|The Simpsons Pinball Party|
|Designer|| Designers: Keith Johnson, Joe Balcer|
Artwork: Kevin O'Connor, Margaret Hudson
Dots/Animation: Mark Galvez
Mechanics: Wesley Chang, Ray Tanzer
Music: Dan Forden
Sound: Chris Granner
Software: Keith Johnson, Dwight Sullivan
|Release Date||February 14, 2003|
The Simpsons Pinball Party is a 2003 Stern Pinball machine designed by Joe Balcer and programmed by Keith Johnson. It is the second game based on the Fox animated sitcom after Data East's The Simpsons in 1990.
The game contains an upper "Living Room" playfield featuring a couch ball lock and a tri-color digital LED "TV" display; it is accessed by bashing open the "garage door". Other features include a light-up moving Homer head, a Bart captive ball, and two bumpers themed after nuclear reactor cooling towers.
The Simpsons Pinball Party is known for its extremely complex rules, as well as its difficult-to-reach Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard Mode.
The Simpsons Pinball Party offers a breadth of strategy and intricacy in rules, and is thus considered one of the most complex pinball machines ever built.
The ultimate goal is to complete six tasks in order to qualify the Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard Mode. Professional pinball player Bowen Kerins, who has written an in-depth rule sheet for the game, is the only player known to reach this mode often.
The six tasks are:
- 5 Super Jackpots: During Couch Multiball, hitting the couch shot on the upper playfield scores a super jackpot; subsequent ones are qualified by increasing amounts of regular jackpots. Each super jackpot collected lights one of five Simpsons family members on the playfield; lighting all five fulfills the task.
- Alien Invasion: The TV shot on the upper playfield starts one of seven TV modes, and is relit by right orbit shots or mystery "Clean the Garage" awards. Once all modes are either completed or timed out, the TV is lit to start Alien Invasion. A timer is set according to how many TV modes were completed. There are five phases of locking an increasing amount of balls (two, three, four, and finally five) at certain shots on the playfield. Locking all balls in a phase advances to the next, while draining a ball brings the player down to the previous level. Beating the final phase completes Alien Invasion; otherwise, the mode ends when the timer runs out.
- Daredevil Mania: The "Daredevil Bart" captive ball starts one of four Daredevil modes, and is relit by completing the "bully" three-bank of standups. Each Daredevil mode (Ramps, Bumpers, Targets, and Loops) is beaten by scoring 1 million from each respective area of the playfield. Completing all four lights the captive ball for Daredevil Mania, whereupon five million points must be scored from all shots on the playfield to complete. Players are encouraged to start Daredevil Mania during a multiball, thus ensuring completion of the mode.
- Scratchy's Revenge: On the lower right of the playfield sits a three-bank of drop targets guarding a hole. Completing the targets and shooting the hole twice starts one of four Itchy & Scratchy Multiballs: Spay Anything, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Field of Screams, and Esophagus Now. Shooting the hole once all four are played starts Scratchy's Revenge. The super jackpot is qualified at the hole after 15 jackpots, minus the number of super jackpots earned in the previous four Itchy & Scratchy Multiballs. Collecting the Scratchy's Revenge super jackpot fulfills the task.
- Springfield Mystery Spot: Located to the right of the garage, the Otto shot doubles one of ten shots on the playfield; it is relight by hitting the Otto standup in front of the bumpers. Once all double scoring modes have ended, the Otto shot starts Springfield Mystery Spot. In this multiball, the flipper controls are reversed (a player tactic to crossing their arms). All double scoring shots are lit; completing all lights the garage for a super jackpot. The garage door is shut, and stays open for only a few seconds when bashed. Collecting the super "completes" the mode.
- Secret Stash: The Comic Book Guy target, found below the left ramp, lights one of six hurry-up shots. Collecting all lights the target for Secret Stash. During this mode, all the hurry-up shots activate; collecting ten completes Secret Stash. The Comic Book Guy target relights any collected hurry-ups. Like Daredevil Mania, Secret Stash is encouraged to be played during a multiball to ensure completion.
Completing these six tasks lights Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard Mode at all holes and ejects. This is a five-ball multiball, during which:
- Bumpers are 25,000, and spinner spins are 50,000.
- All shots are lit for Jackpot, beginning at 500,000 and growing 50,000 on each travel down the Monorail.
- Completing either bank of targets (Bully or Itchy & Scratchy) lights a strobing shot for two different types of Super Jackpot, worth 5x the regular Jackpot.
- Locking a ball in the Couch multiplies Super Jackpots; the timer is set to 99 seconds and counts down quickly. The first lock doubles all Super Jackpots, and second lock before the timer runs out triples them.
Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard Mode ends when one ball is left.