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WGC -World Game Circus


In October 2023, I visited World Game Circus, also known as “音楽ゲーム&レアゲームメインゲームセンター” (translated: Main Game Center for Music Games and Rare Games). Situated on the outskirts of Tokyo, World Arcade Circus is originally an arcade focused on international rhythm games. It consists of two buildings: a main building and a smaller branch across the road. Renowned for its extensive collection of rare games, it has gained popularity both domestically and internationally within gaming circles. Here are some of the special games you can find at this location.

Beatmania III
As a successor to the popular beatmania of the early 2000s, Beatmania III was just one of the successors, alongside beatmania IIDX. The complex relationship between the various games and versions was based on the type of hardware they ran on. Although Beatmania III and beatmania have ceased, IIDX has continued as the main beatmania game still playable in many Japanese arcades today. What makes Beatmania III unique is the floppy disk reader for tracking high scores and a foot pedal. Featuring significant improvements over beatmania, this machine also boasts 12 speakers and is notably larger.

Mambo a go go
A rhythm game where you play on 3 bongos, each with smaller buttons, totaling 9 buttons to play the game. The easier levels in the game use fewer buttons to keep it accessible for new players. The game’s playful graphics resemble those of Paper Mario. While it is an enjoyable game, this series only had 2 versions before it was discontinued.

Cracking DJ
During the popularity of beatmania, SEGA introduced Cracking DJ, a DJ game with 2 turntables and a slider to play along. It’s a challenging game where players not only have to scratch with the turntables but also consider which side the music is playing on. Visually, this game is heavily influenced by street art, featuring graffiti letters and hip-hop sounds that suit the theme well. Like other games in this genre, Cracking DJ was short-lived and contained only 20 songs.

An emerging dance game in recent years, already popular in America and Europe but not very present in Japan. What sets StepmaniaX apart is its modern interface, no longer operated with buttons but with a touchscreen.

An interesting fact is that the annex is called “APPEND,” a reference to the append mix CDs released on PlayStation as expansions for the game. Additionally, the location hosts various events such as a ladies’ night, and high score lists for different games are refreshed every month. While the difficulty levels can be high, the high score lists are open to everyone, with scores validated by posting screenshots on Twitter. Games like Pop’n Music or beatmania often have dozens of versions, more than the physical space allows, so games are regularly switched or upgraded upon request.

The venue has an upper space not part of the open arcade but available for rent for streaming and events. Facilities there vary regularly, and this information is also communicated via Twitter.

World Game Circus is truly a special place for those who appreciate the history of music gaming. For more information, you can visit their website or Twitter:


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