Swainer80's ratings

Pinsider Swainer80 has rated 28 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms Swainer80's personal top 28.

Rating comments

Swainer80 has written 28 rating comments:

1 year ago
A very shallow game. A complete waste of a wonderful theme. This game makes system 11's seem deep. Uninspired rules, unimpressive layout, mediocre machine at best.
4 years ago
Played Houdini at an arcade and wasn't impressed, it was difficult and ate quarters. Played it at a friends and it is a totally different game. The 1920's/magic theme and music fit perfectly and the audio is deep, clear and crisp. The shots are extremely tight which is the games biggest turn off to the casual player but after a few(many) games they become reasonable, but never easy. The shots are well indicated and the modes are explained clearly (and there are many of them). For a first attempt from American Pinball it seems they did their homework and are placed solidly in between JJP and Stern in terms of features and price, (full RBG inserts, well built cabinet (DE head lock and lock down bar) Lollypop rails and legs with unique finish, and one fully loaded model (no pro/prem/LE/SE/CE). For their first game a solid attempt and honestly quite a sleeper of a machine once you get a feel for it. If you have a decent skill level you won't be disappointed, but it is not an easy machine.
4 years ago
An approachable and unique game that just can't tie the sum of its parts together to make it a great/good game. Two ramps, three pops, two banks of drop targets, silly chattering teeth, a beating heart, a spinner that increases in value with stand up target hits, campy call-outs and music with different "stiffs" that rap. Lots in this game for sure but the rules hold the game back. The only way to score the stiffs is though switch hits (like the way end of ball bonuses are calculated in nearly all machines), the multiball is given out like candy and the jackpot ramp can be backhanded easily (and repeatedly) with the left flipper. The sounds and music are very good for the period and the layout is solid as well (dare i compare it to elvira) but the game just doesn't build up to anything. A good game to play anywhere but a shallow game to own. Anyone comparing this to Monster Bash is totally out of line and unfair as the only similarity is that the games have different stiffs/monsters, otherwise they have nothing alike. If the rules were better this game could rival most of system 11's of its time but as they are written the game play is mediocre.
6 years ago
Data East's second game. A big step up from their first. Okay so this is a James Bond theme with a cheaper Secret Service title. . .The body art is a dead give away. For a 1988 game the rules are pretty good and the light show is excellent. The music variety is excellent and sounds are good (the super spinner can be a little repetative). The game does not have a silky smooth Williams feel but the flow is decent and the 2 or 3 multiball is fun to achieve. All and all a decent game for a brand new pinball company's second game. Baby. . . Baby. . .
6 years ago
A lot of show, not as much go. Hook, at first glace has the "Play me!" look with its large ramp with chase lights and nice use of blow molded skull and boat plastics. The number of shots that can be made are varied with 2 ramps and scoops, one VUK and one upper lane return. The drop and stand up targets along with the 3 pop bumpers round out the play field. The game does fall a little short on depth of rules though. The left ramp is bash for millions, the right ramp is bash 3 times for a timed millions. Hit stand ups for multiball, hit left ramp for jackpot, then right ramp, then left. . . . The game unfortunately, is slightly less than the sum of its parts. Most casual players and novices will be drawn to the theme and look of the game. The display is pretty good at telling where to shoot. The more serious players will turn up their noses to it. A fun game to be sure, just a shallow one that is not much deeper than Cyclone. Worthy of quarters, thousands/hundreds of dollars. . . . .that is up to you.
7 years ago
Played a few times at vfw. A good refresh of the classic. The audio and visuals cue you in as what to do. Slight bump in lastability thanks to the DMD.
7 years ago
Upon playing a better example of Indy and being able to hear the game, my initial review was quite uncharitable. The game plays well enough and the right scoop that comes up after striking the static ball is a good feature. The sound of the game is much improved with SAM over the lo-fi Whitestar games and the build up for the multi-ball with the arc opening up is pretty cool. That being said, it feels very derivative of JP with the layout of the scoops and pops. It has a shallow feel (along with the static toys with light bulbs glued to them). All and all not too bad a game, which will be carried by theme alone. The arc toy being recycled in Aerosmith (with less pomp and circumstance) shows the designers gave this game some originality.
7 years ago
One of Sterns best. The artwork is excellent (especially on the playfield). There is plenty to do with a wide variety of shots. The audio it terrific with great music, good sound effects, and plenty of call outs. The bad, the game plays poorly it is less refined and clunkier than a Data East. Airballs galore, the ramp feeds to the inlanes are inconsistent and don't flow well. I don't know how one can screw up an orbit but that right orbit rejects the ball frequently with a solid shot going into it. The drop targets are more of a hindrance than a help, especialy during loopin supers. Good game, just wish it played smoother and didn't cheat you out of shots due to the crudeness of its play.
7 years ago
Played a few times in the past. An amazing theme with endless potential but a swing and a miss with the table.
7 years ago
One of the best games ever built. Period. Many shots to make, even more modes to complete. The music, sounds, voices, and animations completely embody Twilight zone and are grade A. A little stop and go mixed good flow keeps the game from being monotonous. One look at the play field and one cannot help but be drawn in at all that is going on. Fun house: terrific game, Addams Family: incredible, Twilight zone: takes it to the stratosphere.
7 years ago
If you want to take an iconic show like Star Trek: The Next Generation and cram it into a pinball machine this is how its done. This is a table designed by Steve Richie so ball flow/combination shots are king on this one. The artwork is terrific and has held up over the years. The game play is smooth and fast. There are plenty of shots to make and many modes to complete. The game has all of the main cast voicing their roles, plus Q, which is a bonus as he taunts you during his mode. The Borg multi-ball is fast and furious and well implemented. Star Trek is nearly "the perfect game" in terms of play, theme and execution. The only knocks (very very minor nit picks) are the cannons feel a little rehashed from T2 (they are fun and well tied in) and the fidelity of the sounds is not as clear as I wish (if you want that you have to get a game 20 years newer.). Again very minor complaints. This is about as good as it gets.
7 years ago
It isn't as bad as it looks. It appears bad for a game to write a review with that opening sentence but that is the simplest way to explain Millionaire. At first look, it does look like a terribly boring game. In all honesty the worst system 11 might be a fair assessment (a testament to how good system 11s were if this is the worst). The game has a simple rule set with locking both balls for a multiball, re-lock each ball for the jackpot. Then wash, rinse and repeat. The music changes subtly for each advance for the multiball chain and is pleasant to the ears (as is the main theme). The shots are satisfying to make, if you can land them, and there is enough to do in game with the skill shot, stand up targets and of course the roulette wheel. For those seeking depth, sleek and sexy this is not a game for them. If you want a simple game to play for fun and to pass the time, Millionaire does the trick just fine. It isn't as bad as it looks.
7 years ago
A classic Steve Richie game. Flow out the yin-yang. Fast and furious. Simple system 11 rules: Drop targets for lock, 3 locks for multiball, hit ramp for jackpot. The music is infectious, the call-outs deliver the right amount of late 80's/early 90's cheese, if not slightly repetitive (DON'T FLIP!). Good light show, especially during locks and the theatrics for the beginning of multiball I would say are among the best. A very fun game with good execution.
7 years ago
An eclectic mix of the old Bally and Williams. The theme and art are decent. The sounds, music and flippers would make you think you are playing a Williams system 11 game. The rules and layout, all Bally. Hit drop targets to award lit insert. Hit 1, 2 and 3 on each bank to light a lock and hit ramp for jackpot. Hitting lanes A and B increase saucer value. The layout (minus the ramp and the dropping ramp) feel like a game from the 60's/70's that is what hurts the game so much. A few unique elements with a mundane playfiled makes for a mediocre game worth of a few plays, ownership perhaps.
8 years ago
Have played multiple times, and now an owner. A very good game. Not the deepest title but there is plenty to do. Nice ramps, check. Pops, check. Orbit, check. The game is clearly flaunts that it is made in '94 but in all honesty, if you want to bottle up the energy and feel of any world cup and put it into pinball machine, this is it. The "world cup pup", Striker, is heavily utilized in the animation to amusing ends. The music suits the theme as do the sounds and they sound great thanks to the DCS system. The ramps flow well and feel rewarding to hit and the Popaduik magnetic lock is well featured in the game. Yes there are "better" machines out there but for sheer fun and execution, WCS94 is hard to beat.
8 years ago
Not a deep game by any means but simple fun none the less. The theme is entertaining and the art is second to none, with so much going on its almost like a Highlights magazine cover. No multiball to shoot for, so its all about dropping the targets, lighting BAD CATS, going for the jackpot. Racking up points the old fashioned way is just as fun too. Even though not a deep game, there is enough to shoot for. The linear target to boost the fish bonus takes a bit of accuracy (x10 nets you quit a bit), the seafood wheel is fun to watch (the way the insert lights rotate counter to the wheel never gets old), hit the tiger ramp repetitively for quite a few points and of course shoot the center ramp for the Meow Meow Meow Meow! The animated back glass adds the right amount of retro charm as well. A good pinball game.
8 years ago
A good game in its own right. Nostalgia reigns supreme in this one. The layout is okay and the rules are easy to follow but aside from the ramps, there isn't a ton of flow. The game's strengths lie in the theme, music and sounds. Each lock brings on a different tune, the sounds (in stereo no less) are quite good thanks to data east's sound board and the light show is excellent (if the dozens of flashers are working properly). An enjoyable game if not remarkable worthy of a few plays, just be careful of the clock tower eject It can be a straight down the middle drain.
8 years ago
A classic Gottlieb wedge head. Kind of a typical generic theme but the play and rules are what make the game work. The rules of the game are simple (hit upper targets 1-5 or 6-10 to advance point value for center targets) but mastering and getting the point value up for the center targets is the challenge. If that wasn't enough, the center targets carry a high risk/reward factor. Sure you can try to keep the ball in the upper playfield and slowly score points but the money shots are the center targets (up to special per hit). A challenging game with that "just one more" factor.
8 years ago
One of the earliest WPC games, the bride is the next step up from system 11s. The presentation (light show/animations/software) is definitely next generation. The game is heavily a right flipper game but there are more shots to make than just the ramp. The brides rotating head is the games primary attraction. Probably my favorite of the trio of Pinbots, the bride is a great mix of them, sound and execution of the franchise. Just make sure the right flipper is in good order. :-)
8 years ago
Finally had a chance to land this one. Far from an A list game but charming in its own right. A party theme with a decent layout and light rules. For its era, the sounds and music are where the game shine. The implementation of the stand up targets and the juke box are the games gimmick and it pulls it off quite well. The music is varied, there is a decent amount of shots but little flow and if in good shape the game can be fast but brutal. The multiball takes some effort to get but is fun to achieve. A fun game to play but far from a classic, approach this game with that attitude and you will be pleasantly surprised.
8 years ago
LW3 is definitely a players game. No real gimmicks or toys just a lot of shots. That said, it is a fun machine to play and I would say under-appreciated. The choose your music at the beginning of the game is novel and the stereo offered by DE machines can be heard to the discerning ear. Shooting 1,2,3 and the accompanying video's are enjoyable to watch(shoot the gun when the eyes flash). The orbit and the drawing the gun to "shoot the bad guy" keeps you on your toes. The DMD is used quiet extensively and ties the game together. The video mode is fun as well, just don't shoot the guy holding the flower :-) The jackpot tune and bass-y sounds that come with it are among my favorites. Although a not a "deep" game, there is plenty to do and is just plain fun to play.
8 years ago
Quirky game, but fun. As others have mentioned, it has that 50s-60s B-movie sci-fi feel to it. The transporter shot is fun to shoot, as is the ramp shot that feeds the balls into the "Orion" ship. The music for each locked ball is catchy. The jackpot is tricky in that the R-E-S-C-U-E drop targets need to be hit in order during multiball, kind of novel instead of shooting for a ramp. Not a deep game for sure nor does it have a lot of shots, but a well executed game none the less.
8 years ago
A mediocre game in terms of game play. The layout is nothing special and the rules are very shallow but simple. The theme and nostalgia factor are the only things that keep this game together. Hearing Scotty and Bones is a neat feature, as well as the transporter effect on the back glass but remove them from the pin and there isn't much that sets this pin apart. Collect the crystals, hit the swinging target, shoot the transporter, that is about it. I really can't believe the game goes for what it does, aside from the DMD it doesn't feel any more sophisticated than a system 11.
8 years ago
A fun game, one of Data East's best DMDs of the era. The play is good and there are plenty of shots. THE best toy in all of pinball (the T-rex eats the ball) doesn't get much better than that. My only real beef with the game is that the lights (GI) flash with the music during certain modes and if the room is not bright it makes for a difficult time seeing the ball. Other than that, a very good game. System failure is a blast if you can finish all modes.
9 years ago
A solid system 11 for its time. The sounds and music fit the theme and the Ferris wheel and ramps and mystery wheel round out a well themed game. The ramp shots are rewarding to hit but the game just feels so shallow. Lacking a multiball to spice things up really hurts the game. It is fun to play (and there are far worse games out there) but the play just a little flat.
9 years ago
One of the best system 11 machines made. The Halloween party theme with Elvira is near perfect, the music ties it well together, the artwork has many party and humorous references). The playfield is well laid out with plenty of shots and has one of the best ramps in the biz. The Boogie Men and the coffin toys are a blast and the use of the deadheads on the back of the playfield is cool too. The light show right before the multiball is second only to F14 Tomcat. For its era, one of the best machines and it still can hold a candle to newer games. The only thing it can't compete with is newer hardware (MPU and displays) and deeper rules. But hey, for a 25 year old machine this is a gem.
9 years ago
The theme is where this game shines. It has plenty of charm regarding nostalgia, from the jukebox between the speakers to the call-outs that sound right at home on an oldies radio station. The game play is nothing groundbreaking for its time (hit the 3 sets of targets, light lock). But the progression of each lock takes you back through the decades, each decade with its own tune from disco to bubble gum to doo-wop. The payoff for this game is the multiball in the 50's. The music continues but the sounds stop and a three chime box comes to life as the machine starts to mimic an old EM game right down to the display which animates the scores to look like a scoring reel. A fun game, and one of my favorites.
9 years ago
My favorite pinball game. Everything a good pinball should be, fun, challenging, plenty of shots, peppy game play. The ramps are satisfying to hit & the diverter, is well executed, as is the long looping shot on the playfield. Multiball is very challenging and well thought out with the mouse traps. The music and sounds fit the theme perfectly, quick and frantic as one would think how a mouse would scurry about. A blast to play. Not too deep but challenging, mindless fun. In short: a great pinball.

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