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Pinball / The Beatles Beatlemania
aka: The Beatles

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The Gold edition.

The Beatles Beatlemania (shortened to just The Beatles) is a pinball machine designed by George Gomez and released by Stern in late 2018.

The game is specifically themed around The Beatles' first foray into America in 1964, and the Beatlemania that gripped the country shortly thereafter. Its '60s aesthetic (including pop art-inspired artwork and simulated electromagnetic reels) fits well with its fairly simple and straightforward rules. In fact, the game's equally simple layout is taken straight from Seawitch (a game from 1980 by the original Stern Electronics), though there are some new features – most prominently a spinning disc in the center (made to resemble a vinyl record).

Not surprisingly, the machine also features nine songs from the band's touring days – "All My Loving", "It Won't Be Long", "A Hard Day's Night", "I Should Have Known Better", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Help!", "Ticket to Ride", "Drive My Car", and "Taxman" – and uses five of them for primary modes. Each of these focuses on one specific aspect of the playfield, including the two spinners, the three drop target banks, and the loop shot encompassing the upper half of the game's layout. Complete all five and you'll be able to achieve "A Hard Day's Night" multiball. Rounding out the package are various clips of the Beatles performing, alongside an introduction from Ed Sullivan and custom-made voice work from Cousin Brucie (the DJ who introduced them at their famous Shea Stadium concert in 1965).

The game was specifically limited to 1,964 units, coming in three variations: Gold (the least expensive model, of which 1,614 were made), Platinum (limited to 250 units), and Diamond (limited to just 100 units and featuring a mirrored backglass). While all of them feature different artwork, there are no differences between them in terms of gameplay.

This game contains examples of:

  • Arc Number: 1964, the years the Beatles came to America. In addition to the 1-9-6-4 drop targets, the game itself was limited to 1,964 units.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the five main modes is color-coded. "All My Loving" is blue, "Drive My Car" is red, "I Should Have Known Better" is purple, "Ticket to Ride" is light blue, and "It Won't Be Long" is yellow.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: Failing to complete a mode before time runs out results in the associated song quickly tapering off.
  • Match Sequence: The band practices guitar, eventually producing the match number from a nearby speaker.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: There's not even a real premise, outside of "it's the mid-'60s and the Beatles are sweeping America".
  • Painting the Medium: The game's speakers are designed to look like the Vox amplifiers the Beatles used.
  • Retraux: The game's aesthetic hearkens back to the 1960s in several different ways, including simulated scoring reels and the use of old electromagnetic pinball sound effects when the ball hits the pop bumpers.
  • Shout-Out: The Stern Insider Connected achievement for maxing out every song mode in a single game is called "Top of the Pops".
  • Skill Shot: Several of them, including soft plunging to the rollover (explicitly labeled as a skill shot on the playfield itself) and plunging to the upper flipper and then shooting the loop for a jackpot.
  • Spelling Bonus:
    • B-E-A-T-L-E-M-A-N-I-A gives one of a series of awards (including doubling the spinner's value).
    • F-A-B and F-O-U-R light modes when completed together.

Alternative Title(s): The Beatles