Together Retro Game Club: Pinball Arcade

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Presented by ExedExes

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This month for Together Retro we’re doing pinball. Not just any pinball, but a way to play many of the original machines that make up the landscape of the very game itself. It’s The Pinball Arcade by FarSight Studios.

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History

Pinball evolved in many ways. From a French game known as Bagatelle in the 1700s, to the first commercially successful coin operated game known as Baffle Ball in 1931, pinball has been through many technological evolutions and even outlawed in places like New York City for nearly 30 years because they were misconstrued as gambling devices. Pinball survived all of this to be a classic piece of American history.

FarSight Studios began this journey by releasing several Pinball Hall of Fame compilations from Gottlieb and Williams, 2 major pinball manufacturers, for 6th and 7th generation consoles. After these games, The Pinball Arcade was released on February 9, 2012 with 4 tables: Tales of the Arabian Nights, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Theatre of Magic, and Black Hole. For each table they release, FarSight acquires an actual pinball machine, takes many high-resolution photos from every angle of every component and art features of the table, and digitizes them to exactly match everything that the original tables had. The electronic & electromechanical features are then emulated and scripted so that each table plays exactly like the real thing. 4 successful Kickstarter campaigns were also launched to obtain the licensing rights to the Star Trek: The Next Generation, Twilight Zone, Terminator 2, and The Addams Family tables.

FarSight released over 60 tables for The Pinball Arcade in 4 “seasons”, consisting of 10 table packs of 1-2 tables each. Here is a current listing of what has been released up to the start of Season 5, by year of release (as of July 2015):

Central Park (Gottlieb) 1966
Big Shot (Gottlieb) 1973
Gorgar (Williams) 1979
Genie (Gottlieb) 1979
Black Knight (Williams) 1980
Firepower (Williams) 1980
Flight 2000 (Stern) 1980
Xenon (Bally) 1980
Black Hole (Gottlieb) 1981
Centaur (Bally) 1981
Haunted House (Gottlieb) 1981
Goin’ Nuts (Gottlieb) 1983
Space Shuttle (Williams) 1984
El Dorado: City Of Gold (Gottlieb) 1984
PIN•BOT (Williams) 1986
High Speed ((Williams) 1986
Victory (Gottlieb) 1987
Taxi (Williams) 1988
Cyclone (Williams) 1988
Elvira and the Party Monsters (Bally) 1989
Black Knight 2000 (Williams) 1989
Lights…Camera…Action! (Gottlieb) 1989
Earthshaker (Williams) 1989
FunHouse (Williams) 1990
Dr. Dude (Bally) 1990
Whirlwind (Williams) 1990
Diner (Williams) 1990
Phantom of the Opera (Data East-now Stern) 1990
The Machine: Bride of Pin•Bot (Williams) 1991
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Williams) 1991
Class of 1812 (Gottlieb) 1991
The Party Zone (Bally) 1991
Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally) 1992
Cue Ball Wizard (Gottlieb) 1992
Fish Tales (Williams) 1992
Black Rose (Bally) 1992
The Addams Family (Bally) 1992
Twilight Zone (Bally) 1993
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Williams) 1993
White Water (Williams) 1993
Tee’d Off (Gottlieb) 1993
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Williams) 1993
Red & Ted’s Road Show (Williams) 1994
Theatre of Magic (Bally) 1995
Attack from Mars (Bally) 1995
WHO Dunnit (Bally) 1995
Jack•Bot (Williams) 1995
Tales of the Arabian Nights (Williams) 1996
Scared Stiff (Bally) 1996
Junk Yard (Williams) 1996
Safe Cracker (Bally) 1996
Medieval Madness (Williams) 1997
Cirqus Voltaire (Bally) 1997
No Good Gofers (Williams) 1997
Starship Troopers (Sega-now Stern) 1997
Monster Bash (Williams) 1998
Cactus Canyon (Bally) 1998
The Champion Pub (Bally) 1998
High Roller Casino (Stern) 2001
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (Stern) 2003
Harley-Davidson, 3rd Edition (Stern) 2004

Season 5 is launching in August 2015, the first release will be The Getaway: High Speed II (Williams) 1992.

Ports

The Pinball Arcade is available on Playstation 3 & Playstation 4, Xbox 360 & Xbox One, PSP Vita, PC & OS X (through Steam), Ouya, and Android, iOS, & Amazon devices. However, the console ports don’t have all the tables currently available yet, so the best way to play everything TPA has to offer would be on a mobile device or on a computer.

Discussion

With such a great lineup of classic tables, if you can pull yourself away for just a few minutes, please join us in the forums to discuss how well you have been doing.


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