Some arcade games make a name for themselves with stellar gameplay like Pac-Man or Galaga. Others have a sort of hook or gimmick, like the fatalities drawing crowds in Mortal Kombat. Still others have made an entire genre their own, such as the dancing and rhythm games like Dance Dance Revolution.
Today we’re talking about Silent Scope: an arcade shooter with decent gameplay, but one real big, real fun hook.
Of course I’m talking about the seemingly full-size sniper rifle that you use to play this game. There is no other light gun cabinet like it in arcades. Instead of two measly pistols for two players, you get one gigantic gun with an actual scope you can use to zoom in to the screen. And use you shall: Silent Scope isn’t a fire-at-will shooter, but rather a precision aiming on rails shooter that’s more about accuracy than firepower.
As you go through the stages you can use the gun as a sniper rifle, allowing you to look down the scope and view a small screen with a zoomed-in view of the action. It’s a pretty cool experience: whipping the gun quickly to the corner, then looking more slowly through the scope to find your target is still fun to this day. Maximizing on this feature are the end-stage fights. They usually give you a specific task to complete which requires some amazing accuracy. For example, you can take down an attacking helicopter by riddling the side of the machine with bullets. Instead, you could place one well-aimed bullet in the head of the pilot to take it all down with one shot. It’s pretty thrilling, and a defining feature of this cabinet.
I actually did a home console video review of this on my old YouTube channel. Check it out below!
Played at Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfiled, IL 2019