I went to Barcade on St. Marks and played a few games. I was actually pretty surprised at how many games they had, but I guess these things are coming back in full force (in bar settings).
One game I really liked that I had never played before was Out Run. It’s a driving game with a steering wheel, pedels and stick shift. Immediately, it felt different from other racing games I’ve played in arcades: for one, there are two people in the convertible, which makes it feel more like a leisurely drive and and less like NASCAR. The camera angles are also interesting, because it’s low to the ground, which doesn’t allow for a far view of the road, especially when you’re going up a hill.
The tactile feedback was also a draw – the steering wheel shakes when you run into obstacles or crash, but in a way that feels very different from controller vibrations I’m used to with modern consoles. You can also pick your music, and go down a number of different paths when driving.
All these little details add up to a game that looks predictable from the outside, but feels very different from the kind of frenetic, competitive car racing games that I’m used to. It makes you feel like driving can be a fun and enjoyable activity in itself, not just because you’re trying to win some big race.