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Pinball / The Munsters

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"You lost your balls, Charlie!"note 

The Munsters is a pinball machine designed by John Borg, sporting code work by Dwight Sullivan, and released by Stern Pinball in early 2019. It is unsurprisingly based on the 1960s sitcom of the same name.

The game revolves around collecting each member of the Munster family in order to reach "Munster Madness". This entails playing through several modes themed after each of them (excluding Eddie but including their pet dragon Spot, who resides under the left ramp). The rules are designed to be simple and easy to grasp, yet deep enough for more advanced players to devise strategies for maximum scoring. This is primarily owing to features like the Zap Button, which can be charged to collect "Zap Jackpots", and the ability to stack different categories of Super Jackpots to collect all at once. The Premium and Limited Edition versions also add "Grandpa's Laboratory", a mini-playfield underneath the regular one (similar to Black Hole) that uses specialized, equally small pinballs.

This game contains examples of:

  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Collecting a SPOT letter causes the family pet to briefly emerge under the left ramp, where it can be hit again to get another letter. Given how small the window of opportunity is, shooting the ramp for a very short period after Spot retreats will still count.
    • Failing to light a Super Jackpot during Raven Multiball leads to a short period where the player can restart it by shooting the left ramp again.
    • An aversion: the ball saver at the beginning of a ball - a ubiquitous feature in almost all games since the 90s - is off by default (though it can still be enabled in the settings menu).
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The insert color changes to indicate increasing levels of scoring, going from white to blue to red.
  • Deliberately Monochrome:
    • Downplayed with the display animations, which are usually in black and white (primarily to better fit with the use of clips from the original series, which was filmed before the widespread adoption of color television). It even affects the stock tutorial footage in the Attract Mode.
    • The game's Premium version changes the playfield art to be monochrome, though Stern later put out a version that was as colorful as the Pro and Limited editions.
  • Drive-In Theater: The end of ball animation shows the Dragula pulling into one of these and inadvertently causing chaos when every other car attempts to flee in response.
  • Easter Egg:
    • "Secret Mania" can only be activated by entering a Cheat Codenote  during gameplay and then shooting the scoop twice. It involves collecting every member of the family by shooting designated areas, awarding a bonus upon completion.
    • "Midnight Madness", a recurring secret mode on games programmed by Dwight Sullivan, returns here. It can only be activated when the machine's clock reaches 12 AM while a game is ongoing.
  • Golden Snitch: Early versions made Munster Madness exceptionally lucrative, with strategic playing potentially resulting in final scores exceeding a billion points. This was the result of a bug - if the playfield multipliers were active during the four shot hurry-up phase, the multiplied values of those hurry-ups would be added to the next one, in addition to awarding the multiplied points. Combine this with a 6x Score Multiplier and scores could escalate quickly.
  • Logo Joke: The Stern Pinball logo in the Attract Mode is green and slimy, mimicking the series' logo.
  • Match Sequence: An old television playing a clip from the original series shifts its knob between channels (the match numbers), eventually settling on one.
  • Not Quite Starring: Soundalikes of the original series' cast provide a good chunk of the game's voice work, alongside archive audio from the source material.
  • Painting the Medium: Spot is placed under the left ramp, which is themed after the Munster home's stairs (where he lived in the original show).
  • Retraux: Old electromagnetic pinball sound effects play when the ball's in the bumpers.
  • Score Multiplier: The Kitty target activates a multiplier that can increase up to 6x.
  • Skill Shot: Either two or three of them, depending on the edition.
    • The normal Skill Shot requires plunging into the right lane (which cannot be changed beforehand).
    • The Super Skill Shot requires holding the left flipper button before plunging, then shooting the right ramp right after.
    • The Premium and Limited Editions also have a Double Super Skill Shot accessed by holding both left flipper buttons. It requires shooting the scoop, then the saucer on the lower playfield.
  • Spelling Bonus:
    • L-I-L-Y starts Lily's frenzy mode.
    • S-P-O-T starts Spot's mode.
    • D-R-A-G-U-L-A increases the Dragula lane's value.
  • Take That, Audience!: Miss enough shots, or drain down an outlane, and the game plays a Laugh Track at your expense.
  • Variable Mix: Each ball uses different instruments for the main theme.
  • Wizard Mode: Starting every major family mode lights "Munster Madness", which comprises two levels. The first involves shooting every major area thrice in 10 seconds, then shooting the scoop for a hurry-up. The second involves shooting said major areas to complete at least one family member (each of which bestow a specific bonus for the remainder of the mode), followed by getting jackpots at each of the four primary shots and then collecting several hurry-ups. Finishing the second level causes it to restart, allowing the player to acquire more bonuses by shooting for a different Munster.