BlahCade Pinball Podcast
By Chris Friebus and Jared Morgan
You'll be treated to segment favorites such as "BlahCade Speculation", interviews with industry leaders, and other tangents (including "real" pinball news) that keep the format fresh and topical.
The show originates from the East Coast of Australia and the West Coast of California, with new episodes available when news is worth sharing (which is pretty regularly).
BlahCade Pinball PodcastOct 15, 2023
Unboxing AtGames Legends Pinball Arcade Control Panel, and South Park
We unbox the AtGames Legends Pinball Arcade Control Panel, look at the Pinball M demo, and show some differences with South Park in Pinball FX compared with Pinball FX2.
Show notes at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-267/
Hastily Thrown Together Reaction to AtGames Legends 4K Pinball
The announcement about the partnership between AtGames and Zen Studios came out of the blue, so here we are reacting to it!
Yep, Zen has moved on from Arcade 1Up and instead has partnered with AtGames for their upcoming 4K pinball cabinet.
We've got plenty of questions and only a few answers.
Check out https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-266/ for show notes.
Top 5 Pinball Arcade Bally Williams Tables We Want Next in Pinball FX
Join us as we discuss which of the 34 remaining tables from The Pinball Arcade we'd like most to see next come to Pinball FX.
Oh, and also some IMAX talk and the fact that Chris might experience a hurricane for the first time in SoCal.
Check out the show notes at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-264/
Is This Zen After Dark (Pinball M)?
Our favorite sort of episode: one filled with speculation!
Zen soft announced Pinball M, a mature-rated, horror-themed pinball experience coming soon.
We dig into what is, what might be, and what should be with this new product line.
Show notes: https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-263/
Poll Results for the Best of New in Pinball FX
Get comfy because this is probably our longest show yet!
We go over what we think are the best of the 29 tables (Williams and Zen Originals) that are new in Pinball FX, as voted on by you, our viewers.
If you are a new adopter of the Nintendo Switch version or new to the Pinball FX platform, we hope these results help you start a strong collection. Show notes with the nominations and results at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-262/
Diving DEEP with Pinball FX's Peter Grafl
We had the opportunity to send several questions to Peter 'Deep' Grafl, the lead pinball designer at Zen.
Today we share his answers with all of you!
Show notes and other links at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-260/
Table Speculation Time
Here we go again, our favorite thing to do: speculation!
Zen's latest Pinball Show gave us lots to chew on, and chew we do:
- Is South Park coming back?
- Will we see a Harry Potter table?
- Are Twilight Zone and Whirlwind next on the Williams collection?
But first, Chris declares his addiction to Oakley frames and old-school watches.
He will happily accept offers of any frames you might want to part with!
Show notes: https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-258/
What? Pulp Fiction Pinball!
In a change of pace for us, we discuss actual pinball machines!
Three new machines have all been announced in the last few weeks, with Play Mechanix's Pulp Fiction grabbing Chris' attention.
Now if only we had a spare $10,000 lying around.
We also look at JJP's The Godfather and Stern Pinball's Foo Fighters to balance out the discussion.
Can Zen Studios learn lessons from these newer games and their designers?
Show notes: https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-257/
Let's Play Garfield and Snoopy
We're taking a spin on Peanuts Snoopy Pinball and Garfield Pinball, the last two carryovers from the Zen Pinball Party mobile app, into Pinball FX.
Show notes: https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-256/
Let's Play Pinball FX and Look At Some Festering
Whelp, PinFX is here!
We look at how Zen went about their "festering" of Bally's The Addams Family and discuss some of the tweaks made from Early Access.
Then we play a bit of pinball, mainly the two new Gearbox titles being _Borderlands: Vault Hunter_ and _Brothers in Arms: Win the War_ pinball.
Show notes: https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-255/
Pinball FX Feb 16 Launch Details
Zen's Pinball FX platform is officially coming out of Early Access and onto PlayStation and Xbox consoles on February 16!
Chris and Jared take a look at 80+ titles available at launch and give some clarification to title transfers.
Show notes at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-254/
Let's Play Plants vs Zombies and Ms. Splosion Man pinball
Before we play, we first discuss what was curiously missing from Arcade 1Up's CES announcement: pinball cabinets.
Who could Zen have partnered with to produce the next generation of cabinets?
After that, it's off to play _Plants vs. Zombies_ and _Ms 'Splosion Man_. These two tables never came to FX3 and almost certainly won't to PinFX either.
This is a video-heavy episode so if you are a podcast listener, take this opportunity to check out the YouTube video linked in this post.
Show notes at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-253/
Winter 2022 Chat with Mel Kirk
It's that time of year again when Zen Chief Operations Officer Mel Kirk visits the show and talks all things Zen pinball.
Get tons of info related to the upcoming console releases of Pinball FX, The Addams Family, and the decision behind removing ticket pricing.
And, of course, Mel's responses to our questions go several levels of detail deeper than you'll get elsewhere.
Our interviews are not marketing-focused: we're about the business side of digital pinball.
Show notes at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-252/
GOOAAALLL! WCS '94
We do a play-through of the indie game The Pinball Wizard by Frosty Pop and then do the same for Zen's latest Bally recreation World Cup Soccer '94.
There is some bonus TV talk at the show's end. If you're looking for new entertainment, perhaps some of these shows could be right for you.
My Little Star Inks
In this episode, we talk about the game Inks and how it is now available on Android.
We do a Let's Play of this title and talk through the chilled-out elements of the gameplay.
We also discuss the 12 "new to Pinball FX" Star Wars tables added, along with the Hasbro My Little Pony table from Zen Pinball Party.
These tables also get the Let's Play treatment, so check the video for that part of the show if you're an audio-only fan.
We could see many more Zen Pinball Party tables come over now the exclusivity period has ended.
The Pro Mode feature for Williams tables is out now, and we share our thoughts about this heavily requested feature.
Show notes available from https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-248/
Homeworld Pinball Let's Play
We speculate a bit about what is coming up from Zen in Pinball FX for September, October, and November.
We then dive into the live play of Zen's latest, Homeworld: Journey to Higara Pinball.
Is this Zen Original a "buy now" or "don't bother"?
Show notes at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-246/
The rest of 2022 as we see it
It has been a bit of a quiet year regarding commercial digital pinball.
Chris and Jared break down what has happened throughout this year and predict how the year may end based on what we know now.
There is also a break from the usual pinball talk with a discussion about the new Predator _Prey_ movie and a few other returning shows to check out.
Grimm Tales and RetroPlay Aftermath
Well, people sure did have things to say about our previous episode featuring RetroPlay!
We try not to kick the hornet's nest once more and probably fail.
But we start the show with Jared talking about the BPAP 2022 festival in Brisbane, and we finish with a "Let's Play" of Zen's latest original table, "Grimm Tales".
There's some bonus play of Williams' "The Machine: Bride of Pinbot" (BoP for short).
Show notes: https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-244/
Retroplay Gets Us Talking About VPX
We usually stay clear of VPX discussions.
But we saw what Retroplay is doing with a new app in their cabinets that takes all the hassle out of installing VPX tables, so they work well.
With this being a major frustration point for Chris and me, we decided to talk with them.
David Gilmore joins us for an in-depth discussion about the software and hardware solutions he has created to make pinball more accessible.
We also discuss a great solution for pinheads who like to play in VR.
Check out https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-243/ for the show notes.
RIP Digital Pinball Fans
It's the end of an era! The digitalpinballfans.com forum is closing at the end of July 2022.
We go down memory lane and talk about how the site hugely impacted digital pinball's growth and our reason for existing as a podcast.
Oh, and Bride of Pinbot got announced, so we talk a little about what we've seen.
Check out the beautiful graphics in our show notes at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-242/
Swords, Monsters, and Cab Mode
This week, we discuss Pinball FX's latest new table _Swords of Fury_.
We also dive into the announcement about Zen Studios collaborating with Toho Studios for a trio of Monsterverse tables due to crash through buildings in late 2022.
Then, of course, cabinet mode is now available in Early Access.
Is it worth trying out at the moment?
Show notes available from https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-241/
Spring 2022 Chat with Mel Kirk
A must-watch episode as Zen's very own Mel Kirk joins us once more on the show to talk about the current state of Pinball FX, where the platform is heading, and how your feedback affects the game.
The effort for Pinball FX is "a marathon, not a sprint" as Mel repeatedly says throughout this interview.
Get your runners on and pace yourself for another great chat.
Extensive show notes are available at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-240/
More Williams and More Originals
Join us as we look at Zen's roadmap of future tables.
We also offer our first impressions of the new World War Z table from the Paramount Pinball collection.
Finally, we share our opinions on the three latest Zen originals: Noir, Curse of the Mummy, and Sky Pirates.
Read https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-239 for the show notes and imagery from World War Z.
Pinball FX Early Access Gut Reactions
Buckle up, folks, and grab a hefty snack because this episode will be a long one!
We have LOTS to say about Pinball FX Early Access on Epic Game Store, and a lot of it isn't pretty.
We try to keep the commentary fair, though, so let us know how we did.
Read the show notes for this episode at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-238/
Indiana Jones and the Costs of Licensing
It's here! Indiana Jones was released this week on every platform that carries Pinball FX3.
We discuss our thoughts on playing (admittedly not much) of it.
We also discuss (again) why the game costs what it does.
Spoiler alert, licensing isn't cheap.
Show notes (including competition details) at https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-237/
Rollers of the Realm: Reunion interview with Tony Walsh
Tony Walsh, Company Director and Founder of indie game studio Phantom Compass, joins us to chat about their sequel to the award-winning Rollers of the Realm Pinball RPG.
This breakthrough game set the genre for hybrid pinball and RPG gameplay. The studio's new title Rollers of the Realm: Reunion takes the genre even further with new gameplay styles and better RPG balancing between the characters.
We get the low-down from Tony about what went into creating RotR and how it has evolved into Reunion.
Tony also hints about what we can expect to see when it is released later in 2022.
Check out https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-236/ for segments and a huge amount of gameplay stills.
We like what we see so far, PinFX
We take a look at the new visuals dropped for PinballFX, mainly those of Indiana Jones.
We also react to features and purchasing options that were announced.
https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-234/ for the show notes.
Recap of Mel Interview and More
We're starting off 2022 with Jared sharing an update about his Gottlieb pinball machine restorations.
Then we recap our interview with Mel from Episode 233 and finish off with an annual tradition of Chris sharing his list of best/good/worst movies he saw in 2021.
https://www.blahcadepinball.com/blahcade-233/ for all the show notes for this episode.
Indiana Jones and the Mel Kirk Interview
Mel Kirk, COO of Zen Studios, joins us for an in-depth talk that covers all things Indiana Jones, Zen Pinball Party, PinFX, and much much more.
Xmas 2021 A Pinball Bust
About this time last year, we predicted what we would see released about now (December 2021).
Naturally, things didn't go exactly to plan, but some predictions aren't too wild.
We also talk about Zen's new release _Funko Pinball Party Arena_ available through _Zen Pinball Party_ on Apple Arcade.
Thrown in for good measure is a segment on our addiction with various rhythm action games, which we talk about with great passion.
Some games we talk about are free (as in open-source), and some are freemium (as in "gross", but tolerable).
Not Salty About Peanuts
We are back with another episode that, this time, features the gameplay of Zen's newest Pinball Party title, Peanuts.
Plus, we take a look at Skillshot FX's new virtual pinball cabinet.
And then there's the big question mark over Zen interviewing Spooky Pinball!
Does this mean we'll be seeing digital versions of their tables in Pinball FX?
Pinball FX delayed until 2022
That's right, Pinball FX has been delayed according to the latest episode of The Pinball Show.
That however is not the only news...
Chris and Jared take another deep dive look into what Mel Kirk had to say. Much speculation ensues.
Lights, camera, auction!
It's a mish-mash of topics that concludes with the outrageous auction prices of a huge pinball collection.
First, though, we catch up on Zen and Stern news as well as a rather odd video with the world's largest pinball machine.
Zen brings Apple to a Pinball Party
We're back after an extended break!
We talk about what has gone on in the month we were away and deep dive into Zen's announcement of Zen Pinball Party on Apple Arcade.
Lost in the Woods with Arcooda Pinball Forest
This episode's main event is a curious development with arcade machine producer Arcooda and a tweet stream they have been leaking out over the last few weeks.
There are some interesting revelations in this block of tweets that we dive head-first into and explore.
It is all leading somewhere, but you will need to listen to the episode to find out more.
It's also time to address the elephant in the room and talk about The Pinball Show from Zen's marketing division.
The show is awkward, lacks host chemistry, and needs some tweaks to make it worth tuning into.
Like, actual information.
AtGames Taito Pinball Reaction
With this podcast, we can officially say that Farsight Studios is no longer in the pinball business. It turns out that AtGames did not contract Farsight Studios to produce the announced Taito pinball tables last year.
The good news is that Magic Pixel got the gig to produce the licensed properties from Taito. We had to give our reaction to the news and detail what we thought about the playfield layouts and overall graphical design of the tables.
Zen Original Sneak Peek
Zen Studios dropped a pleasant surprise on their VR customers recently with a free table: Han Solo.
We take a good hard look at Han Solo in VR and discuss what frustrates us about the table.
While that may sound negative, we really want to make a case for making some improvements to the rules and gameplay aspects of this game, so it becomes more enjoyable to play.
Zen Studios has also been teasing some new table designs due to be released with Pinball FX later in 2021.
We take a closer look at these and offer our two cents worth.
Mando vs Mando
Stern announced that they will release a Mandalorian pinball machine.
This is interesting because both tables from Zen and Stern were in development concurrently.
We start by comparing Zen's table first and list out the pros and cons for you to consider.
Then it is time to take a look at Stern's version and talk through what Zen could learn from the way Stern builds a world under glass.
Star Wars Pinball VR analysis
Now that Chris and I have both played Star Wars Pinball VR (SWPVR) extensively, we wanted to provide a different perspective on the game for people who are on the fence about getting it.
After we get the review in the bag we talk about the other aspects of SWPVR that didn't really fit in the scope of the review but are important enough that they deserve a mention.
Mel Kirk gave us a lot to think about in the interview he did in Episode 220.
As is tradition on the show, we go into deep speculation mode and try to work out what games might be released in 2021 from Zen Studios.
We also announce a new website and go into why this was necessary..
Mel Kirk interview for Spring 2021
This episode is a massive interview with Mel Kirk, COO of Zen Studios.
We have a pile of questions as follow-ups to what was said in Zen's The Pinball Show Ep 3, and Mel doesn't flinch from any of them.
You are definitely going to want to watch the entire interview.
Reacting to Epic Pinball FX News
In Zen's The Pinball Show Ep. #3 Mel Kirk sat down with Bobby and they talked more about Pinball FX, including some hard questions that they knew they'd need to tackle eventually.
It’s worth breaking down some of the points that Mel raised and extrapolate upon them because you might have missed some of the contexts due to information overload.
Star Wars Pinball VR
This whole episode is all about the news revealed in Zen Studio’s The Pinball Show Ep #2 about a certain Oculus, Steam VR, and PSVR pinball game coming in April 2021.
For our podcast fans, this episode has a fair bit of reference to what we're seeing in videos so you might want to jump over to the show notes and check those out before listening.
AtGames, hear us out
This whole episode is about our thoughts concerning AtGames and their Legends Pinball cabinet (referred to in forums as "ALP" for short).
Well, nearly all of it. There is a bit of information about Arcade 1UP cabinet issues that we need to comment about as well. ????
For this episode, I've put the BlahCade Mini episodes as a rough guide only. They will become available to view from here progressively. It may not be in audio order. If that bothers you, let me know.
Zen Pinball FX News Unpacked
Zen Studios announced that they will be releasing a brand new pinball app this year called Pinball FX. Not Pinball FX4, just Pinball FX.
There is only one thing we can do with news like this: tease it apart and analyze the inside line of the news.
Pinball in VR
In this episode, we talk about Virtual Reality as it relates to pinball. The entire show focuses on every aspect that we could think of when you are considering playing commercial pinball games in VR.
We talk about hardware differences, gameplay differences, UI differences, and the overall "feeling" of bashing around a pinball in VR.
If you are a podcast listener, you may want to skip listening and jump right into watching this episode from the link in this episode description.
We have included a lot of gameplay footage comparing FX2 PC to FX2 Quest 2 that might be interesting if you have never seen it before. We also have actual footage of Zaccaria Pinball VR and Stern Pinball Arcade VR pinball in action.
We can't just push reset?
In this episode, we ask a favor of YouTube content creators who received their pinball cabinets from At Games and Arcade 1UP.
In other news we talk about real pinball and whether it is better to go with trying to touch-up a bad paint job, or whether you should just take a deep breath and sand off the playfield art so you can lay down what's known as a "hard-top" playfield overlay.
To round out this episode Chris Friebus gives us his 2020 movie reviews and ratings and you might be surprised what gets into the Best Movie category this year.
End of year free-for-all
With the year drawing to a close, it's time to take a break from all the serious PinCab discussion and look at some other stuff that's been happening that isn't strictly what we normally cover on the show.
This episode was recorded live in front of a YouTube audience, so we also took some cues from the folks in the chat about what to talk about.
Enjoy, thanks for your support in 2020, and we'll see you in the new year.
Let's predict 2021
It’s getting towards the end of what has been a pretty rough year in retrospect.
As a glimmer of hope for the year ahead, we explore what the year 2021 might bring in the way of digital pinball enjoyment.
There are three parts to this episode.
Part one of the episode deals with near-reality in what we think will happen in 2021.
Part two goes hard into wild speculation territory.
And part three looks at what tables from Zen we’d most like to see next year.
Chris is also setting up a “Ten-minute Pinball” YouTube exclusive that you can be a part of.
105 Reasons Why
There's more good news for AtGames fans in the form of Zaccaria pinball games being available natively on the cabinet from mid-2021.
We explore this news and ask which cabinet would you buy if you had to choose?
Based on some discussion in community forums, we decide to peek into the world of software licensing again and see if it is actually legal to offer access to Visual Pinball X (VPX as it is known in the community) on commercial products.
The results may surprise you.