Date: 11th April, 2014

Three months ago, Jersey Jack Pinball released pictures of a whitewood for their next game, The Hobbit. There had been little in the way of updates since, but two weeks ago company head Jack Guarnieri paid a visit to the Illinois campus to check on progress.

While he was there, Jack shot a video of an early whitewood being played. Parts of that video have been released today.

The early whitewood
The early whitewood

The game shown is lacking many of the bespoke parts included in the final design, such as the Smaug mechanism and proprietary target banks. However, you get to see the ramp shots and how the pop-up targets operate, as well as getting a feel for the flow of the game.

A close-up of the whitewood
A close-up of the whitewood

There are three videos in total, two showing the whitewood being flipped and a third with a sample animation for the start of Smaug Multiball.

Whitewood video 1

Whitewood video 2

The Smaug Multiball introduction from JP DeWin is mainly taken from the movie, with the addition of a transition into the title text.

Smaug Multiball sample intro

Jack said at the recent Texas Pinball Festival and Michigan Pinball Expo shows that The Hobbit has a very different style of play compared to their first game The Wizard of Oz (WOZ).

Today he confirmed that, saying "Joe Balcer created another great game with a lot to shoot for and a lot of challenges. This is a Pinball Battle game... The level of player control and strategy in The Hobbit is a departure from what WOZ is. Between Keith and Ted, we can promise a game packed with the depth, modes, and rules that they are well known for."

At the two shows he also displayed to the audience part of the game's 'dashboard' which conveys the score and progress information to the player, and a short extra ball animation.

The dashboard
The dashboard

The end of the extra ball animation
The end of the extra ball animation

The game is expected to be released to coincide with the final movie in the trilogy which will premiere in various countries between 10th December 2014 and 1st January 2015.

That's all for this update. Pinball News will continue to bring you our unrivalled coverage of all the very latest news from Jersey Jack Pinball and The Hobbit - First and Free.

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