Beat the Clock (Williams, 1963)

Beat the Clock

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Found 3 ratings (with comment) on this game

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7.130/10
2 years ago
You don't really play for time. There is no real clock in the game. The clock on the backglass reflects your advance in the game, just like the thermometer on the backglass of C37. The time plays a similar role to the one in TOM. You can lock balls and then release them for 2-ball multiball. During multiball the clock moves forward constantly (while cycling lights) so that there is a special scoring. Unfortunately the locked ball will be replaced by your next ball so that you actually lose a ball just like with a gobble hole. On the last ball there cant be a replacement because there's no next ball. You will get 5 clock steps and 50 pts for each hit of the hole. That's a great opportunity. Overall this table is more memorable than most others but it isn't a plaesure to play it often.
6.315/10
4 years ago
The concept of having to fight for time to extend the game has never been a favourite theme.
A game is either 3 or 5 balls. You use them as well as you can. I distinctly recall playing this game in Southend on Sea when I was twelve or thirteen and remember thinking that it was a disappointment. The artwork saves it somewhat, and the multi ball is good, but the total lack of time or should I say lack if time to think where to aim for makes this a bit of a flipping mess.
My opinion has never changed in 38 years.
9.551/10
4 years ago
Beat the Clock is a brilliant game by Steve Kordek that shows us what Williams can do with multiball and some incredibly complex rules for a game that was made in 1963. George Molentin does a bang up job on this art package! There are horses, race cars, speed boats jets and a few other things on this deck giving you the sense of urgency that this game is all about.

The Pros:
Multiball in 1963. Timed mode with a BG animation. You can't trap the ball on the 4 flippers until the clock reaches 12 and 6 the second time 'round... SKILLS! This design feature while one of the hardest to bear as a player makes perfect sense as you need to keep the ball in play. No trapping the ball and cruising on this table... no, we can't have that. You have to play the game! Once you learn how to use the center saucer, and can hit it consistently, this game opens up to you like few, if any others. My favorite inverted wedgehead from Williams.

The Cons:
There isn't one in my collection.

The Takeaway:
Play one if you can find it and expect to take some time to get used to the 4 flippers. Once you get the feel of this game, get ready for pinball action that is absolutely brilliant.

Update:
Now that I have this deck in the stable... I can't stop playing it. This is my first game with a manual ball feed and this deck feels different, not old. It feels classic! Can you get the center lane from the skill shot at the top of the table or can you get it into one of the side saucers? The flickering of the lights on the table as the clock is ticking adds to the excitement of the multiball mode. At first I thought that the center post was a waste... but when the center saucer shoots the ball off of it and the post bounces the ball back onto the PF at a slightly different angle every time. This makes for a great randomizer at the start of each multiball. The whole game I worked so hard to get this multiball and it's heading straight down the middle mindset takes over and makes you anxious and giddy at the same time. And just how long can you keep both balls on the table? hm? Remember, you have 5 balls during a game, when you lose one during multiball, you don't get another one in the trough! Good thing that clock hand holds over through the game.

Boy, does it suck donkey-nards to land the last ball of the game in the center hole. Git' Sum!

Update #2:
Getting the A-B-C-D special is my new quest in life. This requires you to lose at least 1 ball down each outlane and hit the standups at the top of the PF by the bumper garden. Then you have to score the skill shot center lane at the top between the inactive pops. That means that you are at least 3 balls into the game before you can light it up. I am still not exactly sure how all the scoring works with this deck as sometimes I look up at the end of a game and have somehow rolled (2k+) this deck. The good news is that I am completely engrossed in the game to be bothered to pay attention to minor details like scoring. My eeety beeety fleeeper reflex shot skills have improved incredibly because of this deck and I have even started to become comfortable with drop catches. This is the game that I show to all the pinball collectors who visit. Even most of the ones who have been around for a while either haven't ever seen it or have never had the chance to really session it out as it is seen rarely and often only at shows. At Casa Del 2 Step, they can take their time and really find out what this game is about!
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