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Pinball / Jack*Bot

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A Sure Bet!

"It's Within Everyone's Reach."

Jack*Bot (full title: Jack*Bot: A Pin*Bot Adventure) is a 1995 pinball game made by Barry Oursler and Williams Electronics, with art by John Youssi. It is a sequel to both Pin*Bot and The Machine: Bride of Pin*Bot, using a rethemed Pin*Bot playfield with a dot-matrix display added.

The game is themed around an intergalactic casino, with Pin*Bot and The Machine hosting four gambling games — Pin*Bot Poker, Slot Machine, Roll the Dice, and Keno — with several other methods of getting points. Play all four and you get to go on a Casino Run, where you spin a slot machine to rack up points and prizes while avoiding the bomb.

One interesting game mechanic is that the player can cheat in most modes by mashing the Extra Ball buy-in button, letting Pin*Bot improve the outcome in some way. Every casino game except the Slot Machine automatically offers a chance to go for double or nothing afterward, and the Slot Machine will offer it if you spin a point value.

The game tends to be contested, as it's basically just Pin Bot WITH A CASINO THEME! Nonetheless, it has its share of fans who appreciate its dot-matrix display and challenging gameplay.

A digital version was available for The Pinball Arcade before the license to all WMS tables expired on July 1, 2018.

This pinball machine contains examples of:

  • All or Nothing: In Casino Run, the only way to keep what you've earned during the mode is to cash out after spinning the slots. If you hit a Bomb or run out of time, the mode ends and you lose everything.
  • Betting Mini-Game: Naturally, being casino-themed. Three of the four casino games at the saucer (Keno, Roll the Dice, Pinbot Poker) allow the player to go double-or-nothing with the points won from the game. The fourth (Slot Machine) offers this option when it gives points as its prize. Shooting a timed shot under the left ramp will award double the amount won from the game, but the winnings are forfeited if the shot is not made. The Casino Run Wizard Mode (described below) is one as well.
  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: The Machine takes this pose on the backbox's side, though she's standing up.
  • Book Ends: The final phase of the multiball sequence, after all the lights on Mega Visor are filled, is a Shout-Out to the multiball rules of the original Pin*Bot.
  • Bridal Carry: The backglass shows Pin*Bot carrying The Machine in his arms, while simultaneously holding a handful of playing cards.
  • Button Mashing: Mashing the Extra Ball buy-in button is how you cheat.
  • Cartoon Bomb: These litter the reels on the Casino Run slot machine, waiting to end the mode.
  • The Casino: ...IN SPACE!
  • Company Cross References:
  • Developer's Foresight: The pinball is supposed to enter the Visor through the eyes. If the player manages to enter it during Mega Visor without going through one of the eyes, the next ball hitting the Visor can bank the other into an eye for a Dirty Pool, granting compliments on your cheating from The Machine, and the game itself says, "Dirty Pool, old man... I like it!", awarding instant completion of Mega Visor, an instant Super Jack*Bot, and lighting the Ramp for a Mega Jack*Bot.
  • Double Unlock: Part of one: one of Mortal Kombat 3's Kombat Kodes simply prints the text "Hold Flippers During Casino Run" on the screen. This is a direct hint for this game, where holding the flippers at the beginning of Casino Run when the MK3 symbol is visible gives the player game tips. The Pinball Arcade version retains this due to using ROM emulation as part of the simulation package, and the instructions even call this out. (It's referred to by its initials, though, in a case of Writing Around Trademarks.)
  • Easter Egg:
    • Press both flipper buttons when the wheel is spinning in Casino Run to get a Kombat Kode for Mortal Kombat 3. (Another Kombat Kode in 3 itself tells you how to do this.)
    • Occasionally, the Extra Ball button flashes during Attract Mode: push it to reveal the credits and the story behind the project (and a dedication to Joe Joos Jr.).
    • Also, watch the Keno card when you get a high score and enter your initials.
  • Fembot: The Machine.
  • Look Behind You: When cheating, Pin*Bot yells something to this extent. Possible phrases include "Look over there," "Look, Halley's Comet," and "Look, there's Rudy".
  • Machine Monotone: Pin*Bot again.
  • Match Sequence: An Invader from Twilight Zone cranks a device of some sort to form the match number.
  • Metal Eye: Once again, the balls serve as Pin*Bot's eyes.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The Machine has 'em.
  • No Fair Cheating: Completely averted - you can cheat by mashing the Extra Ball buy-in button to win various modes, with Pin*Bot's help.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: While the first two games at least had some plot, this installment doesn't even try (though it can be inferred that Pin*Bot is the dealer in the Pin*Bot Poker games).
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Averted Trope; The Machine compliments you for cheating if you can manage it.
  • Pinball Scoring:
    • Replay values are in the billions.
    • Super Jack*Bots, earned during Mutliball by shooting two balls into both eyes almost simultaneously (as long as at least one of them is lit), can easily yield hundreds of millions, if not billions, of points.
    • Mega Visor. Each hit is worth 50 million points for 25 hits. Completion awards 750 million and opens the Visor. Locking a ball lights a Mega Jack*Bot on the Ramp.
  • Pun-Based Title: Pin*Bot + "jackpot" = Jack*Bot.
  • Punny Name: The Jack*Bots.note 
  • Shout-Out: The Multiball starting animation of moving through multiple doors opening resembles similar doors on The Satellite of Love after "MOVIE SIGN" is announced.
  • Sistine Steal: Done on the sides of the cabinet, which feature a close-up of Pin*Bot and The Machine's hands touching outstretched fingers.
  • Skill Shot:
    • The Vortex, awarding points multiplied by the Vortex Multiplier. During Casino Run, the middle award will either add 10 seconds (if 10 or more seconds are remaining) or collect the bank. The first plunge for Multiball will award a Jack*Bot on the middle hole.
      • A pretty widely-known trick, however, is that the game will not recognize the ball as "in play" until three switches are hit. For this reason, some players will ignore the normal Skill Shot and instead plunge the ball just hard enough to get out of the plunger lane without hitting the bumpers to get control of the ball and a free shot at anything.
    • The strobing lines of lights to open the visor could be considered a skill shot too.
  • Space Is Noisy: And sounds just like a casino!
  • Timed Mission: Casino Run starts with a time limit of 45 seconds. For each ball drain, five seconds are deducted. Time can be added either from an award on the slot machine or from the skill shot after a drained ball.
  • Title Drop: Whenever you get a jackpot... or rather Jack*Bot.
  • Whammy: The Bomb serves as this in "Casino Run", wiping out all the points/prizes you've racked up and ending the Run instantly — unless you can defuse it with a water bucket or nudge the slots to get it off the display.
  • Wizard Mode:
    • Casino Run, which is enabled after you play all four casino games. You start with a bank of 100 million points and get one free spin on a slot machine to collect more points and prizes (specials, lit extra balls, etc.). Then you can either cash out and end the round, or risk it and try to get another spin. If you take the risk, the ball is kicked into play and a 45-second timer starts; every switch/target adds 4 million to the bank, and you have to make a lit shot to get another spin and the same choice. If you run out of time or spin a bomb (without Pin*Bot whacking the machine to nudge it away or a bucket of water from an earlier spin to defuse it), the round ends and you lose the whole bank.
    • Mega Visor. Look at how many points are available in this stage of Multiball! Compared to Casino Run, it's guaranteed scoring compared to risking your bank spin by spin without getting whammied by a bomb.