AtlanticPinball's ratings

Pinsider AtlanticPinball has rated 19 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms AtlanticPinball's personal top 19.


Rating comments

AtlanticPinball has written 19 rating comments:


7.778/10
10 years ago
Copied from my review of Gottlieb Soccer...

The comparisons are always out there! Two separate games which are so close together in design, we can't really separate them! Soccer (2-player)/Super Soccer (4-player) vs. Too Score (2-player)/300 (4-player).

I had the pleasure of having both Soccer and Top Score side by side for several months. Since they were both almost identical, one of them had to go - that was Top Score.

I'm not a fan of the Soccer theme (I played it in gym class in school because we had to), but beyond the theme, Soccer is a fun if not tough game from Gottlieb!

A classic bonus Hunter, set to three-ball play, the last ball gets very interesting - I didn't care for either game in five-ball play. In five-ball play, the last ball has a doubled bonus. In three-ball play, the bonus is doubled on the second ball and tripled on the third ball.

Soccer is simple - build the bonus, and collect it without draining. It's simple in theory, but that ball wants to drain!

With three-inch leg levelers on the back, a good coat of wax, and new rubbers, Soccer is a ton of fun to play! If you can grab one, do it!
7.778/10
10 years ago
The comparisons are always out there! Two separate games which are so close together in design, we can't really separate them! Soccer (2-player)/Super Soccer (4-player) vs. Too Score (2-player)/300 (4-player).

I had the pleasure of having both Soccer and Top Score side by side for several months. Since they were both almost identical, one of them had to go - that was Top Score.

I'm not a fan of the Soccer theme (I played it in gym class in school because we had to), but beyond the theme, Soccer is a fun if not tough game from Gottlieb!

A classic bonus Hunter, set to three-ball play, the last ball gets very interesting - I didn't care for either game in five-ball play. In five-ball play, the last ball has a doubled bonus. In three-ball play, the bonus is doubled on the second ball and tripled on the third ball.

Soccer is simple - build the bonus, and collect it without draining. It's simple in theory, but that ball wants to drain!

With three-inch leg levelers on the back, a good coat of wax, and new rubbers, Soccer is a ton of fun to play! If you can grab one, do it!
5.699/10
10 years ago
When I first saw Darling, I thought it was a cool looking game. Not much going on on the playfield, but the five captive balls looked intriguing! I grabbed it, hurried home, set it up, and started playing it.

The novelty wore off fast. This game looks cool, and could be cool as a head-to-head battle or something, but in a single player game - forget it!

Not that I spent a lot of money on Darling, but right now it's my most expensive parts game... :(
6.320/10
10 years ago
In college, we had a Ice Fever in the arcade next to a Williams Comet. Ice Fever hardly ever got played.

I found this game to be slow, plodding, really not a ton of fun to play when compared with a Bally or Williams game from the same era. Some of the shots are fun to hit, but the points are in the spinner. Spinner, spinner, spinner...

Fast forward to 2010, and now I'm repairing an Ice Fever for a customer. It was still wrought with the same problems I had with it as an eighteen year-old! I appreciate the game for what it was, an under-powered Gottlieb (Premiere) product in an era when Gottlieb was no longer number one! It's not the worst game out there, but I won't be getting one any time soon!
8.868/10
10 years ago
There are three North American versions of Sinbad, the common Solid State version, the four-player EM version, and the two-player EM version titled "Eye Of The Tiger"

Sinbad is a great game! The colors are great - and scream "Late '70s!", the art on the backglass always makes people stop and look for a minute, and the flippers always make a player have that "WTF?" moment when the ball slips between the double flippers! Controlling the ball is key to playing the game. Many of the lower drop targets can result in a drain if not hit properly. Knowing when to flip and when to let the ball bounce will save you from draining between the double flippers.

The bonus multiplier comes into play when all six lower drop targets have been hit. The three purple drops light the SPSA, and the four upper drops light the special.

Okay, now for the differences... The EM versions only go to 2x bonus, and when the drops are all down, they do not reset. The solid state version's drops do reset, and the game can have up to 5x bonus.

The maximum score displayed on the EM version is 199,990, while the solid state version can display up to 999,990.

I also prefer the EM chimes over the early Gottlieb solid state sound package.

Whichever version of Sinbad you have, you won't be disappointed! It's a fun, challenging game made by Gottlieb back when they still made great pins!
9.184/10
10 years ago
I miss my Big Hit. Without question it's my favorite baseball-themed pin! The game is pretty much what-you-see-is-what-you-get, and it's a ton of fun! It's nice that you can track runs and your pinball score - it's almost like having two games in one because you can change your strategy based on which score you're using!

Great game!
8.588/10
10 years ago
I got to play a C37 before and after servicing it for a customer. C37 is a fun game, and I love the artwork! It seemed like an easy game to rollover though - so as much as I liked playing it, I wonder how long it would be before I got bored with it...but then again, the game wasn't set up the way I would have set it up, so maybe it would be more challenging with 3-inch levelers jacking up the back a little bit?
7.872/10
10 years ago
I owned a Top Score for a while. It is a nice game with those nice Gottlieb chimes!

The skill shot is neat - hit the Red rollover target and then shoot the lit stand-up target before hitting a target that runs the score motor. It's a fun shot when you can get it!

There are two items which bug me about the game: the bonus ball unit and the pop bumpers.

The bonus ball unit can be a real P.I.T.A. to maintain. While the single bonus switch in 300/Top Score is an improvement over the make/break switch in Super Soccer/Soccer, you need to make sure there is the right amount of gap and spring tension on the switch. My shop was not very well temperature controlled, and in the varying temperatures in New England, adjustments were common.

Also, I did not like the placement of the pop bumpers in relation to their wiring. Top Score has both pop bumpers next to each other, but running via the same pop bumper relay. After I rebuilt the pop bumper assemblies and got a nice solid hit out of each of them, there were times when the ball would get kicked off of one pop bumper, and hit the second one before it had recovered (both pops fire in unison). I considered rewiring the units, but ended up selling the game before I got into it.

Otherwise, Top Score is a fun bonus Hunter. Simple rules make it an easy game for anyone to play. You'll need either a ricochet shot or luck to get the ball in the Collect Bonus hole. It's fun to play, but I prefer it's slightly older (and somewhat more temperamental) cousin Soccer...
8.789/10
10 years ago
Several years ago, I picked up Granada in a group lot of games. It sat in storage for a while and before I even worked on it, I had a few tepid offers to purchase the game as-is. Nothing much became of those offers and Granada sat idle - until at my son's urging, we set it up and started working on it.

What a game!!!

Built in 1972, Granada is the add-a-ball version of Spanish Eyes (well, in art package only, the playfields are dissimilar). The game uses the two-inch flippers, and I'd be willing to bet that this was one of the very last use of two-inch flippers as the primary flippers!

If you like games like Gottlieb's Target Pool (I personally love TP!), Granada is like Target Pool on steroids! Like Target Pool, you have few direct shots at your objectives. Unlike Target Pool, you have TWO main objectives: Spell GRANADA by getting the ball through all of the roll-over switches, and complete the 1 thru 10 lights on the playfield by hitting the ten stand-up targets. Completing each objective, lights a "SPECIAL" which awards you an extra ball and lights a kicker for 5000 points. Completing BOTH objectives and getting both SPECIALS lights the SUPER SPECIAL for two extra balls. Also, unlike Target Pool, once each objective is completed, and the SPECIAL is collected, the objective is reset again so you can try to earn another extra ball!

Bumping and nudging skills are a must, as are skills on using the shooter. There are five lanes at the top of the game. The pop bumpers will occasionally shoot the ball up through one of the top lanes, but for the most part, you need to collect them through shooting them on your own!

This may be "Old Skool" pinball, but it's also not a slow and plodding game; it's very fast, and those two-inch flippers are powered by FL 21-375/28-400 flipper coils, so the flippers are plenty strong!

If you ever chance to play Granada, go and play it! It's a fabulous game!

My copy is currently operating at Pop Bumpers Pinball in Weymouth, Massachusetts. I've watched people play it for hours at a time! It's fun, tough, and very addictive!
7.575/10
10 years ago
Without question, this was not Bally's best game. That being said, when set up right, and with a nicely waxed playfield, it will still be fun to play.

Completing the five targets which make up the word BALLY scores you bonus points. Completing the drop targets multiplies the bonus and then awards credits. The lane in the upper left corner scores up to 10,000 points and then awards an extra ball.

I've had my Star Trek since 2009, and I still love playing it. I have three-inch leg levelers in the back, cranked all the way up, and have waxed the playfield and keep it clean. The ball flies all over the PF.

I find it fun, and I think it's a nice looking game. Like I said, not Bally's best entry, but not bad either.
6.383/10
10 years ago
I spent a lot of time rehabbing a Future Spa for a customer. In that time, I got the game running the way it should run, cleaning and waxing it, and rebuilding the drop target assembly.

I had to spend time testing it, and found that after I put three-inch leg levelers on the rear legs, jacked all the way up, and put shorter than normal legs on the front, the game got more interesting!

I'm not a fan of widebody pins. I find them to be slower and more plodding games. Future Spa was no exception. It has some nice aspects to the game. I like the in-line drop targets, and how you have to be more and more accurate to hit the targets in the rear of the assembly. The flippers, thumpers, and one slingshot are nice and strong, but there's just so much open space on this playfield...

Not bad, but not a winner...
8.321/10
11 years ago
As other reviewers have noted, Jungle King has very few good shots, but they are tough shots! Jungle King is an add-a-ball game, so you're not trying to win replays, you're trying to prolong the game and build your score higher.

There are ten roll-over targets to hit, five on each side. Hitting all five targets in one shot is indeed possible, but it requires a perfect shot. Once all ten targets have been hit, the WOWs are lit. Hitting a lit WOW adds a ball to the balls to play meter, and you can win up to 10 balls. The WOW shots are tricky, missing the stand-up targets can send the ball coming back between the flippers.

It's a different kind of pin. It's a finesse pin. Interestingly enough, when you complete the last of the targets, invariably the ball heads for the gap between the flippers. So far, I have achieved getting several extra balls, but to date, haven't made it to 10 balls to play yet.
9.036/10
11 years ago
In the Fall of 1986, at Northeastern University's Ell Building, you'd find the same group of guys huddled around the Comet game all day long - while Ice Fever sat next to it probably wondering why no one ever played it.

Comet was a blast to play! We'd play it as much as our class schedules would allow. Yeah, maybe it is simplistic, and doesn't offer multiball, but it rocks as a game. There's satisfaction in hitting the "Dunk the Dummy", and of course riding the Comet! The corkscrew shot was always hard as hell to hit. The Million shot was a real game changer.

If you're looking for a good "old skool" SS game - keep an eye out for a Comet machine!
9.211/10
11 years ago
The first time I saw Space Mission, I knew this was a game I'd love. The backglass is awesome, but kickers next to the flippers? Now that brings ball handling to a whole new level!

This is a fast-playing Williams entry with several cool shots to take, all giving that certain satisfaction when hit. The swinging target is where most of the game is at - but it's a dangerous shot.

My only complaint about Space Mission is that there is no way to collect the bonus without draining.

Simply put, this game is a classic!
8.632/10
11 years ago
Grand Prix is one of the fastest and most challenging EM pins ever produced. It was one of William's last EMs, and with all of the stuff Grand Prix does, it's no wonder the manufacturers were trying go toward Solid State technology! This is probably the most complex EM pinball machine ever produced!

Grand Prix plays fast and furious. There are two bonus counters on the game - left and right. Odd balls in play count up the left bonus after a drain, while even balls count up from the right bonus. However, building up both bonuses and scoring the side kickout holes will build up your score fast. Make sure to drop a pair of drop targets to double your bonus before collecting it. Making A&B or C&D complete a sequence and begin lighting up the stars in the middle of the playfield. The first star doubles your bonus, and additional stars light the extra ball and Special lights.

Scoring is done by hitting the spinners to build your bonuses and then collecting them. The thought process comes into play on collecting the bonus and which one to collect. As I said before, odd numbered balls in play score the left bonus on a drain. If the game is set up properly, the side kickout holes aim (more or less) for a drain, typically requiring some fast flipper work to keep the ball in play. To hedge your bet and get the most points, you'll want to try to collect the right bonus via the kickout hole, this way if you lose the ball between the flippers when the ball is ejected, you'll collect the most points. Also, be careful when trying to "trap" the ball, as the inlane ball guides have a gap that the ball will slip through and drain - either "catch" a fast moving ball, or just hit it.

My only knock against Grand Prix is that I wish it had an extra chime for 10,000 points. 1,000 and 10,000 points scored ring the same chime, and that gets monotonous.

If you get a Grand Prix and maintain your games yourself, remember that this is a very complex EM - probably the single most complex EM game. The game has TWO bonus counting units which have to run independently from each other. There are also a lot of switches in this game to accommodate its duality. Don't get confused between the "change" relay and the "alternating" relay. Take your time and read the schematics very carefully if the game is not operating properly. It wasn't designed to go into outer space so virtually anyone CAN fix it, it just may be a little more frustrating at times than other, simpler EMs.

I highly recommend this game if you like fast, fun pins!
8.497/10
11 years ago
Ding Dong is a fun game by Williams. Complete rollovers and stand-up targets to fill in letters in the grid below to complete words. Completing vertical words lights the 500 point shot horseshoe. Completing horizontal words lights up the various Specials - one for each word. The game is simple and fun. Shoot the Horseshoe for the biggest points, but it also has the greatest risk as not hitting it cleanly can result in a quick drain!

I owned a Ding Dong for a few years. It's a fun game. The rules are simple enough for first-timers to figure out, while the shots are challenging enough for more skilled players. I love how after you get one of the Specials lit, when you start your next ball, the game resets all of the letters, so you don't end up playing on an "empty table". The bells are not too interesting. There is a high pitched bell for one-point targets, tens and hundreds share a lower note bell.

Overall, Ding Dong is a fun game, one which I highly recommend!
8.047/10
11 years ago
Eight Ball was my first pin. It has a lot of sentimental value for me, but is not my favorite pin. It does seem to have one outstanding characteristic, even though it feels like an EM pin, it was one of the first SS pins to actually take advantage of the SS technology: it used its MEMORY!
Until Eight Ball, multi-player EM pins of this type would have you starting over from scratch at the beginning of each ball, because the amount of hardware required to make Eight Ball work as an EM would likely have been cost prohibitive! Eight Ball uses it's MPU to retain your individual progress during a multi-player game.

Eight Ball is not Bally's best entry during this era. The concept is kind of fun, but the game is not all of the fun it feels like it could be. The art is on the bland side, with only a few highlights. Hitting the targets is easy enough, keeping the ball in play after hitting them can be a challenge. The left outhole is enormous, and trying to trap the ball with the left flipper is dangerous (the spin on the ball will carry it up and over the slingshot, and you'll watch helplessly as the ball rolls out of play).

It's fun to play, but not my favorite.
9.368/10
11 years ago
If you were to try to make a list of the best early SS pins ever made, Mata Hari has to be in the top 10! The art work is nice, Mata Hari herself is bodacious and larger than life on the backglass, but the game is really where it's all at!
During the late 70s, Bally seemed to strike gold with almost every title they released. Mata Hari was no exception, and was one of the last games Bally produced where both an EM and SS version were made.

The game is simple, make the A/B lanes as much as possible, hit all eight drop targets, and hit the saucer hole to multiply the bonus. Where the game gets interesting, is the blazing speed of the ball, and the quick responses a player must have to keep up! If you don't know what I'm talking about, clean and wax your playfield, put three inch leg levelers all the way up in the back, and crank the front ones all the way down. Who needs multiball with play this fast???

Mata Hari is completely addictive. The Bally chimes count up fast, and add to the frenzied pace of the game. With the ball flying all over the playfield, hitting targets, sometimes it's hard for the scoring to keep up with your game! Like I said, it can be a frenzy!

If you've ever played Mata Hari and thought it was not a great game, you didn't play one that was set up the right way. I love Mata Hari as a game, and in my opinion, it would make my all-time list of great pins to own and play!
9.658/10
11 years ago
If you like games like golf, or candlepin bowling, you'll like Card Whiz. Card Whiz is tough from beginning to end. You'll want to make the drop targets to get the highest bonus scores, and hitting them causes your ball to start bouncing side-to-side. This game is a ton of fun *IF* your ego doesn't bruise easily, and your accustomed to games where you strive for "perfection", but rarely achieve it. You'll want to keep playing it until you beat it... and then you'll play it again!

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