Thursday, July 2, 2009


"Put the lime in the coconut," and a few other choice associations came to mind when I started this post.  Why?  Lest we forget a typhoon is a tropical storm, and 'tropical storm' makes me think of that stupid song, orange juice, Desert Storm and so on.  All products of my insane ability to multi-task; in this scenario, while surfing the web for more information on Typhoon, awesome motion simulator.  

The photo above, compliments of Arcade Heaven, showcases two Typhoon simulators.  

Each system seats two 'players' fairly comfortably side-by-side in a reclined position, and each player is instructed to lie-back and hold onto the available side-handle bars for 'maximum enjoyment.' Mr. Cool Guy #1 (seated with arms folded) is definitely not following instructions and is therefore not enjoying the game at maximum level.

While reclined, the player chooses one of seven simulations to experience. Personal favorites include Ravine Racer and Canyon Coaster.  The experience is constructed through four fundamental pillars: video, audio, motion and wind.  The large eye-level lcd screen provides hi-def animated video, two speakers provide ample wattage for a standard PA system, two seats positioned on springs allow flexibility to jolt and jar, and two powerful fans blow recycled air continuously in your face.  

I came about the Typhoon while vacationing in Indiana this past week.  My friend Jason corralled a few folks to the newly opened Dave & Busters in Indianapolis for his birthday. Having never been to a D&B before, I was overwhelmed to say the least. If you've never been, imagine a large open space with food, drink and games.  The food, of pub gastronomy, can be enjoyed at the long horseshoe bar and accompanying three-tops, or in the more formal closed-off seating area for larger groups.  The remaining 2/3 of the space is an eyesore of flashing, spinning, screaming lights.  It reminded me of Vegas, not that I've ever been, except that the games are not played for cash.  Some of the games do reward with paper tickets, which you can redeem for prizes of stuffed animals to wii consoles.

The Typhoon was pushed up against the far-right red fabric covered wall, near a private door for employee use only.  Mom, Doreen and I paused to inspect the massive system on our first run of the floor. The get-up was pretty intimidating, so we hesitated, and when two girls of eight and ten answered that the ride makes you feel a little seasick afterwards, we walked away. However, on the third run, after spending many tickets on less than fabulous games, Mom and Doreen mustered the courage to give it a go.  

We fitted three across both seats.  Ssshhhh!  Me on the left, Mom in the middle and Doreen on the right.  We paid eight tickets for Canyon Coaster.  You start above ground in an abandoned desert theme park, but soon after the first terrifying fall your cart takes a turn for the worse and plunges below ground into a similarly abandoned cole mine amid a mess of broken tracks.  We all screamed like school girls.  We continued to pay eight tickets per simulation until we had no more left.  We had so much darn fun.  And here I am, writing about a videogame after a nine hour car drive when I have so many other more interesting stories to share from my travels!  MTK

To close: if you have access to a 6'x6' plot of land, preferably with an electrical hook-up, and you have credit available up to at least $25,000, this system is for you!  You will make so many new friends.

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