popular among young children.

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PMT Sales showcases nine new redemption machines from UNIS including Platinum Heights and Ducky Splash as well as this pirate themed kiddie ride by Tecway.

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Fire Storm and Hotflash, two futuristic looking air hockey tables by well-known Texas company Valley-Dynamo.

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AMG Leisure distributes slots and other amusement machines from many different manufacturers.

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New at AstroSystems: Microcoin SP115 and QL coin validators and GBA ST2 bill acceptor.

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Innovative concept from Essyo with Jumper: the trampoline is blocked by default and the child cannot jump. Once a coin is inserted, the trampoline is unlocked for a set time. On the right, you see the Multigame table.

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Ever more sophisticated, here are the new MEI payment systems: GEO Gravity (stack free) and SC Advance bill validators and the Cashflow 9500 coin acceptor.

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Professional 9 ball pool tour GB9 is represented and a challenge where you have to beat the pros is organized at the show.

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Bifuca supplies digital poker tables, electronic darts and Time Game cabinets hosting home game consoles where you pay for play time.

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On the same booth are their Pinball tronic digital pinballs offering several games such as Frankenstein and Mad Professor.

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Italian manufactutrer Luca S.r.l. and English distributor All Things Nice Vending join forces to present their vending machines and kiddie rides.

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Chinese company Ausride Amusement manufactures kiddie ride carousels.

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ToyVend supplies vending machines and the merchandise to fill them up including Bandai products (Ben10, Pokémon, Hello Kitty) and Mars, Chupa Chups and Mentos confectionery.

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Electronic bingo specialist Leisure Electronics introduces new networked bingo solutions.

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On SB Machines booth, one finds ''The Farm'', a cute 3-player derby day manufactured by Adalio that is small enough to fit all locations.

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The most beautiful Italian kiddie rides are shown here: Hello Kitty Happy Car, Hello Kitty Funhouse, Crazy Glider, Miami, Smiley Train, ...

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As usual, SAM Leisure presents its latest pool and air hockey tables which are equipped with the latest technology.

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Where to find cheap Elaut and Cromptons with a fast service? At John Ferguson of course!

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Aside a wide range of refurbished machines, JNC Sales offers the latest Global VR games since it has become the new UK distributor.

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As evidence is the presence on stand of Twisted and NASCAR Team Racing in its latest version featuring new tracks such as Texas Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Crag Canyon Fantasy Course. In this version, teammates can improve their speed by drafting together.

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Launched in 2008 at ATEI, X-Putt now exists in a more compact version. X-Putt machines can be linked to the net for national tournaments.

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The novelties at Tornado are the Pirate Ships, remote controlled boats specially designed for locations with limited space.

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Pan Amusements, that Sega distributes, presents its latest 8-player shooting gallery: Way Out West.

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Zhongshan Star Amusement is a Chinese company who claims to create new designs every month. Among their products are The Basil Brush Joke Factory and the redemption machines Around Mars, Racing Prize, Fun Hoops and Gold Dream.

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Whittaker Brothers manufactures and distributes coin and redemption pushers as well as carousel rides. As a service, they offer to equip their old models with ticket dispensers.

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German company Merkur Kids sells Disney licensed kiddie rides with popular characters Lighting McQueen, Winnie, Donald, The 101 Dalmatians, etc... but also touch-screen cabinets for children (here on the left) and driving simulators.

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Here is Sega Amusements booth pursuing its policy of diversification started a few years ago.

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Here is where contracts and purchase orders are signed but also where exclusive information is disclosed.

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One of the big new games this year is GRID, the arcade (Europa-R) version of Codemasters' PC/console game: ''Race Driver: Grid''. Of course, many changes were made. For example, the flashback system has been replaced by a reset button that puts you back on the track and of course, the sensations are all different with an 32'' LCD screen only some inches away from your eyes and a force feedback steering wheel. Graphically, the game is stunning. We appreciate the level of detail provided to vehicle damages, a feature rarely seen in arcade games.

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Multiplayer games are furious with up to six cabinet connected. Obviously, car handling in GRID requires more practice to master than games like OutRun 2 SP or Fast & Furious. Some games are needed to reach GRID's full potential. This title may very well attract a new generation of players while challenging the arcade veterans. Note the presence of Spa Francorchamps track in the line-up (available tracks are selected by the operators).

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Coming next is Sega Golden Gun shooter (RingWide powered) whose development was outsourced to China and... it shows! There are some good ideas such as branching pathes and the presence of traders exchanging powerups, bonuses and lives for points. Unfortunately, the graphics and atmosphere are terribly kitsch with the most improbable enemies gathering (zombies, samurai ghosts, mummies, dragons, lions, hooded ninjas, etc ...).

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All of this lack consistency. It's a shame because many backgrounds are quite nice. The ''ancient China'' theme could have been better exploited. The other problem is that you never have to reload your weapon which paradoxically makes the gameplay less dynamic. About the weapon, it is a very cheap looking golden gun.

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Also on RingWide, the other new Sega shooting game is the highly anticipated Let's Go Island - Lost on the Island of Tropics. No surprise there, the game is the continuation of Let's Go Jungle! but with more marine sequences where the player confronts enemies like sharks or a giant octopus. It reminds of Ocean Hunter at times. Like its predecessor, the level of cooperation between players is measured and displayed at the end of level.

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Graphically, the character design is puzzling though we imagine that the goal is that players identify with the heroes. The cabinet is available in several models with LCD screens sizes of 32''(American upright version), 42''(motion deluxe) and 52''(static deluxe). This game is not bad at all as long as you stick to the ''humour'' of the protagonists. However, it suffers from comparison with Deadstorm Pirates who surpasses it on all levels. Special mention for the design of the cabinet which immediately transports you to South Pacific.

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Yet another RingWide game, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade marks the return of Sonic in the arcades. One way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the blue hedgehog. As its name suggests, this is a racing game where our hero and his friends (14 characters including a hidden one: Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue on his forklift!) compete on courses inspired by Sega games (10 tracks in total). Up to 8 players can join the race.

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Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade is original in many ways; the brake pedal is replaced by a ''drift'' pedal, the seats switches colours thanks to a beautiful internal LED lighting. And last but not least, it is possible to add a ticket dispenser that rewards players according to their race result (the operator can set the number of tickets given to the winner, the loser and if they multiply in multiplayer). Despite these features, this title is not as good as Mario Kart Arcade GP 2. The 'redemption' feature is a big plus, but will this be enough to keep players coming back?

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New to the Sonic Allstars series: Sonic Quad Air, an air hockey table for 2 to 4 players matches. There may be up to 4 pallets simultaneously on the playing surface and new players can join the game at any time.

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In the same series: Sonic's Ticket Allstars which are classic slots distributing tickets. 15 machines can be connected to create a common jackpot. These slots have the same illumination system than Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade guaranteeing a good visibility.

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10 years after the release of Monkey Ball, AiAi is back to the arcades in Super Monkey Ball Ticket Blitz. In this new episode, a large 7" trackball replaces the banana stick. The cabinet features a 32" LCD screen and an optional seat. The purpose of this redemption game is to catch as many bananas as possible to gain an equal number of tickets and reach the end of the level in the allotted time without falling. You must be quick because if falling out of the course costs you a life, a time out means "Game Over". After the end of a level is reached, the player enters a bonus level where he must make the monkey jump in a ring to win the jackpot. The game is RingWide powered.

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This year, a new Dinosaur King upgrade will be distributed for free to operators. It will include new characters, new dinosaurs, a different story and new collectible cards. Unfortunately, Sega still does not plan to translate this kid game to other languages than English despite the popularity of the animated series in countries like France and Belgium.

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already presented last year in a deluxe version. Tetris Giant is back in a more compact cabinet equipped with a 42" LCD screen and a ticket dispenser. The two giant joysticks are of course still there. The game modes have not changed: Score Attack, Line Attack and Co-op and Head-to-Head multiplayer modes.

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In recent years, Sega started to distribute products from other manufacturers. Here are a few of them: the famous Korean dance games Pump It Up Pro 2 and Pump it Up Fiesta by Andamiro. They offer more than 100 new songs, new graphics and two new game modes: a 2-player routine mode and a new gauntlet mode. The cabinets are equipped with a 50" LCD screen and bass speakers.

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2011 is the year of great returns: after Pac-Man and Monkey Ball, it's the turn of Frogger to return to the light. This new version is developed by Raw Thrills and ICE (under Konami license). Unfortunately the gameplay has been simplified since the player just has to press the lily-pad button once for the frog to cross the road and river. So everything is a matter of observation and timing. The player wins tickets for each eaten insect and swallowed bonus on the way. Two players can play simultaneously on the 42" LCD screen.

EAG 2011

After the Game Gate VU, Quasimoto goes further with the Game Gate Kinect. You guessed it, this cabinet hosts an Xbox 360 console and its Kinect accessory for the recognition of movement. In addition to Kinect games, joypads are available to play classic Xbox 360 games. Over 200 titles are available.

EAG 2011

The Stomper interactive mat from Trio-Tech returns in a more compact version; the Stomper DLX. 4 machines can be linked up and 10 multiplayer games are available.

EAG 2011

A bit older, Photo Finish Racing from ICE is a video version of the classic funfair horse racing game. This machine exists in 3 or 5-player versions and with or without ticket dispenser.

EAG 2011

Typhoon simulator by Trio-Tech is present once again. On the right of the picture, we see the Sideshow compact shooting gallery by Pan Amusements which features an integrated ticket dispenser.

EAG 2011

Still from Pan Amusements, the brand new Faulty Repair Shop for 8 players. It features 25 targets with multiple and custom actions including water effects. This shooting gallery has a scoring system and dispenses ticlkets.

EAG 2011

On the left, Strictly Disco pusher created by Gordon Cromptons and its 20" disco ball. On the right, Foto Game Zone by Fantasy Entertainment, a photobooth that features mini games.

EAG 2011

Foto Fantasy was redisigned and allows to place the customer between custom background and foreground pictures. Thanks to the Luma-key technology that allows to isolate the subject properly. Also from Fantasy Entertainment, Fold'n Fotos creates stickers.

EAG 2011

This year, Sega Prize Europe showcases the new 2011 Hello Kitty collection, Super Monkey Ball plush toys (includig a big banana) as well as The Dog, Victoria Cupcakes and With It plushes.

EAG 2011

Leisure Engineering distributes Sela Cars products, an Itialian company that manufactures battery operated cars, motocycles and boats for children such as the Bat Night and the Big Disco Boat.

EAG 2011

Cool Things sells capsules and accompanying goods with licenses such as The Smurfs, Care Bears and Barbapapa.

EAG 2011

Formerly at Bandai Namco Games, Gamewax's 4-player slot car racing game Go go Grand Prix is now distributed by Electrocoin. A contest is organized at the show.

EAG 2011

Polish company Jakar manufactures and services all sorts of amusement machines including boxers, kickers and bulldozers...

EAG 2011EAG 2011

Spice up this year at Whitehouse Leisure with these giant chillies! They also make soft toys under license, the most recent are: RIO, The Smurfs, Angelina Ballerina, In the Night Garden, Teletubbies, Lazy Town and Wonder Pets.

EAG 2011EAG 2011

Novelties at Magic Play this year: Top-Up, Boxer, Winpla, Magic Hammer and Crazy Hammer (an aquatic themed Whac-A-Mole).

EAG 2011

DawPol presents its boxer range and Grand Horse Racing, its 4-player horse racing game.

EAG 2011

Heber designs, manufactures and sells PCBs for gaming machines, beside their Pluto and Nucleus ranges, they can manufacture custom boards.

EAG 2011EAG 2011

Gacha International/Tomy can always rely on its key licenses for their capsules: Pokémon, Hello Kitty and Nintendo. In addition to these are this year's new licenses: Cars 2, Transformers 3 and Harry Potter. Other licences are not forgotten with new Disney, Littlest Pet Shop, Sonic the Hedgehog and SpongeBob SquarePants products.

EAG 2011

Larger than life, small tigers and leopards await you at PMS International.

EAG 2011

ITM Leisure manufactures and sells stuffed animals and toys, sometimes quite large.

EAG 2011

Hello Koty (!?) and other kiddie rides on the booth of Polish manufacturer Kupper Automaty

EAG 2011

Syndicate UK supplies redemption tickets, admission wristbands and tickets, bingo tickets, etc...

EAG 2011

JayBox is an online (wired or wireless) jukebox with a choice of more than 90000 songs and wekkly updates. It's possible to create your own playlists and save them on a swipe card.

EAG 2011

Czech company Tool Billiard is celebrating its 20 years in the billiard business. They manufacture and sell, among others, quality clothes to dress up any type of pool tables. Their best-known product is the Eurospeed. They equip many European tables.

EAG 2011

Polish boxer specialist Kalkomat unveil this year a new product specially made for the UK market: the Win Cash that allows the player to win money through his power. The money is directly dispensed by the machine.

EAG 2011

On the stand, we also find upgraded versions of their flagship products: Boxer Sticker, Dynamic and Spider.

EAG 2011

Around the corner, you could come across friendly characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog who celebrates his 20th anniversary.

EAG 2011

And less nice ones in the person of Dennis the Menace (not to be confused with his American homonym).

What could we observe at this second edition, first of all that interest in music games doesn't fade with titles such as DanceDanceRevolution X2 from Konami, DJ Max Technika 2 by Pentavision and Andamiro's new Pump It Up. Then that more and more video games are equipped with ticket dispensing mechanisms such as Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade, Super Monkey Ball Ticket Blitz, Tetris Giant and Hopping Road which are much more advanced than early video redemption titles, which makes them more interesting. As for most arcade games, the quality is consistent throughout the offer, but some games stand out for their quality and/or originality. Especially Deadstorm Pirates, Pac-Man Battle Royale and GRID (which passed the daring test of successfully adapt a home console game to the arcade) which are the best games of the show. We found a nice surprise in the cheap Friction shooter kit from Coast to Coast at UDC. The most disappointing game from a major manufacturer was Sega Golden Gun which is far below the level of an House of the Dead. All of this is just missing some crazy humor. In this regard, we regret the absence of Taito's Gaia Attack 4 which is currently on location test at Funland, London. Taito and Electrocoin must be greeted for bringing Elevator Action Death Parade and Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition to Europe. The

EAG Expo 2011 was a good year with many new titles, the trend seems to be the equipment of video games with redemption systems, is this the solution to revive the market? The future will tell... Anyway, see you next year for a new edition.


Text / pictures: Sophie & Nomax.
All rights reserved.

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