TheFamilyArcade's ratings

Pinsider TheFamilyArcade has rated 36 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms TheFamilyArcade's personal top 36.

Rating comments

TheFamilyArcade has written 24 rating comments:

11 months ago
Update 2/22/21:

6 months in or so, WW has become one of my top 3 or 5 games all time. It’s wonderful and fun and unique, blah blah blah. It’s truly awesome!

I think there will be code updates that iron out some of the scoring issues - many mini modes just aren’t worth playing through - and hopefully make it easier to get deeper into the game. Frankly, does it matter how well you perform in various modes if you can’t cash in on that success in a Wizard mode you’ll never play?

But that said, the game fires on all cylinders and is a real masterpiece of pinball.

Just got it. Loving it. Have played probably 200 games. “Just one more” is common, but it can also be exhausting. When you’re done for the day you’re ready to be done.

It is waaaayyyyyyy better than I expected. Layout is great and it shoots super smooth. Rumors of Pat Lawlor’s demise are extremely exaggerated. I’m not really even a Lawlor guy, so for me it might even be his best shooting game.

Rules are robust and can be chaotic, but in a good way. So much can be going on at once. You need to pay attention. Hard to grasp and often frustrating, but really addictive as you start internalizing them and playing with more intention (but less thinking, if that makes sense).

I can see that scoring can seem unbalanced, but in truth, the player is in control of that. You control what the multiplier is and when you collect it. Play better!

The theming is controversial. I appreciate that some people want the movie to come more to life. But there’s a lot of movie in this pin. A lot of Willy Wonka. Clips and callouts galore. It’s just presented in a different way, which frankly works just fine for pinball. The game is creative and inventive. It’s really a scoring game - think ACDC - more than a mode based game. It’s less a journey than a series of creative - often difficult - challenges. I haven’t sniffed any wizard modes yet, so maybe it can get more “modey” (?). I’ve scored 6 million points - a decent score I think - but haven’t ever even gotten two Golden Tickets. This could become an issue.

There are a lot of reviews on this game that I think are misguided or perhaps misinformed. This game is unique. It’s truly different - a spectacular sensory experience - compared to any game I’ve ever played or owned. JJP makes a truly sensational pinball machine and experience. It makes me happy seeing it my game room. It just hits harder than other games. :-)

Is it perfect? No. What is? It’s pinball! And damn good pinball at that!

Will add more details after I‘ve played it longer.
2 years ago
All time classic. Great game. Simple but really fun. I’d have trouble buying it because I think it would get old fast. But it’s a beauty with a cool layout and good shots.

And the hologram!
2 years ago
I think this game could be rated higher, but a few categories are sure to bring it down.

First the bad, not many callouts or variations there. I think they’re all by Jackie? I heard an update made him say more, but it doesn’t seem like there are many callouts at all in this game that are special, except when Jackie says something funny, which is hit or miss.

And the animations are pretty weak. I do like the sexy women, but other than that, this is by far the weakest effort in the LCD age. I know you don’t look at the screen that much when you’re playing, but I’d like more variation here. It’s really static.

Now the good: this game rocks! I love this game and always have a super good time playing it. The music is stellar (I’m a fan) and keeps you pumped. Maybe because the music is so good that I’m just not paying attention to the callouts?

The toy box is an excellent toy and the flow is pretty good. Shots feel nice.

The game is gorgeous. The rules are well thought out and straight forward, but not too thin or boring. The game makes sense. Dive in and enjoy!

I don’t think it’s a long term keeper unless you have a large collection, but I want one someday. So fun!
2 years ago
I gave the sound/speech in this game 6/6 because of the after market upgrade. I would have given it a 2.

Something a little too dark about this game that hasn’t drawn me in deep...yet. I think I need to own this game someday because I watched the show and love Lyman rulesets. I’d like to see what this game has to offer on my own terms.

But so far, eh, it’s ok. Music is dark and repetitive. I don’t really like the layout very much, although it’s different, and that’s cool. I hate the ramp shots. The ball takes forever to get around and just doesn’t give that satisfaction that most ramp shots deliver.

Big ugly bash toy is kinda meh too, and the barn is a bash toy inside a bash toy? Fun to hit, and makes sense in terms of the show, but when you count bicycle girl, that’s a lot of bashing! At least bashing is fun, and that’s what you do to zombies after all.

But it’s a good game, and the rules and theme integration are done well and I will play it more someday.
2 years ago
Been having a lot of fun with this one on route! Another game I’d like to own for awhile.

I love Gomez’ layout here. Really smooth and fun to shoot. The rules seem solid, but I’d like to learn them better. Art is great as is sound quality on all the new Sterns. Animantions and theme integration are clever, and certainly not annoying, but I sense they could have done better. I may change my mind in time.

I do question the lastability, because I don’t sense anything epic about this game. But it is a good one!
2 years ago
This is an excellent effort by Keith Elwin. Fun, challenging game with a cool layout and great ruleset.

The pro doesn’t really have any toys or gimmicks to speak of, but the looping action is pretty cool as well as the four flippers.

I’m not a fan of Iron Maiden but that doesn’t turn me off at all. I could have this game in my collection someday. I’ve played the game a number of times on route, but I’ll reserve a final rating until I play it more. I’ll consider the theme integration more as well.
2 years ago
I wanted to love this game. I watched this show as a kid and loved it. But watching Batman and Robin on this pin isn’t as fun as I thought it would be. It was a fun, campy little show in its day, but honestly, surprisingly, I don’t really care now. Weird. Maybe I’d rather the machine get you more pumped up with the music or the action. But the game is like the show: campy, kinda fun, and maybe not as good as you want it to be.

I like the game. It’s a solid game, and the theme integration with the rules and all the movie assets is top notch. Although the recycled crane is there, why exactly? Because it’s a cool toy! Ok.

But I’m just not seeing how rad Lyman’s (now nearly finished) rules are here. They're good. There certainly seems to be a ton of stuff to do, but I’m not seeing depth and intricacy here, not to the level of AC/DC for example, which might be Lyman’s “Rules Masterpiece”.

And Ive had lonooooonnnnggggggg games on it, so I feel I’m seeing a lot. Maybe I’m just not unlocking the nuance, but what I suspect is that it’s not there. There are a ton of rules. But why are they so great? I want examples, and yet no one ever gives any.

And yes, it’s a little clunky. I’m hardly the first to say it. And so after long ball times and a long game I just feel burnt and definitely done with BM66 until the next time I see it on route. I’ll usually play a handful of games, because it’s a pretty, cute little game. But there are tons more fun games to play in the arcades I’m going to. And in my basement. So I’m not gonna gush over this game.
7 years ago
I’ve revised my rating - increased it - to reflect my better understanding of the game. Understanding the rules and game objectives greatly enhances the fun, gameplay and lastability of this game. Developing and refining strategies ups the ante even more. This is a really good - and stunningly beautiful - game with great rules. Can’t wait to play it more and see if it can retain my current level of interest and enthusiasm.
7 years ago
I owned this game and enjoyed it a lot. Lots of fun and very solid all around package. Fantastic theme integration and music! A definite must for a GnR fan.

Wide layout can get a little clunky sometimes. Data East games never quite pull it all together for me. But GnR is worth owning. I had my fill and it didn’t feel like a long term keeper. My collection is small so I’m always going to change things up, but I don’t miss it like I occasionally do other games.
7 years ago
Need more time with rules etc. fun table with retro 80's feel. Metallica is meh for me as a band, but I won't knock the pin for tht.
7 years ago
Fun and fast. Theme is what if you never saw the movie or did and think it sucked? It's a "cyber" themed game and presents it well. One of the faster games I've played. Wicked fast orbits and quick return ramps are awesome. Glove and matrix toys are awesome. Powerdown wiz mode is awesome. Rules are fine. They make sense and lead to enjoyable objectives. Nothing special like an LOTR, but as good as most games out there. Music, sound fx and callouts are very good...callouts are predictable but not annoying. And they can be funny. Dots are cool too. All in all a very solid game. Underrated for sure and excellent bang for the buck.
7 years ago
So far so good. Flowing shots feel good - except the Warp Ramp, which actually sucks somewhat. It's a little spastic and I think it was designed that way. Otherwise you could loop it around again and again too easily. It's very unpredictable which makes it....clunky. Sorry SR, but the warp ramp is clunky. Vengeance shot is fun, but that's it for toys. Really? Yes. Rules are in limbo but its fun enough to play for now. Hit the pretty, blinking lights. Ooh, they changed, that must mean something....but what exactly? This should be a crowd pleaser when it's all said and done. I like pushing play on it.
7 years ago
Great game. I like it more every time I play it.
8 years ago
I've now owned Iron Man for well over a year. I'd always enjoyed it on route but I was concerned about its depth and durability. IM may be my keeper game. I've sold my beloved LOTR, SM and ACDC, but I don't think I'll be able to part with IM.

Some Sterns feel more solid than others, and IM s somewhere in the middle. It feels a little insubstantial, but that might just be because there isn't a whole lot on the playfield. Either way, it's not an issue. If it's leveled properly it feels steady enough and I'm now confident that nothing's going to break during normal play.

In terms of depth....again, concern was unfounded. The game is NOT deep at all, but the rules are so well done for the style and pace of the game that I actually appreciate the lack of depth. IM is a game that you can play for 2 or 3 minutes and actually feel you almost accomplished something rad. The objectives are actually quite difficult to achieve, because every ball is a mini game unto itself. It is extremely satisfying to achieve either of the mini wiz modes, and it doesn't take very long to do it if you're hitting your shots and keeping the ball alive. Shots are not hard, but keeping the ball from draining is a CONSTANT. IM s a throwback to the old days, when the games were designed to beat you. So beating IM feels good.

My rating has increased twice now. I'm TFA, and I endorse this rating.
8 years ago
I go back and forth on Scared Stiff, but I think, ultimately, I just wouldnt want to own it in my smallish collection. One of the best themes (and integration) and art packages out there. Backglass animation is awesome. Funny and clever, which is very important to me...but it still leaves me more flat than elated.

It's not that deep or hard, so it can get a little old. I do particularly like reaching a wizard mode more than once in the same game...and everything is a little more repetitive on average in the easy Wizard Mode makes it worse.

I really dont ramp shots that return the ball to same flipper...and both of these ramps do that! So I'm always thinking "this coulda been thought out better".

I know it's an alltime classic, and in a big collection it woukd be a must have...but I can't think that way. I reduced my rating on SS. At the end of the day my ratings should reflect what I'd want to own in my situation, so having this rated higher than many pins in my collection or my want list didn't make sense.
8 years ago
I've upped my rating on this game after learning a little more about the rules and deciding to be less critical of some of the callouts. I'm also coming around to rating games with a more holistic viewpoint. Just meaning that TOTAN is a game much greater than the sum of its parts, which when taken individually might not always add up to a fantastic rating...but this really is a fantastic machine.

While the rules can be lame at times, there are some cool as[pects to them. JPOPs games also always seem to have challenging - and short ball time - multiballs. Maybe I just suck, or maybe I just can;t believe there isn't a ball saver...but I've come to appreciate how tough it is to have a good multiball on this machine.

Even it's overall appearance and impact are much better than if you take everything individually. It's kind of a mess in way...but it all works and, as a result, is visually stunning. I don't know. Weird review. Good game. Worthy of a top 10 ranking, as it just demands that you take notice and play it.
8 years ago
OK, maybe the worst wizard mode ever? One ball? Or, if that's to harsh, the most disappinting and anti-climatic. Because it really should be MUCH better for a game that is otherwise a classic and now must be overated for eternity. You don't even have to finish any of the illusions, really do anything during an illusuon at all, to get to the Wizard Mode? Not good. My rating of the rules here heavily downgrades the final grade.

I also happen to think the female callouts - "you have the MAGIC!"..."you're aMAZEing" get very annoying. Maybe not as annoying as Rudy...but pretty darn close. So much so that I've decided the woman on the backglass kinda bugs me too. Which is why the backglass only gets a "good" instead of the overall "excellence" I've rated the rest of the art package.

There is a LOT to like about this game. Nice flow, cool shots, awesome toys. Another JPOP work of art that suffers because of a sub-par rule set.
8 years ago
Its better than its lousy rating! And it's funny! It's droll, witty and sarcastic humor but it is there in spades. Whoever plays this game more than 5 or 6 times and says there's zero humor is either deaf (or not hear the game) or not paying attention. Or simply doesn't have a sense of humor.

CSI is a Cool game. Totally unique layout with no gimme shots except maybe the DNA drops (yes, drops all you "under 6" raters, I mean haters!).

I was blown away by the awesome, original music and sound effects. The callouts are solid too. Elegant, simple ruleset that could be deeper, but its really just enough. Compared to some pins out there a straight forward - but HARD, fast ball time - game is refreshing. The single ramp can be abused by some deft right flipper work, but try hitting regularly from the left flipper and see how you do. And the rest of the shots are so challenging its a net neutral. The upper flipper doesn't do too much but what it needs to do is nearly impossible to master (bullet jackpots).

The theme is actually good for a pin although the way it's integrated in this pin leaves a little to be desired. If you were actually solving something as you progressed through the game and if the evidence actually mattered, this game might be close to an A game. But instead you get a simple, linear game with 3 fun little modes and three fun, hard multi-balls. Throw in a couple bitchin' toys and what's not to like? Stuff two or three balls at once in that centrifuge and tell me how many more experiences in pinball are more satisfying?

Give this game some time people, and you'll be rewarded. Theres is NO other pinball like CSI, and yet people rate it like that's a bad thing.
8 years ago
I love the game and think its a blast. Totally underrated and undeserving of some (not all) of the criticism It receives. The game is worth owning and more fun than many, many higher rated games. It's fast, free flowing and intense. The shots are vintage Gomez, who I think engineers the best "feeling" shots in pinball. When you hit one if his loops or ramps just right it's amazingly smooth. Combos even better. This game could do with some combo modes or objectives. If they're there I haven't found them yet. Sound and music are among the best ever. But again, intense. Dark even. This is not a "lighthearted" game, and I think that weighs down on some people and their ratings.

The 1.8 code update is very welcome...but does not change the fact that this is a very challenging game. I still haven't played the second half of the game. I'll update my rating when I do. As it is I've backed some things down, now that I'm playing and rating more games.
8 years ago
I love this game. Fan layout, simple toys, easy ruleset, but the whole is way greater than the sum of the parts. AFM is the poster child for "less is more".

Humor and creativity in sounds and dots are more important than current pinball makers seem to realize. An outrageously clever game with solid theme integration outpaces a cool toy or deep ruleset any day. AFM is - and should be - an all time classic because it is just flat out entertaining and a blast too play.
8 years ago
Update: i've increased my rating based on the fact that I cannot stop playing this game. The tight shots and excellent rules make this game a challenge and a keeper. The original music is amazing and I even dig the callouts. This pin IS NOT the movie. Its a pinball machine, and the voices work and to me, now represent the pinball machine very well. I did lower my rating on lighting, as the game is too dark in the center area of the playfield...that said, the lighting effects are among the best I've ever seen, and I love the overall look of the game.

I own this game and I think it's awesome. I reserve the right to change my rating after more time passes. I need to learn the rules better and I'm sure they'll evolve further. So far so good. Very good. Innovative shot layout. The Black Widow ramp shot is one of the most satisfying shots in pinball history. Both left loops are also highly satisfying. The playfield GI and light shows are stunning. Music is cool and perfect for the gameplay. Callouts and animations are very good. Sometimes I literally cannot stop playing it. And the game can humble me over and over and yet I keep pushing play. That's the sign of a good game.
8 years ago
Updated: now that I own a new remake, my opinions have changed. The game is not clunky, and is, in fact a dream to shoot. It’s special. It’s in my top 5 games all time for sure.


I really like this game, but i have some issues with physics in the gameplay that annoy me. Could be the tables I've played. I've never played one in mint condition. It can feel a little clunky sometimes. A little too random in the drain factor. Too many side drains to my liking. But after this, whoa, what an incredibly fun, inspired game! Highly addictive, tremendous wit and humor to compliment a fairly straightforward yet excellent rule set. Great theme with awesome integration. Cool dots. Just one of the best. Belongs in the argument for "best ever", although for what I've played, its not my best.
8 years ago
I tried to be objective. I rated the sound poor. Sound quality stinks on the game. But after that, it's ALL GOOD baby. Or actually, mostly excellent. Unbelievable integration of theme and rules, amazing music. This pin takes you on a journey like no other....sometimes epic. It can be so fun and addictive. It's almost the perfect game. Great toys and satisfying shots. You can't ask for more. It's a masterpiece.
8 years ago
SM is the total package. Fun, fast, flowing, challenging...but not impossible. Great sound, great artwork, great lightshow. Only drawback is the dots. They could have been so much cooler. Some are cool, and some are fine, but the main thing weighing my rating down is the animations.