Backglass for Houdini pinball machine as described in the post

Houdini, American Pinball, 2016.

The Houdini pinball machine is themed around the idea of Houdini’s shows. In alignment with that theme, the word Houdini takes up the top third of the backglass, with the words “Master of Mystery” below it. Houdini looks like it’s forged out of iron or steel, with many small rivets around the edges of the letters. Both the title and subtitle float over a red stage curtain.

Houdini himself, from the bust up, faces the camera inside the curtained area. He’s played up to be creepy, with light emphasizing his eyes and his hands, which he holds up, fingers curled, like he was about to snatch you out of your seat. He is surrounded by chains and the occasional very large clockwork cog, because what’s creepier than steampunk?

Below the stage we see the audience in their seats, facing away from us.

The left edge also contains a big black bank safe wrapped in chains and emitting an eerie yellow glow, an elephant emitting an eerie orange glow, and a woman upside-down in a tank of water that resembles a telephone booth, with the tank emitting an eerie pink glow.

The right edge starts with Houdini swallowing a string of needles  and emitting an eerie green glow, then a very large milk can wrapped in chains and emitting an eerie blue glow, then a wooden trunk emitting an eerie purple glow. Chains, pinballs, and an ouija planchette.

There are a few other tiny details such as a robot staring through the gaps between the D and the I in Houdini that give the whole thing a very consistent vibe.

The Getaway: High Speed 2

The back glass for The Getaway as described in the post

The Getaway: High Speed II, Williams, 1994.

So a break to the 1990s now, which means a machine whose backglass looks at least somewhat plausible. This is the sequel to High Speed, yesterday’s post.  That’s right, more illegal car racing.

In the center of the backglass a red — Lamborghini? Ferrari? — generic 80’s sports car drives down the center line of a two lane highway directly at the camera. The black asphalt is impeccable and the road is dead straight. On the left of the backglass we see a steep drop-off and behind it a mountain. On the right of the backglass we see another steep drop off but it’s unclear what may be beyond.

Our view is obstructed by two black helicopters, one on each side, and police cars behind the red sports car. I suspect the main character is in trouble.

High Speed

The backglass to the pinball game high speed as described in the post

High Speed, Williams, 1986.

This game is about racing an 80s red sports car, possibly a Lamborghini or a Ferrari, through the streets of some small town while the police chase you. Consequently the backglass is the view of the inside of a police cruiser staring out the window at a red sports car racing down the road in front of it. If the illustration’s speed lines are to believed, it’s moving pretty quickly.

We can also see two officers of the law. The one on the left has his left hand in the 2:00 position on the wheel on a straight road, so he flunks my high school driving test. The other is reading off of a long list of warrants into a handheld police radio similar to a CB. Based on the number of his teeth we can see and how wrinkled his face is, he is displeased.

The dashboard is the scoreboard, but each of the players is labeled as “Speeder 1”, “Speeder 2”, etc. which means the higher your score the faster you’re zooming away.

Batman 66

The backglass for the game Batman 66 as described in the post.

Batman 66, Stern, 2016.

There are a large number of Batman pinball games and as of this writing, Batman 66 is the newest one. While most of the other machines are tie-ins to the movies, Batman 66 is a tie-in/homage to the 1966 TV classic. It’s filled with cut scenes from the TV series featuring Adam West.

The glass is typical of its time. Batman is centered in his blue costume with his cape billowing behind him. To our right, Robin runs beside him in red, yellow, and green. Both are masked. To the left, mini portraits of Catwoman, Joker, Riddler, and Penguin are painted. The bottom right corner contains a painting of the absolute land yacht that was the 1966 Batmobile.  We can barely make out a city skyline and the bat signal in the background, because so much of the space is filled with comic word balloons of the sound effects from the show: sock, wammm, biff, zap, etc.

While I’m not a fan of the “look we made a movie poster” style of tie-in, this one is particularly good at capturing the clean bright colors of the show as well as the zany sound effect bubble special effects. It’ll do quite well.