I was about to put this into a Newsbytes, but it really deserves a post of its own, so here we go.
I saw a tweet about this earlier today from Buffalo Pinball but was under the impression that it was only a short-run indie-made pinball machine. Turns out it is game #4 for American Pinball, a company that has been relatively quiet since the pandemic started. They launched Hot Wheels right when the first lockdowns started to take place around the world, but despite that challenge, they’ve figured out how to keep the lights on. That said, Hot Wheels started shipping in the summer of last year, so many of us have been wondering when they would announce their next title; We’ve also been curious since they added several big names in pinball to their staff (although it seems like everyone has been doing that lately).
Legends of Valhalla was designed by Riot Pinball, which has one small run machine to their name, Wrath of Olympus. Their website also mentions an Alice In Wonderland title that they are working on. The primary designer of the Olympus game is the same for LoV, Scott Gullicks, who also designed the limited edition Domino’s Pizza game for Spooky Pinball and some titles for the P3 pinball platform.
The game is based upon ancient Viking mythology, where the goal is to prove yourself worthy to enter into the halls of Valhalla by defeating monsters like the Kraken and other Viking legends. The game comes with 16 unique battle modes, a Thor’s Hammer magnetic ball capture device, a hidden Kraken magnet, a controllable drop target, three flippers, three ramps, and six balls for several multiball modes. Visit the post discussing this on This Week In Pinball for more details.
The game is being produced in two models, Deluxe and Classic, where some Deluxe units are already out there in the wild, with more being shipped to some locations next week. I guess I need to make sure that I’m on American’s mailing list to find out about these things sooner 😛 American is only taking orders for the Deluxe Edition models at the moment(only 300 will be made), with Classic orders and pricing coming in at a later date.
For one little tidbit, I spotted the addition of American Pinball to the IAAPA 2021 Expo map just yesterday, so I do imagine that this will be there, along with their three other games. It’s a booth that’s as big as Stern’s, so it would be neat to see if they have any other surprises in store; They were at IAAPA 2019, as the video below shows, where at the time they were also showing off a redemption game, but that was canceled (probably due to the pandemic). Regardless, I’ll be stopping by their booth again to check them out and report back. BTW, if you want to follow more stuff on IAAPA 2021, check out the Arcade Heroes forums on Guilded. The format there will make it easier to track and post stuff than on Discord.
Here’s a stream of one of the six existing machines (which I imagine will be slightly different from American’s build), at least in terms of the backbox
Overall, this looks like a good fit for American and the kind of games they have focused on making up to this point. Excepting Hot Wheels, all have been a little more unique from the norm in terms of themes.