The Big Lebowski is a Licensed Pinball Table based on The Coen Brothers' Black Comedy movie by Dutch Pinball. It was developed by Barry Driessen, with artwork by Freek van Haagen, Jean Paul de Win, and Guus Fingskes.
Not surprisingly, the game revisits the movie in a cavalcade of quotes, characters, and events, all interspersed with bouts of bowling. Mix up a White Russian, smash the Corvette, bounce on the Trampoline, have a Nihilist Showdown, and scatter Donny's ashes. Unroll the Rug to enable multiball, move The Dude's car, then Mark It Zero and Let's Go Bowling. If you can gather all five characters, accomplish the six Rug Modes, and complete the six game goals, you'll enable the Wizard Mode where The Dude Abides.
Dutch Pinball first teased The Big Lebowski pinball in May 2014, quickly gathering attention from pinheads and moviegoers alike. After appearances at European pinball expos and a launch party in September, the game ran into difficulties when Universal threatened to pull the license due to Dutch Pinball's use of unapproved art, and accusations of financial fraud surfaced. Fortunately, issues were straightened out soon afterward, and the game was finally released in April 2016.
The Big Lebowski pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- The Alleged Car: The Dude's Torino, which includes rust stains, a broken headlight and a front bumper tied to the hood with rope. To add insult to injury, it doubles as a "bash toy" that the player hits to score points.
- Between My Legs: The Donny Lane is capped with a row of spread-legged girls from the movie's Disney Acid Sequence.
- Bowdlerise: Some of the playfield art changes requested by Universal Pictures include removing Walter's Colt .45 and a marijuana leaf.
- Brand X: Instead of Kahula, the White Russian is made with cream, vodka, ice, and coffee liqueur.
- Erudite Stoner: The Dude.
- The Faceless: The Nihilists' faces are replaced with indicator lights.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: While the game does not include a separate special edition, early purchasers will receive a Lebowski-themed small rug (complete with bowling references) that can be placed under the game.
- Lucky Charms Title: The title of the game is technically "The Big Lebow$ki".
- Mini-Game: The bowling game, played on a miniature bowling lane embedded in the playfield.
- Painting the Medium: Not only is there a miniature rug that needs to be unrolled, but there's also a (fake) glass of White Russian sitting on a napkin inside the cabinet.
- Product Placement: Brunswick bowling equipment is featured in the game, particularly the miniature bowling lane.
- Real Song Theme Tune: The game includes songs from the actual movie soundtrack, including Bob Dylans "The Man in Me," Kenny Rogers' "Just Dropped In," and Santana's "Oye Como Va."
- Serious Business: Bowling.Walter: "MARK IT ZERO!"
- Spelling Bonus: T-H-E-D-U-D-E, D-O-N-N-Y, W-A-L-T-E-R, M-A-U-D-E, and J-E-S-U-S are available, along with Z-E-R-O on the outlanes.
- Trademark Favorite Drink: The Dude's White Russian.
- Wizard Mode: The Dude Abides, which is activated by completing Mark It Zero, collecting each character's bowling ball, completing each character's mode, completing all rug modes, completing all car modes, and scoring a Super Jackpot in Multiball.