Mishap's ratings

Pinsider Mishap has rated 15 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms Mishap's personal top 15.

Rating comments

Mishap has written 15 rating comments:

36 days ago
It's Addams on steroids, basically the same game with double the toys and a few playfield-level tweaks. Theming is great, few licensed games nail the source material so well without being either distracting or silly. Overall, I personally prefer TAF slightly (I find TZ to be a little easier to get high scores and flow a little less naturally), but TZ is a triumph.

Pros: Nails the feel of the theme, lots of crazy shots, the four-flipper set up and busy playfield is incredibly thoughtful, and has to be with so much in it! The non-magnetic gumball is some crazy genius stuff.

Cons: There's very little margin for error in the gameplay, and with soooo many objects on the playfield, it's hard to find a public one that doesn't have something a little off, and that can ruin a lot of shots. The busyness can also reward sloppy play and punish crisp shots.
37 days ago
One of the best early 80's pins. Shot variation is much wider than most of its contemporaries, and vocal commands/taunts also feel ahead of its time. I always considered Pinbot the first prominent game with an interactive antagonist, but this is way earlier.

Pros: Phenomenal synth score! Worthy of Near Dark or Suspiria in its horror atmosphere. Game play and playfield are head and shoulders above vast majority of era pins (up there with 8-Ball Deluxe).

Cons: Some cheap drains due to upper playfield having weird slot placement. Not sure whether to consider ridiculously goofy backglass as positive or negative.
71 days ago
With the new tech that's become commonplace on pins of the last 5 years, it feels like the universal Stern successes (JP, EHOH) have done a good job knowing what to add versus what to leave alone in gameplay to make the bells and whistles compliment the gameplay. Munsters has a lot in common with EHOH, but where the EHOH video/callouts feel like they elevate a decent base table, the Munsters content is excessive and adds lots of pauses to already dull gameplay. The canned response feature on clanks feels like it should be a great inclusion, but it's repetitive and distracting after awhile. That would be forgivable (or even a positive) if the modes were any good, but for someone who plays a lot of pinball, the modes feel simple and uninspired. The shots are very easy, and the video intros to modes are too long, and almost become the focus over the play. The Munsters is a tricky IP because of its G-rated approach to horror comedy, and to me it seems pretty cheesy compared to TAF or Elvira titles.

Pros: They really went for the theme! If you are a Munsters fan, this does not skimp on Munstering! The shots are easy and what you're shooting for is super clear, so if you're a beginner who likes the theme, this is for you. While my rating is low, I do think this has a natural audience who would really enjoy it.

Cons: Got tired of this really quickly. The shots are very easy, and if you don't enjoy the theme and heavy, heavy video inclusion, it's a slog.
72 days ago
Let's say you're a huge Zep fan, have some disposable income and a game room. Here you go. Now let's say you play a lot of pinball, find Zep's music dull, and are tired of Stern cranking out pins sold more for IP than play and adding one-two theme toy(s). As someone in the latter category, this is a miss. Shots are dull, didn't find any mode very interesting, feel like this relies too much on fandom for the source material. Was very surprised this was a Steve Ritchie pin, especially with how sloppily the upper flipper plays. Got into some fast flow grooves, but didn't find it rewarding. It has some modern bells and whistles, but the gameplay is meh for me.

Pros: Does a lot of fan service to the intended base, open playfield makes shots feel clean, reduces cheap drains, allows for longer balls and higher velocity flow/shots.

Cons: Boring gameplay. The lifting spinner was an eye-roll inducing feature, and seems clumsy in design. Circus Voltaire and Theatre of Magic came out ~25 years ago and have better magnetic features. The whole thing feels phoned in ("where do we put the useless blimp?).
72 days ago
My favorite of the new Sterns. What really works is the theme integration, which feels present and thoughtful, but not obtrusive or distracting (the way it is in Munsters). The random wrap up of one's game by Elvira is a great touch and adds the flavor of horror camp that one seeking out Elvira properties would want.

Pros: Fun callouts, pretty smooth gameplay, playfield looks great and has some surprises. A LOT of variation in videos, Elvira's commentary is done really well. Shots feel fair, and clanks usually do something fun.

Cons: Didn't find a "wow" shot or mode; it felt like there was a lot of looking left to right and shooting at indicators. Feel like some sort of third flipper (maybe a side entry to the house?) or something would have been better than going nuts with the multiball number
3 months ago
While this could be a copy/paste for a lot of (non-Pat Lawlor) Stern games, the shots all start at about the 2/3 mark of the playfield, there's one theme-specific toy and nothing really stands out beyond the blinding lights. I don't know if I missed a mode or something, but I got so bored of this game so quickly. It felt easy, mainly because you can keep your shot sight-lines in the same part of the playfield, even when hitting the Scarecrow crane ball, the ball speed is slow-medium with little variation, and the multiball has a very generous ball save. Overall, it felt uninspired and joyless to me- but in addition to not liking the standard Stern layout, I'm also not a big superhero or Batman fan, so there wasn't a lot of natural affection for this pin.

Pros: Probably a good beginner pin for someone who likes that iteration of Batman, ball feels easy to control, someone who likes the standard Stern layout would appreciate this more

Cons: did not find anything really rewarding here, shots felt too easy and repetitive, balls were long but tedious.
3 months ago
First pin I've ever owned. Had it for about 2 months now and playing other pins (in barcades) a few times a week makes it clear what a masterpiece this game is. The thing that sticks out most is how many strategies one can employ and how balanced they are points-wise. At almost any point, you have an opportunity for a high-value shot or a mode/multiball start, so it doesn't fall into the trap of there being one or two big point shots or goals with a bunch of comparatively insignificant supporting ones (eg: MM, ATM, Getaway, Doctor Who, Funhouse, etc). The difficulty is outstanding; the electric chair is not that hard to hit, but a slight mis-hit can drain, the big multi-ball relying on an upper-playfield shot for the jackpot is genius, the vault only being open sporadically makes it way more challenging to line up mid-game, and the Thing flip is so cool (and lucrative!). I could go on and on, but this game is an all-timer for myriad reasons.

Pros: (among many) challenge is balanced and varied, goals are clear, modes are fun and stackable, no shot feels too easy or hard, theme is perfectly executed, all four flippers have unique shots, it's pinball bliss.

Cons: The lack of ball save (beyond 0 points) can be frustrating, the Power can lead to unavoidable drains, the lighting is a little dim (without upgrades)
5 months ago
Kind of a one-trick pony, but it's a great trick! Very much its own machine, and the time expander on a working model is so cool.

Pros: The Time Expander takes the whole "center target" trope and does it one better. I love how each of the three levels requires more shots and more precision. Doctor selection feels pretty innovative for the time, and I think the theme and playfield are a lot of fun.

Cons: The center, while cool, is kind of the whole show. The other goals feel like they pale in comparison, and going from one baddie to the next doesn't change the goal much. I'll get through Davros and then not want to play again.
5 months ago
It's hard to call this anything other than Stern's Twilight Zone, and for me as a Pat Lawlor fan but generally not a Stern fan, I think it does the job. The rule sheet is a novel, and the modes are cool, and for those who'd like a more forgiving and better lit approximation of TZ, this works!

Pros: Unlike a lot of Stern machines, there is a bigger variety of toys and pathways, and the modes are pretty good. The depth of rules is also bananas, and a lot of the shots are rewarding, so it's easy to spend a long time with the machine.

Cons: Unlike Addams Family or TZ, the alternate flipper shots didn't feel intuitive, and the sheer breadth of things to do is a bit dizzying. The barcade that I played this at only had it for about 3 weeks, so I may revisit this if I find another one.
5 months ago
When you think of fun, varied shots, nice learning curve, and replayability, it's hard to top Monster Bash. So much fun.

Pros: The independent progression of 6 different monsters is done perfectly. The shots are all different, the monster modes (especially Dracula) are funny and the goals are pretty clear. The instrument bonuses are a smart add, and while collecting all six monsters isn't something I've done too many times, it's not like there's one that I never get, so it feels doable. I also think the hit-detection is pretty solid.

Cons: The side draining on this game is brutal. With so many things to hit, the ball changes directions a lot, and you can hit things perfectly and still drain. I don't like to nudge too much when playing, but this game demands it. Also, the center scoop seems to get out of whack really easily, and that impacts game play a lot.
5 months ago
Ramps on ramps on ramps! How much clear plastic do we have in the back? This game epitomizes the uninspired Stern machine. It has the good quotes, and gives you the opportunity to select a house, but the fun kind of stops there as you have something like a dozen close ramp or inlet shots that all start at roughly the same part of the playfield. Also, the backglass is the most phoned in art I could imagine. It looks sad.

Pros: The light show for modes is impressive (thank you, clear plastic!) and each path being a different plot line is cool...

Cons:..but unlike, say, Monster Bash, which has an outstanding variety, the vast majority of everything is mid-table ramp or channel shots, so if you're having an easy time lining those up, then congratulations, if not it's clank-ville. It feels like Stern got the hot IP they wanted and rushed to get something out. The modes feel separated from the gameplay. This one is simply not for me.
5 months ago
A jaw-dropper of a modern pin. So much silliness, fun, modes, tricks, all without sacrificing clarity of shots.

Pros: Perhaps one of the funniest and well-executed themes I've ever seen. The dystopian city destruction mixed with ridiculous characters and even the news crawl are all phenomenal. For such an insanely complex game, the basics are clear so you kind of grow with the game as you play and recognize new goals. The holograms fit the gameplay nicely, and the in-game instructions are clear and intuitive.

Cons: Too many magnets. While throwing the ball around is a neat trick, this game takes it to a crazy level. Also the level of tech on the toys and such makes bar tables almost always have something (the phone screen, the camera, etc) not working. Personally, I find this to be a table where you have two 45-second balls and then one for like 7 minutes, so, for me at least, it doesn't have the more consistent flow and ball expectations you might see from the AFM or MM type games.
5 months ago
Definitely my favorite of the consensus non-top 50 pins. Crazy shots, unique playfield, fun theme, I'm always excited to find one of these as they're not very common.

Pros: Like many Pat Lawlor designs, this has both function and whimsy in its placements and shots. The hole-in-one shot is a master stroke (no pun intended), and the putter flipper gives the playfield a division that makes tremendous sense with the golf theme. Reaching hole 9, while not impossible, isn't easy either, and it's cool how you have to put together a bunch of shots each hole rather than hit the same thing over and over. The length of play per ball is often very long, as the right side drain will "kick-back" shots and there's generous ball saves.

Cons: It can play a little clumsily, and slop can be rewarded too much as balls meandering into the back playfield are often more valuable than precise shots.
5 months ago
This game does a lot of things well, but like a lot of Stern games, I found the playfield lacking in the sort of shot satisfaction that I personally find in the Williams and Bally games of old and Jersey Jack games of new. Additionally, I don't love the busyness of the monitor, and it reminds me more of the ill-fated Pin 2000 era games, where there's too much going on, but none of it is that great. The graphics and concept and such are done well, and I see why a lot of folks like this game, but it's not one I ever seek out.

Pros: It looks unique, interesting, and the demarcation of the playfield fits with the theme, shots for the most part feel well laid out.

Cons: The gameplay is lacking for me. The getting to the duels and stuff is fine, but there isn't any shot I remember. I remember the style of the video screen more than any gameplay.
5 months ago
What more need be said? This was the first pin I ever wanted to keep playing, first replay, etc.

Pros: Too many to name, but a good condition machine is fair, has great flow, has lots of varied shots and the game generally rewards good shots and punishes bad ones. The sound/script is beyond outstanding, it's funny, clever, and immersive. The achievements are all visually enjoyable and clear, the castle destruction, trolls, damsel save...it's a blast.

Cons: The castle shot, while a good one (and thankfully doable with both flippers), can get repetitive, as you need to hit it literally dozens of times in a longer game. The flippers have to be pretty lively to get up the steeper ramps (and to avoid draining down the middle on gate shots), and the hit detection is often imperfect even on well-maintained games.

Overall, a classic, and a true top-5 all-timer