Good News and Bad News for Spooky Pinball

Charlie Emery has been operating the Spooky Pinball podcast and is now up to 58 podcasts so far.  In addition, Charlie has started a pinball manufacturing company called Spooky Pinball.  Spooky Pinball is the first of the boutique pinball manufacturers (Zidware, Dutch Pinball, Riot Pinball, Heighway Pinball) to design, produce and manufacture a machine.  Spooky is currently taking orders for and shipping a game designed by Ben Heck called America’s Most Haunted.  Ben has posted an interesting history of the development of America’s Most Haunted here.

I had a chance to play America’s Most Haunted at the York show this year.  In spite of the fact that there were a hundred or more pinball machines on free play in the hall, there was always a line to play America’s Most Haunted and The Walking Dead as they were two of the most recently released machines.

I really liked America’s Most Haunted.  It looks like a machine produced by a large company.  The artwork looks great and the fit and finish of the machine is good too. The game play is fast and difficult which is the way I like a machine to play.  I was only able to play a couple of games, but I really liked it.  I wish I had played it a few more times, but there were many distractions at the York show and the time seemed to fly by.

Because of my interest in America’s Most Haunted, I was excited to hear that Nate Shivers of Coast 2 Coast pinball had bought one and would review it on an upcoming podcast.  The current podcast of Coast 2 Coast Pinball (number 130), contains Nate’s initial impressions of the machine.  He gives it a positive review, but has a few criticisms.  It is a well done podcast, as usual, and gives the most in depth information about America’s Most Haunted that has been available so far from someone not directly associated with the machine.

The other news related to Spooky Pinball came from another boutique pinball creator, Riot Pinball, LLC.  Riot Pinball has been working on a machine called Wrath of Olympus.  Wrath of Olympus started as a visual pinball program.  The design proved to be popular and its designer decided to make the leap to creating an actual machine.

There are two prototype Wrath of Olympus machines which have been shown and been available to play at a number of pinball shows.  Wrath of Olympus has a deep rule set and some interesting features like the ability to choose a mode to start the game in order to practice that mode without having to play through the game to achieve the mode.

Based on good response at the shows where it was plated, Riot reach an agreement with Spooky Pinball to produce Wrath of Olympus machines.  The history and plans for Wrath of Olympus is covered well in the most recent Spooky Pinball podcast.  Riot announced that the machine would be produced by Spooky Pinball if they received commitments to purchase 100 machines.  Unlike some other boutique manufacturers, Riot did not require payment up front to find the research and design before making the machines.  Riot and Spooky worked out a bill of materials and the cost of producing the machines and set the price at $8.000.

Unfortunately, there were only around 50 commitments to purchase Wrath of Olympus machines and the planned production of the game will not occur.  The good news is the Riot Pinball has recently posted that they continue to work on the code for the game which leads to a hope that Wrath of Olympus will be produced someday.


New Stern Wrestling title

Stern is at CES this week and they have announced their newest title. The title is WWE – Wrestlemania. The video above shows gameplay on a very early pro version of the code which doesn’t even include sounds. The machine operates on the new Spike hardware system which is Linux based. There will be a Hulk Hogan LE which is limited to 400 machines.

The video shows that the ball is delivered to an upper playfield wrestling ring. It looks like the player controls the right and left lower ropes of the wrestling ring, which are like sling mechs, with the flippers.

More to come.

Interesting New Tourney Format

I was checking on the events calendar on pinside and came across a tournament like no other. James Daley is running the tournament and he is also your first round opponent. To qualify for the tournament, you have to play James and beat him in the best out of five games. I really like the creativity involved here and hope to get to DC to challenge James soon.

Bride of Pinbot 2.0 shipping

Dutch Pinball announced Bride of Pinbot 2.0 before they announced The Big Lebowski.  Bride of Pinbot 2.0 is a PROC conversion for Bride of Pinbot that includes a color dmd and a new rule set.  It is also programmed so that the original Bride of Pinbot software can be played.

The first few orders are in customer’s hands and one of them posted this gameplay video.

The DMD animations look great and I like the 60s sounding outer space soundtrack.  There have been concerns expressed about the face not spinning but this video shows the Bride’s face spins prior to the beginning of multiball.

it seems like every pinball released has incomplete code and BOP 2.0 continues that trend.  It is going to be crucial for Dutch Pinball to finish the code to instill confidence in buyers of The Big Lebowski and to generate the 25 additional pre-orders they require to produce a second batch of BOP 2.0.