Heighway Pinball is one of the new, small pinball manufacturers that seem to be popping out of the woodwork lately, although for a change of pace this one is located in the UK. This hasn’t stopped it from securing the rights to the Alien franchise, though, and the crew is hard at work putting the finishing touches on the table design. While it’s not 100% complete yet, the table art has been released and shows off the many design touches pulled from the first two movies. Clothing patches, graffiti, the grid from a monitor, and of course ship and creature art all work to make the Alien table as packed with references as possible. Forum-poster Aurich over at the Pinside board is also the table’s artist, and a font of fascinating information on how and why things look like they do. To begin with, here’s a sideways view of the table with the props and lanes added in pink-
First off, that black thing in the middle of the board is where the LED readout goes. This has information like score, shot instructions, timers, etc. The motion-tracker-like display below shows which modes you’ve completed, with the three lanes corresponding to the three courses through the game, and each one has four multiball modes plus a fifth concluding “wizard” mode to finish it off. The two bottom flippers are joined by two side ones, and each have shots exclusive to their positioning. While the board layout shown here is final enough to display, it’s not final-final as various parts of the playfield are being positionally tweaked. This also doesn’t show a lot of the pieces that will give the action its flavor, such as the way the drop bank will have multiple rules in its behavior, a couple of ball-locks that grab the ball in different ways, or a hinted-at interactive facehugger table toy.
As for the art itself, on the one hand it’s a bit of a jumble but on the other, what it looks like laid out in this style isn’t what it looks like with all the ramps, lanes, and lights on the board. There’s a journey from bottom to top, from inside the tight corridors necessitating the motion-tracker past the planet into space, and then the alien lair at the top. Looming over it all, and not shown, will be a sculpted Alien head, adding a defining touch to the cabinet’s look. Adding all the bits and pieces together reveals a table with a lot of promise, one that knows its Alien movies inside and out and couples it with good pinball design.
While Heighway Pinball is a UK developer, they do have worldwide distribution so hopefully it won’t be too hard to find an Alien table to play with. Of course, if you happen to be rolling in quarters you can always pre-order your own, and there’s even a deluxe limited edition available with metallic green trim and spinning lights above the backglass, plus other features to be adjusted as final manufacture gets closer. In the meantime, take a look at the extra-large sized image below to get ready for the full thing later this year. There are a few color issues in this art that will be adjusted, plus pending repositioning of playfield toys will subtly change it further, but it’s a great first look at a table that’s bound to have a solid mass appeal.
Note- 3000 x 6001 image below. Pop open to see it in its full glory.