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Pinball / The Simpsons (Data East)

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"Play pinball, man!"
Bart Simpson on the backglass topper

The Simpsons is a pinball machine made by Data East in 1990, based on the classic animated sitcom of the same name (which was currently sweeping the nation at the time of the game's release).

There isn't really a major plot in the game, but most everything Simpsons-related (at least, in its early seasons) is included. The bright, attention-grabbing art and custom speech from the actors helped make it a success; it won the award for best pinball game in 1990 by the Amusement and Music Operators Association.

The game was initially well-received, and it has been credited to helping pinball resurface in The '90s, mostly due to it being one of the first games with a strong theme. Nowadays, however, it's rather hotly contested as to whether it's genuinely a good game, or simply rode the coattails of the show's popularity. Nevertheless it's still regarded as a decent play.

This pinball machine provides examples of:

  • Amusing Injuries: Scratchy suffers these on the playfield.
  • Bart Simpson is About to Shoot You: Shown on the playfield, in between the flippers.
    Bart: Shoot again, man!
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Homer is mistaken for Bigfoot near the left ramp, complete with souvenir shops and advertisements.
    Get your picture taken with Bigfoot!
  • Bowling for Ratings: Bowling features prominently in the game, being the method for starting multiball.
  • Electric Torture: The flashers include pictures of the Simpsons family undergoing electroshock group therapy.
  • Generic Graffiti: "El Barto" is scrawled on one of the playfield plastics.
  • Match Sequence: The match sequence is labeled "Homer's Lucky Scratch-N-Match", and one by one, several digits are eliminated until only a few remain.
  • Mirror Match: Lisa Simpson and "Bleeding Gums" Murphy are playing saxophone on the slingshot bumpers.
  • Score Multiplier: Termed "Doughnut Multipliers", they're earned by going on the top lanes. Up to 6 can be earned.
  • Skill Shot: The normal "three lanes with one lit to award points" affair.
  • Spelling Bonus: Spelling M-I-L-L-I-O-N-S and riding the ramp nets you a million points. The flyer mistakenly says you must spell S-I-M-P-S-O-N-S instead.
    Homer: Please, please, please, please — one million smackers!
  • Take That, Audience!: A lot of it.
    Grandpa Simpson: Don't you know how to use the flippers?
  • Timed Mission: Most missions, like the Millions round.
  • Totally Radical: A bit, thanks to Bart Simpson.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Donuts are prevalent in the playfield art.

Apu: Come again!

Alternative Title(s): The Simpsons 1990