Atomicboy's ratings

Pinsider Atomicboy has rated 80 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms Atomicboy's personal top 80.

Atomicboy's rating weights

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Rating comments

Atomicboy has written 75 rating comments:

2 years ago
The layout is interesting, with three main ramps. There always seems to be something to shoot for somewhere. The backboard game is different, and an interesting touch. Fun game to play. Usual too many Arny heads everywhere you look.
2 years ago
Baywatch is a surprisingly fun game, with a great layout with shots that never seem to get boring to pick away at. I hate the show, never watched it, but for some reason the cheese factor works for the overall package.

Suffers from some clunkiness with the skill shot that goes all the way around and back again and lame video made that is always the same, like most of the DE/Sega games around this time.
2 years ago
This machine is a lot harder to play than it appears. Shots are tight, and ramps need to be hit hard. Upper left ramp made from the upper flipper is a very tricky shot, and your upper flipper needs to be spot on rebuilt and adjusted. The modes are a little boring all in all, but there are a lot of extras.

Many complain of the mode start hole, but I don't find this hard to hit, and I like the ransom award building, and being achievable if you make the shot from the right inlane, kills two birds. There is a more strategy than meets the eye with this game, and the outlanes are deadly, which is good, since it's not an uber deep game. The gun rotates from the front, not the rear like Ritchie machines, so it's faster and harder to aim.

There are some issues with the game: the gun has a known problem with a ball rolling out of it when loaded (solved by a flipper pawl rubber grommet being inserted in the wireform at the end), and the VUK kick ou at the back is insanely slow (solved in the same manner the WH20 VUK is, two post rubbers on the left side of the lower wireform ring of the VUK, and one on the right).

The design is a boring typical layout done too many times, and with not a lot to call it's own. The art package is mid 90s trying to do mid 80s, just ugly, although I do like the cab side art.

Despite all this, and what I'm sure will be a low rating from my numbers, I enjoyed this game while I had it, and would have kept it if the space factor hadn't been front and center when I bought it. It's hard enough to stick around. There's just nothing innovative about this game, and it lacks any cool stuff.
3 years ago
I was surprised by the reviews on this game, abundantly negative. After watching a lot of vids, I believed I had a good idea of the game, which seemed pretty decent. I bought a HUO version, and have given it a lot of time to see how I liked it. All in all, this is a pretty good machine, and a fantastic PF layout.

The comments people have about the layout are astonishing. It seems people simply want another fan layout with a bash toy and a magnet, and anything else is crammed, or too busy, etc. This is a freakin’ awesome layout: 4, read it - 4 ramps ( and the small double jackpot shot which is sort of like a mini ramp leading to a saucer as well), a bash toy that opens up to one of the ramps, drop target blocking the inner mode start shot, 6 pop bumpers, spinner, scoop, rotating flipper that blocks your right orbit shots, and is a neat toy for attempting to points in the saucer in that area, a mini LED display, an interesting ball lock system, multiple skill shots, multiple upper flipper shots, this layout is great!

The lower mini railroad ramp is quite genius. It takes a small area that would otherwise see a target or scoop, and adds something different, but yet challenging, which is used in different ways, and returns the ball lightning fast. All in all, the PF design and layout is very well done, and the inserts with the mock board is a perfect theme implementation.

I was worried about the rules at first, given everyone’s comments, but there are quite a few modes, all fun to play, and many multiballs. The two of the mini multiballs, such as Free parking, could have been done better, and are more or less the same as the main MB, with upper ramp shots being jackpots. It would have been nice to see some more variance there.

My machine came with the outlanes on hard, and this machine needs them there IMO. It makes you really hold, and play cautiously, especially in MB, as you need to hold on the left, and work the right flippers. The wizard mode is cool too, as the better you do, and select you shots, you can add time, and really jack that up, but it’s hard to figure out the strategy, and it’s hard to try and focus on upper PF shots, when you want to flail and mash like it’s a LITZ type finale.

The bad is in a couple things. The rotating flipper can catch the ball, and get stuck, with no ability to ball search out of it. The opto boards, in their placement from factory, appear to be misaligned, and have no wiggle room to move to line up right. I could see for a location game, both of these issues being a pain. The ball also seems to get airborne in many areas, and I'm surprised I haven't broken any plastics.... yet.

Really fun theme, great implementation, and a fantastic layout. I wasn’t sure if this machine would be a long term stay, but even in a crunch time space issue as is my gameroom, I won’t be letting it go.
3 years ago
This may be the worst solid state pinball made, truly. It's made worst by the fact that it's one of our favorite themes, which further compounds my distaste for this machine, and how awful it was made. There are two things I cherish deeply today, as far as possessions go: my 24 disk Looney Tunes collection, and my pinball machines. This should have been a grand slam home run, but instead it's a golden sombrero. The layout is so piss poor that it doesn't even feel like you could p-roc it better with the best code possible.

I pride myself in stating that for machines that I would not personally own, I can at least walk up to any machine and find something good about it, and a reason for playing it. The machine is probably the first one that contradicts that statement for me.

So very, very unfortunate.
3 years ago
I love the movies, and the toys are awesome on this machine. I even like the art.

Beyond that, this machine is a flaming turd. The rules are crap, the playfield shots are limited, there are just no redeeming values with this machine. Amazing how many poor SW machines have been made.
3 years ago
Diner is one of those games where a designer decided to replicate a prior game and add to it, such as AFM to MM. Taxi is a great classic game, and some say they prefer that to Diner, but I believe for many reasons Diner is the better machine.

For one, it’s more difficult to complete each person. This needs to be, as they carry over in Diner, where in Taxi, they do not, unless you can light the carry over feature. While I think the wide and crossing ramps of Taxi are some of the most memorable ramps in pinball, the Diner ones cross as well, and both have diverters for a second shot essentially for each. In Diner, the ramps feed back to the same flipper that made the shot, allowing for repetitive stacking of shot after shot, which has a lot of meaning in this game. Some might think it’s boring to shoot the same shot over and over, but it’s nicely done in Diner, for both ramps, and there is something to be said for a game that has this, as it’s not done much, and it’s harder than you think to keep making the same shot over and over.

One of the nicest art packages in pinball, just stunning all in all, and the transllite, with the 3d jiggling characters, and the clock, make this quite possibly the best BG in pinball. Very well done! Taxi has bland PF art, and a goofy BG at best.

People talk about the unbalanced scoring in Diner, but I just don’t see it. You can either go at that left ramp all day, and get a lot of points from that if you are consistent (especially in MB!), you load up the Dinetime JP, and run through the characters, with a lot of points there. You can keep loading up “diner” and cashing out the coffee cup. IMO, all of those methods can get you to the same level of points, depending on the length of your game, and combing them allows for a nice variance in play.

My only grub with the game, is the art of the customers and their callouts. This was by design though, they are supposed to sound and look ugly, but it grinds a little on you.

All in all a fantastic game. It adds to the great game Taxi is, and makes a better version.
3 years ago
Another borrowed layout from WW, and one I just don't like. It's similar to MSF, which is another game I don't like. Modes are bad to play, and some tough shots, but I just can't get into it.

The big killer for me is Newman front and center above the flippers. BLAH!
3 years ago
Early code as of Jan 2016, but I’m just not seeing anything to write home about. Mode vs mode, but other than some shots being worth two fold, I can’t see what the big deal is over stacking modes in other games. I could and may be missing something there. Blackwater MB happens way too often. Modes are bland and feel like the same old recycled things.

The PF layout is ho hum at best. I believed the massive, view obstructing mini PF would really account for very little on the LE, as with ACDC, as Stern isn’t going to code two completely different games all in all, and so as with ACDC, this PF will work out to have little overall importance. The typical fan layout, with issues such as the ramp up to the mini has the ball fly off all the time, the throne doesn’t hold the ball well, and other stuff that just shows Stern does not QC test their machines like they should. Shocking as always, I know.

The art was a huge disappointment to all, just flat out boring and poor. I have a friend that got this early, and I have played it quite a bit, but I’m just not seeing anything to get excited about. The lighting has areas where all inserts (or most) are flashing at the same time, and this becomes nearly blinding. Something needs to be changed in that. TOM has the same issue, if you LED it, and you really notice a blinding effect there.
3 years ago
Pinball Magic is a different game, and moves in a linear progression. This is truly linear though, even over machines like Road Show, that at least you can change the city to some point. I like what it offers, but you can only play, and restart this progression so many times in a play session. I haven’t owned it, but I question if it would stay because of this. The rules are interesting though, and I like trying to work through it.

The look, and toys, and theme implementation are very well done. The levitating ball thing turned out to be a little weak, as you can see it’s basically the ball getting elevated up on a platform, it’s too bad they couldn’t have disguised that a little more for the effect. The wand though is amazing, and the ability to drop the ball for the two holes when on the right side is a superb feature. I am always amazed at how well the ball hangs onto the wand, as I expect that to not be as stable as it is.

The audio seems a little weak for the year. The PF doesn’t have a lot of shots, as the drop targets and all behind it block a large portion. I enjoy playing it, but I don’t think I would own.
3 years ago
I always somewhat liked Fireball, but I’m just not a fan of zipper flippers. I had a guy practically beg me to buy his FB Classic from him. As I think with most people that see any other version of FB, I assume all the other versions are some form of home version of the original.

When I got this home, I played and played and played. I think the addition of regular flippers and the bonus counter has made this machine pure gold in the ranks of all machines. You are CONSTANTLY in and out and in and out of multiball, I’ve never played a game that works like this. As quick as it starts, you’re out again, then bang, MB again and so on. The bonus counter is insanely addictive as well, I LOVE loading that up, and hearing 5x count down for over a minute. Everything is used so well, and storing a ball with the gate in the shooter lane provides the extra ball, which there is technically none of in this machine.

The spinning disk, as with the original, just adds awesomeness to the play, and it’s unlike any other machine. Being a massive TAF fan, and having owned LAH, the magnets in the middle are cool, and the disk is neat in games like WW and Twister, but this has a super grip on it, and is on all the time. It really keeps you on guard for any ball going anywhere, unlike any other machine.

I also really love the kicker, and the roll over switches to turn it on and off. In MB, I’ll hold a ball, and rip the bonus counter posts, and if a ball is heading to the left outlane, you can usually have time for a quick shot up the middle to turn the kicker on, and save it just at the last second. Man, that’s sweet! Again, no other game has this stuff that I’ve played.

A lot of the greatness of this machine comes from the original, but the additions made to FB Classic, in my opinion, have made this one of the greatest machines I have ever played, and this is coming from someone that is almost all DMD in my 30+ machines. I can’t get enough of this machine, and I’m so glad it was forced on me haha. The sounds, and the growl at the end of the game it just awesome. This machine cranked sounds great.
3 years ago
I owned this, but ultimately sold it. I enjoyed it for a while, but it’s really just about getting MB over and over and over. There are a lot of shots on this game, but so much of it, including the upper PF is built around specials, which obviously today is of zero importance. I think with a ruleset update, this could be an outstanding machine, as the toys and layout is quite unique and interesting, but as it is, it sort of falls into one trick pony land.

Great sounds and the BG looks fantastic. Looks amazing as well.
3 years ago
WCS has a lot of cool toys, I gave it perfect there, no question. Goal net with moving goalie, soccer ball that can play havoc or help, Striker saucer is a great idea, diverters, even the left pop bumper that is exposed on the left side for shots (headers) into the goal.

The rules though are too easy, and are somewhat simple. I like the Final draw, in fact much more than the wizard mode, which is all too easy. Like all of Jpop’s machines, the rules are just too simple, and need more, and have an underwhelming wizard mode (well, CV is pretty good actually).

The layout is ho hum at best, and terrible for the exit of the left orbit. This comes out on a strange angle to the left sling, and does not allow for right orbit shots – how odd. The right ramp is positioned where an orbit is, and as such is a harder shot to make, given the broader angle, and has little point to shoot ever, especially given how deadly it is if you don’t make it, which is common again because of the angle.

The magna save is useless. It won’t save balls down the middle, it isn’t strong enough, and the button is not close enough to really utilize anyway, unlike the classic magna save games.

All in all this is a fun game to play here and there, and for a novice, or kids especially, a great starter that has great theming and cool toys, but there isn’t much after this.
4 years ago
This for a long time was my only EM. I have a pretty nice one, and I completely shopped it with new posts, rubbers, anything available. It plays very fast, and is very addictive. I used to think I was most attracted to drop targets for EM’s, but after acquiring this, I realised that it’s spinners for me, and this machine has three.

The look appears symmetrical, but the two orbit shots exit in different areas, and this game has a lot more strategy for achieving the simple ABCD than it appears.

This machine alone has inspired me to venture more into Ems.
4 years ago
I love this machine. I love the show, I love the hard ramps, inner order, trap door, file cabinet mech and magnet, man do I love this machine! Low scoring, super hard and tight shots, and let that ball get away from you and it drains!

The rules could use a few enhancements. Getting super pops should be worth much more than they are for the timed duration. It’s not worth going for as is, but with more points for a limited time, it would be. Also, the increase for the jackpots for shooting the Scully and Mulder targets on the sides isn’t big enough to risk losing control of the ball.

Other than that I love the modes, and there is a good range of things to shoot for at all times, the right ramp to always open up the next mode, the right left ramp towards the needed extra ball, and the mini shooter button challenge (you can get near a million, and that’s a lot of points for this game for just pounding that!), and working towards the next truth MB.

The theming is a little bad though, as most of the artwork and modes are based on one off monster episodes. I’m currently re-watching all seasons, and struggled to figure out all the art. Not to mention the art is just flat out cheap looking.

All in all, cheap great game!
4 years ago
This is a tough game to review. Great rules, interesting play and layout, but hampered by the poor sound and awful Gottlieb system 3 flipper feel.
4 years ago
I owned this game for several months. I liked a lot of things about this machine. Given it’s date, it was hampered by the generally early and basic rules around this time, and this seems to hurt these early DMD games, as we often pit them against later, deeper DMD games in comparison.

For the year, the rules in PZ are pretty good I think. To most, this is a hit the left, ramp and work towards your extra balls, and then the right outer shot and load up the multiball. That’s the meat and potatoes for sure, but once you start to get close to having eat drink and b’merry, as well as the 1M pop bumpers ready, and have the entire 2x PF lit, many scoring aspects of this game become all of a sudden quite lucrative.

The negative aspects of this game are as follows: The ramps are beautiful, as most Nordman ramps are, but are very prone to breaking, and I’m not sure if replacements will ever be made. Take note of this especially if you are considering buying. The main head boards are in the same boat, and are very susceptible to all kinds of issues. The animations when loading up the main multiball (hmmm, the only MB…) get real annoying, really fast, and can’t be skipped. I would have liked to see more variance here to mix it up.

The center saucer shot was a design I’m surprised at the date of this machine they went with. This was just asking to be bent to hell and broken soon out of the box. Once this happens, it makes it almost impossible to make this saucer with a direct shot, as there is just too much power. There is also zero “real” flow shots in this machine. Having said that, the ramps both having vuks and hold the ball only momentarily when nothing is happening with those shots, and create a flow’ish shot, but have the ability to hold, and even hold two in the left during the big bang attempt.

As for the good, I gave this machine excellent for music, lighting and variation for both. The music is typical to the theme, and likely annoys some, but it changes to Purple Haze after you have scored the big bang, and you have the option to change songs with a good use of the center saucer for the party saver, and reinitializing the multiball. The lighting as well has the multiple GI strings being mixes in together, not just your usual front, rear, left and right, allowing for many flickering effects and with the use of one being all domed red llight bulbs, totally making the PF red at times. I don’t believe any other machine does this up to new Sterns, which on the LE machines, they have now started copying. Really neat original idea.

For the time, the layout is not bad. It has many typical shots, but lots to shoot for, if the rules were a bit more advanced. The lower right 45 degree shot is very cool and fun to hit. The call outs are funny too. If you are shooting the main ramp, and only partially make it up, you get a couple different responses.

Going for the Big Bang is flat out fun, and not super easy, and you really need to implore patience. Loading up the rocket fuel and then getting the left ramp twice is a lot harder than it seems with this 2 ball multi and no ball save, and thus this is rewarding, and the music and light explosion after is as well. Getting 1M pop bumpers is also very lucrative, and I found hard to get.

This would benefit from a revisit and additions to the rules, and someone reproducing the ramps. All in all as is, I think many would agree it’s a fun, whacky game, but one that isn’t staying forever.
4 years ago
Interesting layout, with a partial PF cutout to use as the ramp, but which also looks like a boat on an angle accelerating. The clear ramp looks like the water that would be splashing in front of a boat. Pure genius for that, what a concept!

There seems like there is less to do on this simple machine than in fact there is. There are many strategies, and many ways to try and cash out. The toys are super, with the cast wheel locking mech, the boat ramp, and the kicking fish topper. Great captive ball shot, with a lot of risk, as this game drains at the sides.

The artwork is pretty awesome too, but much like IJ, very prone to fading nearly all away. Best music in pinball, hands down! I've gone into test settings just to listen to it sometimes. Great humour throughout the game (oh yer not gonna eat that are ya?!). Another classic of the WPC era.
4 years ago
I'm just not a fan, and still like HS better, despite it's a shallow one trick pony.
4 years ago
The original rules are better, but that's just a rom. I also like the coloured caps for the pop bumpers and blue parts over the gold, but given the extra for the gold, I think it balances out.

Special version of the best ever machine.
4 years ago
I've rated the pro, and feel the toys with the LE/Prem do not work out to an improvement. The hammer is cool, but has too many issues. If this came up in the 90s with real arcade play, ops would have been pissed about such a shitty product that wasn't tested properly. It's just not accurate enough to be reliable. I prefer the newton ball there, but use of that with the magnet is too sporadic for the ball returning where the magnet can grab. Some people seem to have luck, some don't, but why are there so many threads on dealing with the hammer? Stern - this should be you spending the time to perfect it before it's released.

The other added stuff to me is not worth the extra. Again, superb art and happy the band added comments, and the rules will be it's saving grace for the shortfalls.
4 years ago
Lyman has really exploded with rules since ACDC. What I don't like about MET though is that I have to bash my way through the usual and boring "bash this x times" for the cross, snake, sparky and main MB's before I can get to the good stuff and to things like CIU where the real points are.

I have fun playing this, but it becomes tiring loading it up with so little points with all the repetitive, boring after a few games, same shots.

Another two ramp, bash toy magnet marvel from borg. The rules will be the saving grace of it.

The art, however, is top shelf. Obviously the consensus for this has inspired TWD's art to be drawn as well, instead of the piss poor stern photoshop'd PF's your kids could design better.

EDIT Jan 2016:

The more I play this game, the less I like it. bash bash bash, crank it up, bash bash bash again. I don't get the desire for this machines's play.
4 years ago
I have tried and tried to see what people rave about for this machine, and have come close to buying it many times when they were still NIB, and HUO's, and every single time my gut feeling says "no, you're not going to want it".

I feel, given the other sterns out at the time, it needs more modes/rules, and the recycled key elements (AFM center with STTNG side ramp) don't offer enough "new" to care about for me.

EDIT Feb 2015:

I have now bit the bullet and purchased this machine. Every game kind of feels the same. There is something missing. Meh, it's ok, but all in all I still don't get the hype of this machine.
4 years ago
The right ramp is too hard, something people might think is a good thing, but in games like this, BF and MSF, you learn that really tight shots are not fun when needed.

I always have fun playing, but again, same early 90s DE ruleset, hit ramps for jackpots, it’s almost like the physical aspect of the DE machines changed, but not the rules.
4 years ago
Good PF design, but typical DE early 90s rules. All DE’s between 92-94 seem to have the same rule set and modes. I give credit where it started, in such games as LAH, but by the time of GNR, there should have been some rule innovation instead of same modes, same things to do, jackpots ramps, blah.

Theme can put some off of course, I was a GNR fan, and love that Slash was involved in the design.
4 years ago
I have little to say about this rehashed SG PF. Bash toy / magnet blah Borg design. I like where the rules are now, that’s something, but mundane fun to me, and a theme that turns me off.
4 years ago
I don’t have a lot of time on this, and don’t like rating games I don’t know well. Ratings on this will, and should change as the rules get better. We know Keefer will make the end result awesome, and it appears at this time they are pretty solid.

I’m not a huge fan of the layout, not awful, but I think the direction they decided for the Hobbit is more indicative of this aspect of an improvement over the WOZ layout.

Lighting was a hard one to rate, extremely poor GI with extremely awesome controlled. Controlled is stunning, and makes it a “good” for me.

I will have one in the future, once all the bugs are worked out and all the code is done.
4 years ago
Many mini PF’s in pinball, but none more important for the main objects of the game that this one. All others you could remove being only a small side element, but your mode start and reload are both from the mini, not to mention implementation for the MB (all jackpots), and the Whirlpool MB.

I LOVE the progressive music, something not touched on much by people. The main theme song picks up speed and elements to the song the more rafts you get (more instruments, livelier sections), until for Wet Willies, the song is completely different, great idea!

Many side things to do, and a tough main wizard mode. Only 6 modes, half don’t involve any play, man overboard only wants you to hit a shot towards the raft you need anyway at the time, MB one is a good one, and 5x PF is by far the most important and unbalanced thing to achieve. The rules IMO need more diversity in modes, and some type of achievement to start something as lucrative as 5x PF, so rules for me only got a decent.

I love the overall PF look, 4 returning flow shots (two ramps, two orbits), very usual design all in all that works great. Topper looks fantastic. Very fun and addictive WPC, glad I finally got one with no PF planking (as with BSD, hard to find).
4 years ago
The PF pulls a lot obviously from AFM, from the exact same type of inserts for the cities, lined up in the same way, to the same open PF with long shots to the same ramps, orbits, scoop and long CTC/inner AFM lock ramp, but they all work differently for the most part. The use of the mini PF is great, and the AITH lock is very addictive, especially when stacking MBs, as is a new idea in pinball that would be cool to add to other machines above just your typical add a ball used in every Stern machine now.

There are three ways to enter the mini, and two ways out, more so that any other mini I believe. The fact that it is clear, and does not obstruct is a superb idea. The truck load of drop targets are another amazing idea in conjunction with the big open AFM’ish PF, and allow you to utilize all the different angles and shots for all these targets while still having all the avenues for the usual scoops, ramps, orbits, and other shots. Again, great implementation and build off of the AFM PF.

My only issues are some common ones, posts on ramps, which are fixed in changing the code to activate only for the river, and removing the rear left gate to allow for right orbit shots. I also wish the skill shot selection went off leaving the shooter stopped position rather than when it enters the vuk, makes for ill-timed attempts that can sometimes hurt. The CTC shot gate can also be problematic as the gate doesn't always hold the shot in there if hard enough. The lighting in this area and VUK is not good either, making it hard to see the shot. I will be modding an LED in there, no so much for effect as with other scoops and such, but really just so I can see the shot better.

The rules, from what I know to this point, as your typical insanely deep and complicated Keith Johnson rules, that really allow us to venture into a territory you can’t really do outside the home collection environment, but still have the ability to load up most MBs for non-pinheads.

The art is focused around the new girl at the time, but comes off a little lame. The PF would be better with a few other interesting graphics, and the translite needs to be redone. I still don’t like any up the options out there for this.

The fun factor is what bothers me. The play all in all seem's lack luster. There is little excitement build up in this game. Getting jackpots and sidepots in MB mode gets a little interesting, and the music is diverse, but I wish this whole package was updated with new music and additional sounds to make it more exciting. I wonder, given this, if I was to finish the complicated rule set and get to the KI if it would have staying power after.

All in all if you’re a Keefer fan, and likely have TSPP and LOTR as such, you will like this machine for the rules, but the fun factor falls short for the reasons mentioned. Just wish there was more excitement in the presentation.

EDIT Dec 2014:

I've come to actually like the original translite. I'm not trying to be crude with this, but as a guy, the focus is on two things, and I'm starting to find it hard to understand why I would want to change that :D

I'm come close to beating this machine a couple times, getting to the poker championship, getting the MB when you finish all the modes, and had sidepots up to 1m. It's much more fun when you are having a big game, which is typical with a "fun building effect" that Keefer games sort of have, but all in all the music and sounds really need to be redone, and most games just seem blah fun wise.
5 years ago
This was in the era of very simple rules with a large bash toy for DE. This worked though in the day, and I recall this machine and POTO getting a lot of play because of it. I'll be honest, is was POTO, and the very similar large bash organ that really got me to understand there are things to shoot for at certain times in pinball, and to care about reinitiating these modes.

As such, this machine is not deep, and it's felt in home use, but if you are not a strong player, or you have kids, these machines can really make for fun, as they help with “getting pinball”. Most people that are not pinheads are overwhelmed with the very idea of complicated rules from most 90s+ machines, but machines like this make it easy. Hit the scoop, light a ramp mode/reward, do it again, a couple shots to the joker ramp, another basic timed mini mode, bash the building, play around with the timed multiballs. All in all it's a great beginners game with a great theme and superb artwork. I love the music after a jackpot is hit. I love the in your face loud obnoxious pounding sound when the jackpot is achieved. I crank all machines, and really get into the music and noises, no matter how cheesy.

One of the problems with this machine is that the entire thing is made to break. The main ramp is always destroyed where it drops to the right inlane (easily solved with some dampening foam at the bottom). The PF, especially in the right inlane, and around the upper lane guides is always worn due to dropped balls which occur a lot in each game. The posts on either side of the bat cave take a beating being so down and center. The Joker ramp takes a crap load of abuse with a lot of force absorbed on the corner part in the middle of the eyes, resulting in this being badly broken on most games (I mylar this on every one of these machines I come across). The joker ramp is a lot harder to hit for some reason than you might think in looking at the photos.

I should not like this machine, but something makes me like it. I have thought about removing the outlane posts, and making it a serious drainer (isn't too bad as it is now), to balance out the scoring and lack of depth, as made shots to the building, scoop, joker face or ramp, always return safely to the flippers, thus it would be an interesting league play machine made hard, where controlled shots are life and misses are pure death.

Hard to find in good shape (I have a super nice one right now), although the beautiful backglass is always perfect, so much so I have never come across one with even a scratch. Protected by the pinball gods...?
5 years ago
This game is hard for me to rate, as it was made as a stripped down machine for ops that wanted less expensive games. As such, in comparison to layouts of other games, of course it lacks ramp shots and other toys of the time, but given the smaller PF size it has, and the limitation I'm sure production placed on Trudeau when making this machine, the layout is fantastic with a crap load of shots and stuff all jammed in so perfectly. I question if there has ever been a better use of space in pinball every time I look at this machine.

Again, hard to rate the rules, as given the time, they don't stack up to newer deeper games, but there is so much going on in this game, with all the mini modes, the vari target, the building for jackpots, runs, home runs and grand slams, that for the time, this feels like a very well refined machine for what it is. There are certainly many other Williams and DE machines around this time that are either total flops and not fun to play or (as with many DE around this time) so basic in rules it's more or less a one trick pony.

As far as faults, and as a baseball fan, and inter-county player into my 30s, I feel the home runs are a little easy in comparison to singles, doubles and triples, but I guess for trying to lure people to play, you want lots of these out of the gate. The graphics are a mix of retra art, such as the crowd, translite, and other aspects, but then it's robot players - what is up with that? Why were robot player graphics used in this machine - very odd. In attract mode the game does a great job of showing you all the different aspects or play, turning everything else off as it goes through and lights what is applicable for each mode/aspect. Unfortunately, this makes for a very “blinky” and noising attract, with the GI relay constantly being turned off and on about every 5 seconds. In the home gameroom, I find it to be on the annoying side, but again, in an arcade, I think as an “attract” mode to lure people in, probably a good idea. It's hard to fault things that were intended for the original use when they don't fall into the home use “best scenario”.

The translite is very interesting in attract mode, with multiple lights illuminating the title, and lighting up corner spot lights. There are insert lights for the runners on the bases, corresponding to the bases being lit on the PF, and there is an animation for shots to the two saucers via their spinners. If your shot on he PF doesn't make it to the saucer, and it's not a home run, the ball falls into the fielder's glove in the translite, if it's a homerun, the ball falls into the crowd - all done with 44 light bulbs. Clearly they overcompensated with the lack of street level extras with little things like this. It's a translite that has to be appreciated in person.

All in all a fun little machine that has something so rare in the solid state era - charm. Great for playing for runs or points, but it can be a little easy after a while, a problem with many games of this era once they are placed in your home.
5 years ago
One can I say that hasn't been said before. A great theme, PF, toys, sounds, but a machine plagued by poor rules that cater to you utilizing the left ramp solely. With better rules, the ground work is done for a great machine.
5 years ago
Road Show is a unique game. The PF layout is diverse and really utilizes the widebody design. The left mini orbit for the blast shot across the lower PF is really cool, something that was later copied by BW, and I love it there as well. All shots are used, both ramps have diverters, a left side plunger for extra added fun, absolutely the best use of a shaker in pinball (I wish stern implemented shaker use as properly as done here), blast zone is a great idea, tons of city modes and different paths, lots of mini modes, tons of fun all around.

Many people stayed away for a long time given the country theme and music, but many, myself included, feel despite this (not a country fan), the music and theme works so well into a fun all around machine.

One of the main issues is the linear mode play. You have to start with one of two modes, and progress down certain paths. This means that although there are many modes, some are seen every game, while others are rarely seen. Further to that, once you get good at the skill shot, this starts a mode at the beginning, and given this machine can be a drainer, it can feel like you are playing New York over and over, short game after short game.

I do like Lawlor's attempts at something new, and for that, in my larger collection, I enjoy the different aspect to mode play, but I would not recommend this machine as a one or two machine addition.\

My biggest beef with the game comes in the lighting and the blue plastics in the rear. There are yellow ramps that you might think are dirty as they don't shine light through to illuminate the yellow. But then you clean them, and you can still barely tell they are yellow. That is because there are four blue plastics in the rear of the PF, two under each ramp, that virtually block all the light, are hidden, and have no graphics on them. I removed them, as there isn't much chance of a ball getting to where they block anyway, and added a couple extra LEDs, and amazingly the yellow ramps pop. I recommend this with anyone, and I am also sending these plastics to pinbits to have made in clear (possibly yellow) for anyone considering.

All in all, another great Lawlor machine of the 90s.
5 years ago
I own this machine. Hard one to rate. The PF doesn't have a lot of shots, and the game is not deep. I think there are better stackers out there, and really, you are just trying to load up the three MBs over and over, with little else to do. Having said that, it's so well suited for competition, and it's such a relentless drainer, it seems to work. I would not want it in a small collection though.

The video mode is good, and gets pretty fast and hard even in the second wave. I like the bats and rats mini quick scoring modes, and how they are used in your bonus for each end of ball thereafter. I like how if you even get a tilt warning as a ball drains, you lose your bonus.

It's funny how so many people seem to keep this game above many others, given how shallow it is, me likely being one of them. LED'd, with some spotlight additions, it looks great.

I am amazed at the amount of ingenuity that went into the little toy/gimmicks in this machine. The entire mech for the mist feature, including both sides where the ball sets, and the long across PF opto is a ton of stuff for one effect, albeit a very visually cool one. The problem is that when you get relatively acquainted with the machine, you can almost pick off the mist ball just as it's coming out from under the right cave, and almost never see the cool feature.

The other mech wonder to me is why so much went into right orbit scoop. This is only used for when the vid mode is ready, and has a drop target blocking it any other time. From there, the ball drops to a subway ramp, and is carried to a VUK. Why not just use a saucer lock, and have the ball get fired back into the lane changers? As I said, it seems like a lot of mechs for little effect and shallow rules. But still, the game has something, and had been gaining in value and popularity in the last couple years because of it.

EDIT Sep 2014:

Something about this game makes it one of the most addictive out there. I had to increase some things, as this might land in my top 10 if I had to narrow down.
5 years ago
First things first, this is Borg ripping off Lawlor and Funhouse. I can't get past this. The entire design has only a couple changes. The side by side profiles are laughable. For that, it gets a low PF design, as there more or less was no design. Anyone making a machine could start with say TAF and a cool present theme and come up with something good.

Hypothetically moving past the above, the game looks great, and sounds great, no question. It is not very deep, but is a pretty good drainer, and those two items need to be present together to make either tolerable. I can't get over how much I feel repetition in everything I do in this machine though. I don't own it, but a friend does, and I play it enough there. Every game feels exactly the same.

The disk is cool, but above that, no other toys, and even a piece of that is an AFM knock off. I enjoy the difficulty of the Gem shot, but again, liked it more as the Rudy shot.

I don't get the appeal in this machine. It makes me strongly believe there is a large amount of people that enjoy how machines look over how they play given this machine's rating.
5 years ago
I own a Premium, and I've rated this machine given that. ACDC is awesome because of the rules. The layout is ok, but nothing spectacular. The depth in the point stacking is ground breaking with some of the latest updates, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone given the hype about it.

It's a nudger, and every missed shot wants to scream to the nearest drain. It is frustrating at times, no question, but there is something special that always brings you back.

I believe it is a best Stern since LOTR and TSPP, and just as deep, but in different ways.
6 years ago
Maverick is a very interesting machine rule wise. You would think with only 5 standard modes this was not deep, but there are many other things going on, and this machine is likely the most complicated for starting another mode of any machine made. Try starting all 5, very hard, and getting to the wizard mode is extremely hard.

The card play/drop target rules are very different and well thought out. Relighting the kickback with blackjack is a great vid mode. You get to play blackjack, as the video mode, to relight your left drain kicker - love it! I like playing all the modes, and there not as simple as they may look, and some have ways to reset the clock. The captive ball mode seems almost impossible at times, but it can be reached from the lower flippers, with a lucky carom, as well as the upper, and gives 100m when hit, so it is balanced to the difficulty.

There has NEVER been a machine that I am aware of where pop bumpers can become as important scoring wise as Maverick. If you load up super pops, or mega pops, it’s time to rifle balls to the VUK to fee the pops, as at 2-3M a pop, it becomes quite advantageous. I like that, as pops seem like a historic novelty in nearly all machines, not in Maverick. The MB is standard 3 ball, but gives you a chance to instantly go to 4 ball once locking the second from the skill shots, and then if you make that, with the next ball, you can x2 of x3 jackpot values with the next skill shot before MB starts. Great idea.

The skill shots alone are impressive. There are three holes you can plunge similar to totan, and these change depending on where you are and the ball you are on. If you plunge just past this, and drop to the upper flipper, there is a super skill shot by hitting the captive ball this is very difficult to do.

People complain of the paddle wheel slowing down play. It’s like 4 seconds. Other great games stop and go stuff, such as the TSPP Otto saucer, have comparable stop times. I guess we’ll chalk this under first world problems.

What is an issue is the optos. I read somewhere that this machine had to be pulled instantly when it came out from tournament play because of the lauren bell opto which was placed right beside the upper VUK. Some have modded this with a reed switch, but this goes off due to vibration I found. I redid the opto, and it’s been fine since.

All in all it’s a fun machine with great music and sounds, I love the overall them implementation, it’s family friendly, and flat out FUN and enjoyable to play. I honestly just can’t get enough of this machine, and this is from someone that has many of the A listers, and prides himself on cycling around evenly from each machine of my 27 currently.

EDIT 2014 – This machine still is one of the top ones in my collection for pure fun, which most would likely find crazy given my b/w and Sterns. I actually had to increase it’s rating score, which for second, third times around doesn’t usually happen for most machines.
6 years ago
I believe the hype with this machine: fan layout with no depth.

I got a beautiful hardly played no fade machine about 20 seconds from my home, and decided to shop and replace the ramps, and give it a go.

This machine seems like an over ramped mash and bash machine where you could flail and hit something. Instead, it's a machine that is a massive drainer, and if you make a shot, it returns safely, and if you miss, the changes of a drain may be the worst in pinball.

I would have liked more modes, but honestly, game time on this machine may be on average shorter than any other, and more depth may have made the finale near impossible. The modes are fun to play, but the call outs from both the main voice and the skull (Steve Ritchie) can get over the top and annoying, but this fits with the lame ass 90s No Fear theme (mega, ultra, extreme etc...).

I led'd mine, and wow... on payback time, over the edge, and the upper modes, the light show with the flashers and noises are amazing, and a real thrill builder.

I'm really enjoying this so far.
6 years ago
Dec 2012:

Despite liking this machine, the theme is a little weird. The characters are an unusual mishmash. The returning ramps are great, and although the shots are symmetrical, they ultimately are different. The bell is used well, and give this machine one of its many edges. The skill shot is one of the all time bests.

There are many ways to earn points; collect characters and try for the jackpot, shoot the ramps to load up the million point shot, or start MB and shoot ramps after re-locking both balls.

I feel I shouldn't like it as much as I do, that everything is a little wonky in this machine, but it all works so well.

EDIT Aug 2014
Updated the ratings, I believe the score went up. Really is one of the true classic machines in pinball's history. System 11 charm with diversity in play, not a one trick pony.
6 years ago
Ho hum machine. Rules are very weak and the jewels allow you to bypass modes, which are obtained too much. I don't like how the modes are carried over, but can see the idea being tried to change up things at the time. I think this machines looks beautiful, but the play bores me.

As with most wpc95s, I believe software changes could really makes this much better.
6 years ago
So much push and pull in either way. Popeye, I bet, cost more to make than TZ, and I bet was the single most expensive machine to produce. The hidden shots are a nuisance. Despite what you might think in aiming at the inserts should suffice, it doesn't, and about 4 shots, all important, are kind of a pain.

The theme is unanimously agreed upon as flat out stupid. It should have just been Popeye. Why we are helping Popeye save endangered animals while collecting wrenches and baby bottles as a theme for Popeye is beyond me, and everyone else.

The skill shot is a nice idea, and cool at first glance, but is really a lot of wasted space and a waste of a very expensive and complicated toy. I would have preferred after the choice is made, that you have to hit a ramp or the scoop or something. Given the deep rules, which I will get to, that would have been a nice addition.

The overall designed is one of the few games where it feels Williams just did not put this thing through QC and rushed it out the door. The ramp alone has two major issues, in that balls fly off the rear when they enter fast (needs a clear cover) and the ball gets stuck in a common spot on a back left rear corner (needs a post), and secondly the exit from the ramp to the wire ramp is not smooth and does not transition well (raise the union screw with a spacer). Neither of these issues are seen on any other Williams machine, and this alone tells me that this game was not manufactured in the same manner, which is a rarity from Williams, even until they closed.

The entrance to the escalator causes bounce outs, and needs dampening foam all around both sides. The ramps in the upper PF are hard to aim (Clay recommends moving the lightning flippers up there, and I wish I had seen that before I sold mine). The ramp itself is too steep, and hard perfect shots will often fly into the PF glass and back out. The ball will even, once into a shot/door in the ramp, sometimes roll to the right and activate the wrong door, despite making the desired shot. The entire animal ramp/plastic thing should have been in a clear plastic at the least, and really isn't pinball and is a lot of action for little fun.

The outlanes are horrendous. Even if you install bumper posts where they should be (factory only put a screw in the PF to the under PF rail supports), and lower the side star posts to the lowest setting, the opening to the outlanes is still larger than any other machine with the posts to the highest point. When this is how it was factory, the game is virtually unplayable, and balls drain faster than pinbot, A LOT faster.

Everything Steve Ritchie posted about this machine in his rant one time on RGP is bang on. The game was a complete and utter disaster, given the height that pinball was at, and this thing should never have been produced.

Having said that, we are now in the home use environment where we can alter/mod and appreciate in a new light. Once the changes are made, and the game becomes playable, we can begin to review the rules - and the rules in this machine were IMO **ground breaking, deep and as a whole impressive**.

In the time of mode mode mode, this game was the first to start an objective completion type of play, similar to AFM, MM and other later wpc95 machines. You have to save all the animals, collect all the (stupid) items, start the 3 ball MB, complete the 4 mini modes, and then starts another MB, where you have to make most of the shots in the game. There is a 4 and 5 ball multiball as well, and once the objectives are complete, and some other things to complete, and then you can attempt to save olive, which utilizes all of the main shots in the game and is a 6 ball mulit, and is very hard and challenging to get to. I only beat the machine once. I beat TZ almost every night I play it, and AFM once a month in relation.

The skill shot comes back into play big time in the objectives, as you can basically get a free whatever you need towards starting these objectives here, and this is a great idea.

As well, the finding sweat pea is I believe the only pinball play/vid mode interactive thing in pinball. It is very hard, and I have only completed this once as well. I believe this to be the greatest vid mode in pinball, as you not only have to keep the ball on the upper PF, which in itself is very hard, but you have to aim at the right doors, get ready for the ball to return fast, and keep your eye on the map on the screen as well. Why oh why could more vid modes not be like this?

Call me crazy, but this idea was a theme and vigorous testing from QC away from being one of the best machines of the 90s. Instead, most consider it a joke.

My rating is hard to complete, as this depends on if you take the time to make the changes noted, as such I averaged out some things. 1 out of 6 for theme is even too generous.
6 years ago
BG may be the fastest game out there. It has amazing speed, and it's very difficult to save the queen given the short time frame once the objectives are completed. Having said that, there isn't much else to do in the game, and thus I wouldn't recommend it if you only have 1-2 machines.

There are so many targets that are basically just used to light the kickback or open the gate (can't recall, one or the other),which is really wasted IMO.

The toys, for the time, are top notch though. Two cannons firing pinballs in open air, across each other! It happens fast too, you can hardly see them, and they are at the flippers instantly. A drain popper and a backbox bagatelle make this interesting.

Again, awesome potential, and would make a great candidate for something like P-Roc.
7 years ago
I picked this up in a deal with another machine. It cost next to nothing. I figured I would fix, and sell, as it looked pretty ugly.

They could have done more with the art package, but wow, when I started playing this game, I couldn't believe how fun it was. I haven't played anywhere near all the classic sterns, however this is my fav. Great shots, and use of drops and spinners. The single pop bumper with star targets on either side is a great feature. Collecting all stars on a fast playing, rerubbered machine is not easy by any means. I know people have mentioned the special of 100k is unbalanced given the other points, but getting a special is quite hard. This can be changed in the setting however.

I really enjoy playing this machine, and feel it plays much better than most give it credit for, and much better than many around the year it was made. I can't imagine selling it. I love the chimes as well.
7 years ago
Despite a low review given the choices, this game is a shallow but very fast and fun machine. There are some neat aspects to this machine, most notably being the four different types of alien bugs you need to destroy for each mode, as this will dictate which coloured targets you must shoot. This keeps the modes changing for the shots you require. I hated the movie, still think the game is shallow, but it is great in a larger collection as a quick and dirty, rally run game.

The coloured flashers are like fireworks to watch.
7 years ago
The single most valued pin out there. One of the deepest pins of the 90s as well. LAH is a crap load of fun, with 10 regular modes, all of which are for the most part interesting and diverse. There is an add ball mode, where hitting the movie targets continues to add balls to the mode; Big Mistake, where you have to hit the drop targets, then stand up eyeball targets, then the main scoop; find Benedict , where you have to shoot the three scoops to locate where he is hiding.... and so on and so on.

After that, there is the additional three modes to complete “Last”, “Action”, and “Hero”, which starts a 6 ball TZ LITZ like MB, which is timed, but can be extended, where you have to hit so many targets in a short period of time. Completing all modes then will start the Movie Premiere finale which is fun final mode.

The Crane toy with shaker motor, which locks balls, and is used for the super jackpot shots is a cool addition. The regular MB, which is started on the third ball, or by being advanced with the movie targets, is a three ball (however locking balls previously adds to this) MB where you have to hit the ramp for the jackpot. After this, it enables the crane shot, as the crane moves over with the super jackpot lit, and making this releases all 6 balls.

All MBs, which are many in this game, have the TAF style magnets firing the balls around, adding to the challenge. There are 5 drop targets which need to be hit to enable the crane to move over to lock balls (this is only one of many crane applications in the game though). These locked balls do not lead to the main MB, like in most games, but add additional balls into play when the MB is reached (IE if you lock 2, you get a 5 ball MB instead of a 3 to start). If, while shooting the drop targets, you miss, there is a long target behind the drops, which resets all the drops, and you have to start from scratch.

It has definitely been a product of all the Williams games to that point (TAF magnets, scoops, relighting ramps, T2 ball shooter start, F14 kicker), but it does it so well, and with a ton more play and things to do than I already mentioned, that this game may be the deepest game to come out of the 90s PERIOD.

The only poor thing I can say about it, and it is without a doubt very poor, is the translite. I am planning on having a graphic designer make another for mine.

If you get a chance, buy this machine. You cannot go wrong. Interestingly this game fluctuates within the top 20 on the IPBD, but is in the 80-90s on Pinside.

EDIT 2014 - dropped this rating as I get very annoyed with the typical DE third ball pity MB activation. I wish you had to earn that every game.
7 years ago
Have you ever asked yourself if it's possible to play with a flaming piece of crap? This game was clearly rushed out with little thought, riding on the licensing and them. RFM was the first P2K machine, and was done better than this.

I understand this was a new concept, but RFM managed to have more varied play and diversity than this second addition to this system, and it was simply done poorly. Maybe it was made to be simple to attract a very young crowd.

Regardless, I'm sure there is some depth within the play, I just don't think there is anyone that cares to find it, as the Jar Jar and young Anakin blurbs are annoying, and I can't stand playing this machine.

I'm a huge SW fan, and as with most SW pinball machines throughout the years, this is another let down - the worst of all in fact. Wow, something that actually came up rated worse than CFTBL.
7 years ago
Pinbot is one of the greatest machines ever made. I never wanted one, and don't recall it from back in the day, but when I got one in a 5 machine deal, with the intention of fixing and selling, after playing a few times, I knew it was staying.

This game, for its time, was incredibly deep. Advancing the planets to the sun is very tough to do, lighting the main grid does not have to be a mash of shots, as the left flipper can usually shoot the right vertical row of targets, caroming into the horizontal row, then bouncing back into the vertical. The sounds and music in this game are simply put - outstanding. The explosions when doing a Solar Ride while the visors is moving up to release the other locked ball are awesome.

I love this machine. It is a very hard machine however, and the side drains are likely the worst in solid state pinball. Having said that, it teaches you how to nudge more than any other game. This machine is all about discretely nudging almost every shot to assist in movement.


The side drains are not the worst, they are up there, but once you learn to feel them, as with games such as ACDC, it really teaches you that less movement but more refined is the key. It doesn't compare to the flat out horrid drains of BSD and worse yet, STTNG.

I still love this machine, my only gripe is wishing someone would add an option for a point value for the Sun. It's hard to get to, and as it sits, it only gives a reply. It's more advantageous to get to the last planet before the sun, and get all the planets stacking for every end of ball bonus then to compete the sun. Not a fault of the game, as on route, free games were more important to most.

The look and feel and sound package STILL impress me every play.
7 years ago
The playfield layout is topnotch and really utilizes the widebody design. The modes vary, and with technically 4 ramps, drop targets, stand up targets, and the typical tight shots that early segas were known for, this is a very diverse machine for experienced and skilled players. The insert use could have been better, as well as the overall lighting. As with most DE/Segas, the flashers are insane.

The large DMD utilizes animations and as much DMD action as a pinball machine could, however; this is always lost on me, as I only watch these things when others are playing.

The toys are a little weak, given the year. The T2/STTNG cannon is a nice touch, but has been done, and is not memorable on this machine. Getting to the wizard mode “Forever” is not easy, and loading the moving cannon for the Forever jackpot is very hard, which I really like.

I can't recall why again I let this machine go. I believe at the time I needed some cash for my AFM. I would like to acquire this again at some point.


I rememeber why I let this go, lack of depth. I think this machine could have been much much better had it had a few more modes. Very weak in the number of modes, something all too common with the Sega years.
7 years ago
T2 is the game everyone remembers from the early 90s shoveling coins into. As with many of SR pins, it had many firsts, and had a superior theme, given other movie pins in the 90s.

The play given the time, is not bad for rules. The scoring however is unbalanced, so much so that the only thing worth going for is the Super Jackpot for 50M. If this was made to be less, and other features maybe a little more, there would be more pressure to play this machine to its max. The video mode, being the first one, is still one of the better ones out there.

It just seems to be all about skull, and cannon shots.

Everyone wants one when they get back into the hobby, as there are so many, most get one at some point, and most move them along. Given how big of a smash it was though, it still seems to be rising in value.

EDIT - I bought a second with intentions of selling, and this one is much nicer than my first. After shopping, I found the play much harder and challenging than my first, and the super JP to be much more difficult to achieve. As such, I don't believe it to be as unbalanced as I thought. As it was a machine I played a lot back in the day, I believe I will be keeping this one.

EDIT Jan 2016:

I sold my second, but traded back for it with a WCS94 (god, don’t get me started on that...). I had rebuilt the flippers with PBL parts a while back, which were worn in no time. Opted to rebuild again with good PBR parts. This game is odd, as the original flipper coils FL11630 were originally used, but b/w changed this at sometime to the stronger FL11629. I wrestled with doing this as well, but opted originally, when I first had this game, to leave the weaker coils in. Shopped and rebuilt, it played well, and the ramps were made, but it always felt on the cusp of thirsting for a little more power.

I went with the new style side springs over the original retraction springs that go directly over the plunger (pre-fliptronics style). I knew this would add slightly more resistance for the plunger, and wondered if this would push me to going with the FL11629’s. It did, and man, it makes a huge difference for the better. The ramps fly, as you would expect with any other b/w game. Everything becomes super fast, and much harder. I could easily be between 300-500m before with racking up the super many times, but now, it’s quite hard to set up a super. I feel this is a much better representation of what this game should play like. I’m not for overpowering games that shouldn’t be, and have never gone to stronger coils before, as I rebuild and shop every game, and they always play fast after, but I do believe the ramps in T2 really require the FL11629’s to play to the same speed as usual pinball ramps.

There are arguments that doing this will destroy the targets, but there are so many games with these coils that have closer targets, and ones aligned more perpendicular to the flippers. IJ for example is much more deadly after rebuilt flippers, and the shots to the drop targets in the center were so overpowered that they had to provide a couple second ball save as this projects balls over everything out the left drain. As well, if I have to buy a new drop target and three stand up targets every year in lieu of the extra speed I’m getting now, I can surely live with that.

Highly recommended, and gives this awesome machine the difficulty boost it needs to have new legs.
7 years ago
DM lacks in the art package, probably more so than any other machine made in the solid state era. The music and sounds are very good, and the swear roms are a great option. The game play makes this game the flow master, and although the game isn't the deepest, the four mutiballs makes it feel like there are more modes.

It's a really playing game when you just want to fire the ball around and have some fun. I really enjoy playing demotime, and the demotime jackpot is not easy to get.
7 years ago
What a game. Another unique layout, with the upper right mini flipper having 4 shots alone. There is a lot to do, and the alternating crime scene targets are a great idea. This game has a couple wide shots utilizing the superpin size of the game.

The deadworld is an awesome idea, and the deadworld mod (bringing it back to what was intended for the game) is a must. Also custom LED deadworld lighting is needed to really accentuate the lower deadworld area.

Another great find at a low price. Fast play that will drain you really quick.
7 years ago
Better than SWE1, but the pinball 2000s just were not refined enough to entice me at all. Every mode is hit the ramps and orbits, which seems even more limited than other games that have this. Shot variation simply sucks.

DMD animation doesn't seem to get old, but the monitor graphics seem to age faster. The first game I ever played on this I went to the final, and the fact that I could do that didn't impress me much either.
7 years ago
Shallow game that does not have enough Elvira quotes. It is fun to play, but I wouldn't want to own one.

There really isn't much to say about this game, indicative of my thoughts on it.
7 years ago
One the newer sterns that people seem to like, but I do not. Not a deep game, and I've never enjoyed the play. The toys are lame, in lieu of the obvious stern cutbacks at the time.

The game plays fast, but felt immediately like a F14 rip off to me, with the light ironman(tomcat) targets and the kicker.

I enjoyed the theme after the first movie, and was disappointed in this game.
7 years ago
Really the one Lawlor b/w game that does not grab me. The PF layout is really different, which is usually a good thing, but seems awkward to me in this game. The sounds and speech annoy me on this game, especially the noise when the ball is spit out of the cellar scoop, which happens a lot.

The PF spinners were a nice touch for the time, however seem a little weak in lieu of the later TAF/LAH games. The fan topper is annoying as well, as I have only played this games in relatively cool game rooms, and a fan blowing on you is distracting.

Maybe one day I'll figure out the appeal to most for this game, but I haven't to date.
7 years ago
This is an advanced player's game. It will expose the days you are not playing well with a vengeance (no pun intended).

This game is one of the best for having very interactive and important toys. There is no pop bumper, so the game is fast. The mini PF is one of the best, and the ramp diverters add another level of skill to pinball.

There is a good mix of modes, multiballs to start the finale, which is not easy to get to, and hard to win. One of only a few of my games I still have not won. The finale, unfortunately, is the same old hit every shot and target, as many were around and before this time.

It is hard to play the modes, as you always, ALWAYS get caught up playing vengeance, it is so addictive, and gives a somewhat unbalanced amount of points given playing out the modes.

I wish the modes involved more than the ramps and orbits, as there are many targets in this game which really don't come into play or are unimportant for the most part.

Thanks to 30 rock, this game doesn't get the hate it used to for the translate as much anymore it seems. One of the very few games that has an alternate, which is worse than the original in my opinion.
7 years ago
I believe FH is the first mode based game, but I could be wrong. Many people are put off by the head of Rudy. I never wanted this game because of that. I had one non-working offered to me, so I picked it up with the intentions of fixing up and selling. After playing for a while, I realised why this game is so highly rated.

The game is fun. Not super deep, but fast and furious with its classic Lawlor mix of short and long shots, so if you miss a long shot, the ball is back on the flippers before your eyes can catch up.

The music and light show, as with all Lawlor games, is very good as well. Sometimes when the magic mirror is not lit, and the steps or lock is not lit yet either, there can feel like there is nothing to shoot for until you first light one of these, but this was a very early WPC, and can't really be compared fairly to later wpc's when the rule sheets exploded.

Stacking frenzy with the MB is not easy, but gives large points. Great game.
7 years ago
Underrated is overused, but DW has to be the most underrated WPC ever made. The game is simply awesome. The sounds and music are just amazing. The daleks and davros scratchy screaming voices really add to the madness that is most of this play.

The game is unique as you really need to be concerned with loops to not only increase but maintain the multiplier which works against everything. The video mode increases, and is one of the more important video modes of any machines.

The three level mini PF Time Expander may be the greatest toy ever. When multiball is going, and this thing is rising up and down while the game screams at you, it's just amazing.

The game, when properly rebuilt, is lightning fast as well. There is now the machinery for the moving dalek topper head as well, which is in the mail for me.

All in all for the money this machine sells for, the game is a NO BRAINER.
7 years ago
I owned probably the most amazing original condition you could imagine. I had played this before, but not having played enough to get into it, thought given the ratings I couldn’t go wrong in buying.

Wow, I kept playing, and playing, and playing... hoping to find something appealing other than the PF and insert use. The gameplay is just downright awful, there isn’t much to do given the time this came out, and the animations are horrible. I’m not against the theme, and don’t mind that the theme is sort of split on this game either, but the play is just terrible.

I will never understand why it is so highly ranked given almost all serious players really don’t care for anything about this machine.

I don’t think I could stand to see another kiss animation. I can’t imagine ever wanting to play another game of this in my life.

EDIT Feb 2015:

I don’t have this game anymore. I still don’t think I’d ever own it, but I feel I rated it too low previously. There are things I like about it, and things I really don’t. It’s fun to play here and there though, and looks amazing.

One thing I hate with a passion is Trudeau’s wider gap in the flippers. I hate this solely because it screws up my timing for slap saves, and I find the second slap has the ball hitting the underneath of the second flipper, and not making the save. I know this is his thing, and again, it’s not for the difficulty it brings, just that it takes you out of your element for what you expect should be for flippers. I wish he would have went with lightning flippers instead, as then one could choose to have the added 1/8 space or not.

Oh well, his design, and his thing. Trudeau is a great designer none the less.
7 years ago
I think Rbion is the most underrated Stern made. The game is next in depth to TSPP and LOTR. I really enjoy playing this at a friend's, and was surprised by the complexity. It has two separate locations for sets of 3 pop bumpers, and yet seems to have no shortage of shots, all of which is encased in a very original design.

Lawlor made another classic with this machine, one which in coming years will climb higher and higher in the ratings much like TZ has once people learn to truly appreciate this machine for all it has.

This is on my short list for games I will acquire.


I acquired, played, spelled ripley's, and from there I couldn't find much else to play for. Other games keep you coming back, but for me, I found a hard time on this. Hard to sell, as I bought a low play HUO, but although I really like the ripley's wizard mode of winning 7 modes, I found the play basic and not very deep given the PF layout. Only 7 modes, with a couple other MBs, all in all I was disappointed. I rarely sell any game, and this lasted under 2 months. Part of the reason is that it's at my friend's place who is 3 min away, so I can still play anytime.
7 years ago
Seems like the play should be the standard for basic pinball play. Nothing fancy, but given the time, it had exactly what it needed to be a great players game. You need to sniper targets, bad angles or misses drains the ball. MB is also very difficult to keep going for long it seems. Pop bumper action is fierce.

EDIT Sep 2014:

I sold mine. Even for the time and other games around the same era, the rules are shallow. Still a solid player I would never have an issue stepping up to play, but there are only so many times you can do the same thing before it's time for something new in that spot.
7 years ago
This is a one trick pony type of game, as were many system 11s, however it is so much fun to play. The light show is the greatest of any machine ever made. The flow and speed of this game, along with the kicker, makes of a high adrenaline experience. The upper PF area with the upper flippers is very fast as well. Lighting the multiball, replay and extra ball gives you a light and sound show unparalleled in any game. You need volume when playing.

I will never be without this machine. First one ever purchased, and I remember it dearly from when it first came out.

EDIT Sep 2014 - still love it, and this and Pinbot are the only two non DMD/WPC's I have kept, in lieu of trading up for deeper machines. It's amazing what was done with F14 considering there are actually no ramps! (think about it, all wireforms are reached by the shooter and VUK only, they could all be subways for all intents and purposes - no ramp shots!).
7 years ago
The deepest game in existence. Is it possible to master this game? I hope to find out, but game times are very long, and really are exciting when you have a good one. So much to do, however this game truly is an advanced players game, and I can't imagine many people enjoying it who are not skilled pinball players, as even stating modes requires quite a bit of skill.

This game calms you down, and requires you to really control the ball and calculate your shots more than any other game. I feel owning it has made me a better player.

I love the first 6 or so seasons of the Simpsons, however have disliked the mundane episodes ever since, and thus the theme put me off of this game for a long time. I was glad to find out the theme is based from the early years.

This is a must for any serious player.
7 years ago
Outstanding game that is very unique for so many reasons. Lack of shot diversity is one of the only shortfalls of this game, as is some of the audio and animations that seem more geared for children.

Made in the era when mode play turned to completing tasks before lighting the mode or objective, this game is more about stacking multiballs, and has a fantastic 4 stage finale. The final pinball party is chaos and has sounds and music to match.

Home roms are great, but I find the choice skill shot to make getting to join the circus too easy, and it needs to be turned off. I wish I didn't have to watch the ringmaster animations all the time as well.
7 years ago
I almost bought one of these, but in the end, not being a fan of the show, I could not buy it. Theme has really hurt this machine, which is otherwise top notch. Fact is though that you are either a trekkie or you are not, and I am not.

I wish the game was just a tad deeper as well, given the time it came out, as some of the animations and start up sequences to the modes seem to get a little more repetitive than other machines for some reason.
7 years ago
A lot of people sell these, which has always surprised me. When tuned and playing fast, the game is really unique, and has diversity in goals to reach the finale. The real key and difference is always keeping hokus pokus lit for magna ball saves in the outlanes. Modes are very diverse.

I was told winning the game had no visual or theatrical payoff, which I found to be true, which is a disappointment.

All in all I find it hard to believe I could ever part with it.
7 years ago
I have played this quite a bit, and would like to own one soon. This game, such as TSPP, are the deepest games ever made, and require a lot of time to play a well rounded game of. Although this is a strong point in my book, it can be a negative to many.

The toys and integration is top notch. I wonder if the original design of the path of the dead was to be a IJ POA movable mini PF. I wish there was a better mix of deep and short shots.


I have now owned this for about 5 months. When having a good game, the theatrical build up is amazing and makes it one of the most exciting machines to play ever made. I find it hard to give any negative marks to this machine.

Layout is original (which is the complete opposite of many new sterns which are all based on previous machines).

I am not going to go into detail with this machine, as there is too much to rave about. It's simply awesome, and you need to own one.

Further Edit - I can find little to fault this machine on. It is near perfection. When you start stacking things with the MBs, it is some of the most exciting play I have ever seen. Awesome simply doesn't do enough to descibe it any longer....
7 years ago
I have not owned this machine. This is another game that is popular that just hasn't grabbed me and I have no interest in owning. I like Elvira, and wish this game was just a little deeper than it is. I will admit that I need to spend more time on it maybe to evaluate.

It has the glam, but feels like there should have been more thought into the gameplay, and more diversity in shots.
7 years ago
Great machine. It can kind of feel like many of the modes are ramp/orbit based, but the gameplay experience is very fun. Hard to beat the theme for males growing up in this era.

The mini PF may be the best one made and changes in strategy. The PF lacks a little I think for a widebody, with a lot of wasted space at the lower sides.

This is a machine that really needs to be tuned fine in order to play well.
7 years ago
I'm just not a fan of MB. I do not own this game, and will admit I need to invest more time in it, but it just hasn't grabbed me when I have played it. The toys just seem a little lame to me. I like the theme, and the integration is very good.

One of few top tens I have no interest in owning.


I have now purchased this machine. I don't know what people see in MB. The toys are weak compared to most other machines, the rules are sosimplistic that it has so little staying power. I have no idea how this game climbed to the value and rating it is.

It's LOTR without the depth as for physical layout, and I do like a lot about the layout. I love the ramps, they feel sweet. I thought the drac was lame at first, but I do like the idea of pegging him off at different locations. The middle loop shot is also sweet. The humor is great as well, likely the dirtiest machine ever made (we gotta do this quick baby!).

They could have done more with the creature shot - I just get the feeling the curved saucer shot was cool in Firepower, but 17 years later, there should be more innovation, such as there was with the shire in LOTR.

The PF art is a little lacking I feel, but in the end the rules are just so built on shooting this shot so many times, and then starting that mode, which for some modes means shooting the same shot again and again, or shooting all of them. I like that you can stack them, and I just got the big 6 the other night, and that was rewarding.

If there is one thing to be said about the rules in MB, the big 6 stack is f'ing hard to do. You have to set it up perfectly, without missing a shot ANYWHERE or you start something early, and then start each mode perfectly, without missing one shot, or the first will time out by the time you hit the last. THAT is very cool, and rewarding.

...But the Monster Bash mini wizard (if you can call it that) is almost a gimme every game, and Monsters of Rock isn't too hard either, and both are essentially the same thing with a different point scheme, MOR just scoring more. There was a missed opportunity to implement something, anything different, but they virtually went with a higher point Monster Bash mode.

Even the point system is so telltale of the game you just had. Anyone with a MB could look at your score and tell immediately if you didn't get Monster Bash (2m-50m), did (120m-170m), or got MOR (400m-600m), and so on with another Monster Bash or MOR. I literally don't think it's possible to get a score around 80m, or 200m for example. Multiballs mean so much, and everything else means so little.

With better rules, I think the machine could be a great machine, same with TOTAN, but as it sits, it feels like a $2,500 machine in all honesty. Fun, not deep at all, ok to play here and there. I don't hate it by any means, but for the money, it fails to deliver.
7 years ago
Great fast and fun machine. PF artwork is somewhat suffering from the DM/TS lack of inspiration, The gameplay does get a little repetitive, but it has enough to maintain longevity I believe. Light show and blowing up saucers is impressive.

EDIT - getting to RTU is not easy, but is a blast. A real flow game that moves very fast. Another good mix machines amongst the mode machines.
7 years ago
My second all time favourite. Although I enjoy TAF more, this is a close second. It offers more depth as the second incarnation of this familiar Lawlor game play design, but where it exceeds TAF in depth, it didn't seem to in the overall fun factor.

Depth is great, however it does not offer much for new players, and many newbies seem to steer clear of this machine altogether, which amazes me given the overall look of it.

I do not believe it was considered a great game in the day. It sold well, but I believe this was in lieu of it being the next Lawlor after TAF. Indicative of this point is the fact that there is never any wear on original TZ slot scoops, and there is never NOT any original PF's with TAF chair scoops.

Regardless, games can be looked at in worth as they were made to be, or how it has turned out to be in the current home use market, and TZ has turned out to be, along with many Lawlor games after it, a great machine.

Many say it is complicated, and that couldn't be further from the truth. TSPP is complicated, but TZ is fairly straightforward and easy to understand. It is very deep, and there is a lot to do. It is also very merciless with drains.
7 years ago
EDIT 2016.

I just don't find much interesting about this machine. Maybe I need to own it, but I've played it enough. Great toys, artwork is great, castle and draw bridge are just flat out awesome, trolls are neat... lots of good stuff, but I feel it falls short next to AFM, as it's just not dangerous in game play. Split, safe ramps, castle door on a slight angle, unlike the deadly AFM target back and inner target area. Ball times can be too long for a game like this. AFM is much more a players game. Music is sort of uneventful.

In the end, I'll always play a game on it, but it bores me. Even the big games I have had on it are forgettable. I want to like it, but it seems like I'm always stacking MB's, and this is usually a big thing on other machines, but so easily done all the time on MM that it's meh.
7 years ago
Greatest creation of man. This is the single reason I collect today and have found this hobby in recent years. I intend on being buried in it.

The game is pure fun, and offers quick gratification for newbies and experienced players. Modes are all very fun, and multiball with the PF magnets is amazing.

The sounds/music and light show are top notch, and add to a massively fun experience. This is the game that all others should be measured against, which is indicative of it being the all time greatest selling machine, and reviving the market in the early 90s. Any game close to selling as many copies came in the early 80s.


Can I love this machine anymore? It just seems to happen each time I come around to it. I have loved it since the day it came out, and since acquiring it as my second machine when I started collecting, I have played it to death, and still get more excited about stepping up to it every single time then any other object in the world.
7 years ago
Mixed review. I have owned this game, two of them. I loved this game back in the day, definitely made pinball today what it is by being so popular and bringing pinball back into the light in an age where vids were taking off more.

Having said that, it was a great arcade game, made for what it was intended to do, but in today's home use world, it's incredibly shallow rules, and repetitive nature offer nothing but memorabilia.

Attract mode light show is like the fireplace channel at Christmas - hard to look away from.

EDIT - I bashed this a lot hard initially, and actually feel my F14 and Pinbot needs this beside it, given the epicness of all three back then.

EDIT 2016 - Got another, was looking for a while, I feel all prior comments and reviews I have made on this machine are bogus. The sounds, and music, mixed perfectly with the light show, makes this is a true classic kick ass machine. The fun factor has always been off the chart for this machine because of that. The ramp shot, although used in so many other SR games, feels sweeter in HS than any other.