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Pinball / Batman (Data East)

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"Wait 'Til They Get a Load of Me!"

Batman is a Physical Pinball Table designed by Joe Kaminkow and Ed Cebula, released by Data East in 1991.

As the game cabinet and backglass indicate, this is a licensed game based on the first Tim Burton movie with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. The game makes no attempt to recreate the movie's plot or events, but simply takes the player on a tour of various locales from the film. Escape to the Batcave with Vicky Vale, climb the scaffolding of the Axis Chemical Factory, and hit both young Jack and old Jack for two million points. Knock down the entrance to the Flugelheim Museum to start multiball, then finish off the Joker with a one-two punch to the eyes and mouth.

Like most other Data East pinball tables at the time, there isn't much to tie the property to the game itself, and the relatively simple ruleset doesn't pose a challenge for skilled players. Still, the license makes it appealing to casual players, and the forgiving gameplay ensures some fun for everyone. Jack Nicholson was gifted with a copy of the game and still has it at his home.

This pinball game demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Advanced Tech 2000: Data East's audio controller is called the BSMT 2000note 
  • Age Cut: Jack Napier (The Joker) is shown as both "Young Jack" and "Old Jack" on the playfield.
  • Eyeless Face: The Joker has two sinkholes where his eyes should be.
  • Impact Silhouette: The bottom of the playfield shows the Joker making one on the asphalt after falling off the church tower.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: Bruce Wayne is shown studying several screens, each of which indicates a game mode or opportunity.
  • Ramp Jump: The Joker's ramp lets players shoot balls into his face.
  • Secondary Adaptation: The game's based on the 1989 Batman movie, itself an adaptation of the original Batman comics.
  • Sigil Spam: The Batman logo, which even shows up on the Flugelheim Museum just because.
  • Skill Shot: Launch the ball into the flashing lane of the Chemical Factory.
  • Spelling Bonus: Hitting the Flugelheim enough times spells B-A-T-M-A-N and opens the museum.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Shows up fairly often, due to the limited number of voice clips used in the game.