REPENTIGNY, QC, Canada -- TouchFX from Quebec's Adrenaline Amusements offers a new twist on the arcade videogame. The platform was developed to enable the migration of touchscreen games for mobile phones to supersized arcade games.
The new system, which company officials describe as a "giant iPhone," is now available with Fruit Ninja, one of the most widely downloaded game apps for Apple's mobile devices. But it's played on TouchFX's 46" multi-touch, high-definition LCD touchscreen.
The new coin-op videogame, which is offered in a single- or three-screen configuration, can simultaneously accommodate up to three players, or six hands. Fruit Ninja challenges players to slice fruit that is thrown into the air by making swiping gestures at the device's touchscreen with their fingers.
PHOTO: In multiscreen kiosk configuration (l.), TouchFX measures 76" L. x 50" W. x 96" H., is equipped with three 46" monitors, and has three individual coin mechs and ticket dispensers. The single-screen version measures 76" L. by 24" W. and 96" H. Adrenaline plans to release a marginally smaller TouchFX unit aimed at the street operator.
Like iPhone and iPad gameplay, TouchFX uses no mechanical controls -- players' hands control the action on the screen. However, the screen itself, which also houses the software, is more than the larger representation of the iPhone display. Rather than using the capacitive multi-touch technology used by iPhones, which may not stand up to coin-up use and abuse, Adrenaline has employed a rugged infrared touchscreen that relies on arrays of sensors mounted on the edges of the playfield to detect and track motion. The screen is protected by a sheet of tempered glass that is easily cleaned with common cleansers, such as Windex; this is a design widely used for medical and industrial applications.
For coin-op applications, the game software has also been significantly reengineered. Australia's Halfbrick Studios, creators of Fruit Ninja, designed a version that can be presented on a large screen in high-definition. With more than 20 million downloads, some players are likely to have an opportunity to experience a familiar game in a new way at an arcade or in a bar. The game can also run as a redemption piece.
At present, TouchFX is only offered with Fruit Ninja. "The point is not to provide a hundred games," said Adrenaline's Marc-Antoine Pinard, "but offer games that are the most popular. We're taking the top 10, and the ones that are most meaningful for full-scale gameplay. The way we designed it is to have one game at a time, so we have two other games planned for 2011."
Pinard said additional games are in the works. The company signed an agreement with Firemint for its bestselling Flight Control, which should be available for TouchFX later in the year. In Flight Control, players assume the role of an air traffic controller at an airport. More than two million copies were sold at the App Store.
Privately held Adrenaline Amusements was established in January 2010; its first coin-op product, Kaboom, a light-stop redemption game, was introduced three months later. An accomplished amusement industry executive leads the company's young team of interactive specialists. Adrenaline president David Lachance is one of the three founders of Triotech Amusements, also from the Montreal area, which manufactures such motion simulators as XD Theater and Jett Rider. For additional information, call (450) 932-4205 or visit adrenalineamusements.com.