From Sega Retro
|System(s): Mid-size attraction, Sega Model 2B CRX|
|Developer: Sega AM5|
|Number of players: 1-4 (+4 passengers)|
Power Sled (パワースレッド) is a Sega Model 2 bobsled racing attraction game developed by Sega AM5. Originally one of the debut attractions at the flagship Tokyo Joypolis on opening day in July 1996, it was subsequently installed in numerous other indoor theme parks and large scale entertainment/arcade centres across the world during the late 1990s and 2000s, becoming one of the more prolific mid-size attractions developed and released by the company.
The attraction units used for Power Sled make use of three main components; 100-inch rear projection monitors, a number of full-size two-seater bobsled replicas pneumatically powered by the "AFG System" (Artificial Force Generator), and a series of Model 2B CRX boards. Depending on the iteration, two to four singular units can be linked together for multiplayer races, and some installations make use of a 29-inch monitor for spectators to view a race in progress.
Power Sled made its public debut as one of nine newly-developed attractions at the opening of Tokyo Joypolis in July 1996. The main feature of the park's "Sports" area, it proved to perform well, and was subsequently filmed in television shows shot on location at the venue, including the 18/09/1996 edition of Game Catalog II. Michael Jackson was photographed riding the attraction during his December 1996 visit to the facility.
After its debut at Tokyo Joypolis, Power Sled was subsequently installed at several other Sega indoor theme parks and amusement centres in Japan, including Shinjuku Joypolis, Club Sega Yokohama, and Sega Arena Nakama. The success of the initial installations led to the creation of an English localisation, which saw the game imported to several other countries. It is thought to have first been installed outside of Japan at a number of GameWorks locations in North America and Playdium venues in Canada, as well as eventually South America at GameWorks Rio de Janeiro in 1999.
Other locations to receive Power Sled included SegaWorld London in the United Kingdom during 1998, and later Players Arena in China during 2006. A small number were also sold to non-Sega venues, including the Mycal Otaru Dynalex indoor amusement park in Hokkaido, Japan.
A cut-down two player unit supplied to a select few locations, including COSI Columbus, utilises a different bobsled model with numbering decals later used in Boat Race GP. It is alleged to have been a prototype.
Only a small number of Power Sled units are thought to currently exist; many of the venues that once housed them have either closed permanently or have long removed the simulators. Some, including an installation from a Playdium location in West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, attempted to sell their units at auction, with one surviving to at least 2014 when auctioned a second time. Tokyo Joypolis is believed to have been the last location to run the attraction - it was removed after over 13 years of operation in favour of the newer Storm-G bobsled simulator in 2009.
Slave ROMs for the game were dumped in 2019 from an unknown installation, however without the master ROMs and no workarounds, it is currently unplayable through all emulation methods.
One track composed for the game was later included on the Sega Racing Best compilation CD.
Sega Arena Nakama (bottom left)
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