Captive_Ball's ratings

Pinsider Captive_Ball has rated 82 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms Captive_Ball's personal top 82.

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Rating comments

Captive_Ball has written 51 rating comments:


8.880/10
1 year ago
Great art package, music, and layout. The game is tough, but that's a refreshing thing to see in pinball in this modern age. Because the concentration of the game is in the lower half of the playfield, it makes fast reflexes a must. Being punished in an instant for bad shots. The moving ball save in the inlane/outlane is a fantastic integration that is spot on for this theme. A lot of fun to play, and no guarantees of anything as the ball swoops around at a frantic pace.

Great game...highly recommend it as a players machine. This should teach you ball control using many flipper skills to improve your scores.
8.162/10
4 years ago
If you are a fan of the early SS pins and you have a chance to play Frontier, do yourself a favor and get a handful of games on it. A great layout for an interesting themed pin. Sure the backglass art has something to be desired....but it is a good player. A sometimes brutal game that will award your good shot with drains, but that frustration just makes you come back for more to get more predators.

Crickets, my friends, crickets ;)
8.200/10
4 years ago
Eight Ball Deluxe, "shoot the 5 ball." A wonderful 3 flipper layout that has more than one way to attack it. The mark of a great game is there is more than one way to score big points. This game has that. There is both luck and skill involved in hitting shots to drop down targets and progress through to the deluxe portion. This game can be very fun to play and sometimes very cruel. Nothing better then getting settled into a groove...hitting shots and scoring points. It has that ONE MORE GAME factor that keeps you hitting the start button and even putting quarters in if on location. A classic that stands up well against other eras.
9.020/10
4 years ago
What an example of how good a pin can be if the code is well thought out and fleshed out. A two flipper game that can both get you exited and frustrated all in the same game. It has been said and I will repeat, the exit from the pop bumpers is random and can kill your chances of a long productive game. I have played a few games that the ball drained down the middle from the pops and then when the ball was auto-plunged I received the same result.

Adding blood bath by hitting the drop down targets on the left is a challenge as the targets make for very late flips from the right flipper. The ball can get into uncomfortable side to side movement off both made and missed attempts of these targets.

The modes are good and the points can really come in bunches if you are able to stack properly during multiballs. A game that really keeps you coming back for more. Bowen has done a great tutorial on this game, just don't expect to lite up the game for 800 Million when you play!
7.966/10
4 years ago
Is it a widebody game, yes. Does that mean it is slow and floaty....not necessarily.

First, the artwork, one of the best in all of pinball...both the backglass and playfield artwork are superb.

It may take what seems to be a long time for the ball to first make it down to the flippers from the plunge, but once the ball gets down to the flippers, be ready for crazy bounces in any direction after you flip. The layout is so crazy its awesome. The beast lair on the far left side that is substituting for a traditional inlane/outlane is very well integrated. KEEP IT AWAY from there is you can....as it is very random. The waterfall on the middle right of the game is very cool as the ball wiggles down the lane and exits to the middle of the playfield.

Inline drop targets make this game so much fun....there is a lot of risk in the return once the ball has hit a couple of them.....and Paragon is so brutal, you have to knock down the third drop target to get the bonus multiplier. The spinner that is next to the inlines is fun to hit, but because of the technology at the time, if you are hitting other switches while the spinner is spinning, you don't get full credit for a perfect rip on the spinner.

AND this brings me to the two bottom right flippers....there is no metal wire-form to save you from scissor flipping yourself into draining the ball. It takes some getting used to, but it is a great feature that Paragon, being brutal, had to have.

A great game that has a very reasonable price tag given the fun factor....and a challenge to boot.
8.385/10
4 years ago
One word, Gorgeous! Wait there's more to this this beauty than its looks. It is a great looking machine, but it's also a great player. A very highly sought after machine from a murder's row of great games from Bally during the early solid state era.

From the reverse inlane/outlane layout to the two sets of inline drop targets that lock balls at bay....and they even managed to put a spinner in there too. I wish many of the current games being made could reuse some of the ideas that this table used.

The game is a challenge, as many others from this time, so don't expect a cake walk into getting multiball, it is a chore.

The sound package does sound dated and repetitive, but that was what they had at the time.

It's too bad they didn't make more then 3,500 of these babies...since its such a classic!
8.169/10
4 years ago
"Emperor Ming Awaits" is the speech you hear when starting up a game. What it should say is"Be prepared to get your ass handed to you." The game is brutal, but with this title, that's a good thing.

A three flipper game that has you on the defensive most of the time trying to keep the ball away from the outlanes. You will frequently be punished for making good shots as well as bad.

Spinners, there are two....I love ripping these spinners. Knock down the left target bank to light the spinner for 1000 points a spin. There also lots of drop targets on this game. A single on the upper playfield, three more on the left middle of the upper playfield....then four on the far left of main playfield and a set of three inline drop targets on the right side. The three inline drops on the left will punish you on occasion for daring to hit them, so be cautious.

Mirrored backglass is fantastic and playfield is also good.....it was a cheesy movie, that I have seen, but the pin is superb! A solid title that sits towards the top of the heap of many great Bally early solid state pins.
7.979/10
6 years ago
Solid Williams pin from 1989. Pat Lawlor was starting hit hit is stride with this game. The shaker in the game adds an added bones you don't expect. An interesting layout that provides a few challenging shots. Lighthearted color scheme that is fun to play. The mirrored backglass is a work of art.
7.474/10
6 years ago
Steve Richie at it again. Still brutal and wanting to take all your quarters. The ramp on the upper playfield is tough to hit...you'll need to make a good shot, it's not a gimme. The upper playfiled is very large and does cover sections of the lower playfield that have turnarounds that shoot the ball back at you. Another solid design effort that I like slightly less than the original....But the backglass is killer.

You'll be getting more quarters out of your pocket trying to "beat that darn black knight."
7.419/10
6 years ago
Firepower is a challenging game that puts you in harms way as you shoot at the 6 death stand-up targets in the middle of the playfield. Sure, you could just avoid them, but then you can forget about lighting the kickback on the gaping left side outlane. The rules are not difficult to understand, but actually starting a multi-ball takes good play and a little bit of luck avoiding the drains that the ball seems to want to run to. Multi-ball doesn't give crazy points...same as standard play...but having that cherry on top to be able to play for a handful of seconds is enough of an accomplishment in itself.
7.806/10
6 years ago
Do you like being kicked in the balls? Well, when you first step up to this machine, get ready. Picking the skill shot option on the left ramp can be met with a quick middle drain if you miss....the ramp is so close to the flippers you don't have much time to react. It's even worse when you don't have the ball save in your favor. The layout is pretty good and the use of the player diverted ramp option as well as the upper playfield makes the game a cerebral challenge on the fly. The Sanctum is another great toy that doesn't seem to ever get old.

The theme falls short for me...really didn't get into it. Didn't care for the music or call outs. If you want a brutal game that will challenge your skills...this may be the one. Glad I had an opportunity to own one, just wasn't a keeper.
7.680/10
6 years ago
Mata Hari is a solid title. When this machine was made, it was at the beginning of an era that Bally put together such a great run of machines. The artwork is fantastic...a true beauty. There isn't a lot going on with this playfield, but the simplicity still makes it a lot of fun. The layout was such a good starting point that Jim Patla tweaked it for Playboy and Viking. The loop around shot isn't easy to do, so when you are able to accomplish it...it feels very rewarding. A great player pin for the money...a game you can walk up-to, play a few games and really enjoy.
6.971/10
6 years ago
Eight ball has a really great sling shot arrangement...the left side will definitely keep you from getting comfortable.

The whole Fonzie tie in makes a lot of sense and I'm sure that did help sell so many of this title. That being said, its not my cup of tea.

The game is fun with a good amount of challenge, but not a game I would consider a keeper even in a larger collection. After a decent game...you are content and ready to move along.
6.760/10
6 years ago
A very tough game. Forget about 3" flippers and inlanes.....not going to mess with that here. The objective of the game the majority of the time, is "just keep the ball alive"...forget about well timed flips to a place you want to hit the ball.

The artwork is lacking all over the game...so might a well make the game play get you to walk away as well. In all seriousness, the game will challenge you...and sometimes that what you need to come back for another game and try to improve from the last game with 2 house balls. I remember being frustrated and yet played game after game hoping I would "figure it out."
8.380/10
6 years ago
A great theme for a pin. The call outs are funny, as you would expect and will make you snicker every once and a while. The main toy on the upper right side of the game is the mini table called Stewie Pinball. It is a lot of fun and a clever addition to the game. If you play many games on this table it will start to become repetitive and you will want to get out of it to play the normal sized game.

A three flipper game that utilizes an upper left baby flipper for hit a couple of different shots.

I like spinners....and this game relies on the right spinner to progress through the mode starts, what a wonderful rule set idea. Only five main modes, but having to get more and more spins on the spinner to start each mode proves to be a tall task as you get to the fourth and fifth mode.

A game that fits well in a small collection, I just wish they were easier to find and at a lower price point as nice versions are in the ball park of a brand new Stern.
7.918/10
6 years ago
When you hear people talk about Centigrade 37 or C37, the artwork seems to always be brought up. A really gorgeous looking pin. It is always highly thought of in this regard and many collectors want to get their hands on it for this attribute alone.

It's not all that great a player, with the complete right side being 2 sets of roller over lane with pings in the middle. A great piece of Pinball Americana.
7.077/10
6 years ago
The theme seems to lend itself well to pinball....I can see why it was picked. There is a lot going on with the title's layout...many areas to hit the ball to....its very busy. After playing a handful of times and getting the jest of what needs to be accomplished...stay away from hitting the center ramp over and over again....it can backfire if you miss! A game that you can have some fun playing, but nothing to keep in a small collection. I will say its cheerful and inviting.
7.915/10
6 years ago
A great looking backglass, that is also matched by a nice looking playfield and cabinet art. As with many EMs, the rule-set is shallow, but that doesn't make the game easy. Hitting those pesky star roller-overs is much easier said then done. A combination of frustration and sure enjoyment depending on how Surfer is treating you on the day.
7.273/10
6 years ago
A fun Bally...that is just missing something. Drop targets, check. Spinners, checks. Nice looking lady on the backglass, check. Why isn't this game even more fun with all those attributes! It's enjoyable, but just falls too short in the lastibility to get this in the gameroom. It can be challenging, without a doubt. You will be punished for bad shots, and sometimes good ones too. Overall a great art package with a nice layout, but its missing something to put it over the top....surely not the theme?
7.940/10
6 years ago
Soccer! That's the reason this game was once a dog to many and has slowly worked its way up to being seen as a great pin. I am not a soccer fan, but after playing a handful of games on this machine, you really get into it. I have learned to really enjoy playing this game....as I was first turned off by the theme. Now that I have played many games and examples, I won't mind having one in my collection.

Some say it's the best JPOP game. The flowy ramps are nice, the right being deadly if not nailed. Hello SDTM drain! The ruleset is not complicated, but a challenge to work through.

The wizard mode, trying to defect Germany, is awesome....having to continually plunge the balls from the shooter lane manually adds to the hysteria.

This one was under the radar for a while, but collectors have found it and these have been increasing price because of the fact it is a solid player.
8.620/10
6 years ago
Thank you Dennis Nordman, for designing games so individual from each other and not being predictable. When you here the name of this game...if you had never seen it, it kinda sounds like a D list game that probably wouldn't be any fun....but that would be wrong.

Once you learn the rules in collecting the rafts through hitting the lit shots, the game really becomes enjoyable to see what you can do. The upper playfield is integrated very well....unlike many that seem like an afterthought. The wavy up and down movement of the left ramp is a classic that be people remember the game for....it really is fun to watch.

I haven't been able to complete Wet Willie's, but man is it fun trying to get to it. This game has that, "I want to play one more game," after you have already played 5 in a row. The game call outs and music fit the game really well....the music increases in pace as you progress through it...as if you need that added pressure.

A great game to have in your collection.
8.920/10
7 years ago
The hand-drawn artwork pretty much sold a large handful of these games before the game was even played....many would like Stern to go back to this type of art package moving forward. Dirty Donny, the artist, did a bang up job.

As a fan layout game, there are many shots to hit, my favorite, and maybe most deadly are the inline drop targets. I am so glad Stern dug this feature from the grave to use in the game, pun intended. With several toys in the game, there was no way this game wouldn't be a blast to play....

....and then the code featuring the CRANK IT UP modes came along and pushed the game to a new level. You aren't trying to rinse and repeat the same shot over and over again, like defeating castles in MM. I know it is still basically the same as now you are going for 4 different toys to progress, but with earning credit through orbits and other shots, it really makes you think about the risk and reward for hitting every shot the further you go along.

Having to hit the "Mystery" hole on the far right is no easy task when you have the added pressure of it being lit for CRANK IT UP. Mr. Sheets really out did himself when setting the rules for this machine.
8.604/10
7 years ago
MET Pro is a great bang for the buck pin. It has a few less mods than the premium/le, but for the cost difference in the models, this is the way to go if you have a budget.

The hand-drawn artwork pretty much sold a large handful of these games before the game was even played....many would like Stern to go back to this type of art package moving forward. Dirty Donny, the artist, did a bang up job.

As a fan layout game, there are many shots to hit, my favorite, and maybe most deadly are the inline drop targets. I am so glad Stern dug this feature from the grave to use in the game, pun intended. With several toys in the game, there was no way this game wouldn't be a blast to play....

....and then the code featuring the CRANK IT UP modes came along and pushed the game to a new level. You aren't trying to rinse and repeat the same shot over and over again, like defeating castles in MM. I know it is still basically the same as now you are going for 4 different toys to progress, but with earning credit through orbits and other shots, it really makes you think about the risk and reward for hitting every shot the further you go along.

Having to hit the "Mystery" hole on the far right is no easy task when you have the added pressure of it being lit for CRANK IT UP. Mr. Sheets really out did himself when setting the rules for this machine.
9.160/10
7 years ago
This game is so addicting! Once you learn the basic rules of how this game plays, it's on. The music, the ramps,…..that spinner is so sweet. I like the band, but I love the pin. The game plays a bit slower than the Pro version, but the color changing lights and the overall brightness of the machine are fantastic. Shaker motor for this pin is a must…IMO

Fast and furious ramps and being able to back hand most of the shots really drives this layout home...the all or nothing cannon song jackpots really get you to think about when you should cash it in or risk it for high scores.

The rules really do carry this game to the top of the heap. Keep telling myself, just one more game.
8.216/10
7 years ago
One of the best Sterns made during the slow times in the early 2000's. There is good reason why they did many runs of this machine. The playfield artwork is fantastic, one that has not been surpassed by many.

A deeply thought out rule set that will take a lot of time to progress through. Lots of goods shots in this fan layout....once you get the shots dialed in, its seems like you can play without draining for a long time, too long in fact. Good games can last over an hour, so you'll need to bring a bag of lunch with you.

The theme does not hold my interest, as it will for others, but its worth stepping up to and dropping a few quarters in. A good pin to own for a while, but not a game that has long legs in a collection unless its a large collection.
8.540/10
7 years ago
Is the rule set deep? No. Does that matter when playing Iron Man? Heck no! This machine makes the heart bump and eyes figit as you try to follow the fast pace of the pinball going over this table. Fast and furious action...try not to blink too much as the ball whill head outlane before you realize it.

In keeping with heart pumping action...you make it to the mini-wizard mode, Do or Die....it is a hurry up that starts at 35 million and counts down. As you see the points quickly count down as you try to hit the shot up the middle before all the points have evaporated.

A great game that has the "one more game" factor as it continually punishes you even when making good shots. Lots of short ball time games, that make the good games make you feel like you've conquered the world.

Be ready for the kickback of war machine as it throws the ball back with lighting speed. An easy enough game to learn to play, but that doesn't make it easy.
8.660/10
7 years ago
What a sweet game….Stern upped its game for this pin. A great looking pin with great music. Upgrading the speakers or adding an external sub is highly recommended. Stern would have no trouble selling a 4th run of these if they decided to go that direction. If you are into modding machines, this machine is for you….The mini arcade cab was my personal favorite until the ELI wire ramp mod was introduced to mirror the LE version.

The cut and paste of the actors on the playfield is really the only lack luster thing I can say about the artwork. It plays fast and loose. The ball can really move around the table fast if you are able to combo ramps and loops. Hitting the side ramp from the upper left flipper is extremely rewarding. I always feel like a badass when I make the ramp and such a tool when I miss it, which I do more than make it. The light show is nice and not overwhelming. The Gem shot is very tough to hit consistently and the overall playfield can punish you severally when you miss a shot. This is what makes this game so rewarding when you are able to make shots and move through the modes. 2 chicks translate is also nice!
7.604/10
7 years ago
It's Shrek...so no way could it get as high a rating as the shame layout table, Family Guy. The main toy on the upper right side of the game is the mini table called Donkey Pinball. It is a lot of fun and a clever addition to the game. If you play many games on this table it will start to become repetitive and you will want to get out of it to play the normal sized game.

A three flipper game (not counting the mini-flippers) that utilizes an upper left baby flipper for hit a couple of different shots. The Smash Mouth song is fine at first, but gets old rather quickly.
8.796/10
7 years ago
A very good bang for the buck game. Though it is missing a handful of extras that the premium has, mainly the stand up targets on the Pro in place of premium drop targets.....but that just makes the Pro faster and more brutal when you brick a shot.

Fast and furious play....quick ramp returns and a great multiball ruleset that keeps you interested. The risk/reward of the cannon shot for song jackpots gets you thinking, "Do I cash in, or hold off until I build it up more?" Be careful....if you drain, all that work is for not. You must start over next ball.

A fantastic game with great music that you are able to change as you progress through the song modes. The bell toy that increases the playfield scoring times 2X or 3X is really where the points can start racking up. This game is a winner!
7.436/10
7 years ago
Pin2K. It was a valiant effort and they were able to integrate the monitor very well. I will say the first time I played this machine when it hit the route, it was big shift from what I was used to. I like the theme better than its brother SWE1...unfortunately after playing the game about 10-15 it lost its luster and my attention. I know you aren't supposed to see some of the shots real well, because the monitor's screen is the main toy, but this just didn't work for me.

It's fun to flip around on occasion, but more on the novelty side in my opinion. I never get excited when I see one around...other titles I would gravitate towards first. It's part of history and I'm glad it was made...maybe I'll give it another whirl the next time I see one.
7.507/10
7 years ago
Black Knight is a solid early SS Williams title. Multi-ball is both fun to work upto and to play. Steve Richie on the call outs is also a great addition. There is a reason they sold so many of these things. The magna save option to save your ball from certain power outlanes is a great feature, though its not a fail safe....that just makes it more interesting though.

A draw back...since the upper playfield is so big...the right ramp seems so freaking close to the flippers...so missed shots can end your turn.

A great machine for its time that still fun to play today.
8.000/10
7 years ago
A widebody pin that can really get the ball moving. Dennis Nordman made a really flow oriented widebody with Demolition Man. The gun handles on the cabinet above the fllppers are an interesting concept, but do feel awkward to flip with....guess that's why you get a bonus for using them for combos on the game. They look futuristic, but many will not play with them.

When you are bricking all the ramp and loop shots, this game is no fun....when you are nailing them, the flow and grove you can get into feels like a real accomplishment. Definitely a fun table that rewards good shots.
8.020/10
7 years ago
"I'm Crazy Bob, and your trapped in my Junkyard." This title gets dogged a lot, and maybe deservedly so, but is a lot of fun. Shooting the toilet, bus ramp, wrecking ball, or Spike's doghouse....fun is abound. Building up the junkyard DIY tools for fighting Bob in outer space are both fun and rewarding to collect. The blueprint on the middle of the playfield also helps the player in deciding which things to put together.

Not a deep game and probably one that would not last by itself, but when grouped with several other pins it is a good complementary game. I usually walk away feeling entertained even if I fall way short of defeating Bob. Great call outs.
8.336/10
7 years ago
Yo Taxi!

A theme that has been used many times in all platforms of gaming, because it lends itself very well to goal oriented play. A classic designed pin by Mark Richie that is fun and challenging. The phrase "simple to learn and hard to master" fits this game to a T.

The spin out ramp to start the game is also fun all by itself, so glad these have been reproduced! The main goal is to pick up the five passengers which are Santa, Marilyn, Dracula, Gorbie, and Pinbot. What a cast of characters. Once you are able to do this, in one ball...as it resets between balls, you have a chance of racking up the progressive jackpot, no pressure right?

There is also a two ball multiball that is simple to understand, but once you have locked the first ball, there is a timer counting down that you must lock the second ball or the first ball will kick out and you have to start from scratch. Keeping both balls alive is no easy feat on Taxi, so be ready for quick rebounds off bad shots.

This game can really have you on the defensive most of the time because it doesn't allow much stopping because of the great flow and the three bank drop targets sitting the middle of the table.

Overall the artwork by Python is more funny than anything else, the backglass art leaves much to be desired, but that doesn't mean the game isn't a blast to play!

Hard not to repeat, Yo Taxi!
7.836/10
7 years ago
A great concept design John Trudeau and Python Anghelo. It has been labeled as a one shot pony, and that is correct if going for a high score. There are other great shots on the game and the spiral/wiggly ramp on the right side is integrated well. Transformation of the the bride from machine to human is a really neat incorporation of the 4-sided upper playfield. A great game to walk up to for beginners and the light show and art work are also welcoming. Has the one more game factor until you reach the Billionaire's Club during the session.

The mini wizard transformation is awesome and very satisfying when you reach it.....and another great thing is if there are others around, they notice the accomplishment too given the different light show and sounds. Hope that doesn't give anything away to those still trying to make it there ;)
8.140/10
7 years ago
If you come across this game and have never played it, drop in a few quarters and give it a go. The theme is very interesting and is entertaining. The comedy mixed in makes playing this table an enjoyable experience. Bare knuckle boxing in taverns doesn't sound like a great theme, but the design of this game is great with related toys and gimmicks.

The main toy is a punching bag right in the middle of the playfield that will then turn 180 degrees and reveal a boxer that is ready to knock your block off. Fighting the several fighters and moving your way up the ranks is a tall order, but if are able to make it...you will laugh your way all the way up.

The most fun and challenging toy is the jump rope on the upper left of the playfield. The concept is awesome and it will take an attempt or two to getting the ball jump timing so you are able to get to 30 jumps. The fists and punching bag on the upper right corner is not nearly as fun, but the ball doesn't stay in the area near as long.

The game can feel clunky as it doesn't have much flow, but still a lot of entertainment. A relatively low production run of these games means you won't see them readily available to play...so play one if you can.
8.100/10
7 years ago
An entertaining Pat Lawlor game that sets your sights on hitting gofers and trying to complete a nine hole golf course. The pop up ramps that expose the gofers is fun and challenging. They do taunt you throughout game play.

As with other Lawlor game, the is an upper right flipper that you can hit a ramp on the left side of the playfield. It's a tough shot, needed for jackpots.

The layout is packed and the slam ramp is a great idea, who does't want a hole in one. A fun playing game that a casual player can enjoy, but challenging enough that you won't go through the 9 hole course with ease.

This game would fit nice in a bigger collection , though it will not have long legs if its the focal point. Fun to flip a few games on now and then and great for a new player.
8.240/10
7 years ago
A theme that casual players love to walk up to, but is it a good pin? The answer is yes. POTC gets dogged by some pinheads, but if you have played it and understand what it takes to get to the wizard mode, it is not easy at all.

Toys.....the ship is the main toy of the game and in integrated very well. Hitting the shot can prove difficult until you get the hang of hitting it a handful of times. The compass spinning disc on the top left of the machine is fun to watch and hopefully the ball will hit the stand up targets so you can start Tortuga multi ball. The chest on the right side of the playfield does get lost in the shuffle as you are mainly going for the ship and compass area, but spelling key to start heart multiball and going through the progression is a tall task. It is one of the more difficult modes to complete to light all the inserts in the middle of the playfield to reach the wizard mode.

When I first starting playing POTC, it was a brickfest....lots of standard targets on the fan layout that I seemed good at hitting, not the actual shots. Once you get the shots dialed in, the game is a blast. Trying to get a four ball Tortuga is very satisfying when you are able to get it. Stacking Tortuga and ship multiballs can see your score go up in a hurry.

A wonderful that doesn't always get its due. The price has remained high as a result. HUO only versions can still be seen going for north of NIB Stern Pro machines.....but with all the toys packed into this game, it would be a premium version these days for sure.

If I had the funds and space, would definitely own this title again.
7.823/10
7 years ago
Another great Steve Richie design. The turbo charger toy is a great addition from the original High Speed. If you are able to put some shots together the flow of this game is fantastic. Getting more than one jackpot in multi-ball is a rewarding feat, when able to reach it. It will kick your ass until you get the shot locations down which makes for some tough sledding. Outlanes seem hungrier than a lot of other games (kickback on the left side is appreciated).

Rev your engine and run the red light!
8.232/10
7 years ago
Wonderful Pat Lawlor design. You really can get into the flow if hitting shots. The three spinning discs in the middle of the playfield add to the challenge, but don't seem annoying like other games with discs. The game can be rough if you brick shots on the left side since they are pretty close to the flippers. I would say this is one of Lawlor's best games.
8.336/10
7 years ago
It's really too bad Williams wasn't able to put in a good run of at least a few thousand of this game. The theme is fantastic. The game does get a lot of love because it is just not around at a lot of locations to play. The price on the game would be a lot lower if they had made a good number of them.

This all being said, it is a lot of fun to play. It may not be a real deep rule set, but is enough to have fun playing and wanting to put in a couple more quarters to play another game. It seems like Williams was hitting its stride in the late 90's and this game fits into that group of A list titles.

If you have never played one before...definitely put a few games on it, you will leave entertained.
8.112/10
7 years ago
A wonderful throwback theme that is integrated much better than I would have thought. The artwork on the playfield is busy, but in a good way. The game does a very good job of drawing you in just by looking at it. The music and speech fit the theme well too and are very catchy.

All this being said, the game is not an overall winner for me. The layout feels clunky and hard to keep my interest. Ball times can range greatly on this machine depending on how dialed in the machine is. A game many people really love...and I agree theme-wise, just not into the game all that much. I have played more than five different examples and my overall thought is the game is fun in the short term, but legs are not long for me.
8.105/10
7 years ago
Is Rudy creepy? That depends on the person. He can be a bit pushy at times, but he's okay. Another solid Pat Lawlor design. I have this ranked lower than Whirlwind, but its still a classic title. When you get the timing down to hit Rudy, the game seems to open up and points start flowing in. Definitely a game the safer shots are on the left side of the playfield as the right has too many things too close to the flippers for comfort.
9.056/10
7 years ago
Ahhh TOTAN, what a game. The artwork on this game, mainly the playfield, is so beautiful. It is definitely eye catching. Spent many quarters on this machine and it got me into playing pinball. I had played other games in the past, but after playing this table for a couple weeks, I started trying to track down other places to play more machines. The rule set is shallow and I believe in a home use situation it could get old if in a small collection, but I have to put a handful of games on it whenever I see it. The scoring on this game is pretty low considering other games that came out around this time…..scoring over 50 million is a real treat.

I was a big lamp spinner before I really learned how to play the game….was definitely choosing 3X lamp spins before I had realized the jewels would progress you to the wizard mode. The extra ball award sounds and DMD animation make you really feel a sense of accomplishment, just making one shot. There is only one ramp…it diverts on occasion to the left side, both ramp feeds are smooth and flowing. Hitting the tiger loop is also fast and fun. Though the lamp is the main toy in the game, the Genie has something to say too. Nice callouts from him and I never have a problem with the ball smacking him around.

Yes Genie, I will get her.
8.680/10
7 years ago
The better of the two Elvira pins. Dennis and Greg did an outstanding job here. The innuendo callout outs are funny and work well with the theme. The overall look of the playfield is done very well…I really like the skeleton ramp. The integration of the spider on the backbox , though it isn't anything mind-blowing, is a great addition. The game doesn't have a deep rule set, but doesn't need one. Another fantastic Bally title from the mid 90's. Get Scared Stiff!
8.900/10
7 years ago
What a difference it makes to learn the rules of this game. When I first started to play TAF and didn't understand the rules and progression through the game, I thought it was a good, not great game. Once I learned how to advance through to "Tour the Mansion" I was hooked. I really enjoy every time I step up to play this game now. The basic rules aren't difficult to remember, but trying to hit the upper right flipper for jackpots during multi-ball is no easy task. I definitely prefer the tour strategy, but its also nice to see there are options for picking up points other ways. The magnets do make the game more challenging...and that's a good thing. There is a reason they made so many of these machines, its an all time great.
9.364/10
7 years ago
Martians Attack! What an awesome pin. It's nice to see the throwback style Brian Eddy was going for pay off in big way. The game flows very well….ramps, loops, or through the saucer hole. The integration of the theme with the comedy really sets this pin apart….man the call outs are great. Video mode is very cool too.

Progressing through the different countries (saucer modes) is fun and entertaining as you here smack talk to the Martians. The 4 Martian guys shaking is something to see. The strobing mode is also an awesome spectacle. A classic that is rightfully one of the top rated games of all time.
8.200/10
7 years ago
TOM is a solid game. The artwork on the cabinet is beautiful and playfield is better than average. When walking up to the machine, the layout just looks like fun to play. The game can be fast and flowy if you are able to hit your shots....the inner loop around the trunk can really generate a lot of speed for the pinball.

If playing a dialed in TOM, the ball times can get rather long...I have played several games over 15 minutes where I started to lose interest.

A good game to either have in a larger collection or to have for a little while before moving on to another title.
9.116/10
7 years ago
So, when I got the pinball bug originally in 1996, the game that was getting all my attention was TOTAN. It was on location near me and I played it often. Then I played a CV at a bowling alley in Austin several months later, WOW. The ringmaster popping up out of the playfield and taunting you as you hit him throughout the game. "You'd be cranky too, if you had a spring for a neck" After playing about 5 plays on the machine the first day and then another 5 the next day....I had to have it. Was going to pull the trigger on the TOTAN, but thought, this pin will hold my attention far longer.

Glad I chose CV. The ringmaster is awesome and the classic inner loop around the ringmaster makes the game a challenge and super fast. I understand the game is a love it or hate it ...and the artwork turns people off as well, but for me, this is a fantastic pin with a great rule set and the wizard mode (4 tier levels) is fantastic. Love stacking multi-balls together as a risk reward feature. I have the home rom that has the Amazing Rooney, which I and casual players think is cool. The acrobat ramp is not an easy shot and the juggler left loop shot is fun and deadly. If you aren't ready for the ball screaming down the right side when not locking or falling into the subway (gets new players all the time at my place). A classic Bally from the mid 90's that has lasted the test of time for me. "Ahh, your mother drives a dump truck"
9.140/10
7 years ago
Pin ranks pretty high in sentimental value for me. Played a lot on location growing up. The art package is superb. Call outs are hilarious and the monster's comments do keep the game light and entertaining. The rules are pretty straight forward and easy to learn….lending itself well to new players…..nothing complicated about progressing to the wizard modes, and that's a good thing. It is definitely a gamble to attempt to stack monsters instead of just completing one by one. Fantastic game that has wide appeal, well done George Gomez.
9.260/10
7 years ago
Is there really anything I can say about this pin that hasn't already been said? Wow, the theme on this pin worked into the game play well! A really beautiful looking machine. The functioning castle gate and draw bridge were really much more than I ever could have anticipated when playing this machine on location in 1998.and then when you think that is all you are going to see, BAM the towers on the castle move around like crazy. Not to mention the trolls that pop out of nowhere. The ramps are fast a flowy. Peasant call outs are my favorite, but there are many great ones. I am not surprised it is currently the consensus #1 pin on Pinside.