At Chicago Pinball Expo, Marc and I got to play a great 3 player game of Houdini pinball from American Pinball.
But, before we played, we had a great conversation with Mike Campobasso. He is the voice actor for both the Narrator and Houdini callouts in the Houdini Pinball machine. We have the interview in both portrait orientation...
and landscape orientation.
I was impressed with the research, time and thought he put into the job. It sounds great in the game. Even better, during the game, we learned that he could mess with people by making some odd callouts to throw people off.
While the audio was fun, this machine has an amazing amount of detailed interactive toys. The sculpting and paint work is beautiful on this one. My favorite details are the planchette and the Houdini period correct theatre lights. I caught it with the glass up for a few minutes, and here are some of my shots in this gallery.
For the price point, this is an amazing machine. It shows a few things that are happening in the industry.
1) Interactive LCDs are here to stay, and they can be artfully incorporated into a backglass. This is probably the best use so far.
2) The art matters. All over. In 2 dimensions, 3 dimensions, video, and sound. I think this machine shows that Wizard of Oz raised the bar on expectations, and American Pinball has taken the challenge. This machine shows where the "pro" side of the industry needs to hit.
3) It shoots well, and is a lot of fun.
4) No BS in the business, at all. They just started taking orders at this show, as the production line is starting to move. There is a short waiting period, and you'll get your game pretty quickly. There is an amazing warranty on parts that applies to routes and home machines.
If I had a route, I'd put this one on it. It has a workable price, an awesome theme, and it is very eye catching.