Our Top 5
Halloween is just around the corner and we want to share with you what our top 5 scary themed pinball machines are! Disclaimer, these are our opinions and it is not in order.
1) The Addams Family
The Addams Family Pinball came out in March 1992, it is said to be one of the best selling pinball machines of all time. It is Designed by Pat Lawlor and Larry DeMar and manufactured by WMS Industries (under the Bally name), it is a solid state electronic pinball arcade game. It was based on the 1991 film, and features custom speech (mostly derived from the motion picture) by the stars of the film.
The objective of this machine is to “Explore the strange world of the Addams Family.” With that in mind there is no single player goal, though there are two central objectives:
- Tour the Mansion: The Addams Family mansion is located in the center of the playfield and has 12 rooms, each of which offers a different award. Once every award is collected, a “wizard mode” called Tour the Mansion becomes available (see below).
- Vault Multi ball: In the top-right section of the playfield is a blue bookcase, representing the bookcase that Gomez shows Uncle Fester in the movie, hiding the entrance to the family vault. Hits to the bookcase award letters in the word GREED; once the word is completed, the bookcase turns to expose the vault entrance. A shot to the vault locks the ball for future multi ball play, or starts multi ball if two balls have been previously locked. The bookcase opens for certain other modes of play as well. If a ball enters the vault while the bookcase is still closed, it immediately opens and the player is credited with locking the ball.
Reason for its success was that it had great game play. With well-placed ramps and shots leading into each other naturally, The Addams Family avoided some of the all-too-common pratfalls of the pinball machine. The game nailed the simple things, and virtually every game since has taken design cues from it. Source
2) The Walking Dead
Another on our list would be AMC’s The Walking Dead, the most watched series among Adults 18-49, is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. The drama tells the story of the months and years after a zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead pinball by Stern features everything fans would want in a flesh-eating pinball world. Players fight to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside the lead, Sheriff Rick Grimes, by battling zombies and completing various missions. The game includes multiple zombie toys for adrenalin-filled zombie battles at familiar locations from the show such as the Prison and Cell Block C. An amazing high-definition zombie-filled art package heightens the player’s excitement. Source
In short, we love this game because of great graphics, the flyers do not do this machine justice, the real playfield is much cleaner with more greys that better fit the theme and don’t contrast negatively with the red plastics and blood. Another thing we loved were the white LEDs, looks amazing on the playfield and goes well with the theme.
3) Monster Bash
Monster Bash was released in July of 1998 which is produced by Williams. The game features some Universal Monsters including The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s monster, the Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy. The epic crossover in the game has amused thousands of people and continues to be many peoples favorite game. The main goal of the game is to collect the instruments of the iconic horror characters and form the Monsters of Rock band. The table includes a Phantom Flip; when this feature is enabled, the player can let go of the flipper buttons and allow the game to attempt a shot Once you do, it’s time to rock out and enjoy the best bash in town. Rumors of an eventual re-release from the current rights holder still persist, but for now, if you want one, you’re going to have to pony up some serious cash. In recent years, this game has sold on the used market for over $10,000. A lot of money to dish out, but if you can? Worth it.
Monster Bash great and funny callouts, really sharp looking game if in great condition, theme is eternal, music clips are fun/ spooky, the monster toys are all well done and meaningful to the rule set and gameplay.
4) Twilight Zone
Twilight Zone is a wide-body Pinball Machine manufactured by Bally in 1993. It is themed after the television series that was created by Rod Serling and which aired on American television from 1959-1964 originally. The ultimate goal of the game is to light all 14 panels and start “Lost in the Zone”, the game’s “wizard mode”, represented by the doorknob. The game provides several ways to light door panels: Shoot the Slot Machine when lit, shoot the Player Piano when lit, or defeat the Power in the mini-play field. Shooting the Slot Machine awards a random unlit door panel, while the other two methods award the door panel that is currently flashing (rotated by the pop bumpers)
Unlike many other machines, if you want to play it optimally you have to be constantly re-assessing your priorities. Based on your game status, slot rewards, power ball location, and lit shots, your optimal line of play can swing heavily at any one time. Maybe you have a good game going, but find yourself short on balls and then need to shift priority towards shots that lead to an extra ball. Maybe you’re close to the wizard mode, so you should activate Powerball Madness before the it shuffles the ball back into the gumball machine. Based on these types of subtle factors, every game plays differently within itself, and every game on the whole feels like a more unique experience. (As opposed to many other machines which have very rigid “optimal” paths with no deviation.) Similar to the above, it is a shot maker’s machine. As long as you can keep hitting your shots, the game will keep rewarding you. (Or punishing you as you miss) Which means you can always keep coming back knowing there’s room to improve. Combine with a first rate theme, fun combo shots like the Camera shot, and unique/fun props like the magna flips, and you’ve got a very compelling game with good replay value. Source
5) Freddy: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy: A Nightmare On Elm Street is a pinball machine made in October 1994 which is manufactured by Gottlieb with 2800 units made to date.
During any nightmare, the player attempts to defeat Freddy Krueger by shooting any of the flashing “FREDDY” shots. Each shot increments the Freddy Meter billboard. Completing this meter qualifies the boiler shot. Making the qualified boiler shot defeats freddy, awards ten million points times nightmare number and returns the player to the “awake” state unless multiball is still in play. If multi ball play is still active, then the jackpot shots are qualified.
While the player is awake, they can earn items which can help them out during any nightmare. These items are multi ball, extra power, and set alarm. If multi ball is earned, then the nightmare begins with automatic multi ball play. If more power is earned, then during the next nightmare, each Freddy shot increments the Freddy Meter three places instead of the usual two. If set alarm is earned, then five seconds before the end of the nightmare, the boiler shot is qualified to grab Freddy. If the player grabs Freddy, then the nightmare continues into the awake state. During any nightmare with multi ball, the lower left target flashes to add an additional ball. This game has cool graphics and toys and we wish to see them back in arcades soon
Thanks for tuning in! See you in the next blog
Pinball Adventures is a North American manufacturing company producing fresh and unique Pinball machines. Our goal is to create to the highest standards, and spark the same joy we found as gamers when we rolled our first quarter into that coin slot so many years ago. Stemming from a lifelong passion, Pinball Adventures is created by gamers, for gamers. We strive to bring high quality, innovative, and captivating experiences for all to enjoy.
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