Updated: Feb 15
Here’s some interesting arcade news that I’ve recently come across. Two different companies are in the process of remaking the super popular Taito classic arcade game Ice Cold Beer.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the game, Ice Cold Beer is a mechanical arcade machine that was produced by Taito in 1983. Think of it as sort of like vertical pinball in a way. Even though I’m terrible at the game, I’ve always loved it. It’s a classic.
Wikipedia describes it as “The objective of the game is to use the two joysticks to tip the bar back and forth and maneuver the ball up to a specific lit hole on the playfield, while avoiding unlit holes.
Original Ice Cold Beers are highly sought after by arcade collectors today. Not surprisingly given the current inflationary environment, prices for used original ones have skyrocketed, to the high four figures for the Beer version to as much as low five figures for the Zeke’s Peak family-oriented version.
Many years after the original, a company called Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (which coincidentally goes by the acronym ICE) reproduced Ice Cold beer. It’s repro units look noticeably different than the originals though and are not as desirable.
Flash forward to today and a company called Retroarcade is in the process of remaking the game. The new version of the game that they’re working on has the following features:
“LEDs and Sensors for every hole, lead screw drives, bluetooth compatibility, and custom FPGA controllers make this an amazing recreation of the original magic."
From what I can tell, the company Retroarcade, is associated with Bryan Armitage, owner of the arcade parts seller Paradise Arcade Shop. They recently showed off their prototype ICB remake at the IAAPA arcade trade show and continue to share frequent updates on their progress. As far as I know, pricing for their version of the game has not been officially announced yet, but rumor has it that it will be priced lower than the next remake that I am about to talk about. Supposedly this company has secured the rights from Taito to sell an officially licensed version of the game.
Here‘s a link to the Retro Arcade Remake website and some pics of their progress…
Side by side comparison of a remake and an original Ice Cold Beer.
As I mentioned, a second company is also working on an Ice Cold Beer remake. This one is an Australian firm called MC Global Games. Due out in March of this year, and priced at $7,500, here’s their description of their version:
"ICE COLD BEER Arcade brand new release. Made in the USA. Available from March.
Thermal Printer to print the winning tickets for players to claim their prize in your Bar or a Barcade. Tickets are setup by the operator for flexible control of location prizes. Can be swapped to ticket dispenser in seconds. Loads of new operator settings making this version suitable for any location. Can be setup for the player to win at any level (Highest hole won). Can be set for Hole 10 only, Skill Only, Mercy prize for the new players so everyone can be a winner. Adjustable for skill level, motor speed, nudge, clock speed.
Continue game option to increase player spend.
The game keeps all player results and prints the analytics so you know exactly how your Ice Cold Beer is performing. Easy to adjust the game to get the best results. No guesswork."
The company MC Global has been around for a years, manufacturing Cotton Candy Vending Machines and Claw Machines. The art on their version of the game is significantly different than on the original. I personally prefer the classic look of the original game. It also is a little on the pricey side. It is unclear to me whether the MC Global version is officially licensed by Taito. Below are a bunch of pictures of this version of the game and a link to the company’s website…
If anyone is familiar with either of these projects, let me know. I’d love to hear more about them. As always, thanks for