Article by Evert Brochez
Boxster Pinball: The Gameplay
Now, there are probably some people thinking: "what the hell is Boxster Pinball? Is it a prototype that's been kept a good secret? It has the Data East looks but why have I never heard of it?"
Well it is pretty simple. You've never heard of it because a few years ago it didn't exist.
Bart Baeyens from mushroom-amusements.com started this project in July 2005, the same year I really got into the hobby, by the way.
The first idea was to take a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) cabinet and boardset, throw in a Checkpoint playfield, put new art on everything and you have a new game.
This idea changed pretty quickly and the idea was born to make the TMNT playfield fit the Checkpoint rules. Bart started re-dressing the game with new artwork. Various new backglasses were made and lots of ideas were thrown around. There was a lot of progress until Bart was finishing the flasher wiring in June 2005.
After that it all went quiet until the end of 2009 when I asked Bart to finish the Boxster so we could use it at the Belgian Pinball Championship during the weekend of 13th &14th February 2010. After some time Bart contacted me to finish the Boxster which I did. We worked together to fix some small things and the Boxster pinball was a reality.
Things we changed in the Checkpoint display software included some of the names; we've put our own names on it and some other fun stuff. What's most eye-catching is the addition of a small TFT screen in the backbox. This screen plays a small Boxster commercial and gives some information about how to play this game.
More information about the creation of Boxster can be found in two upcoming issues of the PinGame Journal with the story from both view points; mine and that from Bart, of course.
There's also a big surprise for people who really want to play this machine but you'll have to keep an eye on my website for that, www.bingovit.be.
Before I explain the rules, I wanted to share some pictures with you that Bart send me of the design progress. I've added my own thoughts to these pictures along with some facts.
This is one of the last moments the game was still "complete" and original. You'll notice further down that the "Sewer Hole" has been removed from the playfield because it couldn't be fit into the Checkpoint software.
A Boxster backglass with no babes??? You also notice that at this stage the TFT wasn't yet implemented. Luckily one babe appeared in later backglass versions and there was even a topless version. Maybe an idea for a special edition? :-)
Bart started off by sanding the playfield down to bare wood. Now it's ready for its new artwork which will be a decal with some layers of varnish on top. Keep in mind that when this project started there wasn't a lot of information to be found about clearcoating, so Bart had to find out these things all by himself.
Notice that the "Sewer Hole" at the top is ready to be filled by a small piece of wood.
Here we see quite some progress on the project; the translite is ready, artwork for the cabinet has been applied but for the sharp-eyed viewers you'll notice that the artwork around the coin door still needs to be applied.
So now let's take a look at the gameplay. Basically the shots are more or less the same as TMNT and I'll briefly describe them here.
We have six standup targets on the left (they spell L-A-P in Boxster), the captive car, the left ramp with a drop target in front, the right ramp, three drop targets which spell B-O-X, a kickout which has the pitstop function and spells the S, then we have the spinner lane which leads the ball to a yellow standup target, and to end we have three standup targets which spell T-E-R. On the left side of the playfield there's also a spinning disc just like in TMNT.
Basically, if you know Checkpoint, a lot of this information will sound very familiar because it's only the playfield layout that has drastically changed.
If you don't want to read the rulesheet you can jump to the bottom of the article where you'll find a video from the game in action being played by the owner, Bart Baeyens.
Plunge the ball, shoot the left ramp without hitting any other switches. The left ramp awards 250k times the ball in play.
Meet or exceed the lazermatic speed requirement by shooting the left ramp fast enough. The fastest recorded speed will be remembered in the games memory.
Multiball can be achieved by advancing the tachometer.
Once Multiball is ready, the right ramp will flash Multiball and the Checkpoint insert will turn green instead of red which signals you can start multiball.
You can start with a two ball multiball at 6000RPM at the checkpoint. If your RPM is higher at 7000RPM, you can start the two ball at either the checkpoint or the pit stop. You get a three ball 'redline' multiball when you've reached 8000RPM.
If you've started the two ball, you have to spell B-O-X-S-T-E-R again which lights up the right ramp for the three ball multiball.
Only after three ball multiball has been achieved, shoot the "Stop" drop target down and shoot the left ramp which is now lit for jackpot.
Spell B-O-X-S-T-E-R again to reset the drop target and then shoot the drop target once again to light the left ramp for jackpot.
Jackpot values grow when spelling B-O-X-S-T-E-R. Possible values are 2, 3, 4 million and Grand Prix jackpot.
Don't forget that the jackpot changes every time you spell B-O-X-S-T-E-R, so you can go from 4 million back down to 2 million. However, if you shoot the checkpoint (right ramp) when the jackpot is not lit with three balls still in play, your next jackpot will be doubled.
This round starts when the light in front of the captive car on the left is lit.
During this round, a good hit on the car scores 200,000 points and 20MPH are added to all the left ramp shots.
Shoot the six standup targets to spell L-A-P. A completed L-A-P advances the RPM and adds a F-A-S-T letter.
Spell F-A-S-T by completing the L-A-P targets. When completed, F-A-S-T will start the fast scoring mode. Shoot the checkpoint (right ramp, where the checkpoint now glows green instead of red) to start.
Now every switch is worth 55,000 points for the next 10 seconds. All fast scoring points get added to your score at the end of the ball in play, after the bonus is added.
Blue Light Special:
When the blue light special is lit, spell the remaining B-O-X-S-T-E-R letters in time to collect the lit Blue Light Special award.
Blue Light Special awards can be 1 million points, Red Line, Extra Ball, High Score, Double Score and Fast Scoring.
Shoot the pit stop to collect a mystery award or a two ball multiball with the tachometer at 7,000RPM, when the green light is lit.
Spin & Win:
Shoot the spinner and collect the lit value. The pop bumpers change the value.
Shooting the spinner lane and hitting the yellow standup target gives you a flat tire, which is worth 25,000 points and creates some fun sound effects in the pop bumpers which are now flashing and every hit is worth 1,030 points.
So, basically, that is the gameplay.
If you don't want to listen to the game's music, that can be arranged because the DVD player also is a radio and it has a large antenna at the back so you have good reception.
All in all it is a unique game, fun to play and it has something really special to it!
Finally, this picture was taken years ago at the Collector Fantasies (remember the Belgian Pinball Championship?) expo.
You can see that the playfield was ready, artwork for the coindoor was still missing but I think Bart wanted to show it in public together with his own Porsche Boxster. Nowadays Bart doesn't have a Boxster anymore but I think the game will be in his collection for quite some time. It's certainly is a game to be proud of!
So all I can say now is; enjoy the video and bye everybody!
Here's Evert's and Bart's video of the Boxster Pinball in action.