MELROSE PARK, IL -- Inspired by the blockbuster Star Trek films, the latest pinball machine from Stern Pinball Inc. puts players in Captain James Kirk's chair on the U.S.S. Enterprise. It's the fifth pinball adaptation based on the enduring pop culture, science fiction property that dates back to D. Gottlieb & Co.'s electromechanical model in 1971.
Stern's contemporary machine has the bells and whistles to please Star Trek and pinball fans alike, the manufacturer said. They include adrenaline-fueled battles, high-definition artwork, cosmic LED lighting and classic musical scores. The game was designed to evoke the sensation of moving through space at warp speed, and encapsulates the story of rescuing Spock and defeating the U.S.S. Vengeance, a theme in the latest film from Paramount Pictures, "Star Trek Into Darkness."
"The Star Trek pinball machine celebrates the much-loved sci-fi franchise by bringing fans a whole new adventure right at their fingertips," said chief executive Gary Stern.
The new game boasts an animated battleship, lightning-fast ramps, three flipper controls and resettable memory drop targets. Star Trek is sold in three versions:
» Pro, $5,395
» Premium, $7,495
» Limited Edition, $8,795
Star Trek is the first all-LED model in Stern's Pro line. The Pro playfield has eight multicolored LED paths that guide players along color-coded routes. There are six missions for casual players, exceeded by 18 complex treks to more deeply immerse experienced players into the game's features. As players attack an oncoming threat with three action-centered flippers, the all-LED playfield enhances the gaming experience with such features as "phaser" flashes and photon torpedoes.
According to the manufacturer, players will instinctively know what to do when they approach a Star Trek game: Destroy the Vengeance, the dominant element on the playfield. After they launch a ball, players can unlock special opportunities, collect bonus features and win a series of accolades called the Captain's Chair. The pinball machine highlights the battle between the heroic Enterprise crew and the nefarious Khan, as well as run-ins with Nero, the Klingons and the Narada.
In addition to Gottlieb's original, other Star Trek pinballs were built by Bally Manufacturing Corp. in 1978, Data East Pinball Inc. in 1991 and Williams Electronics Games Inc. in 1993. Stern's new pin game was designed by Steve Richie and Greg Freres, who had created Williams' Star Trek: The Next Generation 20 years ago.