Quick impressions of The Beatles target customer:
I suspect that I’m among this game’s target customer. I’m a 59 year-old, longtime pinball enthusiast who prefers EMs to modern games, but who genuinely enjoys all things pinball/arcade. At my age, I’m just old enough to remember huddling in front of the black & white Sylvania t.v. with my parents and siblings to watch the Fab Four perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. Evidently, 73 million viewers tuned in that evening to create a moment of television history. I’m also not so old that I’m ready to downsize. Indeed, two of my three kids are still teenagers at home and my wife is 50.
I never thought that a Beatles pinball machine would be made in my lifetime. Consequently, I concede that I want to like the game and that my objectivity ought to be viewed in that context. My favorite British Invasion band is The Zombies (hits include: Time of the Season, She’s Not There, Tell Her No). Needless to say, nobody will ever make a game based on The Zombies.
Despite my affection for the Beatles theme, I would not spend $8K for a game that my family would not play nor for a game that failed to appeal to my pinball sensibilities. Thus, if The Beatles had been a ramp-laden, deep ruleset modern creation, with long ball times, I would have been far less inclined to purchase one. Perhaps that concept for another Beatles game is in the offing, with a smash your Beatles LPs mode, after John Lennon declares, in a 1966 interview, that the band is more popular than you-know-who. Perhaps “A Day In the Life” or “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” will punctuate a skill shot from the plunger in a future game. Perhaps a yellow submarine will navigate through a subterranean playfield in a reprised Beatles edition. So many great songs and so much iconic pop and rock history makes the Beatles theme ripe for a variety of pinball concepts. Nevertheless, I think that Ka-Pow/Stern thought through their target customer in designing this game. They opted for mostly early hit songs and an art package which evokes the frenzy of Beatlemania.
Years ago, I bought a miniature fantasy Beatles pinball machine, shown here, imagining what a real Beatles game might be. In a couple of days, I’m excited that I’ll have a The Beatles Gold to play in my line-up. It won't be long, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. . .I’ll chime in again after the honeymoon stage wears off. This might take awhile, however. It's possible that this honeymoon may be a long and winding road.