Pinball Expo 2018 has been in full swing this week, and with the news you hear, one could call this the IAAPA or the E3 of pinball. A number of independent game makers show interesting one-off projects (like this black & white Twilight Zone machine), while the “big guns” in the business also like to reveal their latest titles to a captive audience.
While I am not attending the Expo (it’s too close to IAAPA for me to afford such a trip right now), the general sense I’ve pulled from it shows that the production of pinball is as vibrant as ever.
Earlier this year, another manufacturer & game designer joined the fray, American Pinball. Their first table was Houdini: Master of Mystery, which I saw at CAX2018. Now, they already have their second game ready to roll, Oktoberfest: Pinball On Tap.
Based upon the popular German drinking festival of the same name, this is one table that has the feel of a license, without being one. The artwork was created to capture the feel of being at a bona fide festival, with the rule set requiring the player to visit different tents and collect steins. This was designed by Joe Balcer, who has been creating pinball machines since the 90’s starting with Richie Rich and going from there. He also created The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit for Jersey Jack Pinball.
The game features three flippers, multiple wireform ramps including a “corkscrew rollercoaster” ramp, Otto the Bartender toy, four magnets(two of which are player controlled), a 15″ HD video display, various game & multiball modes, a 6-speaker sound system, RGB lighting and more. I also seem to recall that the game can be played with one-hand (so you can hold your stein in the other), although I don’t see that mentioned in any of the marketing materials. If you want to see a break down of the various features, click here for the two-page flyer (PDF file).
Given the strength of pinball among bar/arcades, I think this will be an easy sell to those types of locations. While it probably wouldn’t work at my particular location, I’m intrigued by the features, especially seeing the unique ramps in action.
If you’ve got some time to kill, Pinballnews.com was at the American Pinball seminar, where the game was officially unveiled and the designers talked the features:
By this info, what do you think of Oktoberfest?