Big Game was released in March of 1980. It was designed by Harry Williams (the founder of Williams pinball). The art work was done by Gerry Simkus and Doug Watson.
This was Sterns first wide body pinball machine and the first with 7 digit displays. To promote the 7 digit dispay, while in attract mode, the game displays the high score as usual but then it counts from 1 to 7 filling each digit from right to left and then flashes 7777777 in the display. It's hard to miss that you are looking at a 7 digit display! The first time I saw it, I thought I was in some kind of self test mode.
This Big Game was photographed after playfield restoration.
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4 page flyer can be found at
The background sound is a rather lame drum beat that gets faster the longer the ball is played. The sounds when you hit the playfield targets are sort of jungle sounds. Believe it or not, the "lame" and "sort of" work, it really sounds is kind of neat once you get the game going.
The wide body playfield is wide open and fast. Three sets of three drop targets are the main focus with the three pop bumpers between them getting a lot of action. There is a rollover lane to mid upper right and another behind two targets on the left. The upper left side has two spinners, I like spinners and two are twice the fun. The spinner itself is green with a black outline of a tiger, on the back side are three small red area's. When the spinner spins, the red fills in the eyes and mouth of the tiger, pretty neat! The left spinner leads to a horseshoe whith a kickout to the right, sending the ball to the top rollovers. The right spinner leads to a loop that throws the ball out to the pop bumpers. There are three rollovers above the pop bumpers where the ball enters the payfield, they light the letters B-I-G. The two targets on the left light G-A and the in lanes by the flippers light M-E. The horseshoe awards points for the letters. There are four flippers, two on each side. Unlike the Bally arrangement, the ball cannot pass between the pair of flippers on each side. This makes it much easier to control the ball with the flippers.
Other than spelling BIG GAME, the main objective is to hit the drop targets numbered 1 through 9 to fill the "bingo" cards in the center of the playfield. Bonus points are awarded for each row completed on the cards and for completing each card. It's classic Stern when the game adds up the bonus points at the end of each ball, boom, boom,boom as it adds the rows, then a climbing scale as it adds each number lit, 3X, 2X and 1X finishes with a high pitched scale.
I really enjoy the old Stern games, this one looks and plays great.
|Pictures (73K to 145K) -||Playfield Art Close up's|
|back glass||playfield||upper playfield||lower playfield|
|cabinet art||top 1/3 of playfield||mid playfield||lower playfield 2|
|upper left playfield||left side of playfield||ball view left||ball view right|
|Check out Mark Orther's Big Game page at http://pinball.flippers.info/biggame.asp|