pinball: stranded on Gilligan's Island in the pandemic

By BillVolckening

March 29, 2024

This story got frontpaged on April 02, 2024

25 days ago

So there we were, stranded at home at the beginning of the pandemic. All the arcades were closed, indefinitely, and the typically hectic tournament activity in Portland abruptly halted. We didn't know what to do. One day we were sitting at home eating donuts and pioneering pandemic fashion, and there was an announcement on Facebook from Quarterworld Arcade. Monthly Home Rentals! Since they couldn't open their doors, they would bring their machines to people at their homes. Genius.

We signed up for a machine immediately. Later we learned we were the first people to sign up for a home rental from Quarterworld. The machine we wanted may seem like an odd choice to a lot of Pinside readers, but at the time we were just beginning our obsession and lifelong love of one of the most unpoular games of all time, Gilligan's Island.

It was perfect. We were stranded at home with a game about people stranded on an uncharted island. The rules were simple, and following the plot to the big jackpot was challenging and totally worth the payoff. We especially loved how the game required mastery of the various shots. You have to play the whole game to hit the jackpot.

We rented many other games that year, 14 total, but Gilligan's Island remains a favorite. Recently my wife beat my GC score in a tournament at Next Level Pinball Museum in Hillsboro, Oregon. So, currently we have the two top scores on that machine. We eagerly await the day when someone else will come along, discover how much fun the machine is and take down our scores.

Story photos

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11 days ago

I love my GI pin. I got it as payment for a playfield swap I did on a taxi for a local operator. I did a total restoration on the GI adding my own flare to it. Such an underrated game. It’s super fun and easy to teach to new players.

11 days ago

"Nice Coconuts!" Look at the games that I have owned. GI is one of the few I really miss. So easy and yet so satisfying.

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