In this free demo of KaMiZoTo's CoinOp Story, we learn that a bolt of lightning will jumpstart a revolution, or at least one arcade cabinet's attempt with its calculator sidekick to preserve an important part of history.

CoinOp Story's short demo shows that it's a near-textbook metroidvania, as you explore and platform your way, soon with the help of a map, to locations to fight bosses and receive power ups (via the new arcade boards inserted) to access new locations. It's the story and the arcade nostalgia that moved me.

I think the game has an extra impact if you are old enough to recognize the Operation Wolf arcade cabinet, or really any other cabinet in the game. When each cabinet rips out its guts to give to you, I think you'll also feel a bit of a pain in your gut, imagining how so many big beautiful cabinets are now permanently short-circuited, beyond saving.

arcade coinop.jpgTear-jerking moments aside, you should have fun blasting enemies, collecting chips and coins, and finding new powers, if that's your cup of tea. The tunes and graphics are ace, and I appreciate that CoinOp Story allows for the scanline effects to be optional, too.

I want more of CoinOp Story, if only to see more of the cabinets I remember. The developer told me there's quite a bit left to do, and because of the copyright issues, this has to remain a free project, nothing he can officially charge for. His site does have a DONATE button, which I hope gets some traction after people play this demo.

This experience harkens back to a recent interview, where the dev said, "I think in the future we will have not only historical games surpassing historical films and novels, but being used in historical research as well," I kind of hope CoinOp Story can be that, too: a way to remember arcade cabinets and everything that the games offered.

[CoinOp Story demo and donation link]