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Flynn’s Retrocade in Roy to host world championship for original cabinet

By Ryan Aston - | Jan 22, 2024
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Children play an Avian Knights prototype arcade cabinet in South Weber.
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An interior photograph of Flynn's Retrocade in Roy.

ROY — Flynn’s Retrocade at 3626 W. 5600 South, Suite A, will be hosting a world championship tournament for the game Avian Knights, developed and published by the Utah-based studio and arcade hardware company Alan-1 Inc.

The event, which will feature eight of the world’s best Avian Knights players battling in a high-score, round-robin shootout, will take place Saturday. Those players will compete for a share of the competition’s $17,500 prize pool, including a grand prize of $10,000, and the competition will be livestreamed via Alan-1’s official Twitch channel throughout the day. Play will begin at 10 a.m.; admission at the door is $10 per person.

Alan-1 Operations Manager James Knight told the Standard-Examiner that competitors will be flown in from as far away as Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Florida. Scores tracked through the game’s leaderboard network and Alan-1’s Major League eSports app through the end of 2023 were used to determine tourney invitees.

Avian Knights launched as a digital title for the Atari VCS console and Steam (where it’s currently in early access) in May 2023, and Alan-1 is now in the process of getting the game into arcades as an original cabinet. Some of its gameplay elements — including a mounted combat system — and visuals evoke memories of the arcade classic “Joust,” with the added benefit of modern graphics, sound and multiple game modes with in-game power-ups and character-specific abilities. A comic book featuring gritty art from Alejandro Radio was created to tell the Avian Knights story.

The game won the award for “Pushing Boundaries” at the 2023 Utah Game Dev Choice Awards in December.

Knight noted that developing the title and working to get it into a physical arcade cabinet has been a labor of love for the Alan-1 team, and he hopes that the world championship event will bring people together locally while building a larger community around the game.

“We want people to be here physically, we want it to be a public event for Roy City and for Flynn’s,” Knight said. “Ultimately, this is the hometown vibes. You come in here, there are kids gathered around watching another kid try to get the high score — that’s it. That’s the vision.”

Flynn’s and Alan-1 are both owned by Utah entrepreneur, dentist and gaming aficionado James Anderson, who uses a hangar in Tooele to house the more than 600 arcade and pinball machines he has acquired over the years, some of which have been in the rotation at Flynn’s. Knight revealed that there are hopes of creating a larger space in Utah where arcade enthusiasts and collectors can come enjoy retro cabinets on a bigger scale.

Alan-1 manufactures many of the hardware components used to maintain those machines and said components also are available for purchase through the company.


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