tabascoman77's ratings

Pinsider tabascoman77 has rated 76 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms tabascoman77's personal top 76.

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Rating comments

tabascoman77 has written 73 rating comments:


7.868/10
4 months ago
Played this at Campbell, CA's "LVL UP". The game is a lot of fun and most welcome, especially when it comes to theming. Raise your hand if you wanted another Stern rock band or Marvel table? Tables like Munsters, Batman '66 and Ghostbusters are a dime a dozen. The artwork is delightful with a great black-and-white theme with some color brushed in when appropriate. You get color schemes to match different modes. With Herman, it's green, with Grandpa, it's purple, etc. My only gripe is that the modes seem a touch too easy to enter into and beat. My first time on this machine saw me nabbing Herman, Grandpa, Spot and Lily. That's all well and good but why are those so easy to get? Is there more to this machine than is being offered up? That, and I'm still not used to the idea of using video screens rather than a traditional dot matrix display. For this game, it works but for every other machine, the animations are so cheesy. Even still, the theming saves it. Just hope Stern gives us an update to make this game a little more deep.
5.216/10
4 months ago
I had heard so many great things about this pin and I finally got a chance to play it near my home out in Campbell...and...it's ok. Maybe I'm missing something. It's obviously a homage to the EM games of yore and it has a great 80's theme. The audio and music are top-notch. That's really about where the fun ends for me. The shots are extremely limited and the ramps (all two of them) are difficult to hit. Getting into the middle upper playfield is an exercise in frustration and, when you finally get there, have fun keeping the ball inside there when it ALMOST ALWAYS bounces away from the upper left flipper into the drain and out to the main playfield again. I dropped about $5 dollars into this thing before finally walking away, saying to myself "That was the game everyone was hyped about?" It just didn't do it for me.
7.347/10
9 months ago
"Avengers" looks and feels like your typical Marvel licensed thing: colorful with a some neat toys and your typical over-acted cartoony audio. The thing that saves it from being a complete waste is the straight-forward gameplay -- even if every shot outside the Hulk is ridiculous to make. In fact, get ready to hear a LOT of Hulk audio because that's where your ball is gonna hit most of the time whether you like it or not. Grabbing other Avengers is an exercise in frustration (Black Widow is scream-inducing) and, after awhile, you may just throw your hands up and try another game. Still, this is loads better than "X-Men". The playfield is colorful and well-produced and the presentation is right on. It's more geared towards comic fans and completists.
5.835/10
9 months ago
Ugh...what could have been. "Funhouse" looks SO good and Rudy is incredible to look at even though he's creepy as hell. The sleep sequence is haunting and the game looks even better with LED lights installed. My gripe is that the flow is off. Shots are near impossible to make save for the two top-left tunnels. That center shot is annoying and is pretty much based on luck. Putting a ball into Rudy's mouth is fun but that gets old quick. I WISH this game played better. It looks like a ride when you get on, then just plays really clunky. Shots look accessible but really aren't. There isn't much appeal. All atmosphere and looks and no substance. What a shame.
6.667/10
9 months ago
X-Men drives me crazy. The playfield is basically a bunch of ramps you have to hit...including one that moves around and gets in the way. Those ramps are hard to hit because Wolverine, the table's bash toy, gets in the way constantly. And Magneto's the other hinderance. Neither does a damn thing. Wolverine tosses your ball around occasionally and Magneto does the same -- sometimes, right into the side drain. The game hates you, draining your ball left, right and center, making nudging a necessity to keep things going. The rules aren't clear here, either. I guess you have to hit a certain ramp or ramps to grab heros and occasionally pit them against villains you get from other ramps(?) and it isn't even clear how you finish those stages. It doesn't matter because both Wolverine and Magneto always get in the way, even if you're aiming your shots carefully. It's beyond annoying. Skip this one.
6.010/10
9 months ago
Another licensed Marvel game, another ho-hum effort. Music is decent but the rest of the audio is a mixture of sound clips from the flick haphazardly tossed into the game and played at random much like TRON Legacy. Call-outs like "I'm the one who approved the injunction against you" aren't exactly thrilling. They don't gel with some random guy with a southern accent telling you what to do every so often. Also, the rules aren't particularly clear except for when you're taking on the Iron Monger which just kinda pops up in the middle of the table and waits for you to hit him, which is easy to do every single time. Other than that, the ramps are your only satisfying shots. Stern and Marvel are capable of better. The "Spider-Man" games were a lot of fun -- especially the Vault version.
8.276/10
9 months ago
A great music table from Stern. It's a must-have for Elvis fanatics. For the casual music fan or pinhead, this game still works. The rule set seems a touch random and some modes (Blue Suede Shoes) are ridiculous to achieve. Four-ball multi-ball, however, rocks and you're handsomely rewarded for juggling that many balls for a long period of time. The artwork ranges from beautifully colorful to collector plate-tacky, depending on your taste and the audio, for the most part, is great when you're not getting weird space sounds like "pew, pew" and lightsabers being ignited. The ramps and toys are fun to hit and that top playfield takes some timing if you want to hit the Heartbreak Hotel at the top. All in all, one of Stern's best tables.
3.867/10
9 months ago
"Big Buck Hunter" LOOKS good but plays horribly. You shoot at the deer and hit a ramp. And that's it. Luckily, the deer is easy to hit. But you have to hit it five times a piece to get a "multi-ball" function -- and that's IF you're lucky to get a working deer bash toy that actually registers hits. Even if you hit that deer and light up every single Elk Light on the board, you're lucky to get away with 10 million points. The call-outs are weak with the same guy just shouting random hunting lingo and phrases. Remember the game "Baseball Stars 2" for the Neo-Geo arcade with that announcer that never seemed to shut up? That's how this guy feels. Additionally, this game drains pinballs like nobody's business -- and the damn ball gets stuck often which just adds to the malaise. Three games and I had to call the owner over so he could get a ball out of a jam on the right side of the machine. Another Stern failure.
3.135/10
9 months ago
This was an attempt to bring back the simplicity of the old EM games complete with a total lack of ramps, a few bumpers and the tiny two inch flippers...and once you get past the nostalgia factor, "Whoa, Nellie" isn't very good for the reasons I just listed. There aren't a lot of targets to hit, the playfield is practically empty, and the ball just bounces all over the place because of it. Additionally, the flippers are tiny with wide-open drains in the center and on the sides. You'll be lucky to actually shoot the ball at all because the ball seems to go anywhere but near the flippers. And if you're going full-EM, you don't need the awful country hick music or the lame call-outs. You can't have it both ways. Decent audio quality, art and cute concept but "Whoa, Nellie" is awful.
7.219/10
10 months ago
Transformers is fun, if only just a series of ramps you have to hit. The "choose your side" gimmick is clever but there isn't much going on with the toys in the game, which stay stationary no matter what. It's all talk and no action. It has the easiest multi-ball in recent memory, which is odd. You can get that mode in about a minute. The rule set isn't complicated. It's by-the-numbers Stern, yet again.
5.399/10
10 months ago
You haven't truly laughed until you hear some voice actor hack yell "JACKPOT! YEAH!!!" in Christian Bale's insane Cookie Monster Batman voice.

It takes you right out of the game...which, to be honest, isn't much. It's Stern at its worst: amateurish voice work, sloppy PF layout (with another goofy bunch of faces pasted into multi-colored triangles, reminiscent of those themed Monopoly game boards), crappy, generic music that doesn't even come close to matching the booming, epic tone witnessed in Nolan's three films. The shots aren't really satisfying and the DMD animations leave much to be desired.

I understand that there's a different audio pack which "fixes" the audio heard here. I have not yet heard this audio. Hopefully, those who swear it makes things ten times better are right.
1.875/10
1 year ago
The playfield and art on the backglass promise a good ol' swingin' soul party...but this is Brunswick, the company that kept attempting to polish a turd and served it up as gold. This and "Aspen" have the same cookie cutter layout with different art. The one sound effect of "bloop" when hitting every target is just awe-inspiring as is the moment when the game starts to play "Taps" which is either an attempt by Brunswick to be self-deprecating or the company thinks that's what discos were playing in the late 70's.
1.106/10
1 year ago
Brunswick strikes again. Cookie cutter layout with different decals over the parts to make it seem "different". Theme isn't even nearly incorporated into the gameplay. This is an early game but still terrible.
1.444/10
1 year ago
This is just another Briarwood table like "Circus" and "Demolition Classic". The playfield is just a bunch of decals over basic pinball parts. The parts and layout are the same as the two aforementioned games. Terrible and for nostalgia freaks only.
6.560/10
1 year ago
"The Walking Dead" is another Stern cash-in (what happened to original tables?) where you shoot at a barn...and a huge, fat zombie thing in the middle of the table. You also "take out walkers" though I'm not quite sure if that's done by hitting the barn or the bash toy. I keep being told I'm "killing walkers" each time the ball drains...which is often thanks to cheap drains from pop releases. It also has a big crossbow you can "fire" which is as random as the giant zombie in the middle of the playfield. You don't need giant toys for a pinball machine, folks. The game play is smooth...when you can hit your targets. Otherwise, it's aggravating to take cheap drains off the HUGE FREAKIN' ZOMBIE TOY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PLAYFIELD. The audio is comprised of Rick (I'm guessing here because it sounds nothing like him) saying homespun southernly things like "What a mess!" while you put up with zombies gurgling and the sound of guts being removed which just makes me want to continue playing, lemme tell ya'. The music is the show's score and theme playing and that's about it. There isn't much to it and Stern has made better.
6.725/10
1 year ago
Great show. Not a great pin. The problem is that it's a bunch of ramps that includes a really cheap drain from the far left one if you're not expecting it. The toys just feel placed there and don't do much -- except for the strippers, of course. They're detailed as hell and they do things. In any case, the playfield is ugly, the "safe" (which you shoot at several times, making it all feel repetitious) looks terrible and the audio is just the show's theme on repeat which, even if you're a fan, becomes tiresome two minutes in. The rest of it is Tony asking for "the friggin' money" every so often. It doesn't really feel like the show and the theme isn't all that present. It could be a generic mafia pin for all a gamer would know.
4.994/10
1 year ago
"WWF Royal Rumble" is basically like a wrestling match: it's not always pretty, there are botches and, most of the time, you're rewarded somewhat. I'd love to tell you that it's fun to play but it's aggravating. First, the playfield is ugly as hell mainly because most of it's covered by a metal ramp version of the Jersey Turnpike and there's not much left to work with. Seriously, there are ramps everywhere. Including a HUGE ramp right up the middle that you will hit multiple times -- even IF you're not trying to hit it. That middle ramp is a huge detriment to the game, taking away most of the other shots that would make this an actual game. Hitting that upper playfield "ring" in the corner, for instance, is a miracle if you can. And you may or may not even know you're up there until the ball drains away from it. The audio is basically a variation of Hulk Hogan's "Real American" and Vince McMahon yelling stuff through a pillow. All of the audio sounds this way. That's a shame. I have yet to play Stern's "WrestleMania" but I am hoping it's an improvement on this mess.
7.924/10
1 year ago
Like Stern's movie version of "Spider-Man"? Guess what? Here it is again with a new coat of paint. This is the same exact game with a face-lift. Gone is the metallic look of the first game. In its place is a comic book version of the titular hero. Rules are pretty much the same: capture villains and become New York's hero. Everything is more colorful, though J.K. Simmons is sorely missed as J. Jonah Jameson. In his place is an actor playing Spider-Man who makes his trademark quips every five seconds ("Hey, Sandman - didn't you know stripes were OUT this year?"; "Ah...the black spider-suit...cool...and homicidal!") and that wears on you in the first few minutes of playing. Still, it's a fun game but one can't really help but feel like Stern didn't really try much here. Still, this is their best Marvel game.
8.268/10
1 year ago
"Spider-Man" is a good shooter -- but not much else. That's not to say it isn't fun to play. Getting "Superhero" on this game is a bit of a chore thanks to a rule set that isn't very deep. The goal is basically to hit ramps all day and all night in order to "capture" villains like Green Goblin, Venom and Sandman. I list those because they're the easiest to beat being that Sandman's "tank" is right in front of you and you can light that sucker up like Christmas. You can practically capture him about ten times per game because the game just doesn't want to lock him down. I wish it would. It's aggravating just how many times you'll nail Sandman and beat him. That said, it's so awesome to hear J.K. Simmons yack all game long about Spider-Man's accomplishments. They're pretty chuckle-worthy. Even when you hit start when you haven't inserted a coin, he shouts, "What is this?! 'Superhero on a Budget'?!" Good stuff. The light show is also cool and the multi-ball callouts (especially Doc Ock's) are awesome. A winner all around.
6.123/10
1 year ago
"Sing Along" was a game I had the pleasure of playing at Santa Clara's big pinball expo, "California Extreme". It's simple to understand, yet extremely difficult to knock out. The object is to light up numbers that are strewn across the playfield and then score points by putting the ball in the left center hole which tosses the ball into the rest to score big points. The main issue is that the flippers are tiny which leaves you with a giant hole in the middle that your ball drains out of. This game might teach the casual play how to nudge. Believe me, it works here. The other issue is that the lanes and targets are insanely difficult to hit and there are other targets in the way that don't really help things much. Overall, a decent EM but there have been better ones.
9.600/10
1 year ago
This is the game that knocked "Tales of the Arabian Nights" out of my personal Top 10. "AC/DC: LE" is a fantastic game on nearly every single level. As with most of Stern's rock tables, I'm not a huge fan of AC/DC but I'd listen to their stuff probably before any of the other bands Stern has signed. The game is smooth as hell, giving you the option to listen to about a dozen of their best songs -- and each one gives the table its own unique "personality". For "Thunderstruck", there's thunder and lightning when you hit ramps and targets while "T.N.T." gives you explosions. The ramps are smooth and fairly easy to hit and each one is rewarding. The toys include a heavy requiem bell and a concert stage where the guys "play" during certain modes. The only downside to the game is the DMD which doesn't have a lot to offer in the way of animations and, while the music is there to compensate, the sounds are fairly generic. Overall, however, this machine is a blast to play and probably the best of Stern's rock tables.
3.571/10
1 year ago
Oof. Says it's a "Williams" game. Plays like a Sega game. First, the audio sucks. Imagine the Sega Genesis imitating the sound of a dishwasher running and you have your "musical theme". Now imagine that same sound engine attempting to create speech. Everything sounds like it's being said into a kazoo through a pillow. The words, "DO NOT FEAR ME" literally sound like "OO AH RRR EEE". The DMD animations are probably the ugliest in all of pinball's DMD era. The playfield and art doesn't inspire one to keep playing either. The entire product feels cheap from top to bottom. The only saving grace is smooth gameplay -- and even that is riddled with consistently cheap ball drains down the middle of the flippers. The one neat gimmick is the "floating green mist pinball" trick that wows you when you see it...only to dump you right back into the middle of the mess that is this game.
6.637/10
1 year ago
"Safe Cracker" is like "Who Dunnit?" without the charm, wit or smooth gameplay. The concept is really cool but it's all lost in translation and you get sick of "stop-n-go", especially when the "stop" doesn't make much sense: you crack a safe and basically stop a roulette-style safe wheel at a certain number. You'll get a bunch of cash, a token if you're lucky or you'll get a guard or some sort of robot dog that you have to "defeat". One of the things I really do like about this game is infinite number of "lives" you get. The object isn't to give you three chances to crack a safe, it's to give you a chance to crack the safe in a given amount of time, period. After you run out of time, you have ONE life -- that's it. If you lose it, you're arrested. The great thing is there's a lot to shoot at, despite the much smaller field and flippers. The bad thing is that it's pretty easy to hit ramps and targets and it feels, at times, like you're just going in circles until you finally get the shot you want. As for the art...meh. This isn't the prettiest thing to look at and it's mostly lights. Props for using the backglass, though. I'm a sucker for stuff like that. Still, this is disjointed and not really for me.
7.605/10
1 year ago
"Fathom" is everything "Paragon" wasn't -- a great theme and art but with better audio that goes far beyond "bloop" and "bleep" and much better gameplay thanks to a reduced playfield and the removal of the awful "double right flipper". This one had interesting "water" or "wave" sounds as you played and a voice that taunted the player as they played. It's dated as hell but one can tell that effort was put into it with great targets and a rewarding set of shots that actually work thanks to much smoother gameplay. Even in the dark, the lighting makes this table look great in a gameroom.
3.919/10
1 year ago
"Paragon" might be one of the most overrated tables I have ever played. I mean, I get what it means to be "challenging" but there's "challenging" and then there's "just plain inaccessible". Shots are incredibly hard to make and it doesn't help that there's little to no ball control. There's a sense that every shot made is lucky and not from skill. The theming and art is the best part of the game and that's unfortunate because the playfield, cabinet and backglass all recall the art of Boris Vallejo and you're stuck with slow gameplay, a wide open field, constant, really cheap ball drains (especially under the dual right flipper or coming down from the right upper tunnel - holy christ on a crutch, that's aggravating) and some of the worst audio I've ever heard in a pinball game -- even by 1979's standards. I don't want to say it's like listening to an Atari 2600 cartridge game...but it is. Even a light little musical theme might have helped out a bit. "Paragon" was simply born in the wrong time. Today, with a Jersey Jack or Spooky Pinball makeover, this could be something.
4.197/10
1 year ago
"Xenon" is "Pin-Bot" before there was "Pin-Bot". The difference is that "Pin-Bot" is actually awesome and "Xenon" is just plain terrible.

It's a relic of a time long since past in which women in space wear tight, sexy clothing and moan at you to score points. I think.

All while the annoying music goes faster and faster, creating "pressure" so you'll screw up and miss your shots. It's a shame it's easy to make those because the music just becomes annoying and terrible. Additionally, there isn't much to this game past hitting ramps and drop targets.

Even the art is ugly and misogynist, praised only because of its sex appeal. Don't believe me? Read the majority of the reviews for it and you'll see men fawning over sexually-tinged audio that's poor at best.

You want sex and pinball? Try either of the "Elvira" games or even "Bride of Pinbot". "Xenon" is a dated loser.
5.247/10
1 year ago
"Class of 1812" is the answer to "What if Gottlieb made their own really crappy version of Monster Bash?"

Here, we have Gottlieb upping their game a bit and presenting us with a pinball game where you need to collect "stiffs" like zombies and vampires in order to score points. The other objective is to light high-scoring ramps and targets by hitting drop targets which, like the main objective as well as the multi-ball functions, is far more simple than it should be.

If anything, it's the toys that steal the show: a severed hand, a set of chattering vampire teeth that serves to mock you much like the head in "Funhouse" and a cool "beating" heart. The problem is that none of it really amounts to much and they don't really have a place in the game. They're just there to be there.

Yay for Gottlieb putting some thought into this one...too bad it wasn't more fleshed out.
8.764/10
1 year ago
"Cirqus Voltaire" is basically the third part of my "Showmanship Trilogy" which, for me, consists of "Theatre of Magic", "Tales of the Arabian Nights" and this game. I name it such because they all share a penchant for grandiose melodrama that wraps around the player and consumes them completely. Each one has outlandish toys and gimmicks as well as epic, cinematic musical scores and game audio. Here, "Voltaire" goes over the top with a game about a mythical circus run by a mysterious "ringmaster" that you need to defeat while activating various portions of the circus in order to put the big show. The game is smoooooth with shots and ramps that recall "Creature From the Black Lagoon". They're easy to hit in succession and it's satisfying when you do. The "sideshows" are a lot of fun and unpredictable and one such mini-game involves the backglass and a catapult system which is ingenious. The design is excellent with a colorful playfield and a really cool neon ramp on the right, something we'd later see expanded on Stern's "TRON Legacy". The main gripe I have with this game is that it's too simple: wake the Ringmaster, beat him, repeat, just like "Attack From Mars". Additionally, gaining pieces of the "Cirqus" is pretty easy to do and you can finish the game fairly quick if you know what you're doing. Even still, "Voltaire" is a lot of fun and rewarding.
7.836/10
1 year ago
Want a fun shooter with a simplistic rule set? Look no further than "No Good Gofers", a game that pretty much sits in the same boat (no pun intended) as "Fish Tales" in terms of goofball humor and gameplay. Your entire goal is to play a round of golf which ends up being a war against pesky gophers who try anything to get in your way. The shot targets are incredibly fun and satisfying (such as whacking the gophers in the face and the famed "Hole in One") but seasoned gamers might scoff at the cutesy kiddie art and theme.
4.628/10
1 year ago
I get why "Centaur" might be "underrated" or even in somebody's "Top 10"...I simply don't agree. When you play this bad boy, you think "Gottlieb did this". You'd be wrong. It's a Bally table. The artwork is what drew me to it. It looks like Mad Max by way of H.R. Giger. Unfortunately, it's just pretty to look at and not much else. it's another "Gorgar" where you listen to some guy telling you to "destroy Centaur" and a couple other things as you make attempts to hit targets that aren't entirely aligned with the flippers. So, you spend game after game attempting to make shots into little side tunnels. The rule set isn't entirely clear here without instructions and even when you do figure it out, it's a bit convoluted. The left tunnel rule alone is very involved. In order to complete anything, you need pinpoint accuracy at all times, hitting drop targets the size of a thumbnail in order. Doing so gives you a multi-ball reward which is fine but this isn't anything we haven't seen before. It's dated. Additionally, as beautiful as the art and design is, it feels tacked on to a generic drop-target fest. The audio is also terrible. I get the table is nearly 40 years old (Jesus, I'm old...) but the repetition of it is what grates. Not for me.
7.126/10
1 year ago
PROS: Beautiful, colorful playfield, reminiscent of "Metallica" and "Aerosmith". The game is fast and flows beautifully, despite it only being a series of ramps. The variety of shots and skill required to make them provides for a good gaming experience. Nice old school feel. The game sometimes feels like "Sorcerer" and "Gorgar" on steroids, especially with the addition of the two extra flippers up top. Pretty cool. The lighting is your usual modern Stern flair which isn't a bad thing at all. Light shows are excellent and they work in conjunction with the theme and audio.

CONS: Everything else. I'm not a fan of Iron Maiden. I never was. And I'm a child of the 80's. I'm not actually a huge fan of Metallica or Aerosmith or KISS either. But I would listen to those last three in a heartbeat if it was between them and Iron Maiden and I'd choose their tables over this one any day of the week. So, right off the bat, the audio is just a turn-off. Secondly, I might be in the minority but I don't need PS4-level graphics on a video screen. It's a pinball machine, not a slot machine. It comes across as extremely tacky, especially the whole weird "mummy/WW2 dogfight" hybrid theme it's displaying. I thought the awful Scooby-Doo-esque visuals on "Aerosmith" were terrible. This is something worse. Lastly, it feels awfully cookie cutter in that it features almost the same ramp layouts as all their other rock tables. At least "Aerosmith" and "AC/DC" had their toys and gimmicks to differentiate. This is just two ramps and not much else. There's a feeling that without any real "identity" past the A/V or the playfield, this pretty much could be anything with a quick re-code and fresh coat of paint. You can't say that about "Ghostbusters" or "Aerosmith", for example.

Overall, this is just another Stern rock table. Will continue to play it if I see it but would never own.
5.535/10
1 year ago
At first, this game aggravates you. It's simplistic. The playfield and glass art are beautifully drawn -- but the color pallet is barf-ugly. There's a big, open playfield which is typical of early machines -- and it has a ridiculously arbitrary island on the upper portion which is home to a bumper and features a borderline-useless flipper. The soundtrack sounds like somebody firing a machine gun through a kazoo and stars a deep voice that taunts you every so often. The gameplay starts off mind-numbingly slow -- then picks up. It plays faster than you'd think -- though, at times, you feel like an NHL goalie more than a sure-shot winger aiming for the net. This machine makes you work for the shots you want. The main issue is that the shot trajectory seems curiously misaligned with the targets on the table. Attempting to get into that little Gottlieb-inspired "tunnel" in the left corner takes awhile. It takes skill to hit that regularly. The light show you get is built into the playfield floor and it's pretty cool. This table will either make you or break you. I see the appeal -- but I'm not sure it's one I'd want to own. It's like "Gorgar" with some of the personality sucked out of it.
4.111/10
1 year ago
Maybe it's because I've been spoiled by better pins for most of my life. Maybe it's because I've heard such great things about this table. Maybe I was expecting far too much.

"America's Most Haunted" isn't very good.

The gameplay is horribly repetitive and the voice work sucks. The "theme" is that you're part of a reality show that hunts ghosts -- except that this doesn't really come through very well and is severely weakened by grade school animations and a storyline to match. Is the game supposed to be parody? Is it supposed to be creepy? I have no idea because it fails at both. On the one hand, it feels like a shooter and plays like one: you basically just have to hit your ramps and conquer spirit after spirit. There are actual "boss" levels. So, there's that.

The overall design of the pin isn't THAT bad. I do like the blueish-purple color scheme and the overall feel of the shots is smooth (though seeing the ball drain most of the time after attempting to hit the off-center ghost target is maddening)...but that's really about it.

There's nothing to write home about mainly because the game can't decide what it wants to be. It's completely lacking in satisfaction and is frustratingly uninvolving.
9.360/10
1 year ago
I adore this game. First saw it at Disneyland but never got to play it. Finally did just last year and it didn't disappoint. It's easy to play for novices and will challenge experts. While the playfield is just decent (Stern has a problem with this sometimes), everything else is gorgeous. The LE version features beautiful lit ramps which mimic the the "Light Cycle" effect from the film, a moving Recognizer and a cool "rumble" motor that really immerses you in the game. The audio is also absolutely stunning with re-worked Daft Punk tunes from the film and crystal-clear dialogue and sound effects from the film. The call-outs, while not entirely memorable, work well and I love the ball drain sequence with the ramps seemingly "dancing" with light in darkness while the DMD tallies your score. One of the ten best tables I've ever played, easily. This game is a masterpiece.
4.201/10
1 year ago
I truly don’t get the high ratings for this table. It’s pretty to look at. The art is phenomenal. That’s really about it. It’s basically a souped-up electro table on crack. The shots and gimmicks aren’t much and are fairly easy to master and there isn’t much to do or cheer about once you go nuts and hit those at will. Neat, but just not for me I suppose.
6.104/10
1 year ago
"Taxi" can be fun if you're looking for a quickee pinball fix and just want to knock the ball through some ramps. It's a game that requires skill because most everything you need to hit are lanes. The entire game is comprised of you picking up famous passengers like Gorbachev, Santa Claus, Dracula, Marilyn Monroe and Pinbot. The game suffers, however, from an over-simplistic set of rules, a puke-ugly playfield, and repetitious audio. Yes, hearing your passengers calling "TAXI" is a riot (especially Pinbot who sounds so amusingly desperate hailing a cab in his robotic voice) but it gets old in about a minute. One plus is the alpha-numeric display which somehow animates "cars" going by complete with a passing car sound. This is a nice touch. Otherwise, the game is decent but not great. Even still, this is a must-have for collectors.
8.192/10
1 year ago
Boy..."Who Dunnit?" I played one game. That game took over one hour to complete. Why? Because

1) It's WAY to easy to hit ramps in this game.
2) Because it's too easy to hit ramps, you can constantly light up "EXTRA BALL" like it's July 4th.

The theme is brilliant. Mystery noir with a hard-boiled private detective trying to find various killers throughout the city. The issue with this is that there's no "logic". You're just guessing, really. There are always about a half dozen suspects you can choose from but the killer is random and the reasoning for them being the killer never really makes much sense. Either that or I'm truly missing something. In any case, this is one of those Bally games where you can score a billion points blindfolded.

One of the cool catches is that you're also supposed to be a habitual gambler and you can play slots and roulette as side games as you're trying to solve cases. This means you could be about 100,000 from being the number one high scorer on the table...only to lose that position because you just lost 900,000,000 points at the roulette table. No, you don't HAVE to play roulette...but the thought that you could not only be in 1st Place on the scoreboard by over a billion points appeals to your ego. You play pinball thus you have an ego. It's unique to say the least.

I was able to get through five cases. Not sure if there's anything more to do after that. But I DO love when you guess the correct suspect -- only to lose them as they run for the rooftop and you have to literally "chase" them across the city. The way this is executed is that lanes are randomly lit -- but they change every few seconds. So you have to hurry and try to get the ball up into the correct lane. If you hit the correct lane at the right time, you have to hit one last lane to "subdue" them and have them arrested. This is followed by a four-ball multiball which gives you a TON of points if you're really good.

The problem is that the gameplay and audio feels more than a bit repetitive with audio callouts repeating every few seconds without fail. If CastleVania: Symphony of the Night were a pinball machine, this would be it.

And, so, this game isn't without its faults. "Who Dunnit?" isn't the greatest but it's TRULY unique. It just feels too easy. A skilled child could probably beat the table if they were quick enough. And that's another part of the problem: it feels like you're playing a game geared for kids.

I liked my experience with this game but I'm not sure I'd ever take the time to play another long game.
8.476/10
1 year ago
"The Champion Pub" is an insanely fun table that offers up a gaming experience unlike most tables out there. The entire idea behind the game is to get jewels for a title belt you're fighting for. Along the way, you literally "train" with things like a heavy bag, a speed bag and a jump rope. This leads you to your "fights" against different fighters (who all look the same because, let's face it, this isn't a Playstation 4) for pride and money and points. The fighting and training systems are very clever and well-executed and require precise reflexes and shots. You're either with this or you're not. Ultimately, three of the four missions work for me. While the speedbag mini-playfield is very cool and the heavy bag/fighter is clever, the jump rope bit doesn't feel like part of the game. Neither do random DMD games like "catch spit" or "card games". Even the fighting and heavy bag are flawed thanks to two ramps which are designed to re-direct your shot to the bag/fighter. The intent is to create "headshots" instead of constant shots to the jaw. My issue is that those ramps lead to an unintended drain dead center, This happens a little less than half the time in my opinion unless you get lucky and happen to tip the ball elsewhere to prolong the turn but it happens and it's annoying. Regardless, "Champion Pub" is a winner.
6.781/10
1 year ago
"Fish Tales" isn't a game I'd play over and over with the intent on conquering it like I do other games. It's basically a series of ramps which give you combos. The other targets catch you "fish" which add to your score. The game is fine in terms of theme, I supposed. It's cutesy and revolves around rednecks fishing if you hadn't guessed. There's just not much to it and I feel like all I did was hit ramps and lock up balls for multiball. The audio is hit and miss with a GREAT banjo bluegrass tune which sounds beautiful (and seamlessly goes into an ending strum upon ball drain) but the call-outs and other audio remind me of "Creature From the Black Lagoon": garbled as hell. All in all, a nice piece to have in a collection but, really, it's only for completion purposes and nothing more.
5.897/10
1 year ago
What to say about "TX-Sector"...first, it's not the prettiest pin I've seen. It's like a spaceship and the Golden Gate Bridge had a baby. It's just...blah. Almost colorless. Industrial, really. The scoring is strange. You have to load up your "power", then make a shot to...do something. I have no idea. There's a ramp that, try as I might for five straight games, I have NOT been able to hit. I've only gotten the interlink shield down but the ball just won't go up the ramp when I've cleared it. Otherwise, hitting targets is fun, I guess. Neat soundtrack, reminiscent of an 8-bit concerto but I wouldn't go so far as to say "OMG GREATEST PINBALL SOUNDTRACK EVAR" like so many here have done. This is a decent Gottlieb game but it's far from a masterpiece.
7.172/10
1 year ago
The third in the "Pinbot" series of pinball games. Jackbot is better than the last entry. In fact, the "Jackbot" seems a bit layered in terms of meaning: is it is a response to the cries of sexism in "Bride of Pinbot", featuring a male robot instead of a female or is it "Jackbot" as in "jackpot"? Honestly, nobody cares, I suppose. But while this is better than the second table, that's not saying much. The game is a virtual carbon-copy of the first game. There's no originality in the design except that you're playing in some sort of space casino thing while scoring "Jackbots" every so often. The casino games are just kinda there and there's no real risk in losing anything since an average player can easily score a billion points without a sweat. I like what I'm seeing but nothing in this series will top the original "Pinbot".
7.964/10
1 year ago
"Black Rose" is a fun, though frustrating, game. On the one hand, the scoring is complex and the little side-games (swinging to a ship's deck, escaping a shark, etc.) are really cool. However, the scoring is also annoyingly difficult. I can hit the left ramp with ease. The right ramp? Not so much. That and it's a timed combo system so you have like ten seconds or so to hit the next ramp so you can get your points. There's really no need for a timer. The fun is really in the center ramp and the use of the cannon to hit targets you normally have trouble with. Even if you're playing mini-video games on the DMD (which takes away from the pinball game at hand), the games are fun. But what the game lacks in gameplay and scoring, it more than makes up for in style and atmosphere. This FEELS like a pirate game, unlike the plastic, half-assed POTC by Stern. Black Rose is better than that game.
3.967/10
1 year ago
Ugh. There's a reason why this table is sold so cheap and why people speak ill of Sega when it comes to pinball. Nearly everything, from the playfield art to the gameplay to the atrocious, screeching, tin-can audio (which includes an awful, looping rock song that sounds like it belongs in an eight-bit action game rather than a pinball table), is ugly. There's even a weird red flipper which really serves no purpose whatsoever and functions on a separate flipper button making the control scheme convoluted and confusing. The gameplay is relatively smooth but the rules aren't all that clear, so it's really just trial and error, hitting targets until you can figure it out for yourself and, even then, there isn't that much depth. Balls drain easy, too. Especially if the machine isn't calibrated and balanced correctly. Even the multiball is terrible, forcing you to keep four balls in play. But with a cramped playfield, it's near impossible to do so. This is another Sega failure.
8.476/10
1 year ago
"Star Trek" is a smooth machine. I love that you can choose which "mission" you want to play before you play it. It never really feels like the same game twice. Ramps and targets are fairly easy to hit. That's not really a criticism as the speed of the game more than makes up for it. The callouts and dialogue are a touch weak as some line readings come across as phoned-in. I know it's an arcade piece but the actors could have at least made it sound like they were trying. The game reminds me of a high-tech "Attack From Mars" at times. It's a hell of a lot of fun to play and the action makes you feel like you're living the new films.
8.948/10
1 year ago
"Indiana Jones", I love you so. You're easily Top Ten material, yet you sometimes make things so hard for us. Ramps are incredibly hard to hit every single time I've played you. But, sometimes, all goes well and I can hit ramps like magic. Your playfield is rough around the edges but so colorful and the toys...the little biplane, the Aztec monument, the "Path to Adventure"...yes, you leave clutter where you've been but DAMMIT, if it isn't clever. The "gun" plunger is REALLY cool. And I love the Adventureland/Disneyland version of you with your modified wood cabinet which fits right into the theme of the shop and land you're in. It's a shame not every single cabinet was made that way but you are what you are and you're still a joy to play. I love to play you...see you tomorrow, Indiana Jones...
7.892/10
1 year ago
To me, "Aerosmith", "KISS" and "Metallica" are pretty much the same table. I played this one at a local bar. Three games. There wasn't anything that really stood out to me except for Sparky getting zapped. That sequence along with the drain sequence is neat. But there really isn't much to it. Nothing groundbreaking, nothing "different". Stern's "AC/DC" is still the end-all/be-all of "rock band pinball" to me. Compared to that table, anything else is just a quickee meant to capitalize on a recurring theme.
8.220/10
1 year ago
I played this game on and off for the last few years, never really understanding what the fuss was about. I finally sat down to really dig deep this weekend and, while it's not my absolute favorite pin (Pat Lawlor would triumph with his follow-up, "Twilight Zone"), it's a solid table. You can definitely see the influence it had on T-Zone what with the player having to collect "Mansion Rewards" in order to get to the Table Wizard mode of "Tour the Mansion". The call-outs are fun (LOVE the Mamushka and the SHOWTIME multi-ball sequence) but some shots are insane and tough and require pinpoint accuracy. The audio also sounds unfortunately garbled. All in all, the table still delivers.
6.931/10
1 year ago
So the company that brought us the brilliant "Pinbot" decided to eschew thoughtful design and a wondrous, colorful space theme...and replace it with a female Pinbot that looks like she's blowing one of the ramps. The really weird borderline misogyny aside, the sequel to "Pinbot" is nowhere near as good as its predecessor. It's just shooting the left ramp over and over to accomplish stuff with the main goal being to bring the female Pinbot to life. The flipping "face" at the top of the table is a REALLY cool idea, though when it comes down to it, it isn't anything we haven't seen before. Not a game I'd play over and over unlike the first one.
9.000/10
1 year ago
"Pinbot" is one of the two tables that got me into pinball. What isn't to like here? The name of the table is catchy, the design is eye-popping and colorful and the audio is an absolute work of art which works in tandem with the visuals. The package is beautiful. The only bad thing I can say about it is the table's penchant for draining out the left side without touching the bottom flipper on some turns. Doesn't happen all the time and perhaps it's a balancing problem with the version I played. That and the strangely ironic bagatelle on the right side (a neat idea, to be sure; it melds pinball's past with its present here) that really doesn't do much. Other than that, "Pinbot" is a classic.
5.499/10
1 year ago
I don't understand the hype for this pin. "Black Hole" was a better game because it kept things basic. A couple years later, we got "Haunted House" from Gottlieb and, holy crap, there are THREE playfields. Multiple playfields aren't a bad thing...but with this game, it is. The lower playfield is just a rehash of "Black Hole" and it's not clear what point it has (it's called "The Basement", apparently...but it doesn't feel like it is) and the upper playfield is just a giant "no". The flippers on that particular field take some getting used to but even when you do, there's no real flow. The overall "theme" doesn't even feel like a haunted house. The playfield looks like it belongs in a circus-themed pin and there's no eerieness to be found except for the one organ tune that plays on repeat just like all of Gottlieb's early games. Could have been better.
5.256/10
1 year ago
I don't get it. They updated "Black Knight"...but the game doesn't play better or sound better. The theming has been nearly replaced so that the game feels less like facing off against a Knight and more like you're playing a weird version of Pinbot. The center "sword" has been replaced with a weird light "disc" that lights up in a "spinning" manner as you play. Once again, the upper playfield is back -- with one freakin' flipper which doesn't make a whole lot of sense and makes the upper playfield borderline pointless since there's no opposing flipper to keep anything in play for long. Once the ball goes downstairs, good luck getting it back up to the top again. Not a great table.
7.211/10
1 year ago
I will say this: it's a better game than its follow-up. More colorful, smoother and is more fun. The issue with the game is that it has two playfields and I've learned that when you have this feature, you either live or die by the second playfield. It's difficult to get the ball back up there once it's downstairs. And when you get it to the upper field (which takes up a good half of the playfield), the shot angles are a bit difficult to make. Other than that, there isn't much variety here. Beautiful playfield, though. That sword in the center is epic and I love the sound of the Black Knight taunting me as well as the sound of his horse galloping. Very clever. It's just too bad that there isn't much to this game.
8.948/10
1 year ago
A fun table that's rewarding provided you can hit all your targets with accuracy. The issue is that there's a LOT going on here with respect to the toys and playfield. That's to be expected. The Simpsons universe is huge with so many characters and landmarks. The bitch of it is that the game feels like a mish-mash of ideas that never go anywhere. The field can come across as intimidating because of the sheer amount of features and mini-games. Even still, this is a highly enjoyable pin -- but nothing "special".
4.172/10
1 year ago
I don't understand the fuss. The game plays like every other Gottlieb game: slow and plodding with a wide body which should give you enough space for some good shots -- if only the parts and min-playfields weren't just haphazardly placed on the playfield. The audio is no good either, giving us an indecipherable tune that plays over and over, which is more than annoying. It doesn't make me want to keep playing. The "theme" isn't really a part of the gameplay, either. It's just something that feels tacked on so that Gottlieb can make a sale. They've done better than this.
8.880/10
1 year ago
This may be one of the greatest pinball games I've played -- if only it wasn't so easy to beat. Seriously. I've played this game about 15 times and I've beaten it and gotten every monster and instrument most of the games I've played. It's straightforward, delightfully so considering the audience it's aiming for, but it's almost TOO straightforward -- to the point of being too simple. That said, this game is just too awesome with a cute theme and mission wherein the player has to gather the six monsters of rock for the ultimate concert. The shots are fairly simple to make, yet requires precise shooting (the Gillman's lagoon shot is difficult to the point of frustration at times). The problem is that there are only six monsters to collect and it's just a series of ramps and lanes you have to hit in repetition. Not much of a challenge. Great toys (love Dracula floating around as a moving target and a rising Frankenstein's Monster...just brilliant) and a playful theme make this a winner, though.
8.280/10
1 year ago
I got top play a few games at California Extreme 2017 in Santa Clara, California.

I like the game, even though it feels like a Dutch Pinball/Jersey Jack production with the gigantic LED, something I wish Stern hadn't used since I feel like less is more with a regular DMD display but it's 2017 and here we are. The table has some cool toys in the Death Star and Tie Fighter. I like the mini-LCD screen on the playfield. Makes me think of the obscure original Future Pinball table, "Jaws". It's about time somebody made that a "thing". Very clever.

It's Star Wars and there are several missions but only one theme that revolves around the Death Star so missions in Tatooine don't really feel "authentic", but that's not entirely bad. I do love shooting down Tie Fighters with the red firing button placed in the bottom center of the table. Pretty cool idea. I'm not entirely sold on it because I'm not the kind of person who needs more than the flipper buttons but I do like the concept.

The table plays smooth and the ball doesn't drain as much as other Stern tables so that's a huge plus.

Compared to last year's "Ghostbusters", though, this isn't as inspired and feels too "safe" at times.
6.526/10
1 year ago
Far superior to the "LE" version, but oddly void of decent theming save for a randomly-placed dragon, GOT Pro is comprised of basically hitting a series of ramps and tunnels, which help you win "battles" amongst "houses". The issue is that there isn't much to it beyond the maze of ramps in front of you, which has the unfortunate side effect of making the missions feel the same despite the game trying to con you into thinking otherwise. The ramps and targets only really provide you with about a half dozen total shots, which limits the fun. That and the same audio bits just play over and over with generic voice actors seemingly replacing the actual show actors. The dot matrix animations need an upgrade to a video screen DMD because the animations just don't translate well. The only thing that saves it is the gameplay which moves a lot quicker than GOT LE. You have to be on your toes when shots at targets come barrelling back at you at the same speed you hit them. As a shooter, sure, this one might have something to offer but Stern has produced better.
7.731/10
1 year ago
Stern's rock band-themed tables are hit-and-miss. They range from ridiculously fun and clever (AC/DC) to tables with a band's name on it (Metallica). Thankfully, Aerosmith is the former. Beautiful, colorful, eye-catching playfield, a good soundtrack and a cool little toybox that you can toss your ball into. The multi-ball call-out is really cool and I love the light-show built into the playfield (the "spotlight" effect is very clever). I'm not a huge fan of the the DMD being replaced with a video screen but if this and Star Wars are any indication, that's probably going to be the norm from here on out. That and the animations played on the screen are goofy and not really reminiscent of the band, really. It's like watching a 70's white-guy version of "Fat Albert". That said, the game is fun to play.
6.843/10
1 year ago
I like playing this table a lot. It has some really great shots and ramps and a great effect in the "lagoon" where a green hologram version of "the Creature" lurks. Love the 50's drive-in movie theming. The cons? The audio is AWFUL. Everything sounds garbled as if the sound chip was dipped in water. That and the placement of the ramps feels like you're looking at a set of ramps having an orgy. The entrances of certain ramps are hard to make out unless one knows where they already are. That, and aside from the hologram, there isn't much "story" to this board except for couples making out at a drive-in. Almost nothing here has anything to do with the actual creature, unless you're counting it being "a drain monster" which it surely can be when shots bounce back at you. Nudging BARELY helps with that, too. Still, a decent game and a lot of fun to play. It just plays fast and ends too quickly. Perhaps the machine I've been playing isn't calibrated correctly.
7.806/10
1 year ago
A great early pin from Gottlieb. Sea-theming is charming (as is the artwork) and the shots are smooth as silk with a good rule set for an EM table. The only downside is that it hasn't aged well but if you can get past that, the table is worth your time.
9.156/10
1 year ago
SO. MUCH. FUN. Your goal is take out four or five saucers hovering over major world cities. Each flying saucer toy rules. They "hover" near the back with their little blinking lights and you can't help but be charmed. Beating the main saucer over and over is always satisfying and gives you a hell of a light show which turns off all the other lighting save for the upper saucers and gives you a strobe that blinks as the saucer "explodes". Great stuff. The only cons are the game seems too simple and there's not much else to do except blow up the same saucer over and over. That and you can score 100 million points just by hitting a target and letting the ball drain. I've never played a game where your final score is an average of 2 billion points. Maybe that's the joke, I don't know, but it's odd to be able to score that many points on a table. It doesn't feel like you've "earned" anything. Even still, this is a great, fun game.
4.032/10
1 year ago
Played it...didn't care for it. First, the upper playfield is a fine idea. I love these because it invokes memories of The Twilight Zone, Black Knight and Haunted House. But what's the purpose? It's just an upper playfield. With a neat looking dragon to make it "cool". That's it. The rest of the game is highly uninspired. Nothing but a ramp that hits the upper Field and a bunch of columns that do random crap like spit the ball back at you a half second later. Additionally, this sucker is a drain monster due to a ball that seems to float endlessly, then bounces HIGH off a bumper and continues to float. This kills any momentum the game was supposedly meant to have. I might play it again to see if it's just me but this didn't leave a great first impression. Surprising since Stern rarely puts out a bad table.
8.532/10
1 year ago
There's a lot to like about "Theatre of Magic". The playfield is gorgeous with unique ramps that resemble red rug-covered "stairs" and a beautiful "magic trunk" that gives you several different missions to play. It's incredibly polished and classy. The issue is that the trunk is the center of everything and the audio constantly reminds you of that. That's your #1 target every single time. Either that or the one or two ramps which are easy to hit. That and points are too easy to accumulate. A player with little to no skill with decent reflexes can hit 250M in about five minutes or less. It's so easy, you basically don't even need the missions. That said, it's a great table, reminiscent of "Tales of the Arabian Nights".
8.604/10
1 year ago
I get the appeal. The machine feels like you're playing "Army of Darkness" without the Deadites. There are goofy, tongue-in-cheek callouts and the game play is nearly unrivaled...but it feels somehow one-note to me. I like taking out the castle but it almost seems so easy. That and the callouts are 90's arcade schlock at their worst. I don't mind a game not taking itself seriously but damsels sound like valley girls and the guys (and various other characters) spout off modern pop-culture phrases and slang like "I'm gonna get medieval on your behind." Yes, really. It's cute but just not for me. I DO, however, think the playfield and toys are gorgeous and colorful with some great lighting that really pops, especially during the night. MM is Top Ten material but not a #1 table for me.
8.900/10
1 year ago
This has to be, without a doubt, one of the most beautifully-designed tables I've ever played. Colorful playfied, awesome toys and cinematic-level audio (the musical scoring in this game is incredible and doesn't sound at all synthetic or electronic) make this game a winner. The issue is that the ball draining down the middle is an annoying problem -- but it's replaced with joy when the machine calculates your score set to a nice light show and sitar music before a brilliant blue flash of light travels along the board and finishes things off. The female narrator adds a magical tone to the proceedings and battling the genie is always uniquely satisfying. Table is a winner -- though the "missions" can get repetitive.
8.844/10
1 year ago
After the awesome table that was "Elvira and the Party Monsters", she returned with "Scared Stiff", a fine table to be sure, but a slight step down from its predecessor.

The design is eye-popping. The playfield is brilliant and colorful with a 60's grindhouse horror cinema feel to it. This is capped by a coffin/crate in the center of the table and a giant ramp covered by the skeleton of a dragon's neck and skull. The music matches the theme but gets really repetitive very quickly. The frogs screaming each time you hit one is not great audio because you seem to hit them every five seconds.

Elvira has her usual double entendres but they're more innocent this time around and some of the others seem forced and too scripted ("Nice bone...eh, us"; "Oh! I'm having multiple jackpots!"; "How 'bout another ball?") to be truly memorable.

"Stop the Spider" is also repetitive and wrecks the flow of the game. Sorry. I've never liked it. It's just an annoying feature that gives you repetitive tasks to accomplish ("Fish Head" for the 173rd time in ten minutes?!) and makes it feel like something completely separate from what you were just doing.

Aside from that, the gameplay is very smooth. It's fairly easy to hit the ramps and I love the light show during the multiball event, though it just sort of "happens" without much fanfare.

Great ball drain sequence (no pun intended).

I just like the first Elvira game better. It was beautifully simple whereas this game is needlessly complex and repetitive.
9.028/10
1 year ago
I. Love. This. Table.

First played it as a teenager in an apartment complex gameroom and I absolutely fell in love with it. Aside from the game playing fast (and frustratingly draining to the left side all the time), it's still easy for even a novice to master.

The game has excellent audio that makes you shake your head and smile because it's SO Elvira and making well-timed shots or activating multi-ball only makes her that much more playful with one-liners like "Don't touch me THERE..." or "Ooooo, nice organ!" (with regard to an actual organ tune, not one's actual "organ" - heh). Music has about two or three tunes that play during different modes.

Hitting ramps are satisfying and the game features one of the best Multiball activation sequences next to The Twilight Zone.

One of the greatest tables I've ever played.
8.908/10
1 year ago
Ghostbusters is one of the best Stern tables I've ever played. Not without its flaws: the rules are aggravating and don't really make a whole lot of logical sense, the magna-slings make you want to scream (seriously, who thought it was a good idea for the bumpers to arbitrarily sling the ball downward toward the drain?!), the coding needs some fixing, balls jump off the playfield and completely miss targets and ramps which frustrates players even more...but, by god, when this game works, it works. The music and the call-outs are amazing. I love the little touches that truly evoke the film: Tobin's spirit guide, Louis shouting "Who brought the dog?", the kick-ass containment unit shutdown effect where you get the unmistakable siren while the machine goes nuts with blinking red lights...it's truly clever...if only the gameplay was better.
9.068/10
1 year ago
Black Hole was another machine I discovered playing virtual pinball and had the pleasure of finally playing in real life at last year's California Extreme. The game is deceptive in that it feels simple but takes skill to truly master. It has a really cool retro space theme that reminds one of Disneyland's Space Mountain (and even has this cool "humming" soundtrack, reminiscent of the main loading room at Space Mountain, that plays as you play) and a really deep blue color scheme which looks even cooler in a dark room. The main gimmick is the upside-down mini-playfield below the main table where you accumulate points in the "black hole". Very cool idea that inspired several modern tables including "The Twilight Zone" and "Congo". The only con I can think of is that the ball feels like it moves too slowly even when you give it a good whack with the flippers. The main bumpers and pins are also stretched out too far on the board so there's a distinct lack of targets to hit. No ramps, either, but that's not really much of a complaint. The table is very fun to play. This is far better than "Haunted House" because it keeps things simple. I will probably take some heat for that but it's true.
8.767/10
1 year ago
I adore this table. Admittedly, I only first played it as a virtual machine via Pinball Arcade. I was hooked. The game is simple, yet so much fun because it relies on a player's skill with regard to aiming shots. I've played the game several times and I've only been able to knock out all the pins once. The design of the table is simple, yet colorful and is a fun Gottlieb EM.
2.331/10
1 year ago
This was the first pinball game I ever played. It's one that I've once owned and then, with a heavy heart, parted with. It's not very good...but you always remember your first love and look back with fondness. These games were sold, if memory serves, at department stores back in the 1970's. They were designed for families who wanted simplicity in their gaming. It's simple all right. There are no gimmicks. It's straight up hit-bumpers-for-points pinball. When you do, you hear the machine "ding". That's about it.

The theme is supposed to be a "Demolition Derby" but, aside from the art, the theme is nowhere near incorporated into the game, much like everything Briarwood made back in the day. Every single different table they put out had the same playfield layout but different art which had no effect on the game aside from being something to look at while you played.

It's basically this: launch the ball and keep it on the playfield while about half a dozen bumpers knock the ball around to give you points. There are two targets which give you "1000 POINTS", too. Can you just IMAGINE??? A whole 1000!

There's no replay value here aside from maybe playing with friends to see who can get the highest score on the table and you can do that on bigger, better, more interesting tables than this one.
9.894/10
1 year ago
Simply put: a classic on every single level. The stylish and colorful playfield art. The DMD animations. The audio with dialogue from episodes from the show. The extremely deep rule set. The theatricality when the game rewards the player for hitting a jackpot or a ramp or multi-ball. The toys. Everything about this table is absolutely beautiful. The machine is as beautiful as a 60's American muscle car and just as much fun to experience. No disrespect to Monster Bash or Medieval Madness but this, to me, is the #1 table of all-time.
8.351/10
2 years ago
This is TRON Legacy lite. It lacks the beautiful neon ramps in the LE version, something I just don't understand with Stern - why make two different tables of the same game? It's off-putting. First, it creates confusion with casual gamers who hear how great a game is through word-of-mouth. The lit ramps seem minor...but it's not minor. The ramps make this game. As does the moving Recognizer and shaker motor. Imagine if "The Twilight Zone" had a PRO version and lacked the upper playfield where you battle The Power and the gumball machine and Powerball were missing. Having the very same game lacking crucial features is pointless and aggravating. Not to say the PRO version is bad. It's still a great game but I don't get the logic from Stern.