Stern will produce three pinballs in total, as normal, including the Game of Thrones Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE) pinball machines, and each is packed with features and toys that provide unique challenges to players, who will fight against kings, knights, knaves, and dragons.
What is probably most exciting about the Game of Thrones Pinball is that players can choose to be a Knight of the Stark, Lannister, Greyjoy, Baratheon, Martell, or Tyrell family Houses, and pick other Houses to battle. Plus, "Game of Thrones" actor Rory McCann lends his voice to the project as Sandor Clegane (The Hound), guiding the player throughout the game.
According to Jody Dankberg, Director of Licensing and Marketing, "the goal is really to either conquer all the other families or, at some point you can team up with other families to fight other families and whatnot. The ultimate goal of the game is to get to the Iron Throne."
The Game of Thrones pinball machines were designed by pinball veteran Steve Ritchie, who also designed the very fast classics Black Knight 2000 and Star Trek: The Next Generation over two decades ago, as well as the contemporary Stern games Star Trek and AC/DC.
Some of the exciting features of the machines include:
- All three models have an animated, interactive dragon that roars, flies and breathes fire with the help of all-LED-lit playfields; however in the Limited Edition and Premium models the dragon is also motorized.
- Players can slam the ball into the Battering Ram, attempting to break down the castle doors and grab features such as Super Jackpots, Wild Fire, and Playfield Score Multipliers.
- The animated mechanical "Sword of Multiball" holds back reinforcements until it's time to attack and locks balls on the right ramp return. To let the balls out of the lock, a sword-like gate opens and chops a ball off, as if beheading a Night's Watch deserter.
- There are video modes controlled by an extra button on the lock bar which Dankberg describes as "8-bit ... kind of a throwback thing ... almost early '80s retro-looking."
- The LE and Premium versions have a bank of three drop-targets which light the "Lord of Light Lanes" to protect against side drains and awards other progressive features. A kickback fires the ball in anger when struck.
- Players can win valuable random awards and features with "Reel Pops," a new software mechanism, by playing the "Pop Bumpers" and spinning three virtual spinning reels on the display. When three identical symbols line up, the player is awarded the prize shown on the reels.
- There is a new gold-collecting mechanic, which allows players to earn gold and spend it on needed weapons and features. This in-game economic feature is unique in a pinball machine and an action button is featured on the front molding for the largest array of interactive play features ever seen in a pinball machine.
- Limited Edition and Premium versions will feature an Upper playfield with full sized flippers for a more intense pinball experience.
- Limited Edition and Premium versions will also feature an Iron Throne toy which will lock balls for multi-ball.
- Limited Edition and Premium versions have 100% colour-changing LED lights, which, for instance, all turn green for the Blackwater multi-ball mode, or all go white for Winter is Coming mode, where you fight White Walkers.
- The Limited Edition version will feature a "Khaleesi" art package with Daenerys Targaryan and her allies depicted on the machine in a hand-painted art style.
- The animated dragon in the PRO version has a kickback under it which blasts the ball back at the upper playfield flippers when hit, and the White Walker i the LE and Premium versions kickbacks fire ball at the players when angry.
- The Pro version is significantly different to the LE and Premium machines, with no upper playfield, no Iron Throne, and a focus on fast and mean gameplay.
"The Game of Thrones pinball machine celebrates the much-loved HBO series and gives fans an intense, high-energy pinball experience," said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball Inc.
Stern Pinball announced today that it will begin producing Game of Thrones pinball machines, inspired by the hit HBO drama series. The Pro model will start shipping later this month (around September 15), and will be the first edition to be released. North American orders will start shipping in October to coincide with the overseas arrivals, and then these will be followed by the Premium and Limited Edition versions. The factory does suggest pre-ordering as they expect the game to be quite popular.