In last Thursday’s “Raw Thrills Report”—the company’s quarterly email newsletter—the folks at Raw Thrills confirmed that Taito’s iconic Bust-A-Move franchise is making its return to arcades as Bust-A-Move Frenzy.
Further reporting by Arcade Heroes revealed that the game is, in fact, already in production.
As some of you may remember, we last saw Bust-A-Move Frenzy on location test at a Dave & Buster’s location in September 2019 (as it, strangely enough, was absent at IAAPA).
Reception to Bust-A-Move Frenzy was somewhat mixed on Twitter, from what I saw.
Some players were very optimistic, with users Headcase Games and The Nakedest Dalek comparing the concept favorably to the “World’s Largest” line and Space Invaders Frenzy.
“That certainly is an…evolution of the game!” Headcase Games said. “Looks strange, but I am interested that they are trying something weird and new with the brand.”
Other players suggested that the cabinet style, used in multiple Raw Thrills games up to this point, might be losing its luster with each additional iteration. As user Glowing Rice said, “Why the [expletive emoji] do these new arcades have to be 27 feet tall?”
“I'm interested to see what the gameplay's like, but sad to see that same cabinet recycled again,” Liam Cary said. “It was great the first time but, like tract housing estates, once there's a big group of identical ones it becomes a depressing eyesore.”
Players Jdevy and The Arcade Heroes argued for the inclusion of a non-ticket amusement mode, with Jdevy adding, “They better have the original gameplay music,” as well.
Player Callum Roper was against the development on a fundamental level. (And if I may indulge my own opinion, for valid reasons.)
“No. Just, no,” the user said in a particularly succinct response. “I honestly don't get why they try to redemption-ify classic arcade games. RT should just stick to completely original content with redemption and working on making games that work and don't suck.”
Although we still haven’t learned all that much about Bust-A-Move Frenzy since it was spotted last year, series fans can still look forward to the well-known “match three” puzzle gameplay in some capacity. (Small recompense, I know, but it’s something.)
As someone who has played neither Bust-A-Move Frenzy nor any other entry in the series, all I can say is this: I’m just as sick of the “World’s Largest” cabinet and “redemptification” as the next guy.
Would I like Raw Thrills to stay truer to the established formula? Sure thing. But I do see great potential in this title—as long as Raw Thrills can respectfully reimagine what makes the original installments near and dear to so many gamers.
At the very least, I’m certainly not counting out Bust-A-Move Frenzy just yet. Let’s cross our fingers tight for Raw Thrills’ latest foray into retro intellectual property.
(And pretty please join my Discord server. I'll be your best friend.)