Newsbytes: Heighway Pinball Shake-up; Firepower Pin Upgrade; Holy Grail; The Simpsons + More

arcadehero June 17, 2017 2

Happy weekend to you all out there. With that comes another Newsbytes, our collection of arcade news from around the world.

Andrew Heighway Leaves Heighway Pinball

Let’s start with the biggest news first – something that could warrant it’s own post given the magnitude of what is going on. We have been following the progress of Heighway Pinball since we first heard about Full Throttle pinball back in 2013. They began shipping their 2nd game, Alien, earlier this year but I’ve heard that things have been ‘bumpy’ as far as fulfilled orders and parts replacements go.

Today, the founder of Heighway Pinball, Andrew Heighway, has announced that he has left and is “no longer involved in any way with the company” as new “investors” take over. You can read Andrew’s full statement as posted to Facebook; over on the Pinside forums, a new account by the name of HP_INVESTORS and the official Heighway Pinball account posted about big changes coming to the company as they move forward to fulfill existing orders and bring more to the table. As the first post states: “We are all pinball enthusiasts and professional business owners. We are fully committed to making your games and we have the plan and finance in place to make this happen.”

Interesting that it seems that in the case of Heighway and Jersey Jack that big investors ended up driving the direction of the companies but I am happy to see that the company will continue on.

Sprucing Up Pinball With Projection Mapping

Speaking of pinball, I have often been hoping to see projection mapping find its way into the wonderful world of pins although I expected something on the playfield as opposed to around it. That’s fine though – this ‘Supernova’ project certainly adds some marvel to the presence of a single pinball machine, in particular a Williams Firepower from 1980. You can see it in action below but if you are interested in how it came together, check out this article on Truth Labs.

Disney Quest Walkthrough – Before The End

As you might know, the famous Disney Quest arcade located at Disney Springs in Orlando, FL is about to close its doors to make way for a new “NBA Experience”. While it is unfortunate that this is happening, the facility did have a good 20-year run. I had a chance to visit the location for an hour this past March but it certainly wasn’t enough time to really experience the venue. If you want to see what it is like before they close up, check out this almost 20-minute walkthrough:

Free eBook All About Atari’s Tempest Arcade Game

Saw this via Simon Carless on Twitter – as the headline states, an eBook about the Atari 1981 arcade classic, Tempest. From a quick skim through the text, it covers the history of the game and how it plays but in vivid detail. That includes not only how it fits into being a shoot ’em up but also how it created its own little genre. It also gets into home ports and remakes like 2000, 3000, X3 and others. Personally, I find it a shame that Tempest 2000 didn’t receive an arcade release as it is an excellent game. Maybe one day 😛

Check out Tempest: Geometries of Play here

Holy Grails: The Aztarac Chronicle

If you’re into collecting arcade machines in any way, you likely have a “holy grail” of some kind. That would be the game you have to have, usually thanks to nostalgia from coming across the game when you were a kid. Unfortunately for many of us, holy grails end up being games that are very hard to find, way too expensive, or both. More often than not however, they are just difficult to come across.

For one of those tales of encountering a grail, The Arcade Blogger has this story of the discovery of a Centuri Aztarac in Florida. I’ve only seen these online before; for those of us who enjoy color vector games we’ve heard about this one but it is quite obscure. I recall reading how it was the first vector game to produce solid shapes, a step-up from the typical lines ‘n dots. For the full details and a fun story, click here.

Latest Skycurser Build Ships June 19th

Nuff said really – that is this coming Monday. I have the game so I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know of the changes assuming that the wireless update rolls out then.

Universal Islands of Adventure Theme Park Updates Their Arcade

Thanks to Stingray Travel for the tip on this little update. I visited Universal Studios this past March but didn’t drop by the Islands of Adventure. The arcade I did see was decent but hadn’t been truly updated with 2017 games yet:

Now That’s A Simpsons Cabinet

I’ve been to Brazil a few times, having lived there for a while, among other visits. I have seen some very weird arcade creations while down there, including an illegal yet professional looking Rock Band machine among some other oddities. Importing brand new machines from the US or Japan to the country is a very difficult and expensive task so operators and distributors there really like having kits. What’s interesting though is that they will go beyond just slapping a kit into a box by often building some interesting and often professional quality cabinets to put the hardware into. That drive is on full display with this modernized rendition of Konami’s beloved beat ’em up, The Simpsons. It seems to pull some inspiration from Sega’s Virtua Tennis 4 Deluxe. You can also see a very different Super Bikes 2 cabinet to the right:

That’s all for now – have a great weekend and be sure to get out there and play!


  1. Alfred June 21, 2017 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    There is a cool projected and touch sensitive board out there. I played it at NorthWest Pinball and Arcade Show. It changed how the board looked as you did different tasks.

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