29th Annual Chicago Pinball Expo
The most highly anticipated trade show of its kind, the 29th Annual Chicago Pinball Expo was truly a sight to be seen for any gamer looking to be dazzled. With a wide turnout and a slew of incredible pinball machines to behold, the event took place from October 16 to October 20th and was filled with a wide array of activities, including a tournament, seminars, guest speakers, tours, parts and game sales. This special event, open to the public, continues to bring forth a new fan base for the history of pinball machine games and beyond. Showcasing various genres of pinball machine and games of other variety, the expo caters to a host of fans, vendors and collectors all hoping to catch a glimpse of something new and extraordinary.
Among the newbies showcased at this year’s expo was the upcoming Predator pinball machine, a special edition game currently being developed for 250 collectors. This pinball machine contains an R-rating due to its use of uncensored character quotes and bloody props, surely a perk in the eyes of devoted fans of the highly popular franchise.
The Chicago Pinball Expo displayed a range of awesome devices both new and old. This year’s main attraction displayed a section devoted to custom games built using the P-ROC controller board, an undoubtedly cool opportunity for gamers. Also in attendance this year was Wrath of Olympus, a game that was once intended only to be virtual, but was converted into a pinball machine by its creator.
In addition to plenty of informational and hands-on activities for dedicated fans to take part in, the Chicago Pinball Expo also hosted the Flip-Out 2013 Pinball Tournament, an annual challenge for pinball wizards to compete against other masters at the craft.
New Pinball Machines and Technology
There was a wide variety of custom-built pinball machines that would impress even the most seasoned of pinball players. For instance, thrown into the mix was the hand airbrushed Matrix machine, built off a Williams Johnny Mnemonic. Also in appearance was creator Ben Heck’s America’s Most Haunted, an upcoming pinball machine revolving around paranormal investigators. With a cool new color display and updated rules and animations, Cactus Canyon Continued also made a splash. In addition to these cool new devices, the X-Pin boasts a brand new white LED dot matrix display, customizable with theater gels. Not to mention, a custom Sonic the Hedgehog pinball machine was presented, much to the delight of fans of the 90s classic.
Among many innovative creations, a 1982 Varkon remake brought a welcome change of pace. Its unique look, like that of an arcade cabinet with a real pinball inside, was a treat for those accustomed to only the traditional models of pinball machines.
Though there was no shortage of awe-inspiring pinball machines to behold, there were those that incited squeals of delight from adoring fans. The Big Lebowski, the 1998 cult classic starring Jeff Bridges as The Dude himself, is said to have been made into an up and coming game that will no doubt entice fans both young and old.