Follow TV Tropes


Pinball / Bone Busters

Go To
"Who you gonna call? Someone else."

One-Eye: "I've got a bone to pick with you!"

Bone Bustersnote  is a Physical Pinball Table by Gottlieb, released under the "Premier" label in 1989. It was designed by Ray Tanzer, and illustrated by Constantino and Jeanine Mitchell and Brian Johnson.

For some unspecified reason, Chicago is under siege by an army of undead skeletons, and the only ones who can stop them are the brave men and women of Bone Busters, Inc. While the disembodied head of Ol' One-Eye turns and taunts you from above the backbox, purge skeletons from the Jogging Path, the Fast-Food Restaurant, and the Elevated Subway, then head for Lower Wacker Drive and advance the awards. Shoot the center fountain to collect the Water Tower Bonus, discover the secret of the Opera Bonus, and find Liz's Surprise for more points. Energize those playfield zap rods, lock three balls around town, then make the Long Jump to start multiball and clean up the burg.


Beneath its mockbuster theme and cartoonish looks, Bone Busters is regarded for being a rather innovative table with an unorthodox layout and challenging gameplay. Ol' One-Eye steals the show with his quips, and it is considered a fun game for when one is looking for a change of pace. Only 2,000 Bone Busters tables were made, and the ones still circulating tend to be hoarded by collectors, making it a bit of a rarity today.

A digital version of Bone Busters is available for FarSight Studios' The Pinball Arcade.


Bone Busters demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Announcer Chatter: Courtesy of One-Eye, though he's more subdued and tends towards one-liners instead of game commentary.
    One-Eye: "Heads up!"
  • Badass Bandolier: The Bone Busters' backpack straps double as bandoliers.
  • Burger Fool: The skeletons attack a fast-food restaurant complete with clown-headed drive-thru speaker.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Bone Busters are a painfully obvious copy of the Ghostbusters. To further state the case, their attire (grey overalls with yellow-orange bandoliers) makes them resemble one of the figurines, ''Fright-Features Peter Venkman''.
  • Damsel in Distress: The backbox translite shows a giant skeleton grabbing one of the female Bone Busters.
  • Dem Bones: Literally, all over the place.
  • Drugs Are Bad: One of the billboards reads "Say No to Drugs".
  • Fantastic Science: The Bone Busters fight the undead with high-tech rods that fire glowing electric rays.
  • Ghostly Goals: It's never stated why the skeletons are overrunning the city, but they're clearly not being friendly about it.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: One-Eye's remaining eye glows.
  • Guide Dang It!: The steps needed to collect the Opera Bonus puzzles most players.
  • Heroes "R" Us/Science Heroes: Bone Busters, Inc., full stop.
  • Losing Your Head: One-Eye, though presumably it's justified since he's an undead...
  • Lovecraft Lite: It's hard to take an undead invasion seriously when they're riding bicycles, going jogging, and ordering hamburgers at the drive-thru.
  • Magic Versus Science
  • The Mockbuster: For Ghostbusters, obviously, but there's also a little bit of Indiana Jones.
  • Ramp Jump: The Long Jump at the top of the playfield, which must be made to start multiball.
  • Skill Shot: Launch the ball up to the subway station without dropping to Lower Wacker Drive, then press the Train Switch button to hit the ball directly into the lower-left ball lock.
  • Take That!: On the playfield is a massive sinkhole with a stretch taxi that's fallen in with Santa sticking out of one of the windows, a not-so-subtle dig at Williams Electronics' Taxi.
  • Take That Player: Invoked in some of One-Eye's quips.
    One-Eye: "You're a bonehead!"
  • Villains Out Shopping: When they're not terrorizing humans, the skeletons are going jogging and riding bikes.
  • Voice Changeling: One-Eye speaks in a variety of voices and pitches.

One-Eye: "I'm outta here!"

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: