Next April I wll be 60 and have discovered that I have several hobbies I really enjoy. Two years ago I picked up banjo (practice 1 1/2 hours a day- yeah, kind of strange- my OCD is actually useful here) and last year I revisited pinball after my son built me a virtual pinball table. The virtual software and table are amazing and I have been reexposed to many great pinball games (MM, TZ, STTNG, MET, TOTAN) and learned some basic skills. Of course this computerized table led me to explore the real deals- I had forgotten how beautiful and fabulous the real tables are. I learned that playing these real tables required a lot of practice- which was initially very frustrating, but now I am good enough to make the games last longer that a minute (!).
Fortunately I picked a hobby that is making a huge resurgence, thus providing the ubquitous availability of (quality) games, community, and pinball machines (for sale). New pinball companies are slowly evolving and the pinball community is thriving, especially through sites like Pinside. My son and I are both looking for our first new pinball game purchase- he wants to find one that he can work on, and I want to find a newer, but nostalgic game. We try to get together at least twice a month and play in the Columbus (many more choices there!) or Dayton areas.
Several weeks ago we contacted Tilt Amusement (Trent Augenstein), just north of Columbus. We met Trent at a local barcade in Delaware Ohio where they were unboxing a limited edition Primus pinball game. We were two of six people playing the game (not an easy game by the way...). Trent was so friendly as were the rest of the pinball folks, telling us about various games, tournaments, etc. Trent unlocked a couple of games for us and we played for about an hour, making sure he was not watching so we would not embarass ourselves in front of a world class player! After a great time we asked Trent the same question he gets thousands of times, "What game do you recommend?" His answer was spot on, "Play a bunch of games and the get one YOU like. Don't worry about rankings (they can be a guide), as they are all opinions."
Last week we played in our local Dayton barcade, and surprisingly found one we really like- "Iron Maiden". The game play was great for us beginners. Although I was into hard rock in the 70s, I was never a big Iron Maiden fan- too bad or I would get this game immediately. I think Aerosmith or Metallica could work and I need to try those out. I am also a sucker for the 60s sitcoms: Batman 66 and Munsters, as well as WOZ. I really like Guardians of the Galaxy as I enjoyed both movies and my wife loves the music.
Anyway, my birthday is coming up and I get to buy a pinball machine! I hope to add my new game to my currently empty list- ASAP!