Almost as soon as we bring you the first pictures of the game, Stern issue a press release confirming the game as their next product and giving some more details.

There are no pictures or details of the playfield yet but the press release gives us a few clues.  The description of "a powerful force field" could mean the return of The Power and some under playfield magnets.

"A shrunken head that says some pretty funny stuff" probably won't mean another Rudy or Red & Ted since Williams still own the Pin-Mation patents and it would be too expensive to build these days, but hopefully it will mean something better than the troll in Rollercoaster Tycoon.

Probably the most interesting feature is the "multi-level rule".  It's always a difficult balance to get right - to give the casual player a look at some of the cool toys and features the game has to offer while keeping enough interest and suspense for more skilled players.  It will be interesting to see how Pat and the PLD team have implemented this.

Anyway, here's how Stern announced the game:

Ripley's Believe It or Not! is the latest hot pinball machine to come out of Stern Pinball, Inc. and Pat Lawlor Design, Inc.

Former Williams great Pat Lawlor has designed some of the most beloved titles in the history of pinball, including The Addams Family , Twilight Zone , and Stern's Monopoly . And Ripley's Believe It or Not! is a pinball machine that lives in the tradition of these all-time favorites.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! is all about traveling with the legendary Robert Ripley across seven continents to discover the strange, the bizarre, the unusual!

To accomplish this, the playfield offers some unbelievable features: a shrunken head that says some pretty funny stuff, a strange idol that commands a powerful force field, a temple that can only be unlocked through a special tic-tac-toe code, and an always fun vari-target!

For several years now, Stern has worked hard to make pinball machines that appeal to the casual player, as well as the expert player. Ripley's Believe It or Not! accomplishes this through a special feature aptly entitled "Believe it or Not." This multi-level rule enables the beginning player to achieve some of the game's goals early on, while it allows the more advanced player to extend their opportunities through better play.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! will have speech and dot matrix display translated into French, German, Italian, and Spanish languages.

Gary Stern says, “Once again we have a game by the great Pat Lawlor. We are all excited to play this really fun game.”

Ripley's Believe It or Not! is the creation of Robert Ripley, who was born in 1890 in Santa Rosa, California. Ripley sold his first cartoon to LIFE magazine at the age of 18, and at the age of 29 the first Believe It or Not! cartoon was published. The strange things Ripley found on his journeys around the world sparked his own Believe It or Not! radio show, TV show, and the famous Believe It or Not! museums. In 2000, a new Ripley's Believe It or Not! TV show aired, starring Dean Cain. The show is now in syndication throughout the world.

Stern's Ripley's Believe It or Not! pinball machine will begin shipping in March, 2004.



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