UPDATED Stern Pinball Insider Connected March Machine Mania Has Arrived – 007 Tourney + Increased Logout Time + Surprise Quests?

By Todd Russell Mar1,2024

SEE UPDATE BELOW – March 3, 2024 March Machine Mania begins at midnight!

Ed. It appears Stern is keeping us somewhat in suspense this start of the month of March. A little like going to the end of the rainbow in search of the leprechaun’s pot of gold. Waited until 9am EST on March 1, 2024 to publish this. This will be updated if/when Stern decides to publish any Insider Connected March 2024 quests. As of publishing, only the 007 tournament.

Greetings fellow Stern Pinball Insider Connected fans, it’s that time of the month again! Refreshed and saw the leaderboard tournament for the month first updated 2/29/2024 @ 12:30pm PST (GMT-8):

March 2024 Global Leaderboards IS James Bond 007

The James Bond 007 Global Leaderboards are here! Find the nearest James Bond 007 machine and test yourself on this special month-long Leaderboard on any connected James Bond 007 pinball machine from March 1st through the 31st.

Interesting to see Stern going with James Bond 007 again, as we just quested for badges in December 2023. I was thinking it might be another pin that is still being ran but hasn’t had any kind of IC promotion recently like Iron Maiden or Avengers Infinity Quest, but maybe next month!

Now, what will be the March quests for badges?

March is a basketball time of year — March Madness — but there aren’t any Spike 2 basketball pins to promote, so that leaves us with leprechauns and gold (St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday March 17, 2024), another March tradition.

The closest green-themed pins in the Spike 2 stable are TMNT (older/archived and unlikely) and Foo Fighters LE (2023). TMNT is not a highly rated Spike 2 pin personally (#20 out of 22 ranked – 2023 Ranking All 22 Spike 2 Stern Pinball Machines). It’s low-scoring but it sports the only 8-ball multiball of any Spike 2, I believe. And some really love this game, so largely a matter of personal pin taste.

Foo Fighters was last featured in a multi-month tour in 2023, so that seems somewhat unlikely — but the Limited Edition (LE) is very green.

Now, what then did Stern choose to focus on in March for badges?

As of early on March 1, 2024, there has not been any update yet telling us. This could mean there will be no badge quests this month or … they will appear in the next few days. Hopefully, they continue the monthly cycle for these badge quests and/or introduce new interactive Insider Connected virtual goodies. Only Stern knows.

March 2024 Insider Connected Quests?

NOTE: this will be updated as soon as the quests are announced by Stern. As of this writing they haven’t updated yet! Will also update and add suggested strategies when/if that happens. If Stern does not add any quests, then we’ll update this post here to reflect that.

It might be Stern is planning to wait until later in the month of March to reveal their plans. Perhaps some kind of hunt for pot of virtual gold among multiple Stern machines? Stay tuned!

UPDATE 3/1/2024 @ 6:18am PST; The more thinking about surprise badges earned, the more I like this idea. Not sure if this is what Stern’s doing, but imagine if it is? Wouldn’t that be cool to just go out and play Spike 2 IC Sterns and earn March 2024 badges for something … unexpected? Pure speculation here, don’t know anything official, but this is a curious idea that could be used in the future someday to put some sort of surprise element into the quest hunting game, if you will. What do you think?

UPDATE 3/1/2024 @ 10:15am PST: Stern teases “March Machine Mania starts 3/3” and looks like some sort mutli-machine themed event coming, Can’t wait to learn more. Here’s what they posted:

UPDATED 3/2/2024 @ 7:35pm PST: Stern has updated the details for March Machine Madness and this is something completely different and new. Each day you play any of the 23 IC machines and your highest score on the machine in the state you’re in contributes to the overall team score. Each state is a team and all international players are on one team.

There are three weeks of rounds:

WEEK 1 Leaderboards:

WEEK 2 Leaderboards:

WEEK 3 Leaderboards:

WEEK 4 Leaderboards – FINALS

Which US state or international team will be the grand champion?

UPDATE 3/9/2024 @ 2:30pm PST: Stern has updated March 2024 with two seasonal quests:

  • Pots O’ Luck – earned now by playing any 10 games from 3/7 – 3/31
  • I’m All Ears – an Easter quest earned by scoring more than 25 million points five times from 3/23 – 3/31/2024

March 2024 Official Stern Pinball Special Events Quests:

SternPinball.com Website Login Timeout Increased?

Noticed overnight from 2/28 to 2/29 that for the first time I actually stayed logged into Stern Insider Connected on the official website. Has Stern increased the logout cookie time? It’s ridiculous that it logs out so fast anyway, but for the first time maybe, possibly, they’ve increased the logout time. IC is not a banking site, we don’t need to have it log us out after a short period of time, Stern. Somebody can hack in and see my best score on Godzilla, it’s not going to make me cry.

Prior Stern Insider Connected quests history by month (since they started doing monthly quests):

Since October 2023, Stern has offered quests to earn virtual badges on a monthly frequency. Here’s a historical record of our coverage. NOTE: prior to October 2023, there were other quests in 2023, like a Foo Fighters quest that spanned multiple months for a tour, but there weren’t month-specific quests. There were also some months where there were global tournaments only.

Good luck everybody in March 2024 sharing the love of pinball!

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