Date: 18th July, 2023

Stern Pinball today revealed their second (and probably final) cornerstone title of 2023 – the much anticipated new game from game designer Brian Eddy, Venom.

Based on the Marvel comic book character, Venom is the result of an extra-terrestrial symbiote bonding with a human host to create a symbiotic combo with superhuman powers. Venom was created when a symbiote, having initially tried to bond with Spider-Man but being rejected once his evil intentions became clear, bonded with Spider-Man’s enemy Eddie Brock instead.

That bond eventually overwhelmed Brock, so there are other characters created as a result of different bonds with the Venom symbiote. In addition, there are offspring from Venom who also bonded with various human hosts to create additional symbiotic Marvel Universe characters.

But back to the pinball, as Stern today revealed the three Venom variants with the regular Pro, Premium and Limited Edition versions. Artwork for all three is by Zombie Yeti (Jeremy Packer) while music for the game includes a dozen tracks from Creed and Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti who had previously performed music for Jersey Jack Pinball titles (including their logo animation).

The Pro model is priced at $6,999, the Premium at $9,699 and the Limited Edition at $12,999.

Pro Model

The left side of the Pro model
The left side of the Pro model
The front of the Pro model
The front of the Pro model
The right side of the Pro model
The right side of the Pro model

Premium Model

The left side of the Premium model
The left side of the Premium model
The front of the Premium model
The front of the Premium model
The right side of the Premium model
The right side of the Premium model

Limited Edition

The Limited Edition model’s production is limited to 1,000 units. There are no restrictions on the number of Pro or Premium models produced. It comes with metallic blue metalwork and the usual upgraded sound system with illuminated speakers.

The left side of the Limited Edition model
The left side of the Limited Edition model
The front of the Limited Edition model
The front of the Limited Edition model
The right side of the Limited Edition model
The right side of the Limited Edition model

Venom is a two-flippered, six-ball, standard-width game design with a single inlane and outlane on each side. As expected, the playfield is a riot of colour and includes some unique gameplay features.

Here’s the playfield from the Pro model:

The Pro model's playfield
The Pro model’s playfield

As usual, the Premium and Limited Edition playfields are very similar. Here they are:

The Premium model's playfield
The Premium model’s playfield
The Limited Edition model's playfield
The Limited Edition model’s playfield

At the start of each game the player chooses which host they with to bond with. Each host brings different gameplay features as well as unique music and display animations.

Pro Model

The choice of host at the start of the game on the Pro model
The choice of host at the start of the game on the Pro model

Starting with the Pro model, there are nine shots to the top of the playfield, together with standup targets on the left and right above the inlanes.

The game's two flippers
The game’s two flippers
The left of the bottom apron features the game's rule card
The left of the bottom apron features the game’s rules card
The right of the apron features the familiar Insider Connected QR code reader
The right of the apron features the familiar Insider Connected QR code reader
The feature ladder above the flippers
The feature ladder above the flippers
The left inlane and outlane
The left inlane and outlane
The right inlane and outlane
The right inlane and outlane
The single standup target above the left inlane
The single Hybrid Team-Up standup target above the left inlane
The single standup target above the right inlane
The single The Infected standup target above the right inlane

One of the key playfield features is the Carnage captive ball which pushes the titular character up a ramp and back into the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane which has played host to many of the more villainous characters in the Marvel Universe.

The Venom captive ball shot
The Carnage captive ball shot
Carnage moves back into the Ravencroft Institute
Carnage moves back into the Ravencroft Institute

Each side of the game also features a vertical ball lock which releases onto ramp return wireforms into the left and right inlanes.

The left vertical ball lock mechanism
The left vertical ball lock mechanism
The right vertical ball lock mechanism
The right vertical ball lock mechanism

Another key playfield feature is the Bell Tower which features a swinging bell at the top, activated by the standup target at the base.

The Bell Tower
The Bell Tower

Spider-Man’s alter-ego’s workplace, the Daily Bugle, also features in the game in the form of a scoop which starts multiple modes and then kicks the ball up into a ‘web-slinger’ and onto a wireform leading to the right inlane.

The Daily Bugle feature
The Daily Bugle feature

Premium & Limited Edition Models

As we’ve come to expect, the Premium and Limited Edition models include some additional playfield features over the base Pro model.

The badge on the Premium model's speaker panel
The badge on the Premium model’s speaker panel
The rules card on the Premium
The rules card on the Premium
The Insider Connected QR code reader is much less prominent on the Premium model
The Insider Connected QR code reader is much less prominent on the Premium model
The playfield artwork around the flippers of the Premium looks very similar to that on the Pro model
The playfield artwork around the flippers of the Premium looks very similar to that on the Pro model

One of the most significant additions is a Spider-Man Doppelganger 3-bank of roll-under targets which swings out from the right side of the playfield. There are corresponding inserts on the playfield which are absent on the Pro model.

The Spider-Man Doppelganger bank of  three roll-under targets
The Spider-Man Doppelganger bank of three roll-under targets
The target bank swings out to line up with the playfield inserts
The target bank swings out to line up with the playfield inserts

The Premium and Limited Edition also include a different centre ramp which can raise or lower to provide three possible shot options, one of which acts as an additional ball lock thanks to a controlled post in front.

The two positions of the centre ramp shot with the ball lock below
Two of the three positions of the centre ramp shot with the ball lock below
The lock area below the centre ramp shot
The lock area below the centre ramp shot and another possible shot under the ramp

There is another moving ramp on the right side of the game. Again, this is exclusive to the Premium and Limited Edition models and provides an additional shot under the ramp.

The moveable right ramp shot
The moveable right ramp shot

Limited Edition Model

The Limited Edition's numbered plaque
The Limited Edition’s numbered plaque
The bottom apron is signed by game designer Brian Eddy
The bottom apron is signed by game designer Brian Eddy
The QR code reader is the same as the Premium
The QR code reader is the same as the Premium

One of the LE-specific extras is the pair of mirrored art blades on the inside of the cabinet.

The Limited Edition's mirrored art blades
The Limited Edition’s mirrored art blades
The top of the Limited Edition's playfield
The top of the Limited Edition’s playfield

There is also a mirrored real glass backglass, a shaker motor, anti-reflection playfield glass and reflective foil used on the exterior cabinet artwork.

A wider look at the Limited Edition model's playfield
A wider look at the Limited Edition model’s playfield

Here’s the full comparison of features across the three models (click to enlarge):

The Venom feature matrix
The Venom feature matrix

In the meantime, Stern have released a couple of trailer videos for Venom. Here they are:

Venom introduces a number of new features to Stern’s games. The Insider Connected system now provides a way for players to save their game progress, allowing them to progress through the entire game, no matter how many games it takes.

In addition, it gives a way to unlock new hosts, although details of how that will work are not yet announced.

Here’s how Stern Pinball announced their latest release:

CHICAGO, IL – July 18, 2023 – Stern Pinball, Inc. and Marvel are collaborating to debut an all-new line of pinball games featuring one of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex, and iconic characters, Venom – who’s ready to wreak havoc. Venom pinball games are available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE) models.

Venom, an alien symbiote that bonds with various hosts, including former Spider-Man antagonist Eddie Brock, first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man comic book series in the ’80s. The symbiote gives its host superhuman strength and agility, providing creative and versatile powers out of its material. With its unique and visually striking appearance, Venom quickly became one of Marvel’s most recognizable and popular characters. Venom has been an inspiration for numerous products including: action figures, apparel, collectibles, and now pinball – cementing its continual influence on popular culture in game rooms and entertainment locations worldwide.

Stern’s Venom pinball games will immerse players into the mayhem of this antihero’s Marvel Universe, featuring more than 20 characters including: Eddie Brock, Flash Thompson, Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker, Black Suit Spider-Man, Miles Morales, Riot, Agony, Lasher, Phage, Doppelganger, Venomized Hulk, Venomized Wolverine and Venomized Captain America. Venom’s arch enemy Carnage is collecting Codices to awaken Knull, the God of the symbiotes. Venom must stop Carnage by battling through his army of symbiotes and the Infected to prevent him from taking over the world.

Playing as Venom, gamers will select a host to bond with at the start of each game, altering the entire gaming experience both physically and digitally. Vertical pinball lock symbiote containment vessels located on both sides of the playfield lock and quickly release balls for constant frenetic action as players explore shots through the mechanically changing Agro-Lab and Life Foundation pathways. Players will bash an interactive, custom sculpted Carnage captive ball back into Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane. Additionally, a surprise Doppelganger attack can swing into action at a moment’s notice, unveiling three uplift targets wreaking chaos.

Canvassing the Venom pinball game experience is a collection of hand-drawn comic book style artwork by renowned artist, Jeremy Packer (AKA Zombie Yeti). Depending on which host you choose, players will hear a variety of different styles of music throughout gameplay, including over a dozen music tracks from GRAMMY Award-winning musician Mark Tremonti.

Venom pinball games include Stern’s award-winning Insider Connected™ system, which enables players to interact with the game and a global network of players in a variety of ways. Through Insider Connected, players will be able to save their game progress through connectivity persistence, allowing anyone to become a (anti)hero as you advance through the game to reach the final wizard mode at the end, no matter how many tries it might take.

In addition, Insider Connected allows players to track progress, earn new game-specific achievements, engage with the player community, and participate in promotions and Challenge Quests. Insider Connected also provides an operator-focused toolset to drive location play through Location Leaderboards, build player loyalty, analyze performance, make adjustments remotely, and maintain the games. Registration for Insider Connected is available at insider.sternpinball.com.

Limited to 1,000 games globally, the highly collectible Limited Edition model includes a Venom vs. Carnage inspired full-color mirrored backglass, full color high definition reflective foil decal cabinet artwork, custom high gloss Venom-inspired “goo” powder-coated pinball armor, a custom designer-autographed bottom arch, inside art blades, upgraded audio system, anti-reflection pinball playfield glass, shaker motor, a sequentially numbered plaque, and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Stern President & CEO Seth Davis.

“Collaborating with Marvel has given us an opportunity to create this truly unique, engaging and dynamic pinball experience inspired by Venom,” said Seth Davis, President & CEO, Stern Pinball. “The artwork and animations pop. The music rocks. And we can’t wait for fans to sink their teeth into this game changing pinball experience and get connected today.”

Pricing and Availability:
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (“MSRP”)*:
*MSRP for sales to USA end-users, before any VAT, GST, Sales Tax, Duties, or other taxes.                             
Pro Edition:                                                     $US 6,999
Premium Edition:                                            $US 9,699
Limited Edition:                                              $US 12,999
Load More Related Articles
  • Multimorphic's new The Princess Bride game

    THE PRINCESS BRIDE REVEALED

    Multimorphic today announced the latest addition to the line-up of titles for their P3 pin…
  • The Pinball News & Pinball Magazine PINcast

    JANUARY 2024 PINCAST

    It’s time to talk pinball, and who better to talk about the industry, the hobby, the rumou…
  • Make your own interactive ball-triggered add-on

    PINBALL BALL DETECTOR – PART ONE

    Pinball add-ons, mods and toppers are increasingly popular ways to customise your machine,…
Load More By Pinball News
  • Multimorphic's new The Princess Bride game

    THE PRINCESS BRIDE REVEALED

    Multimorphic today announced the latest addition to the line-up of titles for their P3 pin…
  • Stern Pinball's new Jaws game

    STERN ANNOUNCES JAWS

    After teasing their latest ‘cornerstone’ title, Stern Pinball today released d…
  • Stern Pinball teases their upcoming Jaws game

    STERN TEASES JAWS GAME

    Stern Pinball today started the launch of their latest cornerstone title, Jaws, with a tea…
Load More In GAMES

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

THE PRINCESS BRIDE REVEALED

Multimorphic today announced the latest addition to the line-up of titles for their P3 pin…