American Pinball Serves Up Barry O’s Barbeque Challenge

arcadehero March 9, 2024 0

What’s more American than pinball and barbeque? How about both in the same package. That is what American Pinball is serving up for their next game, officially titled: Barry O’s Barbeque Challenge Hot Sauce and Hot Rods. The last design by the late pinball legend Barry Oursler, this will serve as a tribute to a wonderful life of pinball work.

Barry O’s Barbeque Challenge Cabinet

This marks the sixth pinball release by American Pinball, who most recently produced Galactic Tank Force. As far as I am aware, this is the first time that a pinball machine has been based upon BBQ/grilling…although perhaps there is a theme from way, way back that did so. I am also surprised by how often American Pinball snubs the licensing scene, since that’s the bread & butter of most pin companies (this is not a complaint, just an observation – I feel in some ways that non-licenses force the designer to be more creative about their game. But, players are drawn to a license more often than not).

Barry O's Barbeque Challenge Hot Sauce and Hot Rods pinball machine by American Pinball

This is available in two flavors: Classic and Limited. Aside from being limited to 100 units, the LE model also comes with an actual red cooking apron with this game’s art on it. That’s a nice touch for collectors. The price of the classic sits at $6995, which puts it on par with a Stern Pro – however, there is no difference in the playfield and gameplay features, so this is like getting a Premium.

BBQ Pinball

A note on price – American Pinball is taking things a step further when it comes to the royalties of the game:

Commemorating Barry’s legacy, the royalties from ‘Barry O’s BBQ Challenge’ will be directed to his estate, supporting his family and continuing his impactful contribution to the world of pinball.

One surprising aspect of this release is that there are already locations out there that have one, with more units on their way to pre-sold locations. I’m not sure what those locations did to get onto that kind of list, although I do know that some operators have a special relationship with their distributors to pre-buy certain pins, sight unseen.

Barry O’s BBQ Playfield

Here’s the playfield and description of the targets/features. Having pop bumpers as grills is a great touch.

For other credit on the game’s design:

 Steven Bowden spearheaded the creation of the game’s complex rules, while Joe Schober and Casey Butler being instrumental in software and engineering and guaranteeing a responsive and engaging gameplay. David Thiel elevated the game’s auditory landscape through meticulous sound engineering and the composition of a festive theme soundtrack, complemented by Matt Kern’s authentic voice production and his skill at finding amazing voice talent.

Contributions from Steve Bowden, Dennis Nordman, and Ryan McQuaid in design assistance played a vital role in refining the game’s playfield, creating a compelling and immersive experience. The visual and interactive elements of the game were brought to life under the art direction of Jack Haeger, with Dan Hughes providing the artwork, and animations crafted by Jessica Durbala and Bobby Llereza. The mechanical integrity and design, managed by Zofia Ryan and Mitesh Pithva, along with Benjamin Kibler’s project management, ensured the game’s seamless operation. Pinball player and voice actor Jeff Teolis serves as the announcer in BBQ, infusing the gameplay with dynamic commentary.

I could definitely see this game showing up at various BBQ restaurants across the country; It also makes sense for a bar/arcade that already has a pinball selection. I likely won’t see one until Amusement Expo, but fortunately that’s only a couple of weeks away.

What are your thoughts on this game, from what’s been shown?

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