I’d been avoiding looking at pinball news and for-sale listings for quite a while. I’m not entirely sure why I decided to check Stern’s site one morning, but I did. Within about 5 seconds of doing so I realised that I’d be returning to pinball ownership sooner rather than later. Sitting pretty high in my list of machines I’d like to own some day has been Data East’s 1993 Jurassic Park. One of our club members owns one and I’ve played a few in the wild over the years. It’s not that it’s an amazing game, it’s that it’s a Jurassic Park pinball machine. When I originally set out to buy a game years ago, I did spend some time looking at a Lost World machine but it was out of my budget then. And it didn’t quite have the classic JP charm.

So when I saw Stern was doing a brand new game and that it included licensed music I was immediately sold. The Jurassic Park soundtrack is, in my opinion, one of the best adventure movie scores ever written. And the music in Data East’s JP machine was far from memorable. So, I had only one option.

I talked to Phil from ZAX amusements (a very helpful character, glad to have done business with him) and a fortnight later it arrived from merry ‘ol Melbourne (freight being considered an essential service, thus not impacted by the COVID lockdown) new in box.

Having only owned one machine myself in the past (Data East’s StarWars Trilogy), a modern Stern machine felt like a different universe. The new SPIKE system, LCD monitor, huge speakers and classic Topps style art all come together to make an amazing experience. It’s Keith Elwin’s second game (the new Avengers is on the way, which will make three) and he nailed it. It’s fast but fair, easy to learn but hard to master.

I haven’t made it to wizard mode yet, but it’s only a matter of time…