Stern Pinball today revealed their second (and probably final) cornerstone title of 2023 – the much anticipated new game from game designer Brian Eddy, Venom.
Based on the Marvel comic book character, Venom is the result of an extra-terrestrial symbiote bonding with a human host to create a symbiotic combo with superhuman powers. Venom was created when a symbiote, having initially tried to bond with Spider-Man but being rejected once his evil intentions became clear, bonded with Spider-Man’s enemy Eddie Brock instead.
That bond eventually overwhelmed Brock, so there are other characters created as a result of different bonds with the Venom symbiote. In addition, there are offspring from Venom who also bonded with various human hosts to create additional symbiotic Marvel Universe characters.
But back to the pinball, as Stern today revealed the three Venom variants with the regular Pro, Premium and Limited Edition versions. Artwork for all three is by Zombie Yeti (Jeremy Packer) while music for the game includes a dozen tracks from Creed and Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti who had previously performed music for Jersey Jack Pinball titles (including their logo animation).
The Pro model is priced at $6,999, the Premium at $9,699 and the Limited Edition at $12,999.
The Limited Edition model’s production is limited to 1,000 units. There are no restrictions on the number of Pro or Premium models produced. It comes with metallic blue metalwork and the usual upgraded sound system with illuminated speakers.
Venom is a two-flippered, six-ball, standard-width game design with a single inlane and outlane on each side. As expected, the playfield is a riot of colour and includes some unique gameplay features.
Here’s the playfield from the Pro model:
As usual, the Premium and Limited Edition playfields are very similar. Here they are:
At the start of each game the player chooses which host they with to bond with. Each host brings different gameplay features as well as unique music and display animations.
Starting with the Pro model, there are nine shots to the top of the playfield, together with standup targets on the left and right above the inlanes.
One of the key playfield features is the Carnage captive ball which pushes the titular character up a ramp and back into the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane which has played host to many of the more villainous characters in the Marvel Universe.
Each side of the game also features a vertical ball lock which releases onto ramp return wireforms into the left and right inlanes.
Another key playfield feature is the Bell Tower which features a swinging bell at the top, activated by the standup target at the base.
Spider-Man’s alter-ego’s workplace, the Daily Bugle, also features in the game in the form of a scoop which starts multiple modes and then kicks the ball up into a ‘web-slinger’ and onto a wireform leading to the right inlane.
Premium & Limited Edition Models
As we’ve come to expect, the Premium and Limited Edition models include some additional playfield features over the base Pro model.
One of the most significant additions is a Spider-Man Doppelganger 3-bank of roll-under targets which swings out from the right side of the playfield. There are corresponding inserts on the playfield which are absent on the Pro model.
The Premium and Limited Edition also include a different centre ramp which can raise or lower to provide three possible shot options, one of which acts as an additional ball lock thanks to a controlled post in front.
There is another moving ramp on the right side of the game. Again, this is exclusive to the Premium and Limited Edition models and provides an additional shot under the ramp.
Limited Edition Model
One of the LE-specific extras is the pair of mirrored art blades on the inside of the cabinet.
There is also a mirrored real glass backglass, a shaker motor, anti-reflection playfield glass and reflective foil used on the exterior cabinet artwork.
Here’s the full comparison of features across the three models (click to enlarge):
In the meantime, Stern have released a couple of trailer videos for Venom. Here they are:
Venom introduces a number of new features to Stern’s games. The Insider Connected system now provides a way for players to save their game progress, allowing them to progress through the entire game, no matter how many games it takes.
In addition, it gives a way to unlock new hosts, although details of how that will work are not yet announced.
Here’s how Stern Pinball announced their latest release:
|CHICAGO, IL – July 18, 2023 – Stern Pinball, Inc. and Marvel are collaborating to debut an all-new line of pinball games featuring one of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex, and iconic characters, Venom – who’s ready to wreak havoc. Venom pinball games are available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE) models.|
Venom, an alien symbiote that bonds with various hosts, including former Spider-Man antagonist Eddie Brock, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man comic book series in the ’80s. The symbiote gives its host superhuman strength and agility, providing creative and versatile powers out of its material. With its unique and visually striking appearance, Venom quickly became one of Marvel’s most recognizable and popular characters. Venom has been an inspiration for numerous products including: action figures, apparel, collectibles, and now pinball – cementing its continual influence on popular culture in game rooms and entertainment locations worldwide.
Stern’s Venom pinball games will immerse players into the mayhem of this antihero’s Marvel Universe, featuring more than 20 characters including: Eddie Brock, Flash Thompson, Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker, Black Suit Spider-Man, Miles Morales, Riot, Agony, Lasher, Phage, Doppelganger, Venomized Hulk, Venomized Wolverine and Venomized Captain America. Venom’s arch enemy Carnage is collecting Codices to awaken Knull, the God of the symbiotes. Venom must stop Carnage by battling through his army of symbiotes and the Infected to prevent him from taking over the world.
Playing as Venom, gamers will select a host to bond with at the start of each game, altering the entire gaming experience both physically and digitally. Vertical pinball lock symbiote containment vessels located on both sides of the playfield lock and quickly release balls for constant frenetic action as players explore shots through the mechanically changing Agro-Lab and Life Foundation pathways. Players will bash an interactive, custom sculpted Carnage captive ball back into Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane. Additionally, a surprise Doppelganger attack can swing into action at a moment’s notice, unveiling three uplift targets wreaking chaos.
Canvassing the Venom pinball game experience is a collection of hand-drawn comic book style artwork by renowned artist, Jeremy Packer (AKA Zombie Yeti). Depending on which host you choose, players will hear a variety of different styles of music throughout gameplay, including over a dozen music tracks from GRAMMY Award-winning musician Mark Tremonti.
Venom pinball games include Stern’s award-winning Insider Connected system, which enables players to interact with the game and a global network of players in a variety of ways. Through Insider Connected, players will be able to save their game progress through connectivity persistence, allowing anyone to become a (anti)hero as you advance through the game to reach the final wizard mode at the end, no matter how many tries it might take.
In addition, Insider Connected allows players to track progress, earn new game-specific achievements, engage with the player community, and participate in promotions and Challenge Quests. Insider Connected also provides an operator-focused toolset to drive location play through Location Leaderboards, build player loyalty, analyze performance, make adjustments remotely, and maintain the games. Registration for Insider Connected is available at insider.sternpinball.com.
Limited to 1,000 games globally, the highly collectible Limited Edition model includes a Venom vs. Carnage inspired full-color mirrored backglass, full color high definition reflective foil decal cabinet artwork, custom high gloss Venom-inspired “goo” powder-coated pinball armor, a custom designer-autographed bottom arch, inside art blades, upgraded audio system, anti-reflection pinball playfield glass, shaker motor, a sequentially numbered plaque, and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Stern President & CEO Seth Davis.
“Collaborating with Marvel has given us an opportunity to create this truly unique, engaging and dynamic pinball experience inspired by Venom,” said Seth Davis, President & CEO, Stern Pinball. “The artwork and animations pop. The music rocks. And we can’t wait for fans to sink their teeth into this game changing pinball experience and get connected today.”
Pricing and Availability: