Posted on September 23, 2020
The past couple of weeks Deeproot Pinball, based in San Antonio, Texas, have been building up a teaser campaign that ultimately indicated the company would reveal the production model of their first game, Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland, on September 21st, 2020. Two prototypes of the game were already shown at the Houston Arcade Expo in November of 2019.
Much to everybody’s surprise, Deeproot cancelled their launch event at the very last minute, causing a storm of responses on Pinside and social media. The reason to postpone the launch event was the visit of six pinball reporters during the past weekend, who commented on so many things, that it made the company realize they weren’t ready to reveal the game after all.
Following a day of everybody sharing their opinion on this mess, two photos of Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland were leaked, which are pictured below.
These two photos caused even more responses. Up to that point, the six reporters who had visited deeproot during the weekend didn’t comment at all on the postponed reveal, although Cary Hardy ultimately posted the commentary video below on the situation, a day after the postponed reveal.
Whether it was a panic response to the leaked photos or not, This Week In Pinball was granted permission to publish an in-depth article about some elements of the visit and the reveal and features of the game. As there is too much info in the article to repeat, it’s best to simply read it yourself. Besides discussing several technical innovations, the article also reveals eight games that Deeproot is currently working on, including a hint to a game for 2021, which many believe is likely to be based on The Goonies license. Most of the titles being developed appear to be original themes, with possible influences of or follow-ups to familiar Bally/Williams titles (Eightball Deluxe, Diner, White Water). It’s interesting that Deeproot revealed all these games that are being worked on, as the postponed launch was rumored to focus on Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland. At the time of this writing, it’s unclear whether Deeproot has a manufacturing facility and how soon they will be in production. Given they postponed the launch event based on feedback that sent the company back to the drawingboard, one can wonder how soon they can start the manufacturing of Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland. And if you can’t go into production, why announce eight other games? Isn’t that just giving the other pinball manufacturers a lot of info they didn’t need to know?
Following the publication of all the details, Cary Hardy posted a new video in which he discusses the article on This Week In Pinball, with additional video footage of the game’s touchscreen lockbar being demonstrated by Deeproot’s Steven Bowden.
Spoiler alert: most of the innovations that have been revealed have to do with the cabinet and operating system of the game. The Pinbar will probably be part of gameplay, but mechanical innovations that do something with the ball during gameplay have not been shown yet.
So far, no new launch date has been given. Hopefully, Deeproot will be able to go into production soon. To put things a little bit in perspective, although the disappointment was big when Deeproot postponed their launch event, that’s basically all it was: a disappointment. Nobody died. Their follow-up indicates they have some cool innovations in the works. So, let’s hope we get to see more of them soon.