Collin's ratings

Pinsider Collin has rated 63 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms Collin's personal top 63.

Collin's rating weights

Pinsiders can define what aspects of their ratings they find most important.

Rating comments

Collin has written 49 rating comments:

4 years ago
Looks good, theme is cool
The shots that are there feel good....

...But you can damn near play the whole game with only one flipper button.
Not much to shoot for from the left flipper.
4 years ago
Good layout, shots flow well with decent risk/reward
Nice toys
Good rules, except.....

....having to shoot for the bagatelle gets frustrating and comes down to too much luck
Playfield art isn't quite as good as the translite
I think the code may be a bit lacking, but don't have an intimate enough knowledge of this one to be sure.
4 years ago
Just plain fun
Good sounds (though I feel they'd get old in home use)
Stewie pinball is kinda fun
Looks good, and well-lit

Feels like it doesn't have as many shots as a Lawlor game should
Upper flipper isn't terribly useful
I find the theme a bit obnoxious, but that's all personal preference
4 years ago
-Good theme
-Gruesome animations
-Scoring feels reasonably balanced, though I don't know all of the rules

-Constant laughter from the cryptkeeper gets annoying
-Some shots aren't laid out quite where I want them
-Just doesn't feel as well-thought-out as some other games of the era.
4 years ago
I'm writing this based on code available as of October 2015.

-Plays very well thanks to the last couple code updates
-Good theme, with mostly decent art
-Shots feel good
-Seems to be pretty deep

-Toys are just ok
-Default voice/callout package (which is what you're gonna get on location) is rubbish
-I HATE HATE HATE that feed out of the pop bumpers. There are fair ways to shorten ball times; this one feels obnoxious.
4 years ago
-Probably the coolest toys in pinball
-Sound is good, and fits the theme
-The boxer is just such a great toy
-Theme is really well intigrated
-No, really, the toys.

-Scoring gets horrendously unbalanced once you get good at it
-Not a whole lot to shoot for; most of the shots are the minigames/toys.
-At times feels more like an amusement machine or video game than a pin (because of toys and rules)
-Backglass is a bit garish

Overall a fun game that guests loves, but it wears out its welcome quickly. This is one I wish was on location nearby, as I would love to drop a couple quarters in a few times a year. I couldn't justify keeping it in even a moderate-size collection with 25 games set up, though.
5 years ago
I wouldn't have known what this game is, but for the fact that a local league buddy has had one for the past couple years. I found Special Force to be a very pleasant surprise. This game is hard as balls, frequently frustrating, but also quite a bit of fun. The Centaur-esque outlanes and ramps that don't feed flippers add the sort of risky random ball movement that I miss in more modern games. The 'launch rocket' to lower drop targets is a cool, novel feature. Ramp shots feel good. I love the multi-layer plastics and grass hut pop bumpers. The backglass and playfield art are decent in my mind, though the girlfriend thinks it's hideous, so your mileage may vary.

Woefully underrated, like pretty much all Bally 6803 games. One of the best value-for-money titles in this range. Frustrating and fun.
5 years ago
This is hands-down one of the fastest, most modern-feeling EMs I've played. Definitely my favorite Williams 3" flipper EM (and really, my favorite Williams EM overall.) The theme really does it for me, the backglass is great, chimes are good, playfield art is decent. Though I don't normally love symmetrical layouts, the alternating bonus from ball to ball makes this one work very well. The inlanes that let you lose a ball if you catch it the wrong way keep the pace up. Great spinner shots, and the ability to add double bonus on any ball adds something. Great risk/reward in choosing to collect bonus or rip the spinner for 1000 a spin once bonus is maxed on the unlit side.

Just a fantastic game, and the most popular EM I have for league play.
5 years ago
I first played this at Louisville Arcade Expo 2015, and loved it. I was recently lucky enough to find one that only needed minor work a couple hours away.

I'm no EM expert, but this is quite possibly my favorite 2" flipper game. The rules (counting down to 0 to launch) are very compelling; simple and addictive! The backglass is some of my favorite 60s art - nothing too "out there," but looks great and harbors a bagatelle. The playfield layout is great; trying to count down multiple numbers with one shot up the middle is great, and the orbit shots feel ahead of their time. Just a fun, fun game, and it looks great to boot!
5 years ago
Pretty, but ultimately a boring game that boils down to one shot. My least favorite in the PinBot series.
5 years ago
One of the most unremarkable Stern games in recent memory. It doesn't really do anything WRONG, per se, but it doesn't do anything for me. The layout seems too similar to Spider Man, which has a better theme, better art, and just does everything better. The best thing Star Trek has going for it is the light show.
5 years ago
I've played this one dozens of times, and have had about one decent game on it. Good layout, incredible software, but it seems like there's too much grinding to put in for a decent score.

Great art, theme, callouts, etc.
5 years ago
Beautiful and deep. Pretty fun. Takes some time to figure out how to play, but not as confusing as some recent Stern titles. I wouldn't kick this one out of bed for eating crackers.
5 years ago
One of my favorite B/W DMD games.

-Shots flow well. REALLY well.
-LOVE the music that changes as you progress. Music can make a game for me (see also: Congo)
-Fun theme
-Pretty game, topper looks sweet.
-Samsquanch ball diverter is cute and fun

-um.... I guess I don't like the service rails on the games from '92 as well as the games from '93 on.
-Hard to shop or get to certain switches if they're not working

This is the best game Nordman has made.
5 years ago
One of the most unremarkable Stern games in recent memory. It doesn't really do anything WRONG, per se, but it doesn't do anything for me. The layout seems too similar to Spider Man, which has a better theme, better art, and just does everything better. The best thing Star Trek has going for it is the light show.
5 years ago
Metallica has grown on me quite a bit lately. I wish it was a bit more transparent how to progress in the game right out of the gate, but once you figure it out, it's one of Stern's best efforts. Inline drop targets rule, Sparky is fun but a bit corny, layout is pretty decent and shots flow well. Looks great, sounds great, and plays pretty damn well; if only scoring was a bit more intuitive this could be a top 10 game for me.
5 years ago
Metallica has grown on me quite a bit lately. I wish it was a bit more transparent how to progress in the game right out of the gate, but once you figure it out, it's one of Stern's best efforts. Inline drop targets rule, Sparky is fun but a bit corny, layout is pretty decent and shots flow well. Looks great, sounds great, and plays pretty damn well; if only scoring was a bit more intuitive this could be a top 10 game for me.
5 years ago
Fun to play, but I wouldn't want to own one.

The modes are decent, but the layout is unremarkable, and it's a bit too easy and straightforward. Theme is decent.

Enjoyable but unspectacular. Overall, feels like 275 lbs of literally SOME pinball to me.
5 years ago
I'm not a Star Trek fan in the first place, and this game doesn't do anything to convert me. This game loses points for having modes that are best timed out, and for being too simple in multiball; The first time I played on in recent memory, I got two balls on the right flipper, and shot the jackpot shot a few times in a row with the left flipper, which was extraordinarily dull.

It's worth noting, there may have been a switch error on the one I've spent the most time with, so I may be missing something,
5 years ago
An absolutely gorgeous game that falls flat on its face in the gameplay department. There aren't enough shots that matter.

In a tournament, it becomes a one-note pony very quickly.
5 years ago
A great-looking, great-sounding game, but lacking in the gameplay department.

The mode start shot is too hard, particularly for a shot that rejects so frequently (really a design flaw,) and scoring ultimately boils down to multiball all day long. Couple that with a decent-but-unremarkable layout, and you've got a widebody game with less to actually shoot for than most normal body games.

A fun game to play around with on occasion, but not one I'll ever feel the need to own.
5 years ago
This one took quite a while to grow on me; the scoring is convoluted, but once you finally figure out what you're doing, there's way more depth than one might guess.
5 years ago
Elvira is just an OK game in my mind. The shots get repetitive, and the scoring isn't clever enough to make up for that. The art is OK, and sound is pretty decent. There's nothing in the overall package that makes it particularly fun for me.

I have a feeling this game's popularity has to do more with Elvira herself and the cheesecake theme than the actual game.
6 years ago
Not the best theme, but maybe the best game I've ever played.

The playfield layout is brilliant. Shots feel incredibly gratifying, and the volcano shot is one of my few favorites. The music sucks me in. The artwork on the playfield is pretty cool, considering the mediocre theme. The scoring allows for several different ways to play the game. In terms of raw gameplay, this is probably my favorite pin.

Only down side is, some callouts are comically bad, and the translite is strictly mediocre.

Overall, an incredibly fun game. Hard to find, which is a shame, as everyone should play it!
6 years ago
I'm far from an EM expert, but this is one of my favorites. It has a great layout, and just feels really intense. Scoring seems to be suitably competitive and well-balanced. It's definitely a challenging game, but not too punishing. The playfield art is unremarkable, but the backglass art is cool and pretty typical of a Gottlieb of that era. I find myself coming back to this more than most EMs.
6 years ago
I wrote this review shortly after selling the game, so I feel it's reasonably unbiased.

Shaq Attaq is actually a lot of fun, if you give it a chance. It gets a bad reputation on Pinside, but is really worth playing, especially for people new to pinball. At parties, it frequently got more play than any of my Bally-Williams DMDs. The shot call-outs make things straightforward, and the layout isn't too intimidating. Tournament players won't likely care for it, as it's a bit easy and boils down to a one-shot, multiball-heavy game. I had a lot of fun with it, though, especially after a couple beers. Overall, a woefully under-appreciated game, and still one of the best value-for-money titles (like Gottliebs seem to be.)

Easy for beginners - the 'coach' tells you what shots to make.
The basket shot is one of the more gratifying shots.
Simple, straightforward fun.
Artwork is comically bad (another reviewer said Shaq's legs look like Tootsie Rolls on the translite.)
Far and away one of the best value-for-money DMD games.
4 flippers, 2 VUKs, 1 ramp (2 if you count the one for the basket,) and a swinging basket!

Sounds are pretty dated for their time, and the coach voice can be a bit much.
Artwork is comically bad in some regards (Again, the backglass.)
Scoring is unbalanced; it becomes a one-shot game quickly.
Default settings are awful; minimum game timer needs to be turned off.
7 years ago
The drop targets make for a great challenge, and trying to hit hem all keeps me coming back! The theme and art mesh with the gameplay as well as any game of this era. Great challenge, very addictive.
7 years ago
Although it has a pretty sparse playfield overall, the center feature with the captive balls is really cool, and not like anything else in pinball. I wouldn't want it as the only EM in a collection, but in a collection with a few other EMs (like the one I played), it stands out in a way. The backglass' bright colors are a nice draw to the game, too.
7 years ago
A really cool asymmetrical playfield layout. A solid game, but unremarkable.
7 years ago
Shuttle is definitely a noteworthy game. The shuttle on the playfield was a monumental moment in pinball. The game has decent scoring, good art, and all-around solid gameplay. The layout is good and a bit offbeat, like you'd want from Oursler. Not a perfect game by any means, but definitely cool. It has a lot of charm.
7 years ago
A fun game with a decent array of shots, and a cool theme. The shots feel rewarding, and the holo is cool when it works. The twisty ramps look impressive

It's kind of odd that the theme is supposed to be Creature from the Black Lagoon, but it could've almost been more effectively called "Drive In." It seems the theme is more 50s drive-in B-movie in general, than "Creature" in particular.

I'm not a big fan of the scoring, or game progression to be honest; I know it's an early B/W DMD, but I feel like the software holds it back from being as fun as it could.
7 years ago
Monster Bash is a good game, with some fun shots, and a theme that's well-put-together. Nothing about it really feels "special," though. The theme doesn't really do much for me, and some of the sounds get annoying.
7 years ago
Great game with really varied gameplay, and a lot of great shots. Objectives are clear, and can be challenging to attain.

The theme doesn't really do it for me - I don't really dig the Addams Family like most people do. That said, the execution is good, considering.
7 years ago
Just a really fun game overall, and the theme really does it for me. The artwork is great. Software is solid. The layout is a pretty generic fan layout, though
7 years ago
Great game with really varied gameplay, and a lot of great shots. Objectives are clear, and can be challenging to attain.

The theme doesn't really do it for me - I don't really dig the Addams Family like most people do. That said, the execution is good, considering.
7 years ago
I LOVE CATS. That's the reason I love this game, and the reason I will keep it. Bad Cats is a work of art, and said art is the best on any pin, ever, by a long shot. The animated backglass is great.

With that out of the way, I regret to say that the game underneath that art is not the best. The 20 million point shot makes it unbalanced, so all that's worth going for is that and the jackpot. Unfortunate, as the playfield layout is really pretty good, and unique. I enjoy playing the game, but I find myself wanting to beat my head against the wall when I actually focus on score with this one.

A fun game, but I'd soil my trousers with rage if I ever saw it in a tournament.

My previous (higher) review follows:
Bad Cats may be the most visually appealing pinball ever, in my mind. I love cats, and I love Python's artwork. The backglass animation is fantastic, the sounds are absurd (read: fantastic.) I may be biased, but this is likely my favorite theme ever on a pin.

The gameplay seems like it is just SOME pinball (fun but nothing special) at first. Then, you realize there's actually a fair bit going on there, with Williams' version of the Gottlieb vari-target, the odd little pass through under the center ramp, the couple kick-out holes. There's more going on than meets the eye. It's not revolutionary, but it's different from the norm, and continues to grow on me.
7 years ago
A solid game with a decent tried-and-true layout and great code, but the theme just keeps me from wanting to play it.
7 years ago
A very good game, with solid, balanced scoring. Theme, sound, and art are all great. Layout is a bit of a generic fan layout. Not the greatest pin ever (the layout just isn't that interesting) but very fun, and cool toys.
7 years ago
I didn't care for this one at first, as it's a bit challenging, but it grew on me quickly. It's got a nice variety of shots, scoring is good, and the theme is great. Artwork on the playfield looks a bit grainy and photoshop-y, like some newer Sterns tend to, but that's not a big drawback for me. Really cool-looking, and plays well. My only beef with the gameplay is that it involves a lot of chopping wood.
7 years ago
The layout is similar enough to Congo (one of my favorites) that I should like it, but the scoring and gameplay is too complicated to figure out over the course of several dozen games. It looks cool, but simply figuring out the basics of how to play a game shouldn't be this much of a chore.
7 years ago
I originally thought this game was clunky as hell, and rated it like a 6.8. Boy, was I wrong!

In my mind, this is probably Lawlor's greatest design. It's a big, daft, hunk o' pinball with a myriad of toys, and shots galore. Scoring is great, game progression is interesting, and it just feels as well-thought-out as any game I've played. One of my personal favorites.
7 years ago
Straightforward, simple, fun. One of my favorite B/W DMD games; I've sold mine, but only after playing it probably twice as much as any other game for a couple years.
7 years ago
I picked up a Dredd because it was a good deal and nearby as I was first getting back into pinball. There aren't words for how glad I am that I got the game on a whim.

It's got an absolutely stellar flow, especially in the upper part of the playfield. It's got diverse modes, so the shots you're aiming for change frequently. The music is great. The artwork didn't do much for me at first, but quickly grew on me; I was expecting it to be a bit more lame and Demo Man-esque; it's actually pretty darn good comic art. Deadworld is a cool toy, and one of the better ball locks ever made. There are multiple paths to the ultimate challenge, and two completely different ways to play (regular and super game.) The lack of a pop bumper cluster allows for great flow, and the ball is never out of your hands for more than a half a second, it feels.

Cons: Cabinet art is just meh. The sound loop that plays while waiting to launch the ball gets annoying if you get sidetracked while going over to grab a beer (though that's the case on most games).
7 years ago
Very fun game, with a lot of neat features! I love the ringmaster and boom balloon popping out of the playfield. I love how brightly-colored the game is, too!

Circus theme is a bit eerie (not in a good way), but other than that, a very solid game!
7 years ago
Classic Lawlor layout
Visually appealing
Likely the coolest toy ever
Great shots

Scoring isn't the greatest
Rudy is pretty damn creepy

The takeaway: Really fun, all-time classic, but not for everyone.
7 years ago
A really cool-looking game that brought some excellent new features to the table. Looks great, to boot!

Not very fun to play, though, in my opinion; the playfield is a bit too sparse, and coming out of the lower playfield without losing a ball is just too difficult. A great-looking game, but hard enough that I couldn't recommend it for anyone who's not pretty good at pinball.
7 years ago
Easily my favorite Gottlieb System 80 game out there. Very complex playfield design, and very nice flow. Appropriately gimmicky; there are 5 ways to jump from one playfield to another, so the multi-level mechanic is really well executed. A lot of people gripe about the lack of multi-ball, but the multiple playfields add a different sort of complexity.

My former roommate had this, and in a house with 6 or so pins, this one always drew the biggest crowd and got the most play. The backglass is pretty cool-looking, too!
7 years ago
First off, I need to own up to my bias towards this game. This came for Christmas when I was 7 years old, and I was the happiest kid on earth, so clearly the game holds a special place in my heart. I'll try to be reasonably objective, though.

First off, the art of the game. The backglass is pretty intense, definitely colorful and interesting enough. One of my friends finds its racist depiction of Native Americans a bit appalling; in conversation, another friend said it was "typical for the 50s or early 60s," at which point I had to tell him the game was actually from '79. That said, it definitely has its appeal, and I think it fits the game well. It's just got that X-factor; a certain likeability, and plenty of character. The sideart is nothing special, but doesn't really detract from the game in any way. The playfield is appropriately colorful, and the bonus and bonus multiplier totem poles are incorporated appropriately. All of the scoring notation on the playfield is well-done and unobtrusive.

Totem's gameplay and feature set is pretty typical of Gottliebs of its era; most of what they did on the game could've been done with an EM, and other than the sliding-scale target (I think they call it a vari-target), none of the features are particularly original. That said, the gameplay is fun. Due to a lot of points being in the bonus and bonus multiplier, you have to focus on hitting the vari-target at least a couple times per ball to get the bonus multiplier up (losing the ball down a sidelane increases this, too.) Also, getting the ball through all of the rollover targets at the top drastically increases the points given for the drop targets. So, given the technology they had to work with, the gameplay is relatively complex, and the rule set reasonably deep.

Overall, a really enjoyable game. It didn't push the envelope, and it won't redefine how anyone thinks of early SS games, but it's good fun, and good to look at! Also, the girlfriend likes this one quite a bit.
7 years ago
Fantastic game overall! The bright, colorful art draws me in, and the gameplay is rock-solid. I was afraid I would feel the game was too ramp-happy, but in truth there are a few really important non-ramp shots, and the back-and-forth mechanic of the boat ramps is fun but challenging.

Some people say the music is annoying; I grew up playing Banjo-Kazooie on N64, which feels like its music was inspired by Fish Tales, so it doesn't phase me... I actually kinda like the music, if I'm honest.

Also, the video mode on this (shooting water skiers) is just plain fun!

Overall, I'd say it's good fun, spectacular enough that anyone can enjoy it, and campy in all the best ways!