The Pinball Arcade creators FarSight Studios have released a handful of movie licensed tables in the past, but to ensure the digital release of 1991’s The Addams Family pinball a Kickstarter campaign had to be launched.
The reason for this is that it wasn’t exactly the cheapest or easiest of licenses to acquire – FarSight even had to seek individual permission from each actor that starred in the film to use their voiceovers.
Kindly, FarSight covered the development costs themselves – the money they requested was simply to cover license costs. They even added the money left over from acquiring the Terminator 2 license to the pot. If this doesn’t show how determined they were to immortalise The Addams Family pinball in digital form forever, then we don’t know what will.
You may be wondering what the significance of The Addams Family pinball is. Well, not only was it the best selling pinball table of all time – shifting over 20,000 units – but it’s often referred to as being one of the greatest tables ever created.
The fact that the table featured a number of ‘firsts’ played a part in this. Not only was it the first table where the flippers could be controlled by the CPU, but also the first table to use magnets that could alter the direction of the ball. This complemented the spooky (and mysterious and kooky) nature of the license perfectly.
Original creators Williams clearly had a lot of fun designing it. The use of speech samples in particular is noteworthy – they genuinely add something to the game. And as for the soundtrack, just you try to resist hitting the flipper buttons in time with the ‘finger clicks’ on the theme tune.
Most importantly though, the layout of the table itself is pretty much faultless. It’s far easier to hit the ramps and aim the ball exactly where you want it – be it the bookcase or “plastic” electric chair – and because of this it’s highly satisfying to play. Even in digital form, the use of CPU controlled flippers to perfectly accomplish tricky shots for you is a sight to behold.
We’d easily go as far as saying that it’s the most instantly gratifying table ever created, although we still believe that Fun House is the most inviting. Initially, at least. The unintentionally sinister plastic head occupying the centre of the table just begged to have balls slammed into it. Both, however, are outright classics.
The Addams Family table is available for £3.99 on its own or as part of the Season Four pass alongside fellow licensed table Starship Troopers. It may have taken 24 years for this classic table to finally hit home consoles (a planned N64 version ended up on the scrapheap), but FarSight Studios’ dream of digital preserving this classic table has finally been fulfilled.