seshpilot's ratings

Pinsider seshpilot has rated 169 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms seshpilot's personal top 169.

Rating comments

seshpilot has written 169 rating comments:

4 months ago
It's Scooby, Scooby Doo! I played this at SFGE 2023 and honestly, didn't think I would like it. Boy, was I wrong!

--The artwork and overall theming is spot on. LOVE IT. The colors, the characters, the love put into this game shows. Excellent. What a theme!
--It was a bit tough to hear the sounds, but I've watched videos so I know this also was very well done. They're adding more and more each week too, so I'm very encouraged at how this is going. As others have mentioned, there is a bit of volume discrepancy between various modes, but I know this will be addressed. Spooky seems to have the best support out of all the manufacturers.
--Despite me thinking the game would play like Popeye with the upper PF covering things a bit below, it actually feels great! There are tons of things to shoot for and there's something for everyone here: newbies will love just hitting various shots and experienced players will dig the depth and demands of the precise shots that are requested to complete modes. I love it!
--I loved the unique things they added to this game: the bookcase flipper, the upper playfield bash toys, the multiple wireforms, the 2 layers of drop targets with a captive lock behind them, the captive ball locks at the bottom of the playfield... There's SOOOO much creativity happening on this game. Excellent.
--The game definitely needs its code updated (which they are passionate about making happen). The rep I talked to said they're only at about 50% of the code finished ATM and it kinda shows. There are so many more baddies to be added. I can't wait to see how this game progresses. If you buy one, know that you're committed to updating the game regularly.
--I'm in no way a Spooky fanboy, but this is probably their best game to date. They seem to be hitting their stride now. I will also say that their playfields seem to have the least amount of issues compared to other manufacturers. They also are incredible with their support of their products.

To me, this is pinball at its finest: incredibly creativity at every turn (artwork, sound, engineering, theming, etc...) combined with a love of play and an insanely beloved theme. I probably should have bought the floor model.
4 months ago
I've been wanting to play this for years. Finally got to try it out at SFGE 2023. A great game for sure. I wish I could have been immersed a bit more, but it's loud at these events so I had to imagine things from what I know from gameplay videos. The only thing I'll add here that has probably not been said a million times in reviews is that the game FEELS so different from any other manufacturer I've played. The flippers just have a unique feel to them. Not bad, but different. The playfield screen wasn't working on the game I played so I was a bit lost on which shots to hit, but I absolutely LOVED being able to choose between the 2 Alien movies. So glad this is available to the masses now that PB has released the game. Must play it more and will update.
4 months ago
First, some background:
1. I played this in late July of 2023 at SFGE. Code will probably change quickly after this.
2. I absolutely LOVE the Multimorphic platform. Big fan of both Heist and Lexy Lightspeed.
3. I absolutely LOVED TNA and think very highly of Danesi.
4. I REALLY wanted to like this game.

That last point probably points in the direction this review is going. There's a lot that is working well for this game: the theme is cool (and feels like it's in the same universe as TNA), the music and sounds are great per usual for a Danesi release, the shots are tight, and everything that's standard on most Multimorphic games (the flippers, side targets, screen, boxes, etc...) works well here. Unfortunately, it just wasn't coming together for me. Rather than write long paragraphs, I'll briefly share via bullet points for the sake of brevity:
a. The game felt sparse and cold. I just couldn't get into the theme this time around. It wasn't engaging and simply felt uninspired compared to TNA. The ball shooting mech is cool, but I didn't feel like it was enough to save a particularly sparse layout. Compared to Weird Al, the top half of the game was pretty blank.
b. Not much by way of playfield screen animations yet. With this being one of the biggest unique factors of the platform, it was weird that they chose to make it an almost static playfield a la early Bally. There's more that could be done here for this game.
c. The bass was WAY too much. I love that Scott wants this thing to rock but on this particular game, the bass was overpowering and everything in the cabinet was rattling. I hate it when the playfield glass rattles. Either the cab needs better dampening, or the bass has to get decreased IMO.
d. There is 1 main theme and it grew tiresome quickly. Perhaps each ball could have it's own theme? Not sure but the main theme was not something I'd want to hear over and over and over and over.

I think this game will improve as the code updates but as it stands right now, it's a hard pass for me. Perhaps my expectations were too high?
11 months ago
Like Orbitor or other gimmicky games, BW100 is fun…for awhile. The game is just so dang cheap. Bally was just putting out garbage stuff at this time. The cabinet is MDF garbage, the plastics in the game (which is like 75% of the playfield here) are brittle and are almost guaranteed to be broken, the sound is atrocious for the time. That said, the gimmick is AWESOME. I’m not even a dirt bike or racing fan but this game has a great theme.

In short: IMO, this game is perfect for a large collection; less than 10 games need not apply. While I’m admittedly not a fan of split playfields, this one works okay for what it is.
1 year ago
Not a huge Rush fan but always excited to see a band get a pin. The game plays well enough but has had documented problems. The lower left feels like Whirlwind a bit more than an homage and the center shot feels like so many other games out there that has a magnetic lock. It’s a good game, but in my personal opinion, if you don’t love the band, it’s not one I would seek out due to the layout, rules, and fun factor. To each his/her/their own!
1 year ago
What a great game! I've never even seen the show but loved the game! Absolutely fall down HILARIOUS callouts. Might be the funniest game I've played yet (yes, even better than Family Guy and Simpsons). Everything reminds me of TNA, which is good because I love that game. This makes sense being a Danesi pin. The music is killer, the dots are perfect, and the layout is.....good, but not great. The shots are a bit too tight and required WAY too much fiddling with to get right. The scoop needs modding to hit right and several of the other shots can't be made without modding. Even the plunge jumps the end of the habit-trail without some modding. QC is still an issue for Spooky. That said, I LOVE the way their games play; WAY more than Stern. I'm hopeful these guys will keep at it and keep releasing great games like this. This game plays FAST. I would totally snag one of these for the right price. Humor + pinball will always be a match made in heaven for me.

BONUS POINTS for an insanely powerful shaker and awesome sub!
1 year ago
Elwin did a nice job with this one. Overall, I'm not a Stern fanboy, but this game is impressive. The toys are fantastic (minus the Godzilla plastic character which looks a little cheap for a premium---way too garish green!), the sounds are incredible (way to go getting the Blue Oyster Cult track!), the dots are perfect (love all the show clips!), the rules are well-done in this early release (a sign of good things to come from Stern? I doubt it, but still, grateful), and the layout is packed with great shots! I loved Godzilla as a little boy and was flooded with nostalgia playing the game. The bridge is awesome when it collapses and the building is a brilliant take on the Doctor Who pin toy. All that said, I still just don't like the way Sterns play. I can't ever put my finger on it, but for my money, I'm more of a Spooky guy for the new pins. That said, I see why everyone loves this one so much. It will only get better too with new code I'm sure. I won't be buying it, but will for sure play a game or 2 at friends' houses.
2 years ago
Target Alpha....the game everyone says isn't as good as El Dorado. Man, I think this game rocks. No, you don't get any continuity from ball-to-ball, but if you want a simple, fantastic layout that allows you to shoot drop targets, this is your game. AND it can be had for a great price compared to ElDo. Lastly, anyone who complains about the game being "over" once you knock all the targets down, get real. It is RARE that you're gonna knock all those targets down in 1 ball with those hungry outlanes and wide flipper gap, no matter how good of a player you are!

-WOW! What a layout. No matter which version of this layout you play, it IS that good.
-Best artwork out of all the similar games with this layout.
-Super fun if you like drop targets and skill shooting with your flippers (see point 2 in CONS below though). Fast gameplay and solid flow.
-Multiplayer EM that newbies love. Good tourney game.
-End of ball bonus that doubles on the last ball. Love it.
-Chance at extra ball if you can knock down all the targets. It ain't easy friends.
-The price. I adore plain ole good games that come cheap.

-No continuity from ball-to-ball. Each ball is the same.
-Can be played completely randomly as every target is worth the same; no advantage to calling your shots (at least at first). You lose the bonus shots from the 1-player ElDo.
-Fine, it might not be quite as fun as ElDo due to the 2 above points, but we're talking minimal difference IMHO (the ElDo owners will disagree and that's fine...they paid more than me).

2 years ago
I REALLY like this game.

-There really is NO other pinball game quite like this. The P3 platform was made for this game. SOOOOOO unique.
-The crane toy is multi-dimensional and works REALLY well. Well-built, well-integrated, and fun to bash!
-OMG, the cop car going across the screen with the boxes is my absolute favorite gimmick in all pinball currently. Such a great idea.
-They layout is good, but not great. More on this in the cons, but the layout overall plays really well; it's just TIGHT.
-3 flippers!
-Great animations, lights, art, and pretty good sounds (more in Cons below)
-Theme integration is absolutely perfect

-The music. It's kinda 70s porno vibe when I really feel it should have been more Ocean's 11. Of course, I'm a composer for a living so I have strong opinions on this. <---Gerry, hit me up to do a game! ;P
-The flippers take a bit of getting used to. They really are different. I don't know that this is a con, but it is a real thing. I found that the ball kicks up a bit after you release a cradle due to the design. Weird.
-The shots are really good, but VERY tight. In particular, the jail break shot is a bit too tight IMO. It's not very accessible for youngers and non-pinheads. Wish it was a bit more like the MM castle shot. For this matter, LOTS of modes make you hit the 3 center shots. Wish it had a touch more variety.
-I personally don't think the monitor in the playfield is really necessary for this game.
-Still a bit pricey for the average collector

I want one!
2 years ago
I admit that I need more time on this game, but about a PACKED pin. This makes TZ look like a toy. This game has a great light show, very cool modes, and lots of toys. That said, I feel like it's a bit heavy on the multiballs. IMO, there is such a thing as a) too simple to get multiball, and b) too many balls during multiball (Apollo 13?). This game suffers from both to me. I'm not a huge GNR fan, but this game impressed me. Obviously, being a JJP, it's very pricey, but it's VERY easy to see why! Slash must be proud.
2 years ago
What a waste! This game, no matter how much it sells for these days, is just a bummer for those who love the franchise. What could have been!

-Not a bad layout, with decent easy shots up the ramps and down the habittrails
-The theme! Should have been a grand slam, but sadly is more like a great theme thrown on top of a decent layout with simple rules
-Not a bad game for young, inexperienced pinheads
-The score, at least some it, is presented during gameplay
-Paul Faris artwork on a real mirrored backglass

-Seriously wasted the theme. Not enough integration and overly simple rule set. Somebody place remake this theme!
-No MJF license included with a BTTF license
-Weak audio. While the soundtrack is there, it's so 16-bit quality, it just doesn't cut it. Not enough callouts (and no Biff?!! Where "what are you looking at butthead?" Maybe I didn't play it enough to hear this)
-Weak lighting
-Terrible gimmick-factor. Flux capacitor, DeLorean miniature car, the clock tower, bolts of lightning, hover boards...none of this is there
-This era of DE pins were pretty cheaply made. The game just feels cheap compared to the same era B/W models

TAKEAWAY: If this were a pin based on any other theme, maybe I wouldn't be so hard on it, but it's BTTF!! How do you mess that up? Let the fanboys pay ridiculous's a hard pass for me.
2 years ago
Not a bad design from Gottlieb. I would have loved to have seen this game with a bit more happening on the playfield and the ruleset in a single player wedgehead. That said, this game plays quite well. I recently fixed up a gorgeous example and when waxed, it sings. The bonus holes are great, I love that it's asymmetrical, and the spinners are fun to try and rip. Ultimately though, there just isn't that much to shoot for. What feels like should be a game that will be exceptionally fun to play, only feels moderately fun. I'm not a soccer fan, so take that into account but I wanted just a bit more from this game. The backglass feature rocks for sure, and the way they randomized the bonus is definitely cool. Overall, I'm satisfied with my score: it's a good game, but not at the same level as El Dorado, Abra Ca Dabra, or Atlantis.
2 years ago
Man, with how incredible the early SS Sterns were, I was expected so much more from this late EM.

The bells are literally a doorbell mech. The spinner is ULTRA heavy and never gives you the satisfaction of a true spinner shot (definitely redeemed by many later Sterns). The captive ball has to be hit just perfect to actually get credit. The drops are....wait there's no drops??? This is an early Stern!!! Nope, they're just plain targets.

I love how the Amish mom in the covered wagon isn't hot enough to even bother having her face shown (it's covered up by the score window); meanwhile, Boobs McBlond in front and center. What looks to be a decent layout just doesn't come together for this game.

PS: I will say--the score reel mechs on this game are fantastic compared to earlier Gottliebs and Ballys. Simple design that works great.
2 years ago
This was an early SS for Bally, which means you can only expect so much from it right? Put this game next to Mata Hari, and you would see that nothing could be further from the truth. Supersonic, regardless of when it was released, just isn't a great game IMO. The layout (while not symmetrical) is uninspired, the scoring is imbalanced, the art is meh, and the whole package just never quite comes together. Maybe it's worth the price it fetches for some, but I'd rather save the space for a solid EM. I just can't get into this one.
2 years ago
Mata Hari is a game that you think will be lame...till you really play it. While I'm not a fan of symmetrical layouts usually, this game really works well. Great shots, awesome bells from the EM carryover days, and gorgeous artwork. This may be Christensen's finest. I played a really great version of this deck today and loved it. If you can find one in decent shape (good luck as most of the PFs were just beat to snot), wax it up, and enjoy a simple game of silverball! Once you learn the rules and how to really make her sing, you'll be hooked. Maybe not one that I'd add to my limited-space collection, but definitely one I'll always play in public.
3 years ago
I'm just not seeing what everyone else seems to on this one. It's a good EM no doubt: asymmetrical, vari-target, drops and targets, and 2 pop bumpers. But compared to many of the other designs happening at the time (particularly with wedgeheads), I'm just not that impressed.
4 years ago
It's a good game. It really is! But then again, so was the original JP pin. Plus on the other one, we got a dino-eating T-Rex and a shaker motor STANDARD.

If this had been the 1st incarnation of JP, I think I'd be gaga for it. The callouts are fun, the music is straight from the movie (AWESOME), the shots are superb, the artwork gorgeous, and it's just fun to play! Unfortunately, I keep comparing it to the other deck of the same name, and I feel like it's just a better playing game. I need more time on the deck, but I think as the code progresses, it will become a better and better game. As it stands right now though, it's something I'll pop some quarters into, but nothing that makes me want to plop down 7000 dollar bills for.
4 years ago
Like everyone knows, the Beatles layout is basically an updated Seawitch layout. The good news is that they completely corrected all the HORRIBLE geometry that Seawitch suffers from (I say this as a long-time former Seawitch owner). The problem is that an updated Seawitch with mediocre Beatles art maketh not a $7500 pinball machine. I really wanted to like this game. I love the Beatles, and I wanted to love Seawitch: this game gives me both! I just can't justify the expense that this game commands. The cut scenes are fantastic, the music is superb, and the the layout really is good. Unfortunately, the art is poorly done IMO, the call-outs are annoying, and the games just feels....weird.

Seawitch, despite it's geometric flaws, feels like a vintage early 80s pin (because it is). This game FEELS like a modern Stern that's copying an early 80s/EM table. It's just weird. I wish I could put my finger on it, but I just don't like the way it plays. I'd like more time on this deck to get a better opinion, but so far, I'm not impressed.
4 years ago
As someone who like the show, you’d think I’d like the pin....nope. It’s been said hundreds of times but the game is just SO repetitive and the sounds are ridiculously obnoxious—-not funny obnoxious, just annoying obnoxious (“woman I just have you sweet lovin’ a minute ago”). The game is clearly aimed at beginners and I see why it did well on location but it is just NOT a great game for a collection. The shots are quite easy, but just to me. The art is fair (it’s not like South Park is known for its incredible animation), and there are a few funny gags (having the pop bumpers make farting sound effects is hilarious—-for awhile), but Stern just didn’t put in enough audio variety. Even at a lower price, this game gets a hard pass for me.
4 years ago
MET is an EXCELLENT game (Pro or Prem/LE)! I already wrote a review for the Pro and feel like the Premium is just a touch better with the extra toys. Maybe not enough better to justify the extra cost (the Pro version is still quite blinged out, and personally I'd rather have a color DMD with the extra money than the toys Stern put in), but it's a great game.
4 years ago
A great game for the time period, but with the main gimmick being a shaker motor, it's tough for this one to stand up against all the games with a shaker that followed. I genuinely like this game, but feel like Lawlor's later games (Whirlwind, Addams, Funhouse, etc...) were better.
4 years ago
Not a great sequel to the original but not a bad game for a larger collection. The absence of inlanes is a bit odd, but as has been said a million times here: green mode is awesome (esp given the era it was made). Fun but not a keeper for me.
5 years ago
Abra is a unique game for me. I’m not a fan of symmetrical layouts but this one just feels right.

-This game is a WORK. OF. ART. Wowza! It’s absolutely gorgeous in every respect. Classic Gottlieb that screams sexy.
-I absolutely love how the bonus shot moves around as you hit the slings. If you want those bonus points, you gotta watch your aim like a sniper and be careful to not ricochet off the slings.
-The bonus shot at the center is great and is definitely a risk/reward shot. Straight down the middle is not uncommon on this one!
-Such cool technology for the time. This game is a prime example of maximizing the EM tech (which amounts to nothing more than a few kilobytes of programming)! Seriously, they were pushing limits back then! Only Gottlieb had this cool of stuff back then.
-Lots is repro parts available including backglass, Playfield, plastics, etc!

-Symmetrical layout means half the amount of unique shots on any deck. This applies here too. Bummer.
-Tough to find one in good shape. Next to impossible to find one without cupped inserts. If you’re buying one, make sure you ask how bad the cupping is (it’s not a matter of if...)

Very well done. Just wish it wasn’t so symmetrical!
5 years ago
A very good effort overall from Gottlieb and a perfect layout for the theme (despite the fact that I usually don't dig symmetrical layouts). Def not "Abra Ca Dabra" (just as many drops!) or "Atlantis" territory, but fun nonetheless! Great drop target fun, but no slingshots anywhere. Don't worry though, you get PLENTY of bounce from the drops and the rubbers behind them.

To be fair, I haven't spent that much time on this deck, but I think my scores are mostly accurate. I plan to write more on this game when I get some more time on it.
5 years ago
Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of Stern...neither v1.0 or 2.0. While the artwork was usually FANTASTIC, most Stern 1.0 games have a really bizarre angle for the slingshots that I just don't like, and many of their games (I'm looking at you Seawitch) have just poor geometry. I say this as a former owner of several of these games. Meanwhile, Stern 2.0 seems dead-set on creating products that either have extremely late code updates to them or are not supported well (GB ghosting?). ALL that said, I absolutely LOVE Quicksilver. What a game.

-Super fast! Hence the name
-Really great layout with drops that can be swept in a single shot. Spelling out Quicksilver is never easy! And 2 spinners? Yes please. Honestly, this is the game I had so desperately wanted from Seawitch. Now I know.
-INCREDIBLE sounds. Love, love, love the sounds. It reminds me of "Blaster Master" on NES. Add a sub and turn it up!
-The artwork is gorgeous, as usual for Stern 1.0.

-While the middle drop target bank isn't nearly as oddly placed as I originally had thought it was, it is still in a spot that I'm not crazy about (I'm not crazy about it on Funhouse either).
-The playfields are typically beat all to hell. This game deserved either factory mylar or some sort of playfield protectant similar to what Zaccaria or Segasa was doing! Obviously, they weren't meant to last 30+ years, but sadly for us in the 21st century, it's very hard to find this game without a beat-up pf.
-While I'm still not crazy about the slingshot angle, it's more tolerable on this game for some reason.

UPDATE: So, I built one from an old, beat Stingray. I really like it. It's a simple game with simple rules. That said, this is an insanely addicting "ONE MORE GAME" kind of game. You will not be having long ball times (a Lord of the Rings it is not) and it's not the most friendly for newbies. That said, it's a heck of a game that really gets your blood flowing. The best classic Stern IMO.
5 years ago
The best description I've heard for this awesome playing EM is that it is the "Whitewater of the EM world." Basically, you just need to score all of the number targets in order, similar to WH20. Such a killer game.

-Super cool programming for the time period with being able to score more points for hitting 2 drop targets at once
-Great layout, with many difficult shots. The rollovers are crucial to being able to get the numbered targets
-Love the left outlane area. Danger zone that is all too easily accessed!
-Beautiful artwork by Gordon Morrison. All around a piece of art.
-It has the "JUST ONE MORE GAME!" appeal
-Easy enough for any newbie pinhead, by hard enough for the veteran player too

-Not enough made and by now, most of the playfields are slightly planking with sunken or cupped inserts.
-Fetches a high dollar for an EM (maybe you can find a Lawman (same layout) for a bit less?)

Highly recommended as one of the last EMs before the SS craze!
5 years ago
As with all music pins, how much you enjoy the band is gonna play into how much you enjoy the game. Oddly, I grew up enjoying this band, but was really disappointed by the game. It just felt...lacking.

-great artwork from ZY
-lots of original music that pumps out nicely
-I like the way Keith setup the layout at the top wth the mini-flipper and upper right flipper having its own microcosm of sorts. It works and flows very nicely.
-Decent animations. This is the biggest area I can see Stern developing in the future: the animations still feel crude and basic. Each game gets a bit better.

-The playfield feels very sparse and overall kind of odd. The pops feel a little out of place compared the rest of the flow IMO. It's kind of a dead area besides the ramp. Normally I like wide open playfield but this one just feels uninspired to me.
-weak skill shot
-Stern quality feels better than it used to, but still not up to snuff for keeper games
-I can't quite put my finger on it, but the game just doesn't come together for me. I wanted more.

If you love the band, you'll like the pin; if you don't like the band, my guess is you'll find the pin dispensable. Nowhere near as good as MET or Ghostbusters IMO
5 years ago
Such. A. Cool. Game. I love that all the DMD-heads will miss this one because they find EMs "slow and boring."

-Absolutely awesome artwork! The whole game is beautiful. Backglass has tons of rich color
-Such a fun layout!!! I typically HATE symmetrical pins but this one just feels right. Absolutely brutal, yet ridiculously easy!
-Perfect game for newbies/non-pinheads, yet impossible for pinheads to walk away from! This game (along with Andromeda and Barracora for me) defines "one more game" appeal!
-the flag gimmick is REALLY cool and works perfect. So fun to get all the flags up and then back over with the mushroom bumper. You don't see that on new games!
-The outlanes are awesome. I love that you have a better shot at saving your ball on them than the inlanes! Really neat idea that worked well. Make sure your game has fresh, bouncy rubber for it to work right tho.
-Rollover galore! No drops (the fans are kind of like drops I guess) or spinners but enjoy those rollovers.
-Feels like a solid-state in terms of speed and power, with all the charm and chimes of an EM!

-again, I'm not a fan of symmetrical decks and wonder if something could have been done to avoid that here.
-WAY too easy to roll this deck. I probably need to adjust my settings but it’s just very easy as a 5-ball game. Still, 3-ball seems too short on this one.
-Easy for inserts to be cupped on this one. If you're buying one, be aware that you should look for this
-Typical low-quality EM Bally lamp holders. Be prepared to replace some.

I love this game and love how inexpensive it can be. Find a nice example, and enjoy pinball purity at it's finest.
5 years ago
I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Not a game I was looking to play as the theme does absolutely nothing for me, but really enjoyed a few plays!

The Good:
-The track going around the game (where the ball is the race car) is so cool. I can see where it might get old after awhile, but it's a very cool theme integration.
-Some of the modes are really good! I love the multiball on this game!
-Really well designed shots geometrically
-A relatively cheap Lawlor DMD game!
-Decent animations and call outs.
-Feels sturdy and solid

The Bad:
-that cool track around the outside edge takes up quite a bit of valuable real estate. As a result, the game comes off feeling a bit narrow and odd in terms of being a full sized game. Might have been cooler as a wide body with the inside of the track being a normal sized pin?
-the artwork is so bad. This was the era when Stern was just phoning in the artwork
-some of the sounds are pretty weak (synthesized guitar sounds)

Not a bad game and one I'd love more time on. Not ready to commit to buying one just yet, but pleasantly surprised!
5 years ago
Andromeda, to me, is the definition of a “one more play” game that just never ends. I have literally gone thru 25 games of “just one more time!” It is without a doubt, one of the most hidden gems of the early SS era. Unfortunately, there were just so few made that most collectors will not even have the chance to play one, let alone own one.

-The artwork is absolutely stunning. May be Paul Faris’ best work. The mirroring in the back glass has to be seen in person to be appreciated.
-Solid layout with frenetically fast gameplay. The flippers (if original Gameplan solenoids) are crazy strong!!
-Such a great sound package. Really is unique and puts you in the theater of the theme. Unfortunately, it is missing two things IMO: the beating doesn’t increase as you score more points (tho it does during multi ball which is very cool), and no speech (which by the time of the game’s release, was sort of expected).
-Rip the spinner! So many great shots including sniping the drops, ripping the spinner, and locking up multiball. You are also rewarded handsomely for rocking the game when in the pop bumper garden.
-Very high quality build. Better than Bally of the same era.
-The ability to backhand several shots (due to the strong GP flipper coils) is rewarding.
-The geometry of the shots is really spot on. So much better than some of its era’s contemporaries.

-Not a huge deal, but no speech. I want her to talk!
-Certain Gameplan parts (the drop targets for one) can be hard to come by. There’s a market for someone willing to repro GP parts!
-There is a slight potential for a shot that goes up, hits nothing, and drops right back down: left flipper, straight up. 99% of the shots are tuned perfect but this one exception could have been slightly tweaked.
-Good luck finding a copy of this deck, especially one in decent shape.

Takeaway: if you can find one (regardless of the condition), just buy it and thank me later (I drink Kentucky Bourbon Ale).
5 years ago
Wow, I thought this game would be so much fun. I even bought a deck and primped her all up. Was so let down. This game is one that really requires sniping skills, and thus, for most players, it's unplayable. It's not really pinball as much as a unique type of board game...with a pinball. I worked hard to restore this one, and could not wait to let it go. I know there are others out there who like this game but for them, it works in their large(r) collection(s). There's a reason there are so few of these, and it's not that the market was bad...
5 years ago
Fun for a play or two when you see one in person. Not a game that justifies it's own price tag (obviously due to rarity). Williams knew what they were doing when they pulled the plug on this...not enough long-term appeal for players.
5 years ago
A REALLY great game from Stern, regardless of if you're an Aerosmith fan or not. I was surprised by how much I liked it. I'm not a Stern fanboy by a long-shot, but truly love this game.

-GREAT shots all the over this deck.
-The shot into the jack-in-the-box rules!
-Lots of audio modes, as long as you don't mind listening to Aerosmith
-Beautiful artwork! Way to step up your game Stern!
-Upper playfield is cool! Not WH2O cool, but really cool for a newer release.

-The animation is a bit generic in the backbox. Not a big deal, but it's clear it was one of Stern's early efforts.
-Hope you like the band. Also, the artwork is a bit 70s psychedelic, so to each his own.
5 years ago
A lot has been said about this game in earlier posts. I'll share my thoughts as well, but I feel very opinionated about this game:

-Great layout. It's a Lawlor, what do you expect?
-Very high build quality
-An overall fun game that demands "one more play!"
-I dig the theater projection screen. Cool toy.
-The lasers shooting the flippers is a trip! Love it.
-LOTS of shots on this deck that demand sniping abilities.

-The theme is so lame. I was literally standing next to Gary Stern when Lawlor unveiled the theme. Dude smiled, shook his head, and just walked out of the room in triumph.
-IMO, WAY too much going on lighting-wise. It's a bit of clown puke to me.
-Youssi has done such great art packages, but IMO this isn't his best.
-Selfie-mode is obnoxious. I don't want pics of myself thrown up on a screen for everyone to see.
-Anything relating to my cell phone is just...meh. Why would I want to play pinball with my cell when it's right in front of me? Worthless tech IMO.
-No wizard mode. Pat, I know you're tired of this thing you started, but it's what people expect.

OVERALL: It's a really good game! Not a great one (esp considering the price), but a very fine game.
5 years ago
I will never understand the fascination with the "split the pf up into 2 separate levels" design approach. Obviously, I'm no Black Knight fan. That said, I think this game is much better than Black Knight.

-The corny factor is so ridiculously high that you actually have to like this one.
-The outlanes saves are really cool. While I wasn't a huge fan of it on D&D, I really like Pemberton's use of them on this game. They add a layer to playing here that is needed with this design.
-The top left shot is really hard. Similar to D&D, it's an almost impossible shot to hit with intention, but when you do, it's very satisfying.
-The game is actually quite fun. I would love to buy a beater of this game one day to retheme.

-Do I even need to say the artwork? The artwork.
-The sounds are so freaking bad. That sound chip that Bally used in this era is the cheapest of possible options for the time period. NOTHING sounds good on it. Not even the female heavy breathing that starts off the game.
-Dual-level design = 2 really short playfields. Some people love this design, and I get that; I just don't.
-It's so obvious how bad Bally was trying hurting at this period. Even the cabinet design and build quality (MDF) reeks of corporate cost-cutting. Hope you don't find one that's gotten wet.

Takeaway: a game that actually plays better than the scores will indicate. If you see one of the wild, drop a quarter.
6 years ago
I realize that I'm in the minority here, but I just couldn't get into this game. It's a good game sure, but I didn't feel like it is a great game. And this is a bummer b/c I just passed on a really nice example in my neighborhood for a fair price.

-It has a really nice layout. I love that the orbit shot goes behind everything and can either hit a VUK or come screaming back down at you.
-Multiball is definitely a rush on this one.
-The video mode on this game is actually a decent video mode.
-The "supercharger" borrowed from Getaway is always fun to have in a game.
-The modes have decent objectives. I enjoyed learning all the different objectives though again, I wish they were more understandable to someone just walking up to the game (i.e.: the game has the appeal to pinheads for sure, but I just can't see my friends getting this as quickly as they would on a game like Whitewater)
-The callouts are great, the music is decent. Nothing great here, but all good.

-I had a hard time figuring out what shots to hit. This says more about what type of games I like, but the rules don't lend themselves to immediacy for newbies.
-The upper flipper is really only used for 1 shot: turbocharger
-The pf artwork and colors are pretty bad IMO. It just looks rushed and phoned in, compared to say a Funhouse or a WH2O
-No wizard mode
-Given the era this game is from, it feels nowhere near as high-tech as other games of the time. A fine layout, but not enough to compete against other games

Again, not a bad game at all! Just not an A-list game no matter how many people wish it was higher on the charts.
6 years ago
I love Gottlieb System 80b pins; this is an exception. This game is a true one-trick pony: it's all about starting multiball and watching the search lights go off. Truly I was so disappointed by this game with its lack of depth. Take it away.
6 years ago
Stargazer is definitely a cool game that should have had more made. Unfortunately, the rarity makes this title a lot higher on the list than it probably should be though.

-a great art package from a company known to make great art packages (Stern 1.0 that is)!
-FULL of drop targets and spinners!
-very cool alternative to having in-lanes and something I'd love to see more of in a future game

-definitely not the best Stern 1.0 game out there, but commands a price like it is. Sorry guys, but IMO games like Nine Ball, Catacomb, and maybe even Big Game beat this out
-most of those that are left are BEAT, or even worse IMO, have been restored with a thickly clearcoated playfield. The version I played had a new playfield and while I wholeheartedly applaud the efforts of restoring (especially when there is no other option), it just does not play the same. As someone who has played a lot of older Sterns, I'm just not a fan of thick clearcoats on these games (though they do look prettier) as the gameplay changes

A very good game with lots to shoot at. Not great, but really good.
6 years ago
Fireball EM: the only EM I own. I absolutely adore this game, and I wasn't even born in the 70s!

-SOOOOOOOO ahead of its time. Crazy cool features that were either "firsts" for the industry or incredibly advanced for the time. Just a few to list: outlane kickback, spinner in the middle (a la Whirlwind), 3 ball multi-ball, an incredible skill shot, and zipper flippers!
-Some truly fantastic shots. You so desperately wanna lock 2 balls, release, and then hit the blue mushroom to close that wide flipper gap!
-the artwork is truly magnificent. Such a beautiful piece of history
-Making this game sing with the chimes is a treat.
-Did I mention the skill shot? It's one of my favs, and is absolutely critical to scoring high points. If you don't get it, 2 of your 3 pop bumpers are only worth 10/each.

-the flipper gap can make the game a bit more luck than skill at times.
-not a full chime unit, but simply 1 bell for the 10s, and another for the 100s. This isn't a big deal, but worth mentioning
-good luck finding one cheap, and even better luck finding one in good shape

This game is my favorite EM hands down. Why isn't it higher??
6 years ago
Special Forces is a fun pin that was probably quite cool at the time. Unfortunately, it hasn't aged well and outside of a large collection, I wouldn't recommend it.

-the sniper shots that you use the lower flipper buttons on are super cool. Neat idea that implements well to the theme. You have to knock those guys down before you can access other shots.
-generic Bally fun

-cheaply made Bally from that era
-just hasn't aged well
6 years ago
Have been wanting to play this game for years and finally got some time on this deck.

-Python's artwork!! A standout among his already impressive games. The backglass is absolutely gorgeous. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the artwork.
-Ourlser outlanes are brutal.
-Lots of drop targets that are crucial to hit to nab the all-important jackpot.
-I like how the jackpot builds as people don't acquire it
-If you have a bad game, the outlanes will most likely give you an extra ball on ball 3. Nice bit of programming to let bad players feel better

-it's just.....boring. Hitting the 2 ramps over and over is how you score big points, and that's just not my idea of fun.
-the music isn't great. While I love Forden's sounds, the music wasn't nearly as good as his other efforts
-the mystery wheel takes FOREVER. Way too long of a "stop and go" with this feature. Just dump out a reward and let me play again!
-most games have that bash shot plunger stuck by now (the rubbers have deteriorated)

My takeaway is that this is a decent System 11 that probably could have been great with a bit better of a layout. Fair game, but nothing on par with other Sys11's like Taxi, WW, Diner...
6 years ago
I wanted so much more from this game.

The Good:
-plenty of drops!
-fun to rip the spinner
-a decent set of rules for the time (hint: don't knock down all the METEOR targets! Always leave 1 standing!)
-nice artwork as with all the vintage Sterns.
-lots to shoot at. Truly a sniper's dream.

The Bad:
-The SOUND. Quite possibly the most annoying sound in all of pinball. When you get the game singing, it's awful. Such a loud, high-pitched sound. Reminds me the "most annoying sound in the world" from Dumb and Dumber.
-I may be alone in saying this but I just do not like the bottom half of most of the old Sterns. The way they positioned many of their slingshots just Not sure what it is, but I don't like it.
-Just not that fun of a game overall IMO. I really wanted it to be good, as it was Stern's best selling game back in the day (of all time?) but it just didn't have that "one more game" factor for me. Maybe it was the sound?
6 years ago
Such a fun game.

The Good:
-horror and pinball just go together. GREAT theme integration.
-the DOTS!! Maybe the best dots in all of pinball pre-LCD. If you own this game, you MUST buy a Color DMD for it. Seriously, I don't even have any of their displays on my games, but this one is a must. Perfect animation with a color DMD.
-GREAT shots! And tight! Wow. Sniping skills are absolutely mandatory on this one.
-Such fun modes if you like horror. And plenty of em. The code on this game is incredible. Possibly Data East's best.
-The neon green on this game looks SO good under a blacklight. Do a search on this game and ways to trick it out with blacklight. Incredible.
-Great artwork and sounds. Love it.

The Bad:
-too much Cryptkeeper laughing.
-theme is definitely not everyone's cup of tea. And definitely an adult-themed pin. While I love it, I understand why this won't work in everyone's collection
6 years ago
TNA might be my favorite pinball game ever released. It's that game. Dang, now I have to figure out a way to buy one.

The Good:
-the best music in all of pinball. I say that as a professional music producer who's been in the industry for 15+ years. Scott, I'm so blown away with all of your talents; it almost feels unfair that you are that good of a composer/arranger as well. A+!!!!
-the best sounding pinball game in all of pinball. The sound system is 2nd-to-none.
-the artwork is OFF. THE. CHAIN. I am admittedly a child of the 80s and the nostalgia is high on this one for me, but I'm in love.
-the shots are incredible. SO much to shoot for, and the risk/reward ratio is so high.
-I love how the shots move around the pf and aren't always the same!! For instance, to blow up a reactor, you may have to hit the pop bumper, or hit one of the side targets on the left. Brilliant replay factor.
-SUCH an original theme with throwback to the great Bally layouts of the 80s! It was just so refreshing playing this after JJP #4: keep it simple!
-Love the Danesi drop target multiball contraption. Very cool new invention in pinball.
-Very good animations in the backbox for those watching. I think the game stands on its own without an LCD, which to me (like music standing on its own without slick production) is the sign of a great original product.
-quite possibly the FASTEST game in all of pinball. Quicksilver?
-Finished code upon release!! Stern, are you watching?
-One. More. Game.

The Bad:
-honestly, the game may not be everyone's cup of tea. It's very specific in its approach, but I love it.
-I've always felt like Spooky games have weird looking PFs. This is their best effort yet due to the artist, but it still has a cheaper look to it than vintage B/W/Sterns (1970s vintage)

Update: I own a copy now and stand by my original review. This game rocks.
6 years ago
I feel bad rating Houdini because the code is so far from finished, but since they brought it out to the public to play at Expo...

The Good:
-nice animation in the backbox.
-the cabinet design is gorgeous. Great engineering here.
-there are a lot of great shots in the pf design.
-the pinball throwing shot into the box is cool, but is a bit of a ripoff from Aerosmith
-great lighting effects. Compared to TNA, it's nothing to write home about but still a great effort

The Bad:
-Houdini has THE WORST video mode in all of pinball. It's that bad. Flinging cards at levitating hoops. And the latency is the throwing is beyond bizarre to me. It's like slow-motion card flinging. Seriously, I hope this mode either gets eliminated or seriously updated in subsequent code updates.
-This would have been a great game if released in the B/W heyday, but in's quite lackluster and nowhere near the competition of JJP or Spooky
-The pf artwork is pretty horrible. Something just looks wrong with the way Houdini himself looks.
-weak modes. It's probably the theme to me, but I feel like Pinball Magic and Theatre of Magic did a much better job incorporating cool modes based on the theme.

Not a great 1st product from a company that desperately needs a homerun on its first public venture
6 years ago
This is a great game from vintage Stern. As someone who has owned several vintage Sterns, this may be their best effort IMO.

The Good:
-shots galore
-drop targets galore
-the spinner shot rocks!
-sure the backglass shot is kinda bizarre, but I love how it integrates to the scoring on the playfield. I'm in the minority here in saying this but, I love it!
-INCREDIBLE ARTWORK! A masterpiece to look at

The Bad:
-the rules are NOT simple to understand. One of those "explain what I'm shooting for" games for sure
-I'm not sure exactly what it is about the old Sterns but many of them have this steep slingshot feel to them, and this game is no different. I just find the bottom portion of many of their playfields...weird. I just don't like how they feel. Seawitch felt exactly the same to me and is ultimately why she didn't last in my collection.
6 years ago
This game gets SO much love from pinheads, but I'm not buying it. That's even with me (guilty pleasure confession coming) being a pretty hardcore vintage Elton John fan! I understand the importance it holds in pinball history and the piece of artwork it truly is, but the gameplay is just WAY behind where pinball was at the time. I'd take my Fireball EM from several years prior over this game ANY DAY.

The Good:
-The art package. Breathtaking backglass and the playfield is gorgeous. WOW.
-A few decent shots, but quite limited for how many flippers there are!
-some decent rules if you truly wanna rack up the points
-the drops on the left are crucial for big points, and they're fun to snipe at. Unforunately...

The Bad:
-there are so few shots...
-wasted pf space IMO.
-lackluster gameplay. Perhaps I need to play a better example (the one I played was quite beat-up), but man I was expecting SO much more from this highly coveted (and priced) game!
-where's the spinner?????
6 years ago
1st: while I'm not one for buying "premium" versions of games, this is the ONLY way to go with this game IMO. The hyperspace metal loop is such a focal point for the theme and looks so much better. Don't cheap out on this one.

2nd: I REALLY liked this game and was not expected that. It gets so much flak here on Pinside, I was expected a weak game. Far from it. Star Wars has...

-GREAT shots! Sniping skills required folks. I'm not even a SR fan typically, but this game has a great layout, great flow (of course), and will keep you on your toes.
-FAST game. Most shots send the ball screaming back at you. Great design.
-Cool toys (not the best implementation of the theme (see below), but still cool).
-It's Star Wars! The theme is a homerun even if the game wasn't designed great (which it actually is).
-I like being able to have paths based on select-able characters. Nice choice.
-INCREDIBLE "dots." This is the 1st game I've seen from Stern where they really knocked it out of the park with their new LCD approach. Great UI and scenes for those not actually playing the game to enjoy.

-One of the weakest video modes I've ever played. Navigating a ship through an asteroid field is incredibly weak. With the screen, this is an opportunity missed. Hopefully, better video modes will be implemented in later code updates, which brings me to...
-Stern code. Seriously guys, you gotta stop releasing games with unfinished code. I would be so ticked if I bought this game only to sit around for a year or so to have the code finished. It's one of the main reasons why people are flocking to JJP over you: finish the code prior to release.
-There could have such cooler implementation of features and special effects. As mentioned below, something like "mist multiball" using the Force would have been incredible. Use the assets of the license!
-The game feels MUCH cheaper BOM-wise than any JJP, and it's around the same price. Not gonna work longterm. I realize I'm comparing but when there are only so many pinball dollars out there, you gotta compete.

In short: my favorite Steve Ritchie pin yet. I'm not a Stern fanboy by a longshot and was so pleasantly surprised by this game. Love it.
6 years ago
LAH is a really good Data East game. No, it's not TAF or anything up to the same level that B/W was producing at the top of their game, but it's also priced accordingly. To be frank, it's just good ole' plain pinball fun.

-some incredible toys and features for a budget pin
-the layout is (largely) very good. Several great shots that require some accurate sniping, including a great bank of drop targets that have to be knocked down accurately in order to access the crane. Love that there is a switch behind them that resets the whole bank if you miss!
-the dots and sound are fantastic. Great callouts, great clips. This game would probably look amazing with a color DMD.
-good modes that lead to a final wizard mode.
-fairly priced pin for a feature-packed DMD pin

-the shaker motor is going CONSTANTLY. While this is fun in moderation, it's a bit monotonous and honestly turns what I think would have been a great game into just a good game. Too much of a good thing IMO.
-the backglass is pretty horrible, as well as the movie the game is based on. YMMV
-not a huge fan of the placement of the 2 scoops in the center of the pf. Easy to hit and get in the way of several other shots.
-the lighting is constantly flashing and going off. Between this and the shaking it's like the game is a really insecure teenager shouting, "hey look at me! I've got features!!"
6 years ago
Well, the game is #1 for a reason. Everyone loves this game: novices and pros alike. It's the game that has gotten my oldest daughter into pinball, and for that I'll be forever grateful! It really is a great game. That said, I'm not sure it's worth the price of admission compared to other games that are every bit as fun. On the downside, I find the music incredibly repetitive and the score sort of "meh."

This specific version of the game (the remake) is absolutely stunning. It's perfect. The game plays flawlessly and I just don't care what everyone else says: it's better than the original. Why? Look I've played a perfect original and I've played the remake: the remake is newer, arguably more reliable, and I never have to worry about a light bulb going out! If you're wondering if you should get an original or the remake, don't even think about it: get a remake.
6 years ago
The Good:
-BRUTALLY HARD. Putting it on 3-ball almost feels unfair, but I can't let myself go to 5-ball on a SS game.
-The playfield layout is absolutely brilliant. Wow. Such great shots all over the place and every flipper serves a purpose. Truly, a brilliant layout.
-The artwork. While certainly not at the same level of his later stuff, Paul F serves up some delicious artwork on this one.
-Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide body that doesn't play like a widebody. For real, if Atari had come up with this layout for ANY of their widebodies, they would have been in the game much longer! This game, once properly setup and waxed, flies.
-The pop bumper area on the left is so cool. You've really gotta have your nudging skills down for that area. The whole table for that matter, requires good nudging skills. The saucers at the top require some nudging if you're gonna stay up there, and the right outlane is brutal if you gots no nudge game.
-Rip the spinner and go for the 5x. So rewarding when you hit those and so frustrating when you don't.
-Draining between the 2 right flippers is hard to not do. Trapping the ball just ain't gonna happen on that bottom flipper. Additionally, tap passes are required on this game and the Bally software lets you do it (unlike other manufacturers from different eras)

The Bad:
-the sounds man. C'mon Bally. The tech was definitely there to have much better sounds. This game may have even been better with chimes like the EMs. The sounds just don't draw you in like they should.
-I feel like another spinner on the right (i.e.: the early Sterns) would have been much cooler than what is up there. To be honest, the left flippers don't have nearly as many shots as the right.
-99.99% of Paragons have cupped inserts at this point. Like almost all of the early Sterns, Bally used non-star inserts which caused serious cuppage after only a few years. Even NOS PFs have cupped inserts. In addition, most Paragons have horribly beat up PFs due to the inserts sinking and the original operators not repairing them. Just realize that if you buy one, you're probably gonna have some insert work to do or the game isn't going to treat you fairly.

TAKEAWAY: Why is Fathom going for $4,000+ and Paragon isn't? Probably because they made so many, but let's be honest...finding a Paragon in great shape isn't easy. Most were played to death and the inserts....argh. I've owned Fathom and Skateball (and played a lot of Centaur) and honestly, this game is every bit as good. If you're on the fence about grabbing a Paragon, jump over.
6 years ago
Everybody knows about TX-Sector now. It's been revealed as the diamond-in-the-rough that it is (to be honest, most Trudeau games have been this way: CFTBL (long time ago), Robo-War (may be even better than TX), Congo, etc...). That said, as an owner perhaps I can shed a touch more light on the game in a relatively unbiased fashion.

-you've head it before, the sounds are absolutely incredible. Completely retro Sega Genesis quality. So fun.
-The layout is fantastic. Like...brilliant. So many great shots that feel so good to hit. Dang near perfection in the layout.
-The light show is quite impressive. Tied to the sound, it's a great effect.
-Multiball is appropriately challenging to get, which means it's rewarding.
-9 drop targets = fun
-2 spinner that love to rip
-The ball staging effect is kinda cool, but also not nearly as impressive when you realize that habit-trails under the playfield were like only a year off

-Not enough made (bummer for all you who really want one)
-The right ramp, if not setup properly, is brutally tough to make it up and around
-Suffers from typical Gottlieb issues of the time (grounding issues, WAY outdated MPU boards and overall tech, ridiculous wiring system makes repairs difficult, etc)
-Always having to have a ball staged for the game to start. If for some reason it isn't hiding in one of the transmitter locations, tough luck.
-Commands quite a price nowadays. In its day, TX was terrific value for a true pinball player's delight. Now it's a premium if you wanna join the club.
-The art. You gotta love it and hate it, but let's be honest: Constantino was certainly no Youssi

A good game. Not a Whirlwind or even a High Speed, but a really good game. The art is subjective obviously, but the sounds are not...they rock. And so does the layout. Play it on your iPad. If you like on that, you'll really dig it in real life.

UPDATE: Well, TX is gone. Sitting next to Andromeda, Barracora, and Robo-War, it just didn't get played nearly as much. In the end, I like TX but didn't love it. A simple game, but one that I found guests never really gravitated towards, and the outlanes beat the crap out of me! Glad to have owned it, but also not missing it
6 years ago
You might think it would be cool to own Williams last game'd be wrong. Pass
6 years ago
I tried. I'm a big fan in rooting for the uncool, unknown pins. While Frankenstein is hardly rare, it's not necessarily a popular one.

The shots feel awful. I don't even understand why they needed the 3rd flipper except for 1 shot. What a waste. The whole layout just feels forced and sloppy compared to anything from B/W at the time. Everyone disses DE games for copying B/W layouts like Whirlwind, TAF, etc... but this deck reveals why: they just didn't have a great feel for how to layout shots with good geometry.

The music is pretty poor (regardless of the MIDI version of the Winters' tune), the call outs repetitive, and the whole centerpiece of the game really isn't all that cool once you see it. The DMD animations are fair, and the art is pretty good (it's a Faris piece so it can't be that bad!), but overall I'd pass if I were you. To each his own I suppose.
6 years ago
MNF is no joke a fun game. It's never gonna rank up there in the Top 50 or even 100 but that's not the point. It's got a great theme and it exploits it well. 3 Ball multiball and a ramp shot that puts the ball between the goal posts! What's not to like?
6 years ago
Another Gottlieb "should of, could of" game. Compared to NGG of around the same era, this game is ultra bad. The layout is terrible and you never get any good flow going. The shots are boring and weird. He art is meh, sounds are meh, animations are meh. The only thing I really dig was the gopher topper, which still should have been better designed than how it was. Premiere, you guys just pumped out games too fast and didn't take the time to let your designers TWEAK your games to perfection! Bummer.
6 years ago
Street Fighter 2: how could anyone possibly screw up this license?? Truth be told, this pin gets a lot of flak here on Pinside and I don't think it's that bad. No, it's not nearly as good as it could and should have been, but how can you fault the designers when Gottlieb was forcing them to pump games out to market so fast (with no code revisions allowed!)?? I digress.

SF2 is a pretty easy game; great for newbies and young players. It's. It's not hard to beat all opponents and end up in the "wizard mode." There's some interesting shots and the whole theme/art/sound is well-known. The game instantly feels "familiar."

Sadly, like so many other Gottliebs of this era, the game just falls flat. It doesn't feel like a quality game, the shots are meh, the artwork terrible (again, how do you screw this up?!), and the animations atrocious. While probably one of the better Premiere decks from this era, that's not saying much. Could of, should of...
6 years ago
Another letdown from the once great pinball manufacturer Gottlieb. While I'd take this game over Freddy any day, it's still just a poor design with a license attached to it, rushed to market. The layout is awful, the art atrocious, and it plays like Mariah Carey on New Years Eve. What should be a really unique, fun approach to pinball (like Gomez's "NBA" game), just falls completely flat. Bummer.
6 years ago
Raven really isn't all that bad. Obviously the art sucks but once you get past that, it's a nice Trudeau layout! To be honest, it's a brutally hard game! There's many close up shots that will send your ball SDTM. Additionally, the sniper pop-ups (yes, a la Medieval Madness!) will knock your r ball right back at you incredibly fast. While this game is not multiball, don't let that deter you (personally, I think this game is the perfect game for a returns project), this deck is a FUN one. Play on!
6 years ago
I was surprised by this one. Not being a huge Stern fan, I really enjoyed the way this game played. Of course, being a SRP game doesn't hurt! I need more time on this deck to give it a more accurate rating, but what little I did play, I really enjoyed. The open layout, the AFM center shot, the Doc Ock shot, and the fan layout works really well on this game! One of the few Sterns I feel is worthy of its position on the charts.
6 years ago
This game is going to go up in value. Here's the deal: the theme is awesome. If you like the show, the game is a riot. The Ipacac mode is just as funny as it was on the show!! Love it.

Unfortunately, I just don't think it's all that much fun to play. The layout is weird, and just doesn't feel right. Hitting the beer can is completely unsatisfying and it's ridiculously hard to make your way into the Clam. Stewie pinball, while cool, takes up a lot of real estate and unlike TZ (another Lawlor pin), feels like it's eating up a lot of good space (this is a standard size game unlike TZ being a wide-body). Then again, I hate decks that have 2 levels (Black Knight, Solar Fire, BK2K, Lightning, etc...).

The callouts are absolutely hilarious (fart humor never gets lost on me), the animations are great, the art is arguably one of the best from the early Stern-era (due to not being overly Photoshopped), but it just feels a bit cheap and rushed. It's no mystery that Lawlor did not enjoy his time at Stern, and I feel like it shows a bit on this game. Maybe I need to give it more time, but what should have been a homerun for me felt more like a double.

UPDATE: The more I play this game, the more I like it. It's just so darn funny! I really want one. Scores updated accordingly.
6 years ago
Not really a true pinball machine in the purist sense, but a cool idea. Feels like a game you'd play at Chuck E. Cheese's or something like that. Would definitely make money on location, but not something I'd ever want to own. I guess it's a cool swap-out for the system overall but I find it quite repetitive and boring.
6 years ago
I know I'm in the minority here, but I just don't dig this pin. The entire table feels crammed and small due to the closeness of many of the shots. While BOP has a similar feel, I like that game SOOOO much more. I always find myself bored by this table, and I'm a huge Trudeau fan! I'll try to put more time on this game, but for now, I'm just not digging it.
6 years ago
Robo-War is a good game. Once it hits the Pinball app, it may have a similar effect on the market as TX sector. Definitely pairs well with that game!

-you've head it before, the sounds are absolutely incredible. Completely retro Sega Genesis quality. So fun.
-The layout is fantastic. You can clearly tell that the guys needed to crank out another pin and went to a tried and true, classic design. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that. It's a very basic design that flows and just works.
-The premise of the game is to just blow crap up with your pinball. Extremely satisfying
-The light show is quite impressive. Tied to the music, it's a great effect.
-Multiball is appropriately chanllenging to get, which means it's rewarding. Tough to get up that ramp without having some velocity heading into the flipper
-Artwork is cool (if you're into sci-fi)
-Drop target delight
-The in-lanes design is so fun
-Ripping spinner
-Much better display than previous Gottlieb system

-Not enough made
-Suffers from typical Gottlieb issues of the time (grounding issues, WAY outdated MPU boards and overall tech, ridiculous wiring system makes repairs difficult, etc)
-A great game for 1985!! Unfortunately this game came out much later than that. It just couldn't keep up with games of the same time (Taxi, etc)
-"Destroy ____" callouts can get a bit old after awhile
-Not satisfying enough finish to destroying all the bases. It just restarts to base 3. Feels like they could have at least said something like "well done." Same thing when completing all letters in "ROBOWAR," no affirmation in completing an objective. Minor quibble, but wouldn't have taken that much more memory to throw in!

Overall, it's a very good game! I'd compare this a bit to Barracora (which is a better game IMO) in terms of simple objectives, drop targets galore, and multiball. Robo-War may not be a Top 100 game, but it's pure fun nonetheless.

UPDATE: the longer this game is in my collection, the more I love it. It def gets more play than all my other games (which include many A-tier games). I feel confident saying that this games completely eclipses TX-Sector in terms of greatness and yet is much less well-known. Cheers to Robo-war!
6 years ago
SUCH a great underrated pin. While I won't say anything here that hasn't been said before, I will say this: believe the hype: JM is a great game. If you can't get over the theme, that's me and I'll buy your game!
6 years ago
Champion Pub: this is a tough game to review. While it's not a bad game, it's not a great game either. So much to do on it, but so little that's actually fun. Who wants to play jump rope in pinball?!

Not my most favorite pin, but definitely play it every time I see it at a friend's. I could take it or leave it, but at the price it currently fetches, I'm leaving it.
6 years ago
What a great pin! Not much I can say that hasn't already been said. SO deep and possibly the most tricked out Stern pin to date. Definitely would have been a Premium had Stern been doing this model back then. My only complaint is the quality of music: so poor. I really wish Stern had the technology/resources to make a better soundtrack than they did. It's like listening to a cheap General MIDI Casio keyboard play the Simpsons theme. That said, it doesn't detract in any way from the fun of the game. Instant classic that deserves its place in Pinside's Top 100! I want one! :)
6 years ago
I really enjoyed this game and would definitely consider owning one! Despite all the crap it gets, I think it earns high marks.

The Good:
-a great playfield layout: it should be as it's basically a new take on T2 from the same designer
-SUPER fun with fantastic callouts from the T800 himself
-The cannon shot in the backglass: sure it's gimmicky and you learn how to nail it quickly, but it's a cool gimmick that I liked and thought was well implemented
-the music and light show is great. Animations are very well done as well.
-relatively cheap pin for the amount of fun it is!

The Bad:
-Ugh. Cut and paste Photoshop job. So glad that we are past these horrible days from Stern. Such an ugly playfield that could/should have been beautiful. I mean, just look at the T2 playfield next to the T3: night and day.
-Not very deep and the modes get old after a few plays
-Nothing incredibly original in the pf design or DMD animations. T2 did it, and arguably did it better.

Not a bad pin at all. Nothing revolutionary, but definitely a great SR to own.
6 years ago
Ghostbusters is just a fun pin to play. The artwork!!!! OMG, THANK YOU Stern for finally listening to your fans and critics. It is about time that pinball had a resurgence in being an artform vs a simple cut and paste Photoshop mess.

The Good:
-SUPER fun game to play with some incredible toys
-killer modes with clear objectives
-GREAT playfield toys in the Scoleri brothers and Slimer
-very well designed playfield. Perhaps this is JT's best work yet? Tight shots, multiple objectives for each flipper, great ramps that are FUN!
-The Screamer is absolutely hilarious and terrifying the 1st time. WOW.
-good callouts from the original movie
-THANK YOU Stern for spending the $$ to get the license right (callouts, faces, music, etc). I know it costs a lot of money, but it's so worth it
-Fantastic use of the DMD. The end of an era, which brings me to...

The Bad:
-It's a DMD game in 2016. I am fully aware that Stern is now onto the TV kick, but's 2016!
-That flipper gap is tough! Not necessarily bad, but certainly annoying! ;)
-Some of the modes & callouts get a little old after replaying it a few times ("who brought the dog...")

The 1st Stern pin in a long time IMO that is truly worth owning. Really enjoyed this game and would be completely open to owning one!
7 years ago
I need to put more time on this deck, but wow. I was not expecting this.

When you look at the layout, Hobbit looks ridiculously simple and boring. But once you start playing, you start to see the little details and uniqueness of this game. The music, the rules, the animations: all brilliant. While some of the callouts get a bit old, I REALLY liked this game (and honestly didn't want to!). I liked it more than LOTR and WOZ, and that's saying a lot! Play before you buy, but definitely play!!

UPDATE: put more time on this deck and while I really do like the game, it just Not sure exactly what it is, but the modes feel repetitive, the rules aren't all that clear, and after putting 30 minutes or so on the deck, it leaves me feeling wanting. I love some of the features, like "pick your skill shot" and the LCD animations, but overall it just feels very repetitive. :(
7 years ago
Nine Ball is absolutely a hidden gem game. More people need to know about this game.

Here's the honest truth: for a pinball player, Nine Ball rocks. It's loaded with shots and is sniper-tough to hit those shots at the right time. Many of them are timed and it's an absolute blast to play in competition play. For a newbie though, Nine Ball makes absolutely no sense and they typically walk away after a ball or two. The rules are odd and the shots seem random. BUT, once you know what you're doing (watch the PAPA Gameplay video here), it's an unbelievable game (like the game of pool!). If you want a game to play with your pinball buddies, this is it.

The sound is atrocious. While honestly not that bad when you're actually playing, it's so annoying to listen to if you're not. Just the same sound repeating over and over. But, consider the year it came out.

The artwork is absolutely superb. NO ONE made art like classic Stern did (except maybe Zaccaria): Nine Ball, Seawitch, Catacomb... Seriously, this game is a looker. Wow. Gorgeous backglass, playfield, and cabinet. Bright oranges and purples. Love it.

What a great game. I wish that I liked the clunky feel of classic Sterns a bit more, but I do really like this game. Like I said, this is a hidden gem that will one day be found out. For now, I'm glad I got mine beforehand!!
7 years ago
Fun for a few games, but man do the callouts get old. So repetitious. Not a great game by any means, and certainly not one that will be a "hidden gem" someday. Play a game and walk on by.
7 years ago
IMO, an overrated Ritchie game. My score doesn't reflect it because of rating so high in technical areas but I just don't dig it! Great music and theme, great animations and sound, great gimmicks and use of flashers, bizarre layout and bad, tight shots that feel...unsatisfying. If you dig it, more power to ya but not for me.
7 years ago
Overall I really like Torpedo Alley. It's a short run game that should have more love for it. That said, there are a few things that the game has going against it. I'll attempt to run down most things as it's hard to find (esp in the US) and you may want to know if it's worthy of your hard-earned cash or not...

Let's get this out of the way: the translite is 80s awful. Almost so bad that it's actually good. You be the judge of if you can stand it or not. There's plenty of pics of what it is on the site here.

The game's lighting is good, but extremely annoying. Lots of good flashes and whatnot, but the GI goes out so often (it even pulses in sync with the music at points) that it's so easy to lose view of the ball! To be honest, it's obnoxious and way over-done. I couldn't even play the game without ambient light lighting up the playfield at all times. Not a deal-breaker, but something to be aware of.

The music is good and changes depending on the mode and ball, and the callouts are tongue-in-cheek (at one point a woman says "ayuga, ayuga"). It's not great, but it fits the theme.

This game has some of the best usage of an alphanumeric display I ever seen. It's well before the DMD era but those guys did a great job with the animations on what limited displays they had. A+

I LOVE the habittrails all over the game. The way you lock multiballs with shooting the ramps is so creative and well done. It's awesome. Additionally, if you LED the game out with blues, it looks fantastic. Now comes my biggest gripe with the game: the shots. This game is a real quarter-eater. You really can't shoot for any of the close-up shots (the left yellow targets, the center blue targets, or the red laser kick target) because if you do, you will drain way too often. Which basically leaves 3 long shots from the bottom of the playfield (the spinner on the left, the spinner on the right, or the ramp on the right (which is really hard to hit!)). Once up on the playfield, you can take advantage of the upper right flipper to hit more shots, which is cool, but I just wish the close shots weren't so dangerous.

Overall a fine Claude Fernandez deck. If I had gotten in on this game before the price skyrocketed, I definitely would've kept it (within a year the game jumped from like $400 to close to $2k!). Just couldn't get over the lack of workable shots combined with the value of the game.
7 years ago
Super fun game where my overall score won't reflect how enjoyable it is. It's just dated now (art and sound), but a truly great starting point for the company!
7 years ago
If Skateball had better art and multiball, it would be right up there with Fathom and Centaur. The shots are fantastic and the rules are well laid out. Drop target delight. 4 flippers means lots of shots (the geometry on this deck is seriously good). Plus I love the brief reprieve you get when hitting the saucer shot.

The sounds are also really fun, with the waves crashing (white noise). No voice, which let's be honest: what the heck is a game called "Skateball" going to say to you? "Shoot for the mustache!" "Don't tilt the shaggin wagon!" The sounds work just fine as is.

Unfortunately, it's not multi-ball which turns off a lot of players. The artwork is also distinctively late 70s/early 80s, which I personally love, though it obviously doesn't have the timeless punch of a Fathom.

If you're looking for a great player with tons of shots, lots of drops, and great rules: grab a deck and go!
7 years ago
Finally got the chance to play this gem...and I'm pleasantly surprised! AMH is a very good game. The artwork initially turned me off, but this game is a player. The geometry of the game is fantastic. The only drawback would be the kickout hole, which is incredibly unreliable. So unreliable that they had to program an autosave after every time the ball kicks out. Knocking the ghost around is a lot of fun, as is watched the ball go down the elevator for multiball lock. The game definitely has an "unprofessional" feel to it (it doesn't play anything like a Stern, Williams, Bally, etc...) but not in a bad way. It just feels...different.

Not a fan of the green DMD as all the animations are hard on the eyes. Seriously at this price, where is the LCD?

All in all, not a bad effort. In fact, it's a great 1st effort from a company that I truly hope to succeed and get more games into the marketplace! Highly recommend you giving this one a try.
7 years ago
Congo is a fantastic game! I totally see why it was neglected for years and used to fetch a low price as the artwork and theme are pretty lame. That said, this game is a SOLID player! I love this game and would like to snag one someday for the right price!
7 years ago
Banzai Run has quickly become one of those pins that people will spend more than they should on. Yes the design is absolutely unique; there's absolutely nothing else like it! Unfortunately, I just don't think it's a great game (i.e.: there's a reason there aren't any other vertical pins like this).

The bottom playfield is really not laid out all that well. Without the top part, it would be a terrible game. The game really relies on the top portion, which just feels weird. It's a cool gimmick but not something I would want to stand around and play for hours on end.

Because I have a limited pinball budget, whenever I think of buying/trading for something, I always think of "is this game worth what it costs?" If BR was a $2000 game, maybe it would be worth it. It's no $4500 game though. Pass.
7 years ago
Banzai Run has quickly become one of those pins that people will spend more than they should on. Yes the design is absolutely unique; there's absolutely nothing else like it! Unfortunately, I just don't think it's a great game (i.e.: there's a reason there aren't any other vertical pins like this).

The bottom playfield is really not laid out all that well. Without the top part, it would be a terrible game. The game really relies on the top portion, which just feels weird. It's a cool gimmick but not something I would want to stand around and play for hours on end.

Because I have a limited pinball budget, whenever I think of buying/trading for something, I always think of "is this game worth what it costs?" If BR was a $2000 game, maybe it would be worth it. It's no $4500 game though. Pass.
7 years ago
Banzai Run has quickly become one of those pins that people will spend more than they should on. Yes the design is absolutely unique; there's absolutely nothing else like it! Unfortunately, I just don't think it's a great game (i.e.: there's a reason there aren't any other vertical pins like this).

The bottom playfield is really not laid out all that well. Without the top part, it would be a terrible game. The game really relies on the top portion, which just feels weird. It's a cool gimmick but not something I would want to stand around and play for hours on end.

Because I have a limited pinball budget, whenever I think of buying/trading for something, I always think of "is this game worth what it costs?" If BR was a $2000 game, maybe it would be worth it. It's no $4500 game though. Pass.
7 years ago
Pinheads seem to love Shadow. It's certainly a popular game these days. Alas, I just haven't been able to share most people's enthusiasm about this game. Caveat: I haven't seen the movie and know almost nothing about the character. That said, I just find the game "so so." Not a bad game by any means, just doesn't hold my attention long term. I'd rather save my money and get 2 classic pins over this one.
7 years ago
Fathom is one of those games that no one noticed for a long time. It was available to be picked up for a cheap bargain in fact. Then somewhere along the way, someone noticed the fantastic art package and the decent gameplay, and the price skyrocketed through the roof.

Personally, I love the way this game looks! It's beautiful. But ultimately, I'm much less impressed with how the game actually plays. I've played two copies of this game now and I felt that what looked to be a great layout left me wanting so much more. It feels clunky to me, the shots don't feel quite right, and it even lagged a bit IMO. I really wanted to love this game but ultimately the gameplay is a turn off for me.

UPDATE: Played this one a few more times recently, and I'm getting it now. It is a truly addicting game ("I was SO close to getting that multiball!!") that demands one more play. Not a huge fan of the way the early 80s Bally flipper system feels (it does feel like it lags a bit, like you have to time shots differently than other games), but that's a minor gripe. The only design flaw I can find in the layout is the shot straight to the top right bumper. Not sure what Ward could have done with that space, but that spot feels like a waste. Cool game!
7 years ago
Star gate is one of the better Premiere games made. For the price, it's quite a pin! Lots of cool toys, some great geometry, and a lot of fun.

The game itself is gorgeous as it's loaded with wire forms and super cool toys. The pyramid hides a super cool animated alien feature that must be seen.

I love the shots on this game! It's a unique layout that strays far from what was popular and overdone at the time. You can tell that someone invested a lot of time getting those shots just right.

The bad: the callouts are pretty repetitive ("shoot the pyramid"). It's a Gottlieb so the hardware needs to be debugged (grounding issues). It's a Premiere so the flippers feel a little cheap to me compared to B/W. Red DMD looks lame to me.

I like this game and wouldn't mind spending more time on this deck!
7 years ago
Metallica is a GREAT game. It is well deserving of it's spot in the Top 20. Obviously, you're going to need to least somewhat like Metallica's music, but IMO it's the perfect pinball soundtrack. Unfortunately, you have to listen to Lars do callouts, which is pretty lame. Get past that though, cause this is a killer game!

The light show is bar none. Two different colored lights in some spots make the game pop! The gimmicks are awesome (the snake that eats your ball, the hammer that drops the ball into the playfield, the electric chair, etc) and make the game very inviting to non-pinheads. The flow is absolutely non-stop and it just feels FUN!

As a non-Stern fan overall, this may be their best game ever. The artwork is second-to-none (how many Stern games can really claim that?) and the theme is absolutely perfect. It's juvenile fun at it's best: pinball!
7 years ago
I have never watched the show, but I really dug this game! It's from Stern's "cheap" era, and the artwork is nothing to write home about. That said, it's a pretty hilarious game. A talking fish (sleep with the fishes), some naughty girls on poles, and pretty good flow happening here. I honestly didn't think I'd dig it, but it's quite fun.

That said, it's a bit easy. I achieved the highest level on my first game as it's really just shoot the safe, shoot the safe, shoot the safe. I could see where this game would get old fast in a personal collection, but on location, I bet this game did quite well. As others have said, it starts a bit slow but as you progress, it's very enjoyable (perhaps similar to TZ in that regard).

Fun. Not great, but fun!
7 years ago
I really like Mystery Castle. It's a very good game. Unfortunately, it's not a $4000+ game and that's why I had to sell mine.

Like every good pinball, MC has great vibe. It's funny, quirky, and even a bit creepy. What a great theme. Like everyone else has said, it has a terrific sound package. The music and the callouts are incredibly original, and don't get old after play upon play. Additionally, the light package is 2nd to none. Wow, what a show!

As my man Caucasian mentioned, you can hit a shot straight up the middle into the pops, have it hit nothing, and then come screaming back down only to drain. Yep, that was a design flaw IMO. That said, most of the shots are really great! There's plenty of close shots, and plenty of far away ones. The shots from the upper left flipper are quite difficult to hit just right as the lanes are incredibly tight. Personally, I love this but it definitely adds a challenge to the casual player.

What's tough about MC is that it came out right around the time of Addams Family. It doesn't handle a candle to that game. It just doesn't have the excellence of design that that era of B/W did, and that's ultimately why Alvin G didn't last as a company: they just couldn't compete. The wizard mode isn't anything to write home about; kind of boring in fact. It's just shot any target and rack up a bunch of points. Really could have been a much cooler mode at the end. Honestly, if the game was still a $2,000 game, I'd still have it in my lineup. I just couldn't justify keeping it when it's worth so much but doesn't have quite the staying power of a $4k+ game (for me, those are few and far between).

Thinking about buying one? Let me give a few things to look out for:
-like 60% of the playing surface is that giant plastic ramp. Sadly, Alvin G cut costs on the plastics and used some pretty thin material. Make sure there's no serious cracks in the ramps. Cosmetic stuff is no biggie, but you don't want to have major issues that are going to cause the game to play poorly.
-the cabinets Alvin G used were again, pretty poor quality. The wood is somewhat brittle. Make sure your cab isn't in awful shape unless you like doing a lot of bondo work.
-The drop targets will probably need to be replaced if they're original. They develop hairline cracks at the base and become brittle. Just letting you know. Marco has them for sale if needed.
-Get the latest roms. Well worth the update.
-Make sure the flippers are nice and tight. If you have to replace anything on the flippers, you may need to do an entire rebuild using Williams parts as the Alvin G stuff isn't repro'ed.
-Make sure none of the plastics are cracked. Again, no repros.

Good luck!! You'll need it... ;)
7 years ago
Yes, it's Superman. Yes, it was designed by Steve Ritchie. Yes, it's a BEAUTIFUL looking game. No, I didn't think it was very much fun.

Atari pins were some of the most colorful and beautiful looking games. Unfortunately, they were all widebodies, that just felt clunky and oversized for no good reason. This game is no exception to me. I was bummed playing it because it just looked so good, but the ball moved so slow and I got quite bored by ball 2. For me, I'd rather pass this one up and play something from another company. And good luck finding parts for these old Ataris...
7 years ago
Not sure I can add anything here that others haven't said but:
-a FANTASTICLY fun game!!
-great callouts
-TONS of gimmicks that come together to make a really cool game (they really threw everything at this game!)
-Bad artwork IMO
-Excellent build quality
-GREAT shots
-Monotonous due to the objectives ALWAYS being in the exact same order every game (calling mystery programmer!)

Overpriced at this point in pin history, but a REALLY fun game that I'd be happy owning someday.
7 years ago
I own Black Hole, love Haunted House, and was so pumped to play this game....but was ultimately disappointed. Everyone raves about how great of a game Spirit is, and that it's the best of the Gottlieb "monster" games from that era. Maybe I need more time on this deck, but I gotta tell you that Black Hole is still my fav (perhaps this game has a slight edge over HH, but not much)!

Trudeau's 2nd game and it shows. It honestly feels like randomly placed shots all over the place with no real feeling of flow. While I dig the mini-flippers in the outlanes, I just couldn't get into this game. If it were cheaper, sure grab one. But as it stands, they go for such ridiculous prices here in the US (most of these games went overseas). Decent background sounds, but nothing great. The artwork? Okay, it is a beautiful game (as all the "monster" games had). Decent but not great IMO.

For my money, I'd rather play a brutally fast and furious game of Black Hole!
7 years ago
OMG: Barracora ROCKS. One of Oursler's first games and possibly his best. Story has it that he designed the table without any theme ideas. After all the shots were laid out and the engineering portion was done, he came downstairs one day to see the prototype with all the weird "hot chick meets fish" theme and was like, "what the....?!!"

FANTASTIC shots, really great rules, a cool horseshoe shot, great sounds, 3-ball multiball, a great spinner, and the individual drop targets all combine together for one heck of a game. Seriously, this game might be my new favorite out of the 100s I've played. It's that good.

UPDATE: it's been in my home for 3 years and it still is my favorite game! SO GOOD.
7 years ago
Oh how badly I wanted to love this game........terrible. All the other reviews you're seeing here are spot on: it's just a bad game. The sounds are TERRIBLE quality (most of the late Bally games pre-Williams buyout suffered from this), but the playfield layout is absolutely DREADFUL. What the heck was JT thinking on this one?! I love Looney Tunes and wished this game were better (albeit the artwork is really good, but it's not an art piece!). It really is bad and not worth whatever price you're seeing it available for. Walk away friend...
7 years ago
What a fantastic little game that is hard to come by! Seriously, if you can find one with the topper... They must have thrown everything but kitchen sink at this one. LOTS of gimmicks from the old-school animated backglass, a playfield feature that spins and changes the way that side of the playfield plays, video mode, etc... The next game that threw in this many gimmicks to me is probably Pinball Magic.

Unfortunately, lots of gimmicks don't mean that the game has lasting power. I put several games in on this one, and while I definitely liked it, I'm not sure how long it would stay in my collection. A LOT of stop-and-go here and game times usually go quite long due to the standard Gottlieb flipper position (the flipper go almost 90 degrees which makes for VERY easy ball trapping) and the post in the center of the flipper at the bottom.

If I found one for the right price, I'd definitely grab it but like SOOOO many Gottliebs from this era, it just doesn't have the best flow, feel, or playfield layout. Ultimately, it just didn't compete play-wise with so many other games from the same era.

And scene...
7 years ago
Man, this game gets dogged! It's a really fun game and a great player! Fine by me...keeps the price low for when I actually want to buy one!

People complain about the helicopter slows the game down, but man I love it! Sooo stinking cool. The music is fantastic, and while the artwork is pretty bad, it fits the theme well. There's some great shots on this game, and the rules aren't bad either. I love grabbing the bonus drop from the helicopter into a hole on one of the plastics. Very creative thought went into this one.

I really enjoyed this game, way more than I thought I would. Let the haters hate...I'm digging Rescue 911!
7 years ago
Being a touring musician myself, I really wanted to like this game! Alas, pass...

The layout plays horrible, the ball gets stuck all over the place, and there's just very little flow on this game. The artwork leaves MUCH to be desired, the callouts are annoying, and the gimmicks are things that Williams and others had already done, but to a much better degree. Everything about this game is "pass" to me. Sorry Alvin...
7 years ago
Totally a "decent" game. Nothing stand-out, but nothing terrible either! If you see one for the right price, jump on it!

Long story short, the playfield is broken up quite similar to "Black Knight" (which I despise) but IMO plays much better. There's some cool shots to make and some cool animation modes as well. The backglass features a poker-type matching game that, while cool to pack into a game, slows down the flow of the game as well. Personally, I think the artwork on the playfield is quite cool and the wood stain underneath it (a la say CV but a much reddish, darker stain) looks beautiful.

Not a bad game, but not enough to save a fledgling company either. :(
7 years ago
Okay! So I guess I'm one of the only people who have played this game and taken the time to rate it. I'll do my best for ya. ;)

LONG STORY SHORT: It's really a shame that this game didn't get made. It really did have some amazing potential!

LONG STORY: This game was never released, but exists in the form of 9 prototypes. Here's the tricky part: each of the prototypes are a little different from one another, so depending on which version you play, you might have a completely different playing game. For example, at least 1 of the prototypes used the larger "Kong" flippers on the bottom of the playfield; another has an upkicker in the spot where others have a ramp. So which version am I rating? Today I was honored to play several games on prototype #9 of 9, which means that it is the most current version they made (i.e.: closest to market).

Overall, the theme is BOSS. This game is a standard non-DMD Data East game (alphanumeric), which means that it was released before the King Kong movie remake, which may be why the game wasn't released (not a popular license at the time). The backglass is killer, the artwork gorgeous (way to go K'OC!), and the sounds superb (way to go Brian Schmidt!). As is typical with most Data East games, the stereo separation is fantastic and the musical score is really good!

The game has 3 flippers: 2 regular ones at the bottom and an oversized "Kong" flipper top-right. There's a skill shot that is very similar to Whirlwind in that you're trying to hit the target that's flashing on the left. The rules were VERY close to being finished, but definitely needed some final tweaking. Same with the layout: there are several places on the playfield where the ball slows too much, or gets stuck, or the shot just doesn't feel quite right. For instance, the ramp at the back of the game has a brutally steep incline...too steep.

The slings have Kong on them that react in the same way that Elvira and the Party Monsters do. Probably the coolest thing about the game though is that when you smack the ball up the ramp, it locks into a cannon (remember this is pre-T2) that you shoot at just the right time to lock King Kong in a cage on the other side of the playfield! Very cool feature that must be timed right for the maximum bonus score.

Overall, it's not the deepest game but really should have been finished! I mean, they were SOOOO close. The game I played was purchased from Mike Pacak for around $4500 (definitely a steal of a deal). How Mike got the game, I'll never know, but apparently he was selling a few of them at the time. If you get the chance to play the game, give it a go. It's not a Top 100 game for sure, but definitely is a decent player that has some great sounds, great artwork, a cool theme, and some fun gimmicks! "King Kong! The 8th Wonder of the World!"
7 years ago
The artwork may be my favorite on any game to date. It blends the theme perfectly and the violent sirens on the playfield and backglass are beautiful. I love the colors of the cab. Over the past 35 years, the light blues have yellowed to a seafoam green, which is one of the coolest colors ever. Bob Timm, how did you only do 2 games??

I'll have more to post once my restore is complete, but from what I've played so far, I like!

UPDATE: ultimately a major letdown for me. I just did not like the way this game played. Sold it within months of a MAJOR restore. The upper shots are ridiculously hard to hit. The geometry of this game is just poor sadly. Could/should have been a great game. :(

UPDATE #2: I still stand by my update, which really sucks for me. I WANT to love this game. The art and sound is fantastic, but the shots are just not there. The geometry to the loop on BOTH left and right sides is just plain off. It's incredibly hard to get up there, and not in a "rewarding" way, but more of luck. Everyone seems to be jonesing for this game all of a sudden, and I get it: she is gorgeous. But like certain outwardly gorgeous ladies out there, there's just something missing when you really get to the heart of it.
8 years ago
Another game where my score doesn't reflect how much I really enjoy it! I really dug this rare(ish) Gottlieb.

The playfield is quite open and there's tons to shoot for. I also really dug the theme; reminds of Wizards and Warriors for some reason. It plays well, looks great, and like all the system 80a pins, sounds like a Sega Genesis (in an awesome way). Feels a lot like an EM game with a ramp!

If you see this pin, play it! If it's for sale cheap, buy it. Fun one that rates low, but shouldn't.
8 years ago
So everyone all of a sudden loves SoF, but is it really as good as the hype says? While I won't speak for all, I didn't find it to be worthy of the hype. Yes, it's a very cool layout and the sounds are pretty rad (though the sword sound every time you press the flipper button can get really old), but gameplay itself just didn't do it for me. After a few games, I was ready to move on. Another "cool to play at someone else's house" pin for me. Now, when the game could be found for under a grand, sure! After all the "LIONMAN" posts though, good luck snagging one cheap.

The little trails in the game are cool (esp the cave), but I felt like there just wasn't enough to shoot for. Wanted it to be better, but just found myself bored. Maybe I need more time on this deck; maybe it's overhyped.
8 years ago
This game is right where it should be: around the 200 mark. Not a great game, but a cool one from Gottlieb. Very odd layout that actually plays well. The best part about this pin is the sound. Of course, everyone dogs the trans but the game itself isn't too bad. Don't think I'd want to own one but fun to play when it's at someone else's house. ;)
8 years ago
This game is....pretty awful. A neat attempt at creating a unique looking pin-game, but this (like Hercules) just feels clunky and terribly unnecessary. If you want a head-turning conversation piece, buy a Hercules. At least that game is an Atari?
8 years ago
The first and last of its kind!! And for good reason.

I really wanted to like Hercules! It looks so cool. But the hype is true: it plays terrible. In some ways, it's not as bad as I thought it would be; in other ways, it's worse. There's just not much to shoot at, there isn't much skill involved, and the whole affair just feels overly clunky and unnecessary. If you're looking for a unique conversation piece, sure grab one...otherwise, I'd steer clear.
8 years ago
D&D grew on me. For me, the theme doesn't mean anything (I have never played D&D outside of the pin) but the game is absolutely GORGEOUS. To playfield artwork, the plastics, the cab, the's all fantastic looking. At first, I found the gameplay boring with most of the shots being off the tippity tip of the flipper. After awhile though, I realized that the scoring is much stronger if you actually go for the targets (which aren't all off the tip). Let me say this: had this game had drop targets instead of standard targets, I think its rating would be much higher. The standard targets just sort of feel...uninspired.

One of the coolest things about this game are the outlanes. You have to "save" your ball by using the alternate flipper buttons. Very challenging and very cool. Why haven't more designers integrated this into a game?

D&D is without a doubt the FASTEST pin I've ever played. Even angled at 6 degrees, it's blazing fast. Some of those target shots come firing back at you, the pop bumpers are blazing, and the outlanes don't help. This is not a game for newbies: it's challenging! It also has the HARDEST shot in all of pinball: the Mystical Million shot. For all the reasons already listed here, it's brutally hard to get (can't do it with multiball, it resets every ball, and it's WAY up the ramp on the farthest right at the top). Good luck getting that more than 1 out of every 50 games.

Build quality is pretty terrible: the cabinet is made of MDF, the sound card is truly horrendous (like a Radio Shack knock-off of a Sega Genesis--but not in a cool TX Sector sort of way) leaving a really low bit-depth on every sound and musical note, and the game generally feels "cheap." But you don't play the cabinet, the music (though low quality) is pretty addictive, and who cares if it feels cheap?!

I may end up regretting selling my D&D, but I really wanted something in the Top 100. D&D is a solid "higher than a Top 100" pin but (unless you really dig the theme) probably not something for small(er) collections like mine. Fun game that truly grew on me.
8 years ago
"Unnecessary" would be my 1-word review. I love BOP and really wanted to like this game. That said, it's not a BAD game at all. It's just that, IMO, it doesn't add anything to the game that truly needed to be there. Sure it evens out scoring and gets you to shoot at different things, but it's still the same playfield. I guess if you've always wanted to have BOP be a tournament pin, this helps but to me, people gravitate to BOP because of the incredibly unique theme, the beautiful artwork, and the "gimmick" of the changing face. I've owned BOP, and loved it for what it is...not what it could have been if it were released in 2015.

The music was incredibly disappointing. I think BOP may be the finest example of electronic music in a pinball. The new music is anything but inspired. The original had all these cool "world" instruments, combined with an almost avant garde approach; the remake is repetitive, boring, and typical. That said, the animations are absolutely gorgeous. To me, this signals great thing to come from dp.

Again, I wanted to like this game, and didn't find it bad by any means (perhaps except the music). I just think that BOP was perfectly fine on its own. To each his own...
8 years ago
I really wanted to like "Lightning." I love the art style of the early Sterns and found one of these at a decent price nearby. Alas, I was terribly bored with this game. It was obviously Stern's answer to Williams' "Black Knight." It has the split-level playfield and similar feel (I'm not a huge BK fan either so judge my review accordingly). To me, it feel incredibly gimmicky: there's no reason to have 2 playfields when they technically occupy the exact same space as 1 playfield. It's like having 2 bad playfields instead of 1 good one. Pass.
8 years ago
This is tough to rate because it's not a "public" pin; this was a custom pin made specifically for Mr. Spelling. To him, I bet it was pretty cool. To me, it's just a horribly ugly theme laid on top of a DE LW3. Cool to play as a weird part of pinball history, but definitely not something I'd want to own (unless my name was Aaron Spelling).
8 years ago
Very "meh." I played Pacak's one at Expo (which needs a lot of TLC so I can't tell if the game would be better with a solid shop job) but it just sort of reeked of mediocrity. Spinball is a company out of Spain I believe, and very few can be found here in the States. They put a weird plastic overlay over their playfields (a la Elektra) which definitely keeps them going longer. Not very fun, but an interesting piece from a relatively unknown company.
8 years ago
I'm not a GnR fan, but I like this table. Lots of good shots and the software is very good. I need more time on this deck to rate more accurately, but it's incredibly fun. As many have said prior to me, probably one of the best DE pins out there.
8 years ago
Hard to rate at this time because the code isn't finished but....this game will be incredibly cool. I REALLY enjoyed playing this game and feel like it has incredible potential for the future of pinball. The theme is a bit odd, and feels sort of disconnected but the technology and various game modes are incredible. The animations feel top notch, the screen is well integrated, and the possibilities here are wild! I hope these don't end up costing too much, because I want one! FUN.
8 years ago
A very "decent" game. It's an early Trudeau and a solid System 80 title. It's very unique it's layout with the "lane save" flippers (similar to those on "Farfalla"). I think the fact that it's Q*Bert helps. Would be fun to own in a larger collection (as it's different), but not anything I'd go searching for. Very understandable as to why there were under 1,000 made. I enjoyed it.
8 years ago
Played this at Expo 15. One word: CUTE. It really does feel like a bunch of squirrels running all over the playfield, getting into trouble. I enjoy the rules and think that it was a very creative idea. I wish it would have been made into production. Games last a little on the long side due to the timer, but it's a fun game. Not great, but cute and fun.
8 years ago
I love Walking Dead, I love pinball. Match made perfect right? Like so many have said before me, this game was such a letdown. I seriously thought, "I might be buying my 1st Stern!" Nope.

1st off, I know that using the real character voices costs $ to license but cmon' Stern! You based the game off the AMC show, and even have the characters on the side of the game! If you use the likeness, you gotta use the voices!! This feels as bad as Data East not putting Michael J. Fox on BTTF. I don't know who is talking to me in the game, and as a result, I don't really care. I'd honestly rather not have someone yelling at me to hit a target if it's not someone from the actual show. At least with POTC, they tried to get someone who sounded like Depp.

The gameplay itself is just sort of "meh." It's not bad, but it's not great. It's like any middle-of-the-road Williams title that didn't sell well I guess. While it's cool to see star rollovers in pinball again, the upper right section of the playfield is slow and boring. Not really much of a "skill shot." The zombie feels cheap, the prison zombie head looks dumb (why is it so huge compared to the building?), and the playfield is standard Photoshop cut-and-paste. I honestly thought when Metallica came out (a Stern I REALLY like! And even designed by the same guy: Borg), Stern was turning a corner to artwork with character! I guess it was just a 1-off. None of their Photoshop pales in comparison to what guys like Python and Youssi were doing back in the day. Sad.

Maybe you'll like it. I might pop a quarter in one if I see it on location, but for the most part, I'd rather be playing something else.
8 years ago
I REALLY wanted to like this game. No, I desperately wanted to like this game. I love the movie, love pinball, the game looks like tons of fun, and it can be had for under $3500 all day. As of today, I have played 3 examples of this game (1 beat-up one at the Beach and Yacht Club in DisneyWorld and 2 in Chicago). None of them were fun.

The toys on this deck are super cool! A sinking ship (could this be a $3500 MM?!)! Lots of cool looking shots! Family friendly! A great franchise! And yet...the game plays like a beat up EM. It's SLOOOOOOOOWWWW...and not the kind of slow that you'd expect from a pin that hasn't been setup properly. Add to that the constant stop-and-go non-action of the animations and ship moving, and you've got one boring game. This game seriously reminds me of the early Sega CD/GameCube games where the designers were like, "now that we have the technology to do long cut scenes, let's make a movie with a few pieces of an actual game.

Onto the audio: the movie had one of the most amazing soundtracks! And yet...the song Stern chose to use as the main theme is that?!! It's slow, boring, and happy. Where's the adventure theme?! The call-outs are decent. We all know it's not Depp, but at least they got someone who can sound like him (unlike TWD where they didn't even attempt--why put the characters on the side of the game then?!).

I'm writing this review to remind myself 6 months from now when I see one on Craigslist and start wondering if it would be fun: don't buy it.
8 years ago
This game is absolutely terrible. Granted, I am not a Wrestlemania fan (Stern are you doing your marketing research at all?), but man I love pinball! The ring idea at the top of the playfield is a cool idea, but is TERRIBLY implemented. It seriously needs a timer added to it.

This game was clearly rushed to the market. I walked away after the 2nd ball. Another Stern letdown. Williams, come back...
8 years ago
Road Show is one of those games that makes me scratch my head: what went wrong?!

Lawlor design? Check
Funhouse talking heads? Check
Great DMD animations? Check
Lots to shoot at? Check

Yet, this game is just not fun. The playfield is a mess: there's stuff packed everywhere but unlike Twilight Zone, it's not clear what you're supposed to hit. Additionally, though the game has stuff everywhere, it lacks those one or two shots that feel amazing when you hit them. There's no challenge to the shots.

Some people dog the music, but it doesn't bother me at all. If you hate country music, then it might bug you. It's actually pretty high quality sound IMO. Unfortunately, good sound, talking heads, solid DMD animation, and toys galore can't help this pin from being a lackluster design. Pass.
8 years ago
I really wanted to hate this game. It's so ugly, so cheap looking, and based off a terrible franchise. Yet, this pin is in fact quite fun. The skill shot is really good, there's some super cool toys, and the shots feel good overall! Yes the artwork is terrible (still a step above some of the newer Stern Photoshop copy and paste pins) and yes the callouts get quite old, but the gameplay is really good. Decent pin if found for the right price. Between this and Baywatch, Pam seems to make for good pinball.
8 years ago
This is a hidden gem. Great game. Sure, they TOTALLY ripped off the layout of Whirlwind, but WW is a great game too! The Dino toy rocks, it has a shaker motor, the electric fence kickback is super cool, and there's a smart missile. Great game, decent theme, probably Data East's best pin.
8 years ago
Just know that this game is fairly placed here on Pinside: in the 200s. It's just not that good! The skill shot isn't as much about skill but dumb luck, the bat cave is right in the middle of the playfield (which means it obscures the field and inhibits viewing certain areas), there aren't any great shots, and it just plays poor. If you dig Batman, maybe you'll like this, otherwise I'd steer clear.
8 years ago
I really like HH! I may be just be a sucker for this genre but the whole scary house concept is done fantastic. The theme reminds me of Disney's Haunted Mansion. The artwork is absolutely superb! The sounds are also well done (I'd give them a higher ranking if the stupid song didn't start over after every time something on the playfield is hit).

The gameplay itself is fun. No there's not a lot of objectives to shoot for (as opposed to something newer like TAF), but this is just pinball at its purest: slamming a metal ball around bashing stuff. If the game is a bit mindless, it's because it's also just plain fun.

The 3 levels are well thought out and each plays uniquely. While I don't think this game has incredible "lasting power," it is a classic and a piece of art in its own right.
9 years ago
DM is a great game! Holy cow was I impressed! Playing pinball with the side triggers is an absolute blast. There are some FANTASTIC shots on this pin. Honestly, there's only 2 downsides I would say about this one:
1. the theme is just terrible. The backglass is a mess. If this wasn't a movie license, this game would be fetching some serious dough!
2. looks to be almost impossible to clean/refurb/playfield swap! SO many ramps and things to work on with this one! That's also what makes this game so great.

Seriously, I LOVED this pin and would definitely consider adding to my collection! Could definitely some help from a graphic designer for a cool translite (I am aware of the alt translite, but I still think there is a better one to be made someday). Finally, to answer the potential question you may be thinking (as folks ask this question all the time it seems), DM is WAY better than Judge Dredd. I would buy this game anyday, whereas I don't think I could be talked into buying JD.
9 years ago
I wanted to like this game. Dr. Dude was a cool game, but this was just not nearly as original. Captain B. Zarr annoyed me, and felt like a cheap "Rudy." One of the ramps, the ball goes flying off of because it's built so poorly. And there just isn't enough to do on this game to keep me interested. I think it's a beautiful looking game, and certainly better than many other pins out there, but all in all, I found it to be kind of boring, and quite corny. If you dig corny, all the games in this "Party" series would be great additions (including this one) to your collection. If you're looking for a deep pin though that will keep you coming back for more, look elsewhere. One of the earliest DMDs out there.
9 years ago
Wow. Popeye is truly a disaster. I so wanted to like this game! It can be found for so cheap, looks absolutely gorgeous, has tons of cool gimmicks, and is a very cool theme! It's just terrible though. I don't even mind that I can't see 1/2 the shots honestly, but more that it plays SO slow. I mean SLOW. Why this game was a widebody, I'll never understand. The toy on the left side of the game is terrible, and it's next to impossible to skillfully (vs accidentally) get your ball on the top playfield. For as much of the bottom of the PF the top one covers, you would have thought that it would have been more central to the actual game!
Definitely family friendly, but that's about it. I never want to believe the hype (good or bad) here on Pinside, but this one has an accurate reputation: pass.
9 years ago
I really like this game! People diss Sega all the time, but this game is fantastic. No, it's not the greatest theme (unless you dug the movie), but it works and works well! The game has a great, higher quality feel to it, the shots are really well-thought out (and fun to make!), and it's got a lot of humor. This game is a hidden gem! Don't judge a book by its cover.
9 years ago
There aren't that many horror pins. This is definitely one of the scariest out there. It just could have been so much better. Gottlieb (I actually think this was a Premier game) was just putting out garbage at the time.

The good:
-the red playfield (especially with LEDs) is pretty sweet.
-nice theme
-pretty cool gimmicks (drop targets are rubber "faces," and you get "Rudy" who is Freddy)
-animations are pretty good for the time and price

The bad is pretty much that it's just not a great game. It's boring, repetitive, and feels cheap. Pass.

UPDATE: played another copy of this deck and...yep, still sucks IMO. Blah.
9 years ago
I didn't think I'd like this game, and I didn't. I felt like walking away after the 2nd ball. The theme is incredibly boring to me, the playfield feels like there's not enough to do, and overall it just felt like it wasn't thought through very well. Add all that to the fact that I don't like many Sterns, and you have my review. Maybe a Ford fanatic would love this, but for the average pinhead, pass.
9 years ago
I really like this game. It's a Popadiuk that can be had for a shade over 2 grand.

The shots are fantastic, the ramp kick butt, and the whole theme just plain works. This feels like a perfect marriage of current technology with a fun theme. I love the way the multiball racks up with the magnet on the left side, I love to score goals on the goalie with the assist shot, totally dig the idea of progressing from the 1st game all the way to the World Cup, and the sound package is hilarious. It's just fun, and watching someone else play it on video doesn't do the game justice. Looks great w LEDs but looks quite "yellow" otherwise.

The downsides: pretty "meh" artwork. The playfield is kind of boring to look at compared to a CV or TOTAN. Good luck finding one that doesn't have cab fade (edit: somehow I managed this feat!). The ball save feature could have been implemented better IMO (say like Goldeneye). The spinning soccer ball takes up a lot of real estate and doesn't add much.

Other than that, great game! I'd buy one for the right price (and did).
9 years ago
Some people love WWF. They think it's a diamond buried under a bad theme. That may be true for some, but I just didn't like it. Here's why:

1. I'll start with the theme. I don't like WWF, but I especially struggle with buying a game covered in half-naked dudes. Sorry, but having to stare at Macho Man in a pink spandex top just doesn't help me rate this game well.
2. I didn't care for the layout of the shots. The center ramp is way too close to the flippers in my opinion, and both it and the left ramp drain right away if you don't make it all the way up the thing. While the mini PF was super cool in it's time, it feels ultra gimmicky to me, and doesn't feel like it truly serves a purpose to the scoring.
3. The call-outs get pretty annoying. Macho Man yelling "yeah" over and over again...
4. It's a DE. I don't mind some DE (like Star Wars), but I thought the game just felt cheap. It's nowhere near the build quality as a Williams/Bally IMO.
5. Lighting was nowhere near as good as a solid Williams/Bally from that era (or even the era preceding DMD).

There are some cool innovations with the game like the "Tap" button which requires you to take your hand off of a flipper and hit tap as many times as possible to score bonus points, or the fact that you get penalized for cradling the ball when certain shots are required (that is seriously cool), but I can't see myself ever buying this one. If you dig late 80s WWF, it may be awesome for you. But if you don't like wrestling, and are looking for that diamond under a poor theme, I'd look elsewhere.
9 years ago
This really is a great game. I agree with the previous posters: the best of the DE/Sega games (at least the ones I've played). Jumbo dot matrix (though the animations are probably decent at best), wide body with AWESOME ramps. Very cool game.

The thing to note is that the standard audio system is definitely lacking. Almost no bass and decent at best fidelity. I'm not a big "upgrade the audio" guy, but this machine is gonna need it.
9 years ago
You know why this game is so expensive? Cause it's awesome.

It's Indiana Jones! I like this version so much more than the Stern. The sounds are incredible with the real sound effects from the movie (I have never heard a real pistol sound that HUGE!). There's just so much satisfying about this game. The twin ramp shots feel so good to hit (the plane sounds help), and the music (though MIDI vs actual audio like on the Stern) sounds fantastic. The theme definitely works in this game's advantage. This is where basing a game off an actually good movie (unlike JM, DM, Congo, etc...) helps!

If this game were in my collection, I could see it getting the most play from guests (besides maybe Funhouse). Very cool and highly recommended.
9 years ago
This is one of those games where I find that the way Pinside scores games to be confusing. Though my score is low, I found this game to be AWESOME! I'd definitely add to my small collection.

There are some crazy shots on this that I've never seen before in pinball. This is definitely a try-before-you-diss/buy game, but I loved it. Sure, the callouts are a little cheesy and the artwork isn't going to win any prizes, but the game just exudes fun to me.

The reverse shot at the top of the playfield is super cool, as is the shot where the right flipper has to be up in order to make with the left flipper. The shaker is POWERFUL! If this game were released as "Legend of Zelda," which rumor has that it was originally slated to be, this game would be in the top 100 easy. The theme definitely kills it.
9 years ago
CAVEAT: I'm not the biggest Stern fan.

The good: It's Indiana Jones!! The music is amazing, the callouts awesome. The multi-ball on this game is a riot (I won't give it away, but there's a ton of them!). There's a cool part on the playfield that raises up to reveal a scoop. Different modes. Good dots.

The bad: Found to be very boring. The artwork on the playfield and backglass (Shia LaBeouf). There's not much to shoot at. Once you see the multiball, you've seen the gimmick. You know there's just those games that you can't put your finger on, but don't like? That's this game for me. Unfortunately, that's most Sterns to me though so take that into account.

Takeaway: I'd much rather play the Williams version! AWESOME.
10 years ago
The good:
I enjoyed this game. I didn't love it, but enjoyed it. The huge widebody is pretty cool I must say. I enjoyed having the extra space. I particularly loved the upper right part of the PF with the flipper up there to knock down the 3-bank target (and the ball lock). I also really liked the gap on the lower left of the PF next to the flippers that will drain your ball if you don't knock the game around a bit.

The not-so-good:
I guess I just thought the theme was ultra lame (and I'm a sci-fi fan). An obvious Alien ripoff with some plain ole ridiculous sexual overtones (ummm, there's a huge vagina in the middle of the PF). Maybe some pinheads dig that, but I found it lame.

The takeaway:
It's in the right spot (currently at #98). There are dozens upon dozens of better games, but it's got it's place. I will definitely play this one more when I see it again.
10 years ago
I enjoyed this game! The skill shot rocks and the way the flippers move in and out is SUPER cool (why haven't more pins done this?)!! For an older game, I really enjoyed it. What a cool theme too.
10 years ago
I really, really wanted to like this game. The reviews on this are true though: it's just not fun. Jar Jar really does blow it in many ways. Additionally, unlike RFM, it's very tough to see things on the PF. I just didn't like the integration of P2000 on this one. RFM is WAAAAAAYYYY better IMO. If I owned this one, I'd get bored very fast.
10 years ago
Everybody's got an opinion about WOZ. Usually a very strong one. I've got one too: I thought this game was great! I was very impressed and had a blast playing it.

The good:
To my extreme surprise, the theme is pretty cool! I dig what they've done. The gimmicks and toys on this thing are super cool. I love the glass ball with motion video, I love the mini PFs on top, and REALLY dug the left outlane feature (yes, it would have been cooler if by hitting enough points down there, it kicked your ball back up, but it's still cooler than having nothing like every other pin out there). The screen was a great feature, one that I hope more pins will use. The animations and footage they used is woven in really well! I was impressed. I also thought it played like a well-oiled machine. Not flipping bad for a company's 1st pin! The Toto save on the right-hand side is AWESOME. Really creative programming on this game.

The bad:
The software still needs tweaking. There were bugs even at this late of a date (I played it at PAPA where one of JJP's employees was there with the latest software version). Maybe I'm out of line here, but I would have thought that these bugs would have been ironed out by now. Regardless, it wasn't a big deal. The little red shoes on the flippers are a nice touch, but they're cheap. The right flipper already had the shoe missing, which was ugly because glue residue was left behind. No "match" seemed to be present on the game either which isn't a big deal for HUO, but when you have to pay $2/game, it's kinda nice! Someone else has posted about this too, but the whole "shoot Toto" thing on the game sucks. Why? Because if you miss or don't get to it in time, the flippers go dead and you lose a ball. That's a pretty steep punishment when you're paying $2/game.

The takeaway:
All in all, I really, really dug this game. It felt like a solid game that's just getting better and better with the most current software revisions. Go JJP!
10 years ago
I had HIGH expectations for Getaway. Most people seem to really dig it. Perhaps I need to spend more time with it but upon playing several games on the one of the Getaways at PAPA today, I was disappointed. It just didn't do it for me. It's basically a revamped rehash of High Speed (which was awesome in it's day IMO). The supercharger is a really cool idea, and perhaps that's what most people dig. To me, the shots weren't all that great though and I just found the theme to be a rehash of something that's been done and done again. No thanks.
10 years ago
I like this game. It's definitely not my fav (is it anyone's?), but it's a good game. It seems to have all the right pieces to be a fantastic game, but for some reason, it's just a good game. Not bad, not great.

I like the theme and idea behind it. It just isn't nearly as good as some of the other games released around the same time. I wouldn't pay more than $1000 for this one.
10 years ago
Just played this one at PAPA today. Hadn't played before. SUPER fun game! Lots of great shots, some really cool ideas (the magnet idea is cool), and fun, cheesy 80s theme! I'm so glad the sound was low so I didn't have to hear the annoying song though (see the PAPA video to hear what I'm talking about). I dig this game, and the fact that it can be picked up in many places for under a grand makes it even cooler. Way underrated due to the theme IMO.
10 years ago
Capcom has made some decent pins (Big Bang Bar probably being the best). This is not one of them IMO. The wire forms are cool, but other than that, this game just bored me. Not much to it. The skill shot at the beginning is cool, but I just didn't dig this one. I wouldn't buy this game unless it was crazy cheap (like $350). Pass.
10 years ago
RFM is without a doubt THE BEST DEAL GOING in pinball right now. While there are many naysayers, RFM is a GREAT GAME! The playfield layout is great, the video is unbelievable, the jokes are hilarious, and the artwork is incredible. Sure it's a linear game, but it's good fun.

I bought this game only after playing several on it, fearing that that linearity of it (like most video games) may grow tiresome. I've owned it for some time now and don't see it leaving! Personally, I like this game better than AFM (though that's also a fantastic game).

If you do happen to pick one up, make sure to do 2 things:
1. Buy the Ultimarc video amp. It makes a huge difference in the picture clarity.
2. Take out the light behind the translite. It distracts during gameplay and reflects off the glass.

While the pooping on Pin2000 may be justified for Star Wars Episode 1, RFM is fully worthy of it's place in the Top 40!
10 years ago
Orbitor is a cool game! You gotta try one. You'll never play anything like it. It has this CRAZY anti-gravity feel to the whole thing. I really wish other pins would have implemented some of the ideas presented in Orbitor and ran with it in a normal pinball game!

The only downside is: there's just not much to do on this game. The anti-gravity effect is amazing, but without much to do, it's easy to get bored.

Takeaway: I'd buy this game in a second if the price was right. Just a super cool effect and game. But, this game can't be the only pinball in your collection. It's not that deep.
10 years ago
Addams Family ROCKS. I LOVE the way they incorporated "Thing!"

The PF layout is genius (Lawlor had plenty of time by then to perfect his niche), the audio and animations beautiful, and the game is just plain fun. Totally different than TZ, which is much slower and a thinker, TAF is fast and fun (note: I LOVE TZ, but for different reasons).

Some people claim that TAF is too similar to WW. Yes the layout is similar but I have both side by side and I can honestly say that they really aren't all that similar in actual play. The rules are so different from able another.

Probably my only complaint would be that the call outs can get a little old. If you want a quick, fun game, this should be on the list. I think I still like WW just as much if not better, but TAF is fast and furious!
10 years ago
I love pinball. I LOVE Lord of the Rings. I do not love Stern pinballs. Personal preference I guess, but I just don't like the way they play.

That said, this really is a fun game. The sound is bar none. The animations beautiful. The variety great (I love the Balrog!). To me, the bagatelle "dead" area in the top left could have been done better, but maybe that's just me. I like how you can see everything clearly on the board. The multiball is great and the sword ramp, awesome.

My only complaint is that the rules are ridiculous. This is prime example of what Lawlor refers to when he talks about pinball being confusing for non-pinheads. The rules on the game are just way too hard to understand! Often you have no idea what to shoot for as nothing is blinking.
10 years ago
I was honored to play this game last night. Had never seen one before that. It's a REALLY good game! I thought it wouldn't be great, just rare, but was wrong. It plays GREAT (unlike many Capcoms). Really wish they would have made more of these!

The theme is a bit weird, but hey, it's Pinball. The guys that start multiball in the upper right corner of PF are AWESOME. Everything about this game really rocks to me. Just a great game.

UPDATE: Played it again but could hear the audio this time. Quite sexual from a sound perspective! Honestly, this was a bummer to me as it felt like a gimmick. Still LOVE this game, but just didn't think it needed all the moaning sounds.
10 years ago
Caveat: I'm not a huge Stern fan. I just don't like the way they play.

Tron is a cool game. The lighting is BEAUTIFUL. There's just enough here for me though. The item at the top center of the PF doesn't really do it for me. Even though I'm not a huge Stern fan, I still think there are better Sterns out there (LOTR, Family Guy, etc...). Definitely try before you buy: Tron is an acquired taste to me.
10 years ago
Similar to everything that makes Taxi such a great pin, WH2O is an absolute blast. Demanding the player hit certain suits to advance, having a great cheesy theme, some extremely colorful characters, and fantastic music, the more I play this game, the more I love it.

Setup correctly, WH2O is lightning fast with terrific flow (potentially minus the second or two it takes to kick the ball up to the top playfield via the upkick). There are tons of shots to make, with the hardest being the shot through the boulders on the right. The logic in scoring is super simple and a wonderful reprieve from the dozens of other "deep" games that often equate to mode after mode after mode. Put simply, anyone can walk up to Whitewater and understand the objective.

The upper deck somewhat reminds me of Lawlor's pins (particularly the Jackpot shot during multiball) but the humor and vibe all Nordeman. What a fantastic sleeper pin that isn't a sleeper anymore! So glad to have found one at a great price!
10 years ago
Monster Bash is an incredible game. I love the playfield layout, the flow, the scoring, and the gimmicks. Not much bad to say about this game. It's incredible and has aged quite well. If you see one for a decent price, don't regret shelling out the money (but good luck with that)!
10 years ago
There's a reason this game is #1. It's a great game! To me, it's got great flow, amazing graphics and audio, and is just a beautiful game. The castle is awesome, and the ramps are super rewarding.

The major downside for me is the "lastability." The call-outs get quite old after awhile as you defeat the same "king's men." Another downside: the ridiculous price tag. I know I'm a sucker for Sys 11 games, but I'd rather have 4-5 Sys 11 games for the same price as this one game (another word of caution to myself: don't bother trying to buy this game; there are so many better ones for less money!)
10 years ago
Too bad these are ridiculously expensive. What a game! So much to do, so many cool gimmicks, and FANTASTIC FLOW! Hard to find much bad about this game. Wow. MUCH better than the version on my iPhone! ;)
10 years ago
I REALLY love Diner (I've owned two in fact). The call-outs are hilarious (albeit slightly culturally offensive) and the flow ROCKS. To me though, the music isn't very good and gets old quick. Sitting next Taxi, I gotta be honest: Taxi is more fun. Good game, but not as solid as IJ or Taxi IMO (both are Mark Ritchie games).
10 years ago
Sorry, I really do not like this game. I didn't like the original BK, and this one of incredibly boring for me too. There's just not enough to do in the game, and the playfield is a mess to me. Personal opinion, but I would never buy this one.
10 years ago
Wow. This game is seriously a looker. The changing faces of the Bride is sure to grab your friends' eyes. It's also incredibly fun to play! I really dig this game.

The layout of the game is definitely unique. This is cool for a collection with more than 1-2 games. Because of the layout however, the PF can feel a bit short and as such, I wouldn't recommend it as your only game. In my collection, I love that I had this unique game next to WW and Taxi (which are a bit more "normal"). Ultimately, it didn't last in my collection, but if I wasn't offered a great price for it, I would have gladly held onto it!

The light and sound show is absolutely amazing. It's still possibly one of the coolest looking games in all of pinball. The cab is purple (which I find incredibly cool)!

Some people dog on it saying its a "1 shot game." Here's the deal: if you're looking for something that is super deep, this ain't it. But if you're looking for a super fun, quick game that DOES in fact have several shots (albeit the most fun and tempting shot is the ramp shot), give this one a try! Not sure if it has true "staying" power, but we'll see.

UPDATE: Well, it's gone. I sold it to help fund a TZ. Definitely a fun game, but the lastability just wasn't there for me.
10 years ago
I'm not a huge Attack From Mars. Truth be told, I'd rather own the way less expensive Pinball 2000 version (Revenge From Mars). Love the audio and animations. The theme is fantastic. I just don't dig the game. The flow doesn't do it for me. Hitting the saucer over and over is too repetitive for me, and the game's price tag is just outrageous. Pass.
10 years ago
Great game. Quite provocative for family, but a fantastic flow! Love the neon skeleton ramp.
10 years ago
When I first played Big Guns as a kid, I was blown away (pun intended)! Seriously, it was incredible to watch those cannons fire. So fast and so accurate! Now, I'm not so sure. It's very gimmicky, but in a larger collection, I could see this being a fun game to own (definitely one that will impress friends). Beautiful looking game that is a solid System 11. Wouldn't be in my Top 5 Sys 11s, but fun nonetheless.
10 years ago
Black Hole was ahead of its time IMO. A fantastic game with a very cool theme! The dual playfields rock, and the multi-flipper thing works fantastic on this game. Can be found for pretty cheap too!

If you play an example of this game and it feels "slow" to you, then you're not playing one that has been setup properly and shopped recently. Mine is blazing fast and brutally hard. The shots are very hard to make, and the open upper playfield feels like you're driving a giant Cadillac on a "widelane" freeway!

Criticisms would be that the flippers feel a bit clunky compared to similar era Williams/Bally. Also, it's a System 80: if you've never worked on one before, please KNOW that you'll have bugs you never encountered on your B/W games. System 80 was just a terrible system (the good news is that you can buy a Pascal board for $300 and largely eliminate many of the problems with the system).

I really do love this game. It's beautiful, very different, and incredibly fun. And because you're probably wondering: yes, despite this game's's better than Haunted House. ;)
10 years ago
Pinbot is a good game. It's tried and true, but not something that makes my heart pump faster. It's a great theme, and was super cool in it's day. I just don't think there are enough shots to it, and enough variety.
10 years ago
I'm just not a BK fan. I think the sounds are absolutely dreadful and annoying. The shots aren't that great either. Cool for it's time I suppose, but has not aged well at all IMO
10 years ago
I really love this machine. It's too bad it's so ridiculously expensive! From the opening shot on the crazy wires, to the video modes, to the music, this game just rocks. While not a huge ST fan, this game is definitely a keeper.
10 years ago
I'm starting to wonder if I just don't like DMD pins, but I have never been a huge fan of TZ. It plays well, but I find the music really annoying, the different objects of the game not overly inspiring, and not much variation. Perhaps I need to spend more time with it, but when I see this game, I usually pass it by for something else.

EDIT: I have totally changed my mind about this pin after really sitting down with it. Just amazing. Still not a fan of the music (why in the world is the main theme the instrumental/solo section of a song that was totally unrelated to the show?!) but this game is ridonkulously fun! I've yet to experience a similar adrenaline rush in pinball as I get when "Lost in the Zone!"
10 years ago
Wow. Awesome pin. Just wish they weren't so ridiculously priced these days
10 years ago
I am recanting my original rating. This is a fantastic pin with some great variation! Played it tonight for awhile at a friend's. Great game with lots to do. Too pricey for me to ever own, but cool game!
10 years ago
The good:
I LOVE the theme, colors, and characters. Taxi is a rather simple game, but doesn't seem to get old! There's a LOT to shoot for, and can be enjoyed by novice and expert alike. The bell is super cool as is the light show. Nice use of ramps and good flow. The character choice is hilarious IMO and I really dig the flow. It's got fantastic flow!

The not-so-good:
That skill shot ramp is always broken on these games which is frustrating. There's not a lot of gimmicks, which I actually really like in pins (WW fan, WOZ crystal ball, etc...).

Great game that can be found for a great price!! I bought mine for only $750 (it needed a lot of cleanup and new parts). Kind of a Sys 11 sleeper.
10 years ago
Amazing game when it was first released. Feels a bit tired now, but still a fun game. The cannon shot is fun and the animations are superb for its time!
10 years ago
Amazing game!!! If you see one for sale, buy it! Not the most family friendly, but fantastic gameplay.
10 years ago
Funhouse is a game that rates extremely high for me, but still isn't a Top 5 favorite for me. It's incredibly fun, hilarious, and newbies seem to love the game. Like BOP, it can be a bit of a "complete the main objective and do it over and over" game but is still incredibly fun. If you really want to dig into the game, there's definitely more to do. My one complaint would be that (again, like BOP) the playfield can feel a bit cluttered. As someone who also owns Whirlwind, TZ, and TAF, I still love Funhouse but it wouldn't beat out any of those probably. Definitely more ingenuitive than those games, but not more "lasting."
10 years ago
I really love this game. Nostalgia plays a factor for me. Playing as a kid at Chuck E. Cheese's was awesome!! My first pin and the one that made me fall in love with pinball. Great shots. Early ramp game. No, it's not as deep as a later pin, but just plain fun.

-GREAT artwork and sounds. Such a beautiful game.
-Has a really cool and loud bell!
-2 and 3-ball multiball
-Stop and Score Feature is super rad. Hold your shot for the right amount, and let the scores fly!
-Super cool shuttle toy on playfield
-Great animation for the time!
-Drop targets are hard, but fun to hit. Important as they close the gate to the right outlane.
-Nice ball save pop-up in the center during multiball
-Spelling letters equals points
-Great feeling shots. Oursler really knew what he was doing by this time.

-Can be a bit of a drain monster due to Oursler outlanes.
-Not a ton of shots with some wasted pf space
-Multiball would have been cooler if a post were up top so all 3 balls were released at the same time
-The ramp on the upper right is not nearly as cool as it could be
-Not as fun as Barracora (another Oursler classic) but still a great game!
10 years ago
This game rocks. One of two games that I truly LONGED to own (the other was "Space Shuttle"). Probably more my nostalgia on these two than anything, but there's just nothing like starting the storm!!

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