Now available from Sega Amusements USA is Monkey Ball Ticket Blitz. Introduced at the recent International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions show in Orlando, the new game builds on a decade of Monkey Ball success by adding ticket dispensing capability.
Over the past 10 years, games featuring Aiai -- the monkey in a ball -- have been implemented for many platforms, starting with an upright arcade piece in 2000 and extending through a wide range of consumer games. There have been 12 versions to date; the 13th returns to arcade format, with the new redemption feature.
"Very few gaming franchises have maintained such long-term popularity and relevance," said Sega president and chief operating officer Paul Williams. "Monkey Ball's universal appeal lies in its intuitive gameplay, combined with the delightful and captivating Aiai character. It's a combination that's proven extremely popular."
In use, the player rolls the ball containing Aiai along a path toward a goal. Points are scored by collecting bananas along the route; the danger lies in allowing the ball to veer off the path, which causes it to disappear irretrievably.
Players are given one of 12 randomly selected stages upon which to compete; each has a fanciful name (such as "Chimpan Sea"). A stage consists of three levels; the first (and easiest) presents a path along a level floor that does not move and is free of hidden obstacles, while the third is studded with trapdoors and other perils requiring deft trackballing to maneuver around.
Upon attaining the goal at the end of the path, the player is offered a bonus opportunity: one chance to send Aiai's ball down a ramp, maintaining just the speed needed to propel the ball into the jackpot bonus target. If the ball travels too slowly or quickly, it will under- or overshoot the target, and (again) disappear.
Sega states that the game incorporates the largest trackball ever used in a coin-op game (a fitting update to the memorable banana-shaped joystick on the original Monkey Ball).
"The trackball is a giant 7" in diameter," said Tad Nagamatsu, Sega's general manager of research and development. "The size of the trackball adds a great deal to the fun of the game, and we've further enhanced it by adding lighting that makes the trackball glow like a mini starfield."
The Super Monkey Ball Ticket Blitz game is built into an eye-catching cabinet adorned with multidimensional graphic elements, LED accent lighting and a seat to encourage repeat play. It is equipped with a 32" high-definition flat-panel LCD. Adjustments include the ability to turn the ticket dispenser on or off, set the fixed ticket payout, enable an optional "mercy ticket" dispensing feature and set the maximum jackpot quantity of tickets to be vended by the machine -- the balance to be awarded manually by location staff.
Sega Amusements USA Inc., a leader in the creation of video and redemption games, serves the North and South American markets. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's Sega Corp. Visit segaarcade.com.