The Party Zone is a Physical Pinball Table designed by Dennis Nordman, with artwork by Greg Freres and music and sound effects by Dan Forden. It was released in 1991 by Williams Electronics under the Bally label.
As indicated by the introductory text on the backglass, The Party Zone is centered on an interdimensional party under the watchful eyes of the wildly enigmatic Captain B. Zarr. Win the Door Prize, enter the Dance Contest with the Dancing Dummy, shoot the Rocket Ramp for the Ozone Bonus, and make sure to Eat, Drink, & B. Merry. Start up the Super Sonic Robotic Comic for a Laff Attack, and don't hesitate to Make a Request from the DJ. After all that, get the Party Animals, Party Monsters, and Party Dudes into the Cosmic Cottage, then start Happy Hour Multiball and try to collect enough Rock-It Fuel for the Big Bang jackpot — or get booted into the End Zone and out of the Party.
Trivia buffs will note that this was the second pinball table released under the Bally label to feature a dot-matrix display (after Gilligan's Island). There are also unconfirmed rumors that this was originally intended to be a Ghostbusters Licensed Pinball Table, only to be changed when the deal fell through.
A digital version was available for FarSight Studios' The Pinball Arcade before their license to all Williams and Bally tables expired on July 1, 2018. Another digital version is currently available for Pinball FX3, along with a remastered version that includes the typical Zen Studios flair.
The Party Zone demonstrates the following tropes:
- Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Captain B. Zarr can rotate his head a full 360 degrees.
- Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: EDBM ("Eat, Drink, & B. Merry") and WOOC (Way Out Of Control)
- Adapted Out: Purple Haze is omitted from Pinball Arcade and Pinball FX3 due to licensing issues. Pinball Wizard plays instead.
- Amusing Alien: Played with by the Super Sonic Robotic Comic; his lines are unintelligible gibberish, but everyone else reacts with uproarious laughter.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: In the Match Sequence, Captain B. Zarr is flying through outer space in his rocket, with the cockpit open and exposing him to vacuum with no ill effects.
- The Cameo: Some of the partygoers include George Washington, The Grim Reaper, a T-rex (with party hat), and the Moon.
- Canon Welding: As noted under Intercontinuity Crossover, The Party Zone takes place in the same canon as Party Animal, Elvira and the Party Monsters, and Dr. Dude.
- Continuity Nod: The 2x playfield multiplier after multiball was also present in Dr. Dude.
- Cool Shades: Captain B. Zarr wears a pair of retro-cool aviator goggles.
- Creator Cameo: Dennis Nordman appears on the sides of the cabinet.
- Dumb Jock: A wayward football player appears on the playfield, and shows up periodically in the animations. If the ball drains down a lit outlane, he'll score a touchdown and you'll get a bonus.
- Exorcist Head: The Captain will do this during Happy Hour multiball mode.
- Fanservice Extra: The Captain is accompanied by a number of attractive young ladies wearing skin-tight outfits.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Captain B. Zarr wears an old-fashioned WWI aviator goggles and helmet (with beanie) for no known practical reason.
- Golden Snitch:
- The 10x playfield for 10 second award from the WOOC lane can be used to get an absurd amount of points. It can stack with million bumpers to give 10 million points a bumper, or the WOOC loop can be shot again for up to 100 million points. This is on a game where the default replay value is 30 million.
- The million bumpers on their own are pretty unbalanced.
- Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: The "Rock-It Meter" indicates how much fuel the player has by how far the Rocket will go — from the "Wisconsin State Line", past "The Edge of Reality", and up to "The NEW Frontier!"
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Worn by the Captain and his entourage — the Captain has a black flight jacket, aviator goggles, and white cowboy gloves, while his accompanying ladies wear tube tops, Painted-On Pants, go-go boots, and jet packs.
- Inane Blabbering: Collecting the first WOOC award results in this.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The three groups of partygoers are from earlier Dennis Nordman games — Party Animal, Elvira and the Party Monsters, and Dr. Dude.
- Jet Pack: Worn by many of the Captain's friends.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Captain B. Zarr has one, complete with manly cleft.
- Life of the Party: Captain B. Zarr, of course.
- Match Sequence: The Captain flies through space in his rocket, and the exhaust smoke forms the match number. Your score can potentially end in a 9 if the Big Bang is collected at its maximum value. It is still counted as a match if the tens digits of your score and the match number are the same.
- Not on the List: On higher levels, the player must Make a Request before entering the Cosmic Cottage; failure to do so causes Da Bouncer to kick him out.
- Painted-On Pants: The Captain's female friends wear zebra-striped tight pants to go with their go-go boots.
- Progressive Jackpot: The Big Bang is worth from 10 million to 99,999,999 points carrying over from game to game. Your score will actually end in a 9 if you score the Big Bang at its maximum value. Tournament Mode sets the value at a constant 20 million.
- Punny Name: Used all over the place, not least of which is Captain B. Zarr.
- Raygun Gothic: Many of the game's characters and props use this style, such as the fifties-style retro-rocket and the fishbowl space helmets worn by the Captain's companions.
- Real Song Theme Tune: The game plays various Real Life songs during the game, including "Pinball Wizard" by The Who, "De'funkt" by Defunkt, "Feelings" by Morris Albert, and "Come Fly with Me" by Frank Sinatra. If the player scores the Big Bang, the game will play "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix.
- Red Alert: When the "Big Bang" jackpot is lit, every light on the playfield turns red.
- Retro Rocket: The playfield Rock-It, complete with bulbous nose and engine fins in the rear.
- Rule of Three: "Eat", "Drink", and "B. Merry".
- Rummage Sale Reject: The Captain can be seen as this.
- Score Multiplier: If you drain down to single-ball play after multiball, the playfield values are 2x for the rest of the ball. The third Way Out Of Control award will multiply the playfield by 10x for 10 seconds.
- Skill Shot: Plunge the ball into the lane marked with a '?' to the right of the B-O-P lanes to collect the Door Prize.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: A gameplay mechanic; at times in the game, the Captain will play a "personal favorite" tune, such as Morris Albert's "Feelings". The player must then hit "Make a Request" to change it to a more party-appropriate song. They will get the "Party Saver" award and some points when this is done.Captain B. Zarr: "Pick a song, not your nose!"
- Spelling Bonus: B-O-P increases the bonus multiplier, while W-O-O-C enables the "Way Out Of Control" bonus.
- Spiritual Successor: To Dennis Nordman's earlier "Party" games (especially Party Animal), using a Crossover to boot.
- Thing-O-Meter: The "Rock-It Meter".
- The Unintelligible: The Supersonic Robotic Comic."He's not funny, he's FAST!"
- Wild Teen Party: Between the random appearances by football players and the hot girls wearing skin-tight pants, the game certainly plays to this trope.
- Wingding Eyes: Several of the partygoers have spirals in their eyes.