James Bond 007 is a Pinball game designed by Allen Edwall with artwork by Doug Watson. It was released by Gottlieb in 1980, and is based on the James Bond film franchise, particularly The Spy Who Loved Me.
Unlike most pinball games, James Bond 007 is not centered around maximizing your score with a limited number of pinballs available. Instead, the game is time-based; the player starts off with 50 "Time Units" (seconds), and can keep playing so long as they have time remaining. Naturally, the clock ticks down during gameplay; the player can temporarily stop the clock or get more time by making key shots, but the game ends when the ball drains after time has expired.
Unfortunately, although it was an interesting idea, the game failed to resonate with players — novices couldn't build up enough Time Units to get a reasonable game experience, while pros found the open playfield boring and easily exploited for indefinite play. The backlash was so bad that most operators tried to return the tables to Gottlieb. In response, the company released updated ROMs to turn it into a conventional pinball game without the timer, but it still failed to find an audience.
The James Bond 007 pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Appeal to Novelty
- Badass in a Nice Suit: James Bond, natch, as represented by Roger Moore.
- Bond Gun Barrel: On the lower playfield, right above the flippers.
- The Brute: Jaws, seen leaping at Bond on the backglass.
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": "Time Units". Was Bond too cool to use "seconds"?
- Cap: The game does not allow the player to get more than 50 Time Units.
- Fanservice Extra: The various Bond girls on the playfield and the backglass, who have no effect on the gameplay.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: The main soundtrack is a rhythmic counter that goes faster when fewer Time Units remain.
- Miracle Rally: A target allows the player to get a Special (free game) with one shot, but it is only activated when the player runs out of Time Units.
- No Plot? No Problem!: There's no rhyme nor reason for what Bond is doing, or why he has a time limit to do it.
- Obvious Rule Patch: The revised ROMs.
- Timed Mission: Originally, the whole point of the game.
- Unstable Equilibrium: The Time Units mechanic resulted in beginners getting wrecked in no time while the experts could play for as long as they wanted.