Ride a speeder bike across Endor in Star Wars: Battle Pods arcade game

immersive star wars battle pods coming arcades cockpit

There’s a new Star Wars arcade game from Bandai Namco, and much like virtually every other coin-op machine based on the classic sci-fi series, it’s all about piloting futuristic machines.

Star Wars: Battle Pods is like a giant, plastic bubble, surrounding the player with a 180-degree screen and equipping them with a flight/targeting stick and throttle for a uniquely cinematic experience. Taking a cue from modern theme park rides (and older sit-down Star Wars games), the cockpit is equipped with a seat and controls that vibrate in response to explosions, fans to blow air on the player, and 5.1 surround sound.

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Locations in the game will include Yavin, Hoth, Endor, and both Death Stars. Players will be able to pilot vehicles ranging from a snow speeder and speeder bike to X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon. The final stage, “Vader’s Revenge,” features Darth Vader piloting an Advanced TIE Fighter immediately after the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Namco has a long history with arcade games, going back to its heyday in the 1980s with classic titles like Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug. As arcades around the country are shutting down in the face of the growing console market, Battle Pod‘s immersive touches will help justify it as a more fully-realized experience than would be possible at home.

Star Wars: Battle Pods arrives in arcades in January 2015, but New Yorkers have an early opportunity to check it out at the Midtown Dave & Busters, through November 2.