The Pinball Arcade
|The Pinball Arcade|
Alliance Digital Media
The Pinball Arcade is a pinball video game developed by FarSight Studios. The game is a simulated collection of real pinball tables licensed by Gottlieb, Williams, Bally, and Stern Pinball. Additional tables have been and will be published as downloadable content (DLC) each and every month.
The game is available for download on a number of devices through their respective online stores, such as those using the Android operating system (including derivatives e.g. Kindle Fire and Ouya) and for iOS devices, Windows (through Steam) and OS X computers, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Versions for Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and Linux have been proposed, even advertised, but not released yet.
All released tables are available for free limited demo play on Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Ouya, PlayStation platforms, and Steam. In addition, every month, an ad-supported select table is available for unlimited free play until the next table add-on pack is released. The table of the month is only available on Android, iOS, OS X and Steam.
The Pinball Arcade is developed by FarSight Studios, which also developed Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection and Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection that were published by Crave Entertainment. Four tables were available initially with the game's launch: Black Hole, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and Theatre of Magic.
FarSight Studios took part in the Steam Greenlight program to distribute The Pinball Arcade for Windows-based personal computers. The game was successfully Greenlit on April 18, 2013. From August until October 2013, the PC version of The Pinball Arcade was in beta-testing. The Windows version of Pinball Arcade was released on November 4, 2013, along with the first 19 table packs. A Macintosh version of the Steam release was released on December 16, 2013. Although tables have to be purchased for each platform separately FarSight buyers of the Steam version are able to play their tables on OS X and Windows.
The option to buy a season pass for an entire season, including unreleased tables in advance, was cancelled in February 2014 across all platforms due to violation of Apple's policies that do not allow sales of unreleased software.
In July 2013, Microsoft announced plans to relax its publishing requirements for independent developers on its then upcoming console, Xbox One. At the time, FarSight Studios expressed an interest in developing for the console, but did not commit to doing so. At the Game Developers Conference in March 2014, Microsoft stated that The Pinball Arcade would be one of the first releases in their "ID@Xbox" program. On November 25, 2014, The Pinball Arcade was released on Xbox One's Games Store with all Season One, Two and Three tables.
The Pinball Arcade was previously published by Crave Entertainment for Xbox 360 on Xbox Live. Only the first ten tables were released for Xbox 360 when Crave Entertainment filed for bankruptcy in 2012. FarSight Studios has been unable to ship new tables for the Xbox 360 since then as they fight in court for the return of the publishing rights. Microsoft terminated Crave's publishing license after the company emerged from bankruptcy, forcing The Pinball Arcade to be removed from the Xbox Live Marketplace in July 2013. FarSight Studios is awaiting legal resolution between Microsoft and Crave, hoping to be able to update the Xbox 360 version in late 2013. On April 11, 2014, FarSight Studios announced that Alliance Digital Media would be publishing The Pinball Arcade on Xbox 360 and that all previously released tables have been submitted to Microsoft for approval and release. More than a year later, FarSight announced on its Facebook page that the Xbox 360 edition was approved and set for release on May 11, 2015 with all current content.
Due to the suggestive themes of some adult-themed tables, FarSight Studios announced on December 24, 2013 that they are planning a spin-off called Pinball After Dark.
On December 24, 2013, FarSight announced that they have begun working on the Steam Linux version of The Pinball Arcade.
The Nintendo 3DS version will be called Pinball Hall of Fame and will only feature non-emulated newly scripted electro-mechanical tables and tables using early alphanumeric and numeric displays from Williams and Gottlieb such as Black Knight, Space Shuttle, Pin*Bot, Gorgar, Taxi, Funhouse and Whirlwind. Lead Developer Bobby King had confirmed about moving development to New Nintendo 3DS to include all tables in February 2015. 
A version for Nintendo's Wii U console is currently in development; initially planned for release as close to November 18, 2012 as possible, the version was not submitted to Nintendo until December 2012. Final submission was confirmed in late July 2013 and it was announced in June that it would release in September 2013. On August 27, 2013 FarSight Studios commented on their Facebook page that they were still working on the Wii U version and therefore it wasn't submitted to Nintendo yet.
FarSight Studios launched a Kickstarter project in order to cover the cost to acquire the necessary licenses to publish Bally/Midway's Twilight Zone table. FarSight Studios pledged to also digitize Williams' Star Trek: The Next Generation table if the Twilight Zone project reached double its $55,000 goal ($110,000). Funding of the Twilight Zone was successful. A total of $77,499 was raised to fund licensing for Twilight Zone. FarSight Studios President Jay Obernolte signed the license agreement for Twilight Zone on June 8, 2012. Surplus funds, after deductions from unfulfilled pledges and processing fees, were applied to a new Kickstarter project for Star Trek: The Next Generation that was launched August 17, 2012. This project was also successfully funded.
A similar Kickstarter campaign was utilized to digitize The Addams Family for release in February 2015. The $97,640 goal was reached on October 7, 2014, with $17,636 in excess funds being designated towards acquiring their next big-license table.
In the FAQ it is somewhat confirmed that The Simpsons Pinball Party is likely the next Kickstarter project over Indiana Jones the Pinball Adventure due to licencing technicalities.
Table packs 1 through 10 were released in the season one table pack and pro pack in May 2013 allowing players to buy all tables at once. FarSight Studios also released the season two pack and Pro Menu pack containing add-on packs 11 through 20. The fourth season of DLC tables began on October 10, 2014, when FarSight Studios released Phantom of the Opera, the first Data East table to be re-released as a Stern machine (The censorship of all possible Data East logos was suggested by Gary Stern the current founder of the Co. to avoid legal issues with the successing co. G-Mode.) Although tables are not necessarily released to all platforms and/or regions simultaneously, there are currently 60 published tables. (61 tables when counting The Addams Family: Gold Edition.)
In late October 2012, FarSight Studios began to release "Pro Menu" upgrades for previously released tables. The upgrade lets the player control the camera to look around the table, control the ball, learn tips from pro players, and view the coin door and use the operator's menu. For Scared Stiff, it also grants the ability to turn off family mode with an uncensored voice-over.
The Addams Family Special Collectors Gold Edition (The Addams Family table with gold accents) is available through "Gold Mode" exclusively to Kickstarter backers who donated over $100.
||Table has been published for this platform|
||Table has not been published for this platform|
||Pro Menu upgrade has been published for this platform.
(Pro Menus are not available on EM-based pinball tables because that mode didn't exist in real life.)
||Table is available on this platform exclusively via special distribution (Kickstarter awards, etc.)|
|Table||Table Type||Manufacturer||Year||Season||Table Pack||iOS||AND||WIN/ OSX STM||PS3/ Vita PSN||OSX MAS||PS4||X360 XBLA||XONE|
|Tales of the Arabian Nights||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1996||0||Free||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Black Hole||Numeric Display||Gottlieb||1981||0||Free|
|Ripley's Believe It or Not!||Dot Matrix Display||Stern||2004||1||Core|
|Theatre of Magic||Dot Matrix Display||Bally||1995||1||Core|
|The Machine: Bride of Pin•Bot||Alphanumeric Display||Williams||1991||1||1|
|Medieval Madness||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1997||1||1||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Cirqus Voltaire||Dot Matrix Display||Bally||1997||1||2|
|Monster Bash||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1998||1||3|
|Black Knight||Numeric Display||Williams||1980||1||4|
|Creature from the Black Lagoon||Dot Matrix Display||Bally||1992||1||4|
|Harley-Davidson, 3rd Edition||Dot Matrix Display||Stern||2004||1||5|
|Elvira and the Party Monsters||Alphanumeric Display||Bally||1989||1||6|
|No Good Gofers||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1997||1||6|
|Scared Stiff||Dot Matrix Display||Bally||1996||1||7||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Big Shot||Electro-Mechanical Display||Gottlieb||1973||1||7|
|Twilight Zone||Dot Matrix Display||Bally||1993||1||8||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1993||1||9||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Attack from Mars||Dot Matrix Display||Bally||1995||1||10||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Dr. Dude & His Excellent Ray||Alphanumeric Display||Bally||1990||2||11||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Cactus Canyon||Dot Matrix Display||Bally||1998||2||12||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Central Park||Electro-Mechanical Display||Gottlieb||1966||2||12|
|Space Shuttle||Numeric Display||Williams||1984||2||13|
|White Water||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1993||2||13||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|The Champion Pub||Dot Matrix Display||Bally||1998||2||15||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Flight 2000||Numeric Display||Stern||1980||2||16||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Goin' Nuts||Numeric Display||Gottlieb||1983||2||16||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Terminator 2: Judgment Day||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1991||2||17||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Tee'd Off||Dot Matrix Display||Gottlieb||1993||2||18||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Haunted House||Numeric Display||Gottlieb||1982||2||18|
|Class of 1812||Alphanumeric Display||Gottlieb||1991||2||19||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Cue Ball Wizard||Dot Matrix Display||Gottlieb||1992||2||20||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|El Dorado: City Of Gold||Numeric Display||Gottlieb||1984||2||20|
|Fish Tales||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1992||3||21||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Black Rose||Dot-Matrix Display||Bally||1992||3||22||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Black Knight 2000||Alphanumeric Display||Williams||1989||3||23||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|WHO Dunnit||Dot-Matrix Display||Bally||1995||3||24||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|High Speed||Alphanumeric Display||Williams||1986||3||25||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Junk Yard||Dot-Matrix Display||Williams||1996||3||26||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|High Roller Casino||Dot-Matrix Display||Stern||2001||3||28||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Bram Stoker's Dracula||Dot Matrix Display||Williams||1993||3||30||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Phantom of the Opera||Alphanumeric Display||Stern (Originally Data East)||1990||4||31||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|The Party Zone||Dot-Matrix Display||Bally||1991||4||32||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Starship Troopers||Dot Matrix Display||Stern (Originally Sega)||1997||4||34||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|The Addams Family||Dot-Matrix Display||Bally||1992||4||35||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|The Addams Family Special Collector's Gold Edition||Dot-Matrix Display||Bally||1994||N/A||N/A||E||E||E||E||E|
|Red & Ted's Road Show||Dot-Matrix Display||Williams||1994||4||39||P||P||P||P|
FarSight Studios has plans to release the following tables.
|Table||Table Type||Manufacturer||Year||Season||Table Pack||Information|
|Rescue 911||Dot-Matrix Display||Gottlieb||1994||40||4||July 2015|
|Deadly Weapon||Alphanumeric Display||Gottlieb||1990||41||5||August 2015|
Some pinball videos are available for individual purchase on Android, iOS, Kindle Fire and OUYA. The available videos include the documentary History of Pinball and the pinball instruction video Pinball 101.
The Pinball Arcade was well received by critics. It averages 84.83% for Xbox 360, 81.67% for PS3 and 80.00% for PlayStation Vita at GameRankings and 82/100 for Xbox360, 79/100 for PlayStation Vita and 82/100 for iOS at Metacritic. IGN gave 9/10 for the PC and PS4 version of The Pinball Arcade and concluded: "For pinball fanatics or just those curious about gaming’s relatively low-tech past, Pinball Arcade is an excellent starting point for re-experiencing the golden days of quarter-munchers."
The Pinball Arcade won best mobile game of 2012 in X-Play's Best of 2012 Awards and was also nominated for best remake/retro release in 2012. The PC World website listed The Pinball Arcade at number 100 on their top 100 best products of 2012.
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- "Pinball Arcade Newsletter #17". July 26, 2013.
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- "Pinball Arcade Newsletter #10 EXTRA Edition". December 28, 2012.
- "Can you please tell us if The Pinball... - The Pinball Arcade". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- "Pinball Arcade: The Twilight Zone by Farsight Studios." Kickstarter. Retrieved on 18 June 2012.
- "Pinball Arcade: The Twilight Zone by FarSight Studios: Update #5: Stretch goal for Kickstarter- Star Trek: The Next Generation!." Kickstarter. Retrieved on 18 June 2012.
- Farsight Studios (17 August 2012). "Pinball Arcade: Star Trek The Next Generation". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Farsight Studios (7 September 2012). "Pinball Arcade: Star Trek The Next Generation". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "Pinball Table Packs". The Pinball Arcade. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
- "The Pinball Arcade for Xbox 360 - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "The Pinball Arcade for PlayStation 3 - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "The Pinball Arcade for PlayStation Vita - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "The Pinball Arcade for Xbox 360 Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "The Pinball Arcade for PlayStation Vita Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "Pinball Arcade for iPhone/iPad Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- Osborn, Chuck. "Pinball Arcade Review" IGN. 18 November 2013. Retrieved on 21 November 2013.
- "X-Play's Best of 2012 Awards Results - 2012 Game of the Year and More!". G4tv.com. 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- "The 100 Best Products of 2012". PCWorld. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- Rubens, Paul (2014-02-03). "BBC News - Virtual games bring pinball to new audiences". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-02-26.