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Note: Given Stern's staggered content release schedule, this page is updated frequently with mostly live reactions to new material.
As if there was any serious doubt, Stern Pinball has just released the first teaser trailer for their much hyped JAWS pinball machine, the next cornerstone game from designer Keith Elwin.
Jaws has long held the #2 spot in our Hype Rankings index as it's been a theme pinball fans have discussed and hoped to see for some time. Few interesting stats on this particular IP:
- The Jaws franchise dates back to 1975. Making it nearly 50 years old.
- Someone who was aged 5-15 when the franchise launched is now in their 50s and 60s, putting them squarely into the key pinball purchasing demographic.
- While nostalgic and big for its time, Jaws isn't exactly a relevant IP to modern audiences, so it will be interesting to see how much play it gets from younger and location players.
Jaws Pinball Release Schedule
- 1/2: Teaser Trailer (done)
- 1/3: "Story Trailer" (done)
- 1/4: Official Game Trailer (done)
- 1/4: Game Features Video (done)
- 1/4: LE All Access on Sale at 12pm CT (done)
- 1/4: LE Model Photos (done)
- 1/5: Premium Model Photos (done)
- 1/6: Pro Model Photos (done)
- 1/7: Gameplay Premier Video
- 1/8: Insider Connected Achievements
- Keith Elwin - Lead Game Designer
- Harrison Drake - Lead Mechanical Engineer
- Rick Naegele - Lead Software Engineer
- Jerry Thompson - Lead Sound Designer
- Zac Stark - Technical Lead Artist
- Elizabeth Gieske - Software Engineer
- Michael Barnard - Artwork
- Richard Dreyfuss - Callouts
Rules & Code
Complete BASH BOAT to light SHARK ENCOUNTERS.
Close all 5 beaches to begin RESCUE MULTIBALL.
SHARK TOWER TARGETS add BEACHGOERS to each beach. Collect all 3 on same beach to begin BEACH CLOSED hurry-up.
Complete white arrows to light FISHFINDER. Shoot lit drop target from MINI FLIPPER to collect FISHFINDER award.
Collect shark tower standups to begin FEEDING FRENZY.
Chum the Water
Shoot the chum bucket to Chum the Water. Complete CHUM LINE to light READY BARREL.
Complete DROP targets when lit to attach a BARREL to the HARPOON.
Shoot fin target with BARREL attached to light JAWS MULTIBALL.
Shooting Harpoon lane from MINI FLIPPER activates QUICKSHOT. QUICKSHOT multiplier increases the further the ball is shot up the HARPOON LANE. Shoot fin target to collect QUICKSHOT value.
Jaws Story Trailer
Stern has released the official "story" trailer. It's all film clips and voiceover, so no gameplay footage or other specific game details. If anything it reminds me of a much shorter theatrical trailer for the original Jaws film. It does seem very carefully edited, however, so it will be interesting as we see more revealed to see what kind of assets they got access to for the final game.
Things that stood out:
- The Jaws theme song sounds subtly different from the original. Maybe they didn't get the rights to the John Williams score?
- Character close-up face shots are fleeting, obscured, or non-existent. It's notable that we don't get a close-up face shot of Brody (Roy Scheider) and in the shots we do get of Quint (Robert Shaw) and Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) none are delivering any lines.
- Wouldn't be surprised if some of the callouts are done by non-original actors, "We've gotta close the beach!" sounds dubbed.
Jaws Pinball Official Game Trailer
Jaws Pinball Game Features Video
Quick hit reactions on two views of the trailer:
- Looks like there are some really fun shots in this one, which shouldn't be a surprise from an Elwin game. The Orca upper playfield to lookout tower shot is one I'd be shooting for on the Premium/LE version. Also dig the use of the mini flipper on the right side of the playfield.
- Gomez says there are film clips from "all the Jaws films", so does that mean we'll finally get "Jaws: The Revenge" in a pinball machine?
- Sound like you'll be playing as Quint. With an option to play as "the great white" (interesting note that Jaws is consistently referred to as "the great white").
- There's a 3D video mode.
- Noted use of Insider Connected to "work on your bounty hunter rank" seems like an evolution from what we saw with Venom and the XP system.
- The Pro model doesn't feel too stripped down from Premium/LE. Fewer bells/whistles obviously, but the gameplay experience looks like it'll be close enough to keep people happy.
Jaws Pinball Photos
By my count, Stern has nearly 200 photos of the different trim levels on their website, so we're not going to post them all here, but will call out a few highlights from each trim level below.
It's always tough to make these determinations from gameplay videos and marketing material but I was impressed with how the Pro edition seemed to translate from the Premium/LE editions, purely from a shots and flow perspective. Most of the core "moments" all feel pretty intact, so it doesn't seem like the gameplay experience will degrade much from the LE version.
I'm also finding myself obsessed with the quickshot/harpoon shot coming off the right mini-flipper. Both how you can use the mini-flipper to trap the ball and the path the ball appears to take across the playfield in a way that may function like a more challenging scoop-shot.
On the Premium/LE, I love the upper playfield shots and the wave ramp into lookout tower combo. I would be trying to shoot for that constantly if I that was the model I had available to play.
We'll continue updating this page as more information is revealed.