John Wick pinball machine

The pinball revival is well under way. There's a Labyrinth pinball machine, a Pulp Fiction one, and now Ars Technica's Aurich Lawson reviews the latest: a John Wick pinball machine inspired by the Keanu Reeves interpretive dance franchise.

First off, the pin is a looker. Pop culture illustrator Randy Martinez (who also did The Mandalorian pinball art) did a fantastic job of capturing the neon noir vibe. It can be challenging to bring a darker feel to pinball, which the body count-soaked John Wick calls for, while still keeping things bright and appropriate for dimly lit rooms. I think he nailed it.

The playfield layout is by first-time designer Elliot Eismin, who has been a mechanical engineer with Stern for around 10 years. This is his first time controlling the game's flow instead of supporting someone else's vision, and his design offers a nice combination of smooth shooting and mechanics that interact with the ball. Stern has been giving more opportunities to new designers in recent years, and I'm a big fan of the new ideas.

I'm always interested in mechanical elements that change the flow of the game or have multiple uses, and this has several. Wick's muscle car acts as a bash toy but can also swing out to block a lane. This provides a nice double function by giving you a different angle to shoot at from below at the flippers, as well as being able to trap a ball coming down from above so the game can release it on its own timing.

The game was announced by Stern just yesterday and looks like enormous fun. Scroll down a wee bit for their promo video.

Previously: Women take a place at the pinball table