Date: 2nd October, 2023

The Drained game by For Amusement Only Games for the Multimorphic P3 system has gained a new add-on game which provides a whole new way to play.

Developed by Nick Baldridge, the original Drained is a full-featured game which launched in November 2022. It comes with its very own retro-themed P3 playfield module featuring an array of standup targets, twin ball launchers, six drop targets, a pop bumper and a gobble hole.

The Drained game layout
The Drained game layout

Now Nick has released Drained: Bite-Sized which works with the same playfield module and has a similar look and feel, but features a completely different ruleset based around slaying fifteen vampires in the shortest time possible.

When the game starts, the first vampire battle mode begins, a single ball is launched and a 25,000 points value is given to the player.

Each hit on any of the standups or other switches reduces that 25,000 value. If it reaches zero or the ball drains the game ends, but if the ball is shot into the gobble hole an award of 10,000 is added to the score, the next vampire battle mode begins, the ball is returned to the playfield, and an additional ball is added into play.

The playfield module for Drained
The gobble hole on the Drained playfield module

This continues through all the fifteen vampires, allowing a theoretical maximum of sixteen balls in play at once if none are allowed to drain.

However, Drained: Bite-Sized is not that simple.

Each vampire battle mode has a introduction period of around eight seconds during which the vampire can be slain but you won’t get an additional ball added, allowing the player to choose between going for a quick kill or gambling on allowing the vampire battle to begin in earnest in exchange for the increased safety of earning an additional ball when they are defeated.

As Nick told Pinball News, there are several more game rules, scoring opportunities and playfield features.

He explained, “During a battle, the walls in the center of the playfield will raise and lower. When the indicated targets in the vampire battle mode are completed, the walls will no longer raise. Tools procured by completing target sequences can be used to automatically injure the vampires during battle, progressing or completing their modes automatically. Unlike in the original Drained game, since tool acquisition carries over between battles, these modes may be automatically completed, so the player is encouraged to risk losing points to acquire these tools.

Drained: Bite-Sized from For Amusement Only Games
Drained: Bite-Sized from For Amusement Only Games

As with the original Drained game, every five hits on the pop bumper increases the playfield multiplier. However, that works both positively and negatively in Bite-Sized, boosting scoring targets and the gobble hole award, but also increasing the rate at which the countdown score reduces.

There is also a ‘speedrun challenge’ feature which tracks the time taken to defeat each of the fifteen vampires, as well as the overall time to slay them all, with high score table entries for the fastest times.

Slaying all fifteen vampires isn’t the end of the game either. After the fifteenth is defeated, a Victory Laps mode begins where switches and shots add to the score rather than reduce it. Players can then choose to go for the highest score, or drain and go for the fastest speedrun time instead.

As Nick explained, it’s very much up to you how you play it. He told us, “This game’s rule structure is all about tradeoffs – do you build up your tools to make future vampire slayings more efficient? If so, you are removing points every time a battle is started – so watching your score is a must. Do you slay vampires prior to the added ball launching? You’ll top the high score for the slay time for that vampire, and it’s easier than having to time your shot to the gobble when the walls have raised in front of it, but it means you miss out on mode completions (their own high score table), and sacrifice one added ball, reducing the safety of the game. Do you go for a high score in Victory Laps? Then your overall speed suffers, but you may achieve infinite points… if you can survive long enough, that is!

Nick recently added a medal system to track in-game achievements across all his For Amusement Only Games titles – Drained, Flipper Foxtrot Rhythm Explosion, Silver Falls and Ranger in the Ruins. Drain: Bite-Sized continues this, providing alternate challenges and more different ways to play the game.

Finally, online integration with the Twitch streaming service provides opportunities for stream chat participants to interact with gameplay, including spotting playfield shots, and reducing or boosting the player’s countdown score mid-game.

Drained: Bite-Sized is now available for Drained playfield module owners to purchase from the Multimorphic store. It costs just $99 and, when purchased, will appear in the list of available games when the Drained playfield is installed.

If you’d like to see the new Drained: Bite-Sized game in action, it will be streamed live by Buffalo Pinball on their Twitch channel on 3rd October and available to replay afterwards. The game will also be available to play on the For Amusement Only Games booth at the White Rose Gameroom Show (a.k.a. The York Show) on 6th & 7th October in York, Pennsylvania, where buyers of the Drained playfield module and game will get Drained: Bite-Sized included free.

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