The Walking Dead is an arcade pinball machine based on the popular Zombie Apocalypse live-action television series. It was designed by John Borg, illustrated by Greg Freres and Kevin O'Connor, and released in October 2014 by Stern Pinball.
In this game, the player joins Rick Grimes and his group of survivors as they try to make it in a Crapsack World overrun with zombies. Collect Food, Weapons, and First Aid supplies, visit Woodbury, the Prison, and the Tower, then load up on various weapons in case a Riot breaks out. Venture to the Arena, Cell Block C, the CDC, and the Tunnel, battle the Prison Walkers and the bloated Well Walker, and don't hesitate to stab, shoot, or bash the undead wherever they appear. Load up the unfolding crossbow and shoot it at targets across the playfield, then start a Multikill spree for maximum damage. The frightful mood is enhanced with music from the show and playfield toys sculpted by executive producer Gregory Nicotero.
The Walking Dead is available in both a regular ("Pro") edition, and pricier Limited and Premium Editions. The latter two versions include an extra magnet and drop target, spinners, custom artwork and trim, a fish tank with zombie heads, a fold-out crossbow launcher, and a "Bicycle Girl" bash toy on the left ramp, as well as multi-color LED general illumination.
Not to be confused with the Walking Dead Digital Pinball Table, which is based on Telltale Games' The Walking Dead: Season One and is available through Zen Pinball. For more information about that table, click here.
The Walking Dead pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Bloody Handprint: The two inlanes and the Limited Edition backglass all show bloody handprints (related to the ongoing zombie epidemic, no doubt).
- Boom, Headshot!: One animation shows a walker being killed by being shot in the head.
- Chainsaw Good: One of the animations for killing a walker shows the POV character wielding a chainsaw against it.
- Curse Cut Short: The left outline quotes a suicide note from the episode "Save the Last One", but cuts its off midway through a profanity by placing a walker over the offending word.GOT BIT FEVER HIT WORLD GONE TO SH
- Dead Weight: The Well Walker is a hideously fat zombie with folds of flabby skin and a body covered with open sores."Let's get that thing up here and start some multiball."
- Diagonal Cut: One animation shows a walker getting killed with a cut diagonally across the head.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Not surprisingly, the playfield is covered in blood.
- Match Sequence: Two zombies are shown eating on a fallen corpse, and the display cuts to a close-up of the victim's entrails. A zombie hand removes the stomach, and part of the small intestine forms the match number.
- Mythology Gag:
- One part of the playfield artwork quotes a suicide note from "Save the Last One" - except it's cut off before it can get to a curse word and finish.GOT BIT FEVER HIT WORLD GONE TO SH[IT MIGHT AS WELL QUIT]
- The Limited Edition version of the table (as well as an optional, official add-on for the top of the backbox) contains a model of one of the governor's fish tanks filled with severed walker heads.
- One part of the playfield artwork quotes a suicide note from "Save the Last One" - except it's cut off before it can get to a curse word and finish.
- Not Quite Starring: The callout quotes use substitute actors instead of any actors from the TV series it's based on.
- Not Using the "Z" Word: As with the original Comic Book and television series, the word "zombie" is never used; "walker" is the preferred nomenclature.
- Score Multiplier:
- The tower doubles all scoring for 20 seconds.
- Every two walker kills will increase the multiplier on one inlane for one shot, with no limit to how high it can reach until cashed out.
- Secondary Adaptation: The game is based on AMC's The Walking Dead (2010), a TV series adapted from the comic book The Walking Dead.
- Skill Shot:
- The two rollover switches will light in sequence, switching on and off at faster intervals after each successful skill shot. The player must plunge the ball through the rollover switches and collect one of the two top bonus x lanes to award the skill shot. The value of the skill shot is determined by the number of rollover switches collected on the plunge and whether or not the player makes the lit bonus x lane.
- The "Welcome to Woodbury" feature, qualified after filling the fish tank via the right ramp, works like this. The ball is fed back to the plunger, and the player must plunge the ball into one of four lit areas (the two rollover switches or the top bonus x lanes) to collect an award. Both the award and where it can be collected change with the flipper buttons.
- Spelling Bonus:
- P-R-I-S-O-N begins the Prison Mode.
- W-E-L-L awakes the Well Walker and allows the player to start Well Walker Multiball.
- Wizard Mode:
- "Blood Bath" is started after collecting all three Supplies awards from the drop target bank, and is a multiball where all switches score points. Completing the drop targets will score jackpots and will add up to three additional balls back in play.
- "Siege" is reached upon killing twelve walkers during Prison Multiball. This is a one-ball affair in which the player must shoot the prison and various lit arrows to advance through the siege. Shots to the prison itself will also spot shots for the player.
- "Horde" is lit at the Woodbury shot upon finishing all six Multi Kill rounds. This mode sees the players Last Stand against a relentless horde of walkers. Shots must be made to kill the approaching walkers, whose distance from the player is measured via the column of inserts in front of each main shot.
- "Escape Terminus" begins after the player has at least started all five Dead Feature modes. The player must make shots to cash in their previous mode totals and help the survivors bust out of Terminus.
- "Crossbow Frenzy", given how hard it is to even start, could be considered this. The mode is begun once the player makes all five shots during the Crossbow mode (where the player loads the crossbow and has one chance to make a lit shot in a short amount of time).
- "Last Man Standing" — quite possibly the most difficult wizard mode to get to in the game — is started once the player has killed one hundred and fifteen walkers during normal play. During this mode, players must make lit shots to fend off 115 more oncoming walkers while waiting for a helicopter to arrive.
- Zombie Apocalypse: As with the source material, the game is set in a world where zombies have overrun the general population, with a few survivors taking it upon themselves to get rid of them.