In the year 2116, crime and chaos runs rampant through Mega-City One. The dips and the gumps are preying on the chumps, the heisters and joy poppers are shooting up the streets, and it's up to the player as Judge Dredd to rein in the drokkbuckets and keep the civos in line. But being a slab jock isn't just busting perps and fighting off trogs — there are suspects to shadow, crime scenes to clear, and runaway battle tanks to obliterate. Whip around the playfield on the Mega-City Super Highway, attack the Sniper Tower and hit the Subway, but watch out for Deadworld, because that's where the Dark Judges are waiting...
In addition to playing regular pinball, Judge Dredd is notable for featuring "Supergame" — for an extra credit, players would get an expanded set of rules, additional two-ball multiball modes, and a chance for a 100 million point shot. Unsurprisingly, this pinball table was popular in Europe, but less so North America. For squeamish audiences, option controls allow operators to tone down the more graphic elements.
In 1998, Pin-Ball Games Ltd. released Judge Dredd Pinball, a pinball video game for MS-DOS computers. Although promoted as an "arcade-perfect simulation", it was instead an original table redressed with the Dredd license. Although it offered respectable graphics and sound, the game itself is a forgettable pinball title with a sketchy physics engine.
A digital version of Judge Dredd was available in FarSight Studios' The Pinball Arcade until their license to all Williams and Bally tables expired on July 1, 2018.
The Judge Dredd pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Judge Anderson.
- Alternate Universe: Deadworld.
- Anti-Frustration Features: There is a short ball saver at the beginning of each ball.
- Anti-Hero: Dredd, of course.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The different types of crimes seen and heard. And there are more of them.
- Big Blackout: The "Black Out" mode.
- Black Comedy: Lots, especially in the display animations.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Pressing the red button at the end of "Safe Cracker" will cause a bolt of lighting to zap the safecracker.
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": The modes are called "Chain Links". The locks for Multiball are called "Dimension Warps".
- Combos: Hitting the left orbit, followed by the upper left loop and upper left ramp for a 2 and 3 way combo.
- Company Cross References: Mostly to Creature from the Black Lagoon (from the same designer):
"Wake up, you geezer! (puts sunglasses on) I'LL BE BACK!"
- During the Traffic Jam Supergame mode, you get to hear "MOVE YOUR CAR!" upon collecting a jackpot.
- The "Safe Cracker" mode is inspired by the same mode, both in scoring and humor (the player enacts increasingly ridiculous measures to accomplish a specific goal, with every successful shot prompting a cry of "OPEN THAT SAFE!"). Furthermore, at the beginning, there's another reference:
- The criminal arrested for 35 years for arms dealing is the player's girlfriend.
- The criminal arrested for 25 years for auto theft is the snackbar operator.
- The criminal arrested for 15 years for arson is the main character.
- In another Terminator 2 reference, the Air Raid mode heavily resembles that game's Skill Shot.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: Failing to stabilize the reactors in the Meltdown mode results in this.
- Disproportionate Retribution:
Display: One Year for Flatulism
- Some of the crime scenes' sentences come off like this.
- One of the modes involves shooting a bad Elvis impersonator.
- Dolled-Up Installment: The Judge Dredd Pinball game is seen as this.
- Double Unlock: Similar to Fish Tales or Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure, multiball jackpots are a two-step process. In this case, shoot the left ramp to light them, and the hole behind the 'D' in J-U-D-G-E collects.
- Dummied Out: Deadworld, an elaborate ball-locking mechanism that was largely turned into a cosmetic toy due to reliability concerns.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The fourth Supergame mode has the player destroying Deadworld.
- Easter Egg: Mainly involving references and the red fire buttons.
- DOHO can be seen in the left side of the display after making a right ramp shot.
- Press both fire buttons after making the 4th successful Safe Cracker shot.
- Press both fire buttons after the 2nd Sniper shot. Seen below.
- Press both fire buttons after lighting an Extra Ball.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: The Deadworld toy.
- Evil Laugh: Judge Death does this whenever you meet him.
- Four Is Death: The Dark Judges — Judge Mortis, Judge Fire, Judge Fear, and Judge Death.
- Future Slang: Wouldn't be Judge Dredd without it.
- Going Critical: The "Meltdown" mode.
- Great Escape: The "Jailbreak" Supergame mode.
- Going Postal: The bomber.Anita Mann: "A disgruntled postal worker has been seen building bombs."
- Heavy Sleeper: The safecracker, who stays asleep even with machine-gun fire and a tank destroying the room he's in.
- Hot Pursuit: "Pursuit". See Video Mode below.
- I Can See My House from Here: Said word-for-word as the sniper plummets down in the "Sniper Tower" mode.
- In Name Only: Judge Dredd Pinball, which has nothing to do with the arcade game beyond the title.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice
- Ludicrous Gibs: Completing the "Sniper" mode results in the gunman falling from the tower and splattering all over a wire fence.
- Match Sequence: See Never Mess with Granny.
- Mad Bomber: One of the Supergame modes requires climbing the Sniper Tower to stop a bomber. Apparently he became mad after someone got in his way at the movie theater.
- Never Mess with Granny: The match sequence has a shotgun-welding granny retaliating against drive-by shooters.
- Plummet Perspective: The lower playfield of Judge Dredd Pinball is dominated by a reverse overhead view of Dredd looking down on Mega-City One.
- Punny Name: Anita Mann ("I need a man"), host of the Supergame event.
- The Peeping Tom: Occurs during "Stake Out", with Dredd watching an amorous couple.Dredd: "Hmmm...I wonder what's down there..."
- Score Multiplier: Only two of them. One is a 2X playfield multiplier during the Black Out mode; the other is a one-time 2X Bonus from the captive balls. In this game, the 2X bonus multiplier multiplies all mode scores.
- Sniper Duel: The "Sniper" mode.
- Spelling Bonus: J-U-D-G-E lights the multiball lock.
- Skill Shot: Shoot the right outer orbit immediately after launch.Dredd: "Great shot."
- The Stakeout: One of the modes.
- Timed Mission: The various "Chain Link" modes, most of which must be completed in 20 seconds.
- Toilet Humor: One of the crimes is 1 year for flatulism.
- Unlockable Content: The Supergame."I'm Anita Mann, and welcome to Supergame!"
- Urine Trouble: After finishing the "Sniper" mode, press both fire buttons and a dog will urinate on the sniper's remains.
- Vice City: Mega-City One.
- Video Mode: "Pursuit", which features Dredd chasing a speeding car as it swerves down the road. Unlike most Video Modes, this is played with the pinball playfield — shooting the ramps will fire a missile at the car, so proper timing is needed to actually hit it.
- Wizard Mode: The Ultimate Challenge, which is activated either by collecting the four Death Judges' jackpots during multiball, or completing all of the modes. This starts a four- or six-ball multiball with all the Crime scenes lit for 10 million points.
- Your Head Asplode: The "Traffic Jam" Supergame mode ends with one driver throwing an axe at the other, causing the victim's brains to splatter.
- Dredd: "Your driving days are over, punk!"