As its title suggests, the Funhouse pinball machine is themed after the concept of a funhouse, a walk-through amusement park featuring many attractions.
FunHouse features a talking doll head located near the upper-right corner of the playfield. The head, named Rudy, responds in real-time to events in the game, including informing the player of special bonuses, taunting and heckling the player, and appearing to follow the ball with its eyes when certain targets are hit. Rudy is voiced by Ed Boon, and the technology behind Rudy’s facial movements was dubbed “Pin-Mation” by Williams.
The game’s overall theme is that of a funhouse, with the player taking on the role of a visitor to see its attractions. The overall goal of the game is to advance the “game time” to midnight and cause the FunHouse to close, allowing the player to start multiball mode. A secondary goal of the game is to complete the “Mystery Mirror” by lighting all of its modes, starting the “Super Frenzy” mode. The game is over when the player has lost all balls, including any extra balls earned.
Every target and ramp has a name and function following the funhouse theme. Aside from Rudy himself, the game’s main feature is a virtual clock in the center of the playfield, which advances the current time by increments of five minutes with each successful shot. When the clock reaches 11:30, it stops advancing and the game announces that the FunHouse will close in thirty minutes. Making a successful shot to the “Hidden Hallway” locks the current ball and advances the clock to 11:45. Making this shot again locks the second ball and advances the clock to midnight. Rudy then falls asleep and his mouth remains open – to start Multiball, the player must shoot a ball into Rudy’s mouth. While at least two balls are in play, the player can score a Jackpot by shooting the Trap Door next to Rudy while it is open. When multiball mode ends, the time resets to an earlier “opening” time, and single-ball mode continues as before
Flippers (3), Pop bumpers (3), Manual plungers (2), Ramp (1), Standup targets (4), 3-bank standup targets (1), Cellar holes (3), Dual right in lanes, 2- or 3-ball Multiball. The ramp has a diverter that guides the ball either to the left inlane or the left outlane for a left plunger skill shot attempt. The upper loop has a “trapdoor” that opens briefly when an upper loop shot is made.