Batman 66 is a Physical Pinball Table designed by George Gomez and released by Stern Pinball in 2016. Based upon the iconic 1966-68 television series, its announcement coincided with both the show's 50th and Stern's 30th anniversaries.
Players must help the Dynamic Duo — Batman and Robin — to thwart crime in Gotham City. Answer the Batphone to one of four arch villains: Catwoman, The Joker, The Penguin, and The Riddler. Prime the TV to do battle with the likes of Bookworm, Mr. Freeze, The Mad Hatter, Shame, King Tut, and Egghead. Bash The Penguin's crane, collect Gadgets, spin the Batmobile, activate the Atomic Pile, and lock balls in the Batcave for multiball. Adam West and Burt Ward themselves guide you with custom speech.
The game utilizes most of the same playfield design from the 2008 Batman game, including the bashable crane toy. However, the major differences include faster ramps and the "Joker Reveal Mechanism" becoming a spinning turntable with three interactive areas: (1) a working "Villain Vision" television set, (2) a blinking Batphone, and (3) a spinning Batmobile hiding an Atomic Pile shot through the middle, Batcomputer and Bat Analyzer targets, and a Batcave ball lock.
Batman 66 comes in three different varieties: a "Premium", "Limited Edition" and "Super Limited Edition". Gameplay is unchanged among them, but the more expensive models have cosmetic differences, including unique artwork. The "Super LE" — the most expensive of them all — was limited to 50 units and exclusive to the most die-hard of Stern collectors. These games feature such perks as reflective foil cabinet graphics, powder-coated black and sparkled armor, extra toy Bat-Vehicles on the playfield, and a topper which projects the Bat Signal above the game.
This Batman 66 pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Bat Signal: Played straight, as with the previous Batman game: images of the Bat Signal are all over the playfield and cabinet art.
- On the "Super Limited Edition", a physical flashing Bat Signal is placed on the top right-hand corner of the playfield, and the topper features a projection of the Bat Signal.
- Cool Bike: The Batcycle, located atop one of the pop bumpers on the "Super Limited Edition".
- Cool Car: The Batmobile, appearing in the artwork and functions as a spinning toy on all versions. The ''Super Limited Edition" also has it situated above the shooter lane, pulling the Batboat behind it with a trailer hitch.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Spinning the Batmobile advances toward and increases the value of the Bat-Turn mode.
- Golden Snitch: Completing minor villain modes will unlock powerful perks that last for the rest of your ball, but there are two that are so fundamentally useful that knowledgeable players always play them first. Completing Bookworm (season 1) allows any minor villain perk to last for the rest of your game instead of the rest of your ball. Completing Mr. Freeze (season 2) effectively nullifies all timers (except ball save timers). With these perks in place, timers are no longer a concern for the rest of your game. This makes future minor villain modes much easier to beat (draining is the only way to lose), allows permanent playfield multipliers, and makes the first phase of Villain Escape untimed until the ball drains.
- Match Sequence: The match digits appear on the "Bat Score-Match Analyzer"
- Obvious Beta: The game was released with unfinished software, made apparent with the missing rules, bugs, and few callouts and animations. Since then, programmer Lyman Sheats has been releasing updates to polish up the game. The code finally reached version 1.00 after two years of development, although a good chunk of the game had already been complete for months before that, and the end result is widely considered impressive.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: All versions of the game have a spinning Mattel Hotwheels Batmobile toy. The "Super Limited Edition" adds the Batcopter, Batcycle, and the Batmobile pulling the Batboat in various parts of the playfield.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: At the start of Turntable Multiball:Batman: Shall we, Robin?Robin: Let's, Batman!
- Score Multiplier: Plenty of these. Shot multipliers up to 6x that last for your entire ball, up to 3x playfield (previously 5x until 1.00) that - with the right minor villians - can last for an entire ball, or even the entire game, multiplied scoring per major villain level, a chance to add +1x on top of that at the start, and up to 5x on your active mode on top of that. Pinball Scoring is indeed prevalent, with 1 billion being considered merely a "good" game, and some of the highest known scores have broken 100 billion.
- Skill Shot: A well-timed plunge will light up to three of the top rollovers for a regular skill shot; the more lit up, the more points earned.
- Holding in the left flipper and plunging hard activates the super skill shot, whereupon any major shot can be hit once to immediately qualify their respective arch villain mode.
- Smart Bomb: Completing the "G-A-D-G-E-T" target bank awards the player one Gadget, which can be applied by hitting the button on the lockdown bar. During arch villain modes, it compensates for one lit shot on the playfield. Additionally, if locks are qualified, applying a gadget during a plunge diverts the ball into the Batcave.
- Spelling Bonus: Spell "G-A-D-G-E-T" to earn a Gadget Smart Bomb "J-O-K-E-R" at the TV to qualify The Joker mode, and "C-A-T" on both ramps to start Catwoman.
- Stock Sound Effects: The klaxon sound generated from a shot to the Atomic Pile.
- Wizard Mode: Although the game lacks a definitive "final" wizard mode, there are plenty of wizard modes to go around.
- Completing at least one minor villain from all three TV seasons will qualify your choice of one of three Wizard Modes: "Batusi Multiball", "Gas Attack", or "Robin's Holy Multiball".
- "Villain Escape" is lit at the upper saucer upon beating all four arch villains at least once. It begins as a one-ball mode with a 30 second timer, whereupon all switches add to the jackpot value. Losing the ball or running out of time commences the second stage: a four-ball multiball with the goal being to hit every villain's shot to defeat him/her again. Doing so qualifies the super jackpot at the upper saucer.