Just ahead of the game’s first public appearance at the Houston Arcade Expo this weekend, Deeproot Pinball released studio pictures of their new Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland game.
In a detailed article on the This Week In Pinball website, pictures of the John Popadiuk-designed game are shown in prototype form. Some elements such as the cabinet shape and cabinet, backbox and translite artwork are not the finished product, while other features such as the display and playfield layout are not expected to change significantly.
The cabinet and backbox look very conventional designs, but might change prior to production which is promised to begin by the end of June 2020.
The colour display is an ultra-wide-aspect panel which gives plenty of space left and right for in-game information but not much height for portrait-shaped objects such as faces, or indeed the game’s logo. Scoring for this ‘retro’ design is kept deliberately low with no trailing zero, but with room for the score to reach just shy of ten million.
Speaker grilles are below the panel, not allowing for very large drivers but giving a more integrated look and providing space above for a full-size translite.
The cabinet shown has a very conventional shooter rod, start button and coin door, as well as just a single flipper button on each side.
So far, so traditional.
The playfield too harks back to the glory days of pinball design the mid-to-late ’90s when game designers were always striving to devise ever more imaginative playfield toys.
Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland was, of course, originally a Zidware design created by John in his studio in Streamwood, Illinois.
The design has changed significantly since then with much more emphasis on the theme park elements, although there are a few obvious similarities including the Z-O-M-B-I-E inserts, the centre-left ramp, the orbit lanes and the target at the very back of the playfield.
The new design packs plenty of shots and features into the playfield, including a Ferris wheel, a dare devil cycle ramp with a target at the end, three roll-over buttons in front of a swinging target along with some more conventional drop and stand-up targets and a spinning disc.
There are also some throwback references to earlier theme park games by Barry Oursler (who is also designing at Deeproot), such as “ride the Ferris wheel”, “dunk the dummy” and “ride the rollercoaster”.
At the back is a swinging target with a model of the chief alien bad guy, Ned, above along with a ramp feeding to him.
There were two playable games set up at the Houston Arcade Expo show this weekend, although Deeproot Pinball were at pains to say they were not final builds and they would be using them to gauge how they mechanisms stand up to a weekend of play and if any design tweaks are needed before the game goes into production next year.
As yet there are no indications of pricing or any different models being available.
A more final version of Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland can be expected at the Texas Pinball Festival in March next year, where additional titles may able be displayed. We will be there of course to bring you all the news.