MELROSE PARK, IL -- Now available from Stern Pinball is a flipper game based on the blockbuster movie "Avatar." It began shipping on Aug. 15 to synchronize with the Aug. 27 worldwide debut of "Avatar: Special Edition." The original version, widely hailed as inaugurating a new era of epic three-dimensional digital cinematography, premiered in December 2009.
According to the pinball machine manufacturer, the game's designers were able to capture the innovative nature of the movie. The piece features a 3D backglass that Stern reports possesses "incredible depth, clarity and color." The game's soundtrack includes speech and sound effects from the movie, with an original voiceover by actor Stephen Lang (the movie's Col. Miles Quaritch).
The player takes the role of Jake Sully, the hero of the movie, and becomes Sully's "avatar" (a lifeform controlled by someone else's mind) by capturing a ball in the game's "transporter link" to reveal a Jake Sully figurine. The player then must escape a predacious Thanator, fight off Viper Wolves and ride the Great Leonopteryx (which resembles a polychromatic pterosaur) -- traveling through the Hallelujah Mountains to initiate combat with the RDA's security forces (at the bumpers) and facing Col. Quaritch and his robotic Amplified Mobility Platform (AMP) suit. If the player is able to destroy the colonel before being overcome by him, a four-unit "multiball" is awarded. Scoring jackpots will save the native Pandoran population, the Na'vi, from destruction.
Also featured are a banshee ramp, magnet for random ball play, stationary and mobile targets, and what Stern calls "lots of multiball action."
Stern's new Avatar pinball machine was created by the design team of John Borg and Lonnie Robb; Pinball Hall of Fame member Kevin O'Connor designed the artwork. David Thiel was in charge of the audio.
"Avatar," the movie, written by James Cameron (of "Titanic" fame) and Jon Landau, received both an Oscar and a Golden Globe award. At this writing, its box office receipts and subsequent DVD sales both are the highest in history.
Avatar, the pinball game, is now available from authorized distributors and dealers. Information on purchasing the game also may be requested from Jim Belt at (708) 786-7039 or Shelley Sax at (708) 786-7030.