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A few months back when UNIS held their 2020 Virtual Showcase, they unveiled a game that falls into the genre, if we want to classify it as such, of Namco’s somewhat obscure Prop Cycle. As I understand it, UNIS’ Hyper Glider is not out yet as the second wave of Covid caused them to pause on production of many of those games. As you can surmise from the headline though, there is an alternative out there that has beaten UNIS to the punch called Sky Riders.

Developed by Chinese firm Ace Amusement (they created Wild West Shootout that I played at IAAPA 2019, which is available in the US via Coastal Amusements) Sky Riders joins the fray of a kind of physical gaming that one can only get in arcades. For those unfamiliar with Prop Cycle, this involves sitting on a specialized seat that comes with bicycle pedals, where the faster you pedal, the faster your virtual flying contraption moves in the game. This also comes with a mechanism to blow wind at the user to simulate flying through the air.

Sky Riders by Ace AmusementsSky Riders not only updates the concept with modern controllers and two models: Standard Twin as shown above;  and Deluxe models that feature a larger screen, more cabinet details & LED lighting, and can be purchased separately then linked.

What stands out about the cabinet design is the steampunk aesthetic, which really fits with the concept of foot-powered flying vehicles like Prop Cycle setup in the first place – although that doesn’t appear to follow-through in the software in any meaningful way, which is a disappointment. The LED effects on this are pretty nice too, as you can catch from the distributor trailer below. It is setup as a ticket redemption (videmption) game, although I believe that Ace offers non-ticket play as a standard in their game releases.

UDC is where I discovered this game; They are an arcade distributor setup in the UK and serve to sell certain Ace products into the UK and other parts of Europe. From what we’ve seen in the past, a few different companies grab Ace’s games to sell into the US; I mentioned Coastal Amusements already, while I’ve also seen Elaut grab one of their games, Coast-To-Coast Entertainment grab a couple of others. Until anyone lists it on their site for the US side, we’ll just have to consider this one to be a European release.

When/if this game heads to the US, it could come through any interested distributor, but we may have to wait a while to see. Also in an oddity, Ace lists both Sky Riders and Retro Tech Riders on their website – by what I can tell they are the exact same game, but the two models above are called Retro Tech Riders while the Mini model goes by Sky Riders. I’d guess that UDC wanted something consistent across the board and had them stick with one name instead.

BTW, UDC is listing another Ace game for sale that is new, but I will do a separate post about that later today, instead of cluttering up this one. 😉

What do you think about this one from the info above? Could it be the Prop Cycle spiritual sequel that you’ve been waiting for?

About the author: arcadehero View all posts by

I’m a lifelong fan of video games and I have been operating my own arcade, The Game Grid Arcade in West Valley City, Utah since 2008.



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