It’s been an exciting year for pinball, with 2018 providing the usual mix of new games, new locations, more and more shows and, of course, plenty of drama.
That ‘drama’ saw one pinball company close their doors and another produce no games at all, while at others the pressure of competition has taken its toll.  Not that that competitive landscape has dissuaded others from starting up new companies or unexpectedly announcing follow-up titles.
There’s no doubt 2018 made its mark in pinball history.
2018 – A Year In Pinball
Let’s begin with the new titles announced or released in 2018, and it’s been another busy twelve months for the biggest of the manufacturers, Stern Pinball.
New Games
They began with the first European showing of their Guardians of the Galaxy game at the EAG International show in London in January 2018, where it featured alongside Batman 66 and Ghostbusters. Guardians of the Galaxy had been announced at the end of October 2017 soon after Pinball Expo, and John Borg’s latest design was in full production soon after, appearing at the IAAPA show in Florida in November.
Guardians of the Galaxy Limited Edition
The company’s first new title to be announced in 2018 was the long awaited Iron Maiden.  This was Keith Elwin’s first game for Stern and was heavily based on his home brew Archer game he created with brother, Randy.
Stern Pinball’s Iron Maiden
The game was very well received and is believed to have sold well for the company.
Stern Pinball typically produces three ‘cornerstone’ titles each year – games both designed and manufactured in-house – and their third cornerstone title produced in 2018 was the George Gomez design, Deadpool.
Stern Pinball’s Deadpool
Based on the Marvel comic book rather than the two Ryan Reynolds movies, Deadpool was announced on 7th August with the Pro model produced first.  The LE and Premium models followed, and continued the trend of trend of recent titles where the higher level models add only slightly to the gameplay feature list but are more about added bling and relative exclusivity.
Exclusivity and bling were the name of the game with Stern’s collaboration with Ka-Pow Pinball in their follow-up to