This past Halloween on a Newsbytes post, I brought up a newcomer to the pinball scene by the name of Haggis Pinball. The first game for this Australian company was an original work called Celts, and now they are already working hard on their 2nd release, which will be a remake of a Bally classic – Fathom. This was teased the other day on YouTube, with a nice little Jaws head fake:
The original was released back in 1981, and it comes from a simpler time in pinball before you had things like ramps, toys and big video displays. It’s also from a time where licenses were relatively rare, so designers were a bit more creative when it came to the themes. The game has a respectable 7.8 user rating over at ipdb.org, so I imagine that the news of a remake is good news to many fans of the classics.
This Week In Pinball has the full scoop on this remake, so I’ll refrain from spilling all the details, but I will some up a few of the major points.
There are two models that will be available: Classic & Mermaid Editions. The Classic models recreate the original as close as possible using new tech (including keeping the colors original on the LEDs), while the Mermaid models step-up with full RGB LEDs (on both the playfield and in the score displays), mirrored stainless steel trim & playfield components, a custom 5-speaker sound system, dual 6.8″ LCD apron screens (these would replace the cards that normally go into these spots), under cabinet lighting and the original ruleset + a new “2.0” ruleset that is “story driven with players progressing through mermaid battle modes, lagoon and mermaid multiballs, a battle with the Queen Mermaid and her Mermaidens and a final Mermaid Treasure wizard mode.” That story is also a sequel to the original, but owners of this edition can set it to use the original rules if they like.
[UPDATE (Thursday)] Haggis Pinball has posted a new features video of the game, following a different video update that talked about the overwhelmingly positive response to the announcement.
Pre-orders will open on the Haggis Pinball website on Wednesday, with the Classic coming in at $7360US/$9500AUD and the Mermaid Edition at $8900US/$11500AUD. These prices do put it a bit above Celts, and US customers who are interested will then get to experience international shipping fun like those in Australia generally have to deal with down there in shipping US-made games to their collections. Manufacturing begins on July 1st with the goal of making 50 per month (although Mermaid models are limited to 250 units), so my guess is that it would start reaching most buyer’s hands in August.
From the interview with Haggis Pinball CEO Damian Hartin, the company is working on another original design, but is also eyeing 5 more Bally licenses to remake. Remakes seem to be a good way to go, especially for a newcomer into this particular side of the trade, and there is certainly room for improvement there. What do you think about this one?