Pinstriped: Pinball Arcade Addams Family Table

If I write an entire post highlighting a Kickstarter for a downloadable pinball table, chances are I’ll receive seven thousand angry emails (92% from other members of the RPS staff), sixteen angrily worded letters and one visit from a door-to-door punchagram. However, when that table is The Pinball Arcade’s digital rendition of one of the greatest and most celebrated machines of all time, there are a select few who will send me pleasant emails, kindly worded letters and a door-to-door hugagram*.

Farsight have raised half of the license fee for The Addams Family table, which was created by the brilliant Pat Lawlor. The Kickstarter is here and the remainder of the post contains reflections on events in digital pinball since I last wrote about my passion for the game.

The Pinball Arcade already has a few Lawlor creations, including The Twilight Zone table and the less famous Funhouse, which is a personal favourite of mine. It has a terrifying talking doll head that sleeps, wakes and berates, and is voiced by none other than Mortal Kombat’s Ed Boon. That’ll come in handy at some game themed pub quiz, eh?

Of recent Pinball Arcade releases, I’m particularly fond of Who Dunnit, mainly because it’s a table I have some experience with in the real world. Strong theme (murder mystery, natch), decent selection of shots to make, and tricky to master but simple to play.

As for Pinball FX2, the other major contender in the personal computing pinball space, I assume the Marvel license has been pumping out Guardians of the Galaxy tables with some regularity. Let’s check. Ah, just the one. And The Walking Dead.

I haven’t tried that one yet but I had a quick go on the latest Marvel offering a couple of weeks ago. It seemed fine, although I still find most of the FX tables to be far too much like theme parks. Feels like I don’t have to make a great deal of effort to make all the lights flash and all of the same soundbytes to play over and over and over.

And I still haven’t seen the film.

*’Hugagram’, incidentally, is the sound a yeti makes when clearing its throat.


  1. Red Machine D says:

    Addams Family is indeed great, but not the greatest. That goes to Theatre of Magic.

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      Adam Smith says:

      Already in The Pinball Arcade, Season One! My secret admission, down here in the dark, is that I never particularly warmed to The Addams Family. I like it, sure enough, but it’s not one of my favourites.

      But I’m the daft bastard that loves Centaur.

      • noom says:

        I adore Centaur’s aesthetic. The gameplay (is this the right word for pinball tables?) isn’t the most exciting in the world though, it must be said.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Addams Family is great, but I really think Bally/Williams hit their stride during the Theatre Of Magic/Attack From Mars/Medieval Madness/Cirqus Voltaire period. Probably a few others I’m forgetting too, like Scared Stiff and Monster Bash. And Junkyard.

  2. Omroth says:

    Theatre of Magic or bust.

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    Gassalasca says:

    Being a boring person, I always preferred Red & Ted’s Road Show.

  4. Mungrul says:

    I pumped so much money into The Addams Family pinball when it was at my local.
    And Adam, if you really haven’t seen the movie, I can highly recommend it. It’s still fantastically good and has held up incredibly well. I watched it again recently on Netflix and was delighted by every performance. Raul Julia and Angelica Huston in particular exude romantic charm.

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      Adam Smith says:

      Oh, I meant Guardians Of The Galaxy! Addams Family has been watched a fair few times ;)

      • Mungrul says:

        Ah, sorry, I skim-read, doh!
        Although I myself finally got around to watching Guardians of the Galaxy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Well worth a watch!

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    phuzz says:

    This post reminded me of the last pinball game I played much of, Pinball Illusions on the Amiga. Turns out GoG sell a pack of all the old Digital Illusions pinball games for only a fiver. Hooray!

  6. Shadowcat says:

    The best real-world pinball table is clearly Timeshock!

  7. Gothnak says:

    Clearly the best Pinball machine of all time is The Twilight Zone… I’ve owned 2 of them in my life and never got bored (just had to sell them when moving to smaller houses).

    Addams Family is still one of the few machines i haven’t ‘finished’ mainly due to the stupid Power which adds luck to an otherwise pretty skillful table, and as we all know, for skilled players luck is BAD…

  8. blind_boy_grunt says:

    “…chances are I’ll receive seven thousand angry emails”
    i just take solace in the fact that with posts like that you are pretty much unemployable for the rest of the gaming press and can’t just get up and leave.

    • Buzko says:

      Er, wot?

      • Martel says:

        I think it’s a roundabout way of saying they love posts like this and hope that Adam stays here forever.

        • blind_boy_grunt says:

          Yes, that’s what i wanted to say. I probably got a bit too cutesy for a secondary language. (And like when you repeat a single word a lot, now i can’t write a sentence without overthinking it until it stops making sense at all)

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    particlese says:

    I haven’t played a computer pinball game since whichever 3D Ultra Pinball had the space colony table, but I might have to change that now since The Addams Family was one of my favorites growing up. That and Fire! were the best at my local skating rink. Funhouse creeped me out a bit too much. o_o

  10. Grobmotoriker says:

    I first fell in Love with Centaur when I was a teenie, played the hell out of Addams Family later, still want to have a Funhouse because nothing is creepier than an evil clown. But later when I go to work in a bar I have to explain the younger folks how to insert coins, select players and so on because they only know pinball from Windows XP, and ours is a very simple Mata Hari, the only machine in the whole town … Sad times

  11. ZombieJ says:

    Indiana Jones or nothing.

  12. lomaxgnome says:

    It really makes me wonder how much success they are really having with the game. Pinball FX2 manages to have current Star Wars and Marvel licenses, as well as a bunch of football team licenses, but TPM doesn’t have the sales volume to pay for this license fee on their own without a subsidy advance?

  13. Buemba says:

    Awesome. With the release of Addams Family the only table in my dream pinball collection that still can’t be found in TPA is Indiana Jones, but unfortunately that one is a bit unlikely to happen since Pinball FX seems to have such a good relationship with Disney…

    I’m consistently impressed with Farsight’s talent at recreating real tables and simulating realistic ball physics and nudging, but they need to give the game more attention. As much as I love TPA it’s one buggy mess of a game that’s missing features and graphical effects on the PC version and has a hideous UI.