2013 was a steady year for Farsight Studios. A third Kickstarter campaign succeeded, all three tables from their Kickstarters were released on all consoles, Season 2 of The Pinball Arcade wrapped and Season 3 began, PC and PS4 versions were released, and the PS4 even got a retail disc of Season 1. 2014 is no time to slow down, though, and the ever-informative PiN WiZ over at The Pinball Arcade Fans board compiled all the available info on Farsight’s plans into one mega-post of ambition. The long version can be read here, but even the highlights are filled with plenty of reason for anticipation.
The big news sneaked in on 12/24, which explains why we’re hearing about it now- Pinball After Dark. Basically, The Pinball Arcade is rated E10+, which limits the table variety it can offer. Pinball After Dark will be a companion series for more mature-themed tables, although nothing specific has been announced. Rampant speculation has suggested a couple of the Playboy Tables, the custom-designed Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons, Xenon, Elvira: Scared Stiff without the family filter requirement that tones down the verbal innuendo, some of the games with gambling and smoking being prominent features, and other games of this sort would be prime candidates. If this makes it sound like E10+ is incredibly strict in its requirements, and makes you wonder how certain parts of Bride of Pinbot made it in, you’re not alone.
In regular Pinball Arcade news, some more Season 3 tables were announced. White Water is already out, and of the remaining nine three more are known- Black Knight 2000, Junk Yard, and WHO Dunnit. Individual tables are $4.99 for regular, $7.99 for pro, or $39.99 for the season pass of the pro version for all 10 games.
The existing seasons aren’t being left alone, with some nice updates on the way to breathe a bit more life into the current collection. In addition to various patches, plus an attempted series restart on XBLA, new features are being worked on as well. The big one is Challenge Mode, which adds (obviously) individual challenges to the tables outside of the Standard and Wizard goals. Simultaneous multiplayer is also coming, where two people play the same pinball at the same time and a display shows the opponent’s score. It’s being billed as “head-to-head”, strongly suggesting two, but hopefully a full pinball party will be possible.
As for the rest of the updates, emulation on a few existing tables is being given an update, a new interface will make browsing the library much easier, Direct X 11 support will make the PC version look as pretty as the PS4, a Linux version is in the works, and even the Wii U will see a release. That’s a lot of pinball for a single year, and a ton of content to look forward to no matter which console you do your pinball-ing on.