Date: 16th & 17th March, 2016
Location: Hall N1, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV, USA

We return to the Las Vegas Convention Center for the first time since 2013 to visit the annual spring coin-op trade show now known as Amusement Expo International.

The Las Vegas Convention Center
The Las Vegas Convention Center

The show was held in hall N1, which meant there wasn’t too far to walk from the main entrance.

This way to the show
This way to the show
The entrance to the show
The entrance to the show

The show opened to registered visitors on Wednesday 16th March and lasted for two days. Inside the hall, the familiar mix of coin-op and amusement trade vendors were exhibiting their latest products.

Looking down the main aisle
Looking down the main aisle

Visitor numbers were encouraging, with the aisles busy throughout the first day.

Our main interest lay in seeing what the two pinball manufacturers exhibiting at the show had brought along. Stern Pinball is first, and they had a display of seven machines.

The Stern Pinball stand
The Stern Pinball stand

The greatest interest was generated by their latest title, Ghostbusters, of which they had two.

Ghostbusters Pro at each end, with Game of Thrones Pro and Spider-Man Vault Edition in the centre
Ghostbusters Pros at each end, with Game of Thrones Pro and Spider-Man Vault Edition in the centre
Ghostbusters Pro
Ghostbusters Pro

To see how the game plays, we shot a video of top player Keith Elwin playing one of his first games on Ghostbusters.

Alongside the bank of four pinballs was another bank containing three more Pro models; The Walking Dead, WWE Wrestlemania and Kiss.

The Walking Dead, WWE Wrestlemania and Kiss
The Walking Dead, WWE Wrestlemania and Kiss

Further back in the hall, Heighway Pinball has two Full Throttle machines, both sporting the 27″ LCD displays in their backboxes.

The Heighway Pinball stand
The Heighway Pinball stand

On the stand was Andrew Heighway and new investors in the company, Cato Paus Skrede and Roger Svanevik from Norway who are both operators and collectors.

Andrew Heighway on the Heighway Pinball stand
Andrew Heighway on the Heighway Pinball stand

These were the only pinball manufacturers represented, but they weren’t the only pinball companies, since Flip N Out Pinball were also there representing Escalera who make the powered stair-climbing lifting machines.

The Flip N Out pinball stand
The Flip N Out pinball stand

In general, the themes of the show were ‘big screens’ and retro themes.

The success of games such as Fish Bowl Frenzy has led many companies to put huge LCD screens in their games, and for existing games to super-size their displays.

Big Buck Hunter’s latest variant – Big Buck Hunter HD Wild – now has a larger screen and has zombified the targets.

Big Buck Hunter is now both in HD and 'Wild'
Big Buck Hunter is now both HD and ‘Wild’

If the graphicised version of killing animals lacks sufficient realism, you can now shoot real arrows into life-like images of the poor critters.

A real crossbow means this shooter needs supervision
A real crossbow means this shooter needs supervision

Big screens combine with retro themes as Galaga becomes the latest classic game to be updated.

Galaga Assault from Raw Thrills
Galaga Assault from Raw Thrills and Bandai Namco
Not forgetting Pac-Man's own big screen appearance
Not forgetting Pac-Man’s own big screen appearance

Golden Tee golf games have been around so long, they could almost be considered retro now. But they were back, and brought the Golden Tee World Championship to the Amusement Expo show.

Golden Tee World Championships
Golden Tee World Championship 2016

Although it wasn’t officially derived from the classic game, Grand Piano Keys appeared to have a striking similarity to the game Simon.

Grand Piano Keys
Grand Piano Keys

Elsewhere, large screens could be found in both vertical and horizontal orientations.

More big screen games
More big screen games
Multi-player collaborative games
Multi-player collaborative games

The remainder of the show was the usual mix of pushers, cranes, racers, and all the ancillary equipment for coin-op games such as locks, payment systems and coin-op publications.

Racers and shooters from Raw Thrills
Racers and shooters from Raw Thrills
Stern weren't the only ones with Ghostbusters games as this shooter from ICE shows
Stern weren’t the only ones with the Ghostbusters licence as this shooting game from ICE shows
Lots of crane machines
Lots of crane machines
Su
The Wizard of Oz pusher was one of many machines from Elaut
Lots of different air hockey tables
Lots of different designs of air hockey tables

And that brings us to the end of this report from Amusement Expo International 2016 in Las Vegas.

We will leave you with our exclusive Fifteen Minute Tour of the show.

 

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