LAKEWOOD, NJ -- Hoop It Up is back. The classic arcade basketball game, originally marketed by Atari in the mid-1990s, has been improved for operations in family entertainment centers and especially street locations. Redubbed Hoop Jam Stadium, the new game is now offered by Jack Guarnieri Service Co. Inc., d/b/a PinballSales.com.
In the latest iteration, the one- or two-player game has an updated look, expanded play modes and an optional ticket dispenser. "It's based on an original design that was later sidelined by Atari," said PinballSales.com's Fred Miller, one of the original designers of Hoop It Up.
"Atari thought it was too complicated for kids," Miller said, "so the company took out two of the game modes. We've put them back in and made many essential enhancements."
In the new version, players choose from three game modes that use the same air-pump controller as in the original -- they hit a scaled-down half-basketball to propel the balls to the set of three basketball hoops mounted at the back of the game's playfield.
In Classic mode, players simply shoot for points at the three baskets. Follow the Light mode resembles the Classic style, but the hoops change colors from red to green to blue, indicating maximum point values. In Extreme Hoops, the third mode, the backboard lights up to prompt players to shoot for specific hoops. In all modes, players who achieve high scores are invited to enter their initials into the dot matrix display in the control panel.
"I always thought this would be a great bar piece," Miller said. "I felt this is going to do really well where people are competitive and hanging out with drinks."
Measuring 30" wide x 32" deep x 90" high, Hoop Jam Stadium offers a full complement of lighting and sound effects in both attract and play modes. "There are new sound effects, really cool music and dot matrix displays that show off the high scores," said Miller. "There's also an LED scoreboard on top of the cabinet. In fact, the whole top half is designed to look like a scoreboard that hangs in a basketball stadium. It's definitely a step above and a step up from the original."
Miller added that the new game has many operator controls not found in its predecessor. "We made a lot of adjustments based on operator friendliness," he said. "The software is all up to date and very easy to use. In all, there are over 18 operator-adjustable features for things like high scores, tickets and time."
Pinballsales.com has also updated its popular Disco Round merchandiser, introduced two years ago. The updated skill game now supports kits engineered by prize supplier HMS Monaco. As with the original game, prizes are located on a mirrored playfield that skillful players win via two differently sized magnetic heads.