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, a company which also owns the rights of machines from Data East and Sega Pinball. Additional tables have been and will be published as downloadable content (DLC) monthly.
The game is available for download on a number of devices through their respective online stores, including Android (along with derivatives such as Kindle Fire and Ouya), iOS, Windows (through Steam), macOS (though the Mac App Store and Steam), PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U (North America only). Versions for New Nintendo 3DS and Linux have been proposed, 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 Windows.
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 on the Mac App Store due to violation of Apple's policies that do not allow sales of unreleased software.
Besides recreations of existing pinball machines, FarSight is also producing its own original-design tables. A Ghostbusters-themed table was released in late October 2014 as a stand-alone application for Android and iOS using the same layout as Haunted House.
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 removal of all possible Data East logos was suggested by Gary Stern the founder of Stern to avoid legal issues with G-Mode the successing company of Data East. Similarly, logos of other Data East and Sega Pinball machines were removed, as well as logos and names from No Fear: Dangerous Sports, songs from Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Party Zone and the image of Christopher Lloyd on the The Addams Family because of copyright concerns.
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.
A version for Nintendo's Wii U console was 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, but there was no release. On December 23, 2015 they announced that the Wii U version will be released at a very early 2016 date. Nintendo announced that the game was officially available on the Nintendo eShop on April 21, 2016.
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.
New Nintendo 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS version was planned to be called Pinball Hall of Fame and should 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.
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.
On December 25, 2015, FarSight Studios announced on Facebook that the next Kickstarter would be for Bally's Doctor Who. The goal of $54,364 was reached on February 13, 2016 with $16,566 in excess.
FarSight's most recent Kickstarter project launched on May 2, 2016 with plans to digitize Stern's AC/DC pinball table for Stern Pinball Arcade; the announced funding goal was $108,435. Due to a new partnership, this Kickstarter was canceled as the intended funding was no longer necessary.
Tables are available in season packs and pro packs allowing players to buy all tables of a season at once. Although tables are not necessarily released to all platforms and/or regions simultaneously, there are currently 77 published tables. (including 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. Pro Menus are not available on various tables because the mode didn't exist on the actual tables.
The Addams Family Special Collector's Gold Edition (The Addams Family table with gold accents as well as software and game play enhancements) 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.
||Table is available on this platform exclusively via special distribution (Kickstarter awards, etc.)|
|Table||Table Type||Manufacturer||Year||Season||Table Pack||iOS||AND||WIN/ mOS STM||PS3/ Vita PSN||mOS MAS||PS4||X360 XBLA||XONE||Wii U|
|Tales of the Arabian Nights||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Williams||1996||0||Free||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Black Hole||Solid State (Numeric)||Gottlieb||1981||1||Core|
|Ripley's Believe It or Not!||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Stern||2004||1||Core|
|Theatre of Magic||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Bally||1995||1||Core|
|The Machine: Bride of Pin•Bot||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1991||1||1|
|Medieval Madness||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1997||1||1||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Cirqus Voltaire||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1997||1||2|
|FunHouse||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1990||1||2|
|Gorgar||Solid State (Numeric)||Williams||1979||1||3|
|Monster Bash||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1998||1||3|
|Black Knight||Solid State (Numeric)||Williams||1980||1||4|
|Creature from the Black Lagoon||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1992||1||4|
|Harley-Davidson, 3rd Edition||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Stern (Originally Sega Pinball)||2004 (1999)||1||5|
|Taxi||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1988||1||5|
|Elvira and the Party Monsters||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Bally||1989||1||6|
|No Good Gofers||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1997||1||6|
|Scared Stiff||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1996||1||7||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Twilight Zone||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1993||1||8||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1993||1||9||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Attack from Mars||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1995||1||10||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Genie||Solid State (Numeric)||Gottlieb||1979||1||10|
|Dr. Dude and His Excellent Ray||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Bally||1990||2||11||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Firepower||Solid State (Numeric)||Williams||1980||2||11|
|Cactus Canyon||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1998||2||12||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Space Shuttle||Solid State (Numeric)||Williams||1984||2||13|
|White Water||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1993||2||13||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Centaur||Solid State (Numeric)||Bally||1981||2||14|
|PIN•BOT||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1986||2||14||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|The Champion Pub||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1998||2||15||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Whirlwind||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1990||2||15||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Flight 2000||Solid State (Numeric)||Stern||1980||2||16||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Goin' Nuts||Solid State (Numeric)||Gottlieb||1983||2||16||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Terminator 2: Judgment Day||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1991||2||17||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Tee'd Off||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Gottlieb||1993||2||18||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Haunted House||Solid State (Numeric)||Gottlieb||1982||2||18|
|Victory||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Gottlieb||1987||2||19|
|Class of 1812||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Gottlieb||1991||2||19||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Cue Ball Wizard||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Gottlieb||1992||2||20||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|El Dorado: City Of Gold||Solid State (Numeric)||Gottlieb||1984||2||20|
|Fish Tales||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1992||3||21||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Black Rose||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1992||3||22||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Black Knight 2000||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1989||3||23||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|WHO Dunnit||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1995||3||24||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|High Speed||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1986||3||25||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Junk Yard||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1996||3||26||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Lights...Camera...Action!||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Gottlieb||1989||3||27||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|High Roller Casino||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Stern||2001||3||28||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Diner||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1990||3||29||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Bram Stoker's Dracula||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1993||3||30||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Phantom of the Opera||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Data East||1990||4||31||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|The Party Zone||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1991||4||32||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Earthshaker!||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1989||4||33||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|Starship Troopers||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Sega Pinball||1997||4||34||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|The Addams Family||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1992||4||35||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P||P|
|The Addams Family Special Collector's Gold Edition||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1994||N/A||N/A||E||E||E||N||E||E||N||E||E|
|Cyclone||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1988||4||36||P||P||P||P||P||P||N||P||P|
|Jack•Bot||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1995||4||37||P||P||P||P||P||P||N||P||P|
|Xenon||Solid State (Numeric)||Bally||1980||4||38||P||P||P||P||P||P||N||P||P|
|Red & Ted's Road Show||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1994||4||39||P||P||P||P||P||P||N||P||P|
|Safe Cracker||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Bally||1996||4||40||P||P||P||P||P||P||N||P||P|
|The Getaway: High Speed II||Solid State (Dot Matrix)||Williams||1992||5||41||N|
|F-14 Tomcat||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Williams||1987||5||42||N|
|Mary Shelley's Frankenstein||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Sega Pinball||1995||5||43||N|
|No Fear: Dangerous Sports||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Williams||1995||5||44||N|
|Judge Dredd||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Bally||1993||5||45||N||N|
|Hurricane||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Williams||1991||5||47||N||N|
|Rescue 911||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Gottlieb||1994||5||48||N||N||N|
|Last Action Hero||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Data East||1993||5||49||N||N||N|
|TX-Sector||Solid State (Alphanumeric)||Gottlieb||1988||5||50||N||N||N||N|
|Indianapolis 500||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Bally||1995||6||51||N||N||N||N||N||N|
|Frank Thomas' Big Hurt||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Gottlieb||1995||6||52||N||N||N||N||N|
|Eight Ball Deluxe||Solid State (Numeric)||Bally||1981||6||53||N||N||N||N||N|
|Doctor Who||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||Bally||1992||6||54||N||N||N||N||N|
FarSight Studios often promotes future tables on its social media outlets and, if licensing is necessary, on Kickstarter.
|Doctor Who REGENERATED||Solid State (Dot-Matrix)||FarSight Studios (Originally Bally)||2016||6||54||A version of Doctor Who that is updated to accommodate an additional six Doctors who debuted after the release of the original table. Sounds and graphics of the original have also been updated. The table is planned for a release end of October 2016.|
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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- "Steam Greenlight :: Pinball Arcade". Steamcommunity.com. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
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- "Pinball Arcade for Wii U". nintendo.com. Nintendo of America, Inc. April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
- Samit Sarkar. "Pinball Arcade dev details 2014 plans, including season 3 tables". Polygon.
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- "Pinball Arcade: The Twilight Zone by Farsight Studios." Kickstarter. Retrieved on 18 June 2012.
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- Farsight Studios (17 August 2012). "Pinball Arcade: Star Trek The Next Generation". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
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- "Pinball Arcade: Doctor Who". Kickstarter.
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