Time for another pinball update, with two important items. Once again I am taking it shamelessly from Pinballnews.com, who lives up to their motto but I will see if I can add my own spin to it on any level.
First off, we have another entry in the newcomer pinball creation circuit, this time by a new group called Skit-B Pinball. They are in the process of creating Predator Pinball, yes based upon the 1987 movie of the same name. It’s also officially licensed so no worries about legal problems on that end. I did go off on a tirade against licenses a few months ago but as long as the game is fun and makes some attempts at innovation then I won’t have a problem with it. Unlike a lot of recent developments they are eschewing an LCD for a dot-matrix, although they are using an LED based display instead of a plasma one (better savings on voltages). I suppose the idea for that is with this being based on a late 80’s movie, making it look like a pinball machine somewhat from the period makes sense. What I like about this table so far is they are trying out some neat ideas based upon the license such as the Hunting mode, which changes the whole lighting scheme using UV lights along with UV reactive paint to unlock rewards. The game also allows you to save your progress of sorts, you enter your initials and it will track who you are. That is a no-brain feature that would be a great way to incentivize repeat plays, especially if it were combined with online functionality of some kind. Anyways, here is a video of the prototype whitewood getting some play. Skit-B is taking pre-orders for the game now, they are aiming to sell 250 units for ~$5000.
Game magazines used to cover pinball machines somewhat back in the day, when they also would occasionally give some love to video arcades. But for the most part they ignore pinball as much as they ignore arcades these days, unless it is a virtual pinball game they can fire up on their home console. There is a magazine called Pingame Journal that covers the scene but having a magazine dedicated to nothing but pinball is not something that is not a common sight by any means. Pinballnews.com has an interview with Jonathan Joosten, who is launching Pinball Magazine, a high-quality publication that will do just that. He also states that it will be different enough from Pingame Journal to avoid directly competing with what they do. [Pinball Magazine Website]