bkbirge's ratings

Pinsider bkbirge has rated 7 machines.

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Rating comments

bkbirge has written 7 rating comments:

2 years ago
I've had this long enough now to form an opinion outside of the honeymoon phase. I think it's a classic. Great art, great flow for the time period, and most importantly it's a very fun game to keep coming back to.

The row of ball capture holes right in the middle of the playfield is not as awkward as I would have expected and they tie into the game very well with the simple rules and the moving roto display. This is a fantastic game to play with friends as you can steal the bonuses from each other because the table setup remains between players and between games.

For all the engineering that went into the hula girl shaking it there is surprisingly little payoff as she just wiggles a little on each chime. Chimes are typical Gottlieb clear and musical as expected.

Because of the different way the flippers are activated compared to just 10 years later the buttons may feel stiff to some, you have to press a lot harder than on a 70's EM so the touch isn't quite as responsive.

The artwork is spot on to the theme, really nice family friendly game that will also appeal to those of us that like that retro art.

Of course the game play is going to be slower than your typical modern offering but that's part of the charm and what keeps me coming back is the addictive difficulty that rewards on some rounds and punishes mercilessly on most others. I can imagine this on location back in the day being frustrating as the ball times can be short. I don't feel nudging is a requirement to enjoy this pin but you'll get much better scores if you can. Then again my daughter can't nudge at all and she whips my rear on this pin pretty consistently.

If you see one try it out, I think it's a keeper.
2 years ago
Subversively hilarious with the private eye who has a gambling problem theme, the pin is super fun and the designers got the theming tied together near perfectly.

As others have said where this falls down is in predictability with the rules, there is a fairly simple story mode that never varies in order, after playing a few times you really don't need to bother with clues at all to decide who the suspect should be. That said, even knowing the suspect doesn't mean you'll be successful at catching them as do so requires running the gauntlet of timed shots. Being predictable in goal isn't really a bad thing, especially when I think of my favorite pins are generally just the ones where you rack up points mindlessly anyway but most of those make you work for the points. Here the ball can be in play for a long time which may or may not be a good thing for you. There are a few start/stop moments and some of the return shots can be lightening fast and a little unbalanced compared to others.

I would love to have a nice version of this in my collection some day but there are other pins I'd rather have first. Watch for the insets above the flippers, they all seem to show wear on every copy I've seen even ones that the seller says have no wear. If this had a working mechanical roulette wheel instead of the DMD one (or in conjunction with) it would be higher on my wish list.
2 years ago
Pinbot holds that nostalgia marker for me, an endlessly repetitive yet fun pin that all other pinball machines are compared with. The ball start sound is so good it has haunted my dreams for decades and just thinking about it makes me hungry to play some pinball like a Pavlovian response. The randomness of the bagatelle and the 9 times out of 10 broken skill shot ramp just add to the charm. Objectively this isn't a deep game and I can see why someone who has never played it will dismiss it in favor of flashier and/or more modern offerings. I would wager however that anyone who has actually sat down to play a decently maintained non-virtual example will all agree that it is a classic worthy of being in any collection.
2 years ago
One of those pins whose aggregate is more than the sum of individual parts for me. Just a straight up fun pinball. Yes it's slow compared to modern fair, it's easy to get to all levels of the game, and at the end of the day you are really just there to rack up as many points as possible, but if you want a deep goal oriented game then you aren't looking at anything before 1991 anyway. No spinner but there are loop shots with triggered sound that yield the same satisfaction, and the basement while easy to get to is hard to complete. Pinball should be fun and this is just about the epitome of the art when looking at it from that perspective. Another 80's classic from the golden era of pinball. Since shorter ball times are starting to come back in vogue there will be a resurgence in interest of pins from this era, though this one itself has remained a classic through the changing fads.
3 years ago
Just picked up one of these that I'm in the middle of restoring. After playing for a couple weeks I realize there is a reason this game is a classic. It's got that "one more game" factor for sure. The art is fantastic in a retro style of course, this is an EM that really benefits from the all incandescent (or warm white leds), a real smoky sort of look. I've got mine setup rather extreme on the angle, about 6.5 deg and it plays fast. Go for orange dots in the main flippers, new rubber and you're in business with a challenging pin that might even make the DMD guys notice. Ball times can be very short, there are some necessary shots that rebound right into the center gap so a good pin for working on nudging skills without being one of the 60's pins that absolutely requires it. This is one of the 70's pins known for red flaking in the backglass and mine is no exception. Luckily this is also one of the most iconic 70's pins so there is a wealth of replacement parts available to keep it running for another generation. Being a single player EM it will keep the state of the drop targets between balls, much more fun than the multiplayer versions in my opinion. A good pin for a small EM collection that your buddies who are into more modern offerings will still get into.
4 years ago
Gorgar is a holy grail pin. Just love it to death, the whole theme is so 70's retro hard rock it's hard not to smile. The heartbeat speeding up really adds to the game aesthetics and can't get enough of the playfield and backglass art, just wonderful in a 70's metal inspired LSD flashback kind of way. But the real star here is the playability. At first I was kind of bored, seemed like there wasn't much to do. Start hitting the goals and racking up multipliers though and it gets hectic fast. This can be setup to play fast if you want and is very satisfying that way. For those of us that like it a little more fast paced than the EM fare but not as sensory overload as the DMD stuff, this early solid state is pitch perfect.
4 years ago
Fun, fun, fun, love this pin. Nice EM that can be found in good shape here and there. Set it up properly and it's a great pin. My 9 year old loves it but she does not understand why the Genie is wearing a bikini. I told her it gets hot in the lamp. No drop targets which I thought I would miss but I don't. Aladdin's Alley and the challenge of getting the ABCD and ramp targets keep us plenty busy. All in all, a very classy and classic table that definitely has that "just one more game" lastability. Worthy candidate for restoration.