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Alpine Racer

Genre

Racing, Sports

Console

MAME

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MAME

Alpine Racer

Alpine Racer  is a racing sports video game developed and published by Namco for arcades. It had a limited release in December 1994,[1] followed by a wide release in July 1995.[2] It ran on the Namco System 22 arcade hardware.

The player uses a handlebar controller to move a skier down a course situated on a snow-covered mountain, the objective being to make it to the end of the course without falling off the slope or colliding with obstacles. It features three different courses to select, alongside a standard race mode and a time-attack mode where the player must pass through gates to replenish a time limit.

It was an arcade hit, among the top five highest-grossing dedicated arcade games of 1996 in both Japan and the United States. The arcade success of Alpine Racer led to a wave of similar sports games capitalizing on its success during the late 1990s.

Gameplay[

Alpine Racer is a racing video game based on the sport of alpine skiing.[3] It uses a handlebar controller for movement with rotating foot pedals to simulate real skis.[3] The player moves the on-screen skier down a course, while avoiding collision with obstacles, such as trees and rocks, or falling off the edge of the slope. Three different courses are selectable, each increasing in difficulty with the addition of fast-moving obstacles and sharper turns, alongside three difficulty levels: “Novice”, “Intermediate”, and “Expert”.

Two gamemodes are present: “Race Mode” and “Time Trial Mode”. In Race Mode, the player is pitted against five computer-controlled opponents to try and make it to the bottom of the course, the goal being to finish in first place. Finishing in first place will show the player a replay of their performance in the game. Time Trial Mode has the player going down a course solo; this mode adds a time limit that counts down as the game progresses, and will cause the game to end if it fully depletes. A second of time can be restored by passing through large gates found scattered across the course. In one of the courses, Pac-Man can be seen on a billboard sporting a Santa hat.[3]

Reception

PublicationScore
AllGame[4]
Next Generation[5]
PublicationAward
Amusement and Music Operators Association (AMOA)Best New Equipment,[6]
Most Innovative New Technology (nomination)[7]
Game PlayersBest Arcade Game[8]

At the 1995 Amusement and Music Operators Association (AMOA) exposition in IllinoisAlpine Racer was given the “Best New Equipment” award in the “Coin-Operated Arcade/Redemption Game” category based on executive vote.[9] It later received a nomination for Most Innovative New Technology at the 1996 AMOA Awards.[7]

The game became a major success in arcades.[10] In Japan, Game Machine listed it on their August 15, 1995 issue as being the most-popular dedicated arcade game at the time.[11] In March 1996, Leisure Line reported it was the most-successful arcade game in Japan (topping Namco’s own Tekken 2 and Sega‘s Virtua Cop 2), the second top-grossing dedicated arcade game in Australia (below Sega’s Manx TT Super Bike), and among the top three in the United States.[12] Alpine Racer went on to be the fourth highest-grossing dedicated arcade game of 1996 in Japan,[13] and one of the year’s top five highest-grossing dedicated arcade games in the United States.[7] At a price of $20,000 (equivalent to $38,000 in 2022) per unit,[8] the game sold an estimated 2,000 arcade units in the United States, making it a highly sought-after cabinet by arcade collectors.[4][3]

Alpine Racer Marquee

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