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Pinball / The Flintstones

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It's the Stone Age Rage!


The Flintstones is a Licensed Pinball Table designed by John Trudeau and illustrated by Kevin O'Connor. It was released by Williams Electronics in the summer of 1994, a month after the live-action movie starring John Goodman and Rick Moranis.

The game combines key events from the film with additional animated antics from the prehistoric town of Bedrock. Make Fred's Bronto-Crane spit out various awards, find a job for Barney, then Go Bowling at the Bowl-O-Rama. Use the Smart Ramps to loop pinballs around the flippers for the 1-2-3 Combo, visit Joe's Diner and the Bedrock Water Buffalo Lodge, and make Fred's Choice for a chance at the Mystery Award. Build up more Machine Time to power up the Rock Cutter, then help Fred invent Concrete and collect both the Jackpot and Super Jackpot awards. This is all accompanied with numerous animated displays and original dialog from Goodman, Moranis, and Harvey Korman.

Players tend to be very divided over The Flintstones. Critics dislike the game for its not-too-challenging difficulty, jackpot-heavy scoring, and the use of live-action movie art instead of the animated cartoon's (never mind that it was supposed to be a tie-in for the movie). On the other hand, fans enjoy it for being a forgiving game with a family-friendly license, mixed with some very clever features and challenging shots that further extend and refine ideas from John Trudeau's earlier tables.

"Let's play some pinball!":

  • Anti-Frustration Features: If your ball somehow drains while using one of the Smart Ramps (which it's not supposed to), the game will take notice and give a free Ball Save.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Not so much "artistic license" as much as "callous disregard".
  • Bamboo Technology: As with the source, this is done all over the place, with the Dictabird (voiced by Harvey Korman) being the most prominent example.
  • The Big Race: The "Bedrock Derby" mode. Basically a horse race with dinosaurs, the player must hit the pop bumpers to make his dinosaur win the race.
    Fred: We're off to the races!
  • Character Catch Phrase: Not only does Fred yell "Yabba-dabba-doo!", but if the player completes it, he's rewarded with the Bowling Power-Up.
  • Company Cross References:
    • The angry customer in "Joe's Diner" is the angry moviegoer ("MOVE YOUR CAR!") from Creature from the Black Lagoon.
    • The "Bedrock Water Buffalos" mode is an updated version of the "Bad Impersonator" mode from Judge Dredd.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: During "Joe's Diner," the irate diner retaliates against the hapless clerk with a punch in the face, followed by a grenade through the drive-thru window.
    • Toilet Humour: "Joe's Diner" ends with a large pterodactyl flying overhead and releasing a giant dropping on the diner.
  • Domesticated Dinosaurs: As with the source material, dinosaurs are used for all sorts of mundane utilitarian tasks in Bedrock.
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: During the attract mode, the Flintstones theme plays while a bouncing ball follows the lyrics. The music continues while the display shows Fred putting out the family cat for the night (just like in the closing credits of the original cartoon).
  • Game Mod: Many owners of The Flintstones have opted to replace the backbox translite with fan-made ones depicting the animated versions of the characters. There's even an infamous R-rated translite that suggests the two families are into... alternative lifestyles.
  • Man in a Kilt: As in the cartoon, all of the men in Bedrock wear one-piece fur suits.
  • Match Sequence: The last two digits in the player's score are shown next to a giant rock with "MATCH" chiseled onto it, with a blank space next to it. The blank space breaks apart (presumably someone drives a chisel through it), revealing the match numbers.
  • Mini-Game: The Bedrock Bowl-O-Rama, where you shoot at a set of bowling pins and are rewarded with either a gutter, a spare, or a strike. The number of frames bowled counts towards the player's bonus, and getting three strikes starts Bowl-O-Rama Multiball.
    • Always Accurate Attack: If you have the Bowling Power-Up, the next time you bowl will be a guaranteed strike.
      Fred: "I can't miss with this ball."
  • Painting the Medium: The game apron (just below the flippers, where the player's hands sit) is molded to resemble carved rock.
  • Produce Pelting: The player does this during "Bedrock Water Buffalos," though Fred's weapon of choice is his bowling ball.
    "Hey, get off the stage!"
  • Punny Name: Lots of puns involving rocks and prehistoric matter, such as a store named "Toy-S-Aurus".
  • Schizo Tech: In addition to Fred inventing concrete several million years early, there's the Dictabird, the Bronto Crane, and a push mower with a giant lobster on the front.
  • Secondary Adaptation: The game is based on the 1994 film adaptation of the original animated sitcom.
  • Skill Shot: Launch the ball into the flashing DIG rollover lane for a multi-million bonus.
  • Spelling Bonus: D-I-G increases the bonus multiplier, 1-2-3 starts one of the four main game modes, B-E-D and R-O-C-K add a letter to CONCRETE, while C-O-N-C-R-E-T-E starts Concrete Multiball.
    Dictabird: "Woo, that's a lotta balls."

Dictabird: Please come back soon.