zacaj's ratings

Pinsider zacaj has rated 60 machines.

This page shows all all these ratings, and forms zacaj's personal top 60.

Rating comments

zacaj has written 22 rating comments:

1 year ago
Layout sucks. Both side shots are hard to hit, left orbit rattles every time, scoop is too hard to hit, ramp diverter doesn't work ever. Code is super simple and incredibly unbalanced. Callouts are annoying. 90% of the display is taken up by a useless 3D city while all the important info is crammed in at the bottom, tiny and hard to read.
1 year ago
Pretty cool game overall. Could use more movie content. Scoring is horribly unbalanced and random though thanks to the super x and bonus collect.
1 year ago
Layout is cool but a bit clunky. Could use another pass. Code is very repetitive and random, nothing but stacking. Theme work is somehow worse than the Stern. PotC just doesn't work if you don't have the characters and clips from the movie, sorry.
1 year ago
Layout is cool but a bit clunky. Could use another pass. Code is very repetitive and random, nothing but stacking. Theme work is somehow worse than the Stern. PotC just doesn't work if you don't have the characters and clips from the movie, sorry.
2 years ago
spinner and left kickout could really be easier to hit.

Spinner also isn't worth enough

Seems like a grind to max your multiplier, just shoot it up top again and again

Missing doesn't really cost you anything since you just max out your value anyway by hitting more drops
2 years ago
Could really use a higher scoring level than 100 pts, and carry-over of the scoring levels.

Scoring of the 5000pt skill shot and 1000pt targets is a bit too much in comparison to the low scoring doodle bug
2 years ago
fun game, but really needs some other way to collect the #1 ball besides plunging the center lane up top. With no way back up there, you can be stuck for the whole game trying to plunge that lane and locked out of everything
4 years ago
Fun game, plays great thanks to the Sonic playfields. Outlanes are nasty. Always love games about lighting different playfield features, but this one's a bit too luck based since most of the targets aren't shootable directly and you just have to rely on the pops. Not like you'd get a chance for much aiming anyway since it's so fast, but it'd be nice. Bonus collect and the spinner are also very hard to hit, a pity since when you do have a good ball they become your main focus.
4 years ago
The ultimate stop-and-go game, in my opinion. Looks like a boring 'hit the drops' layout like Jungle Queen or Spirit of 76 till you understand the rules, then you realize it's the exact opposite. Lots of cradling, passing, and aiming to try to pick off the right targets, then sending it into the pops to move the light around. Love having the outlane saves, but wish it was more possible to fall into them from the pops.

Like most gottlieb drop target EMs, suffers from not having the targets reset, made worse by the lack(!) of an extra ball. Once you complete them you're just stuck trying to shatz inlanes for bonus until you max it out, and then there's nothing to do but drain. It'd be great if there was some 'collect bonus and reset targets' hole but there's no room for that anyway. Need to try to mod mine to give another ball on Specials
4 years ago
Make sure you set the lock lighting to hard!

Great layout, great feel. The rules are a bit basic, sadly. Wish there was a jackpot or something to go for in multiball, flailing around only is fun for so long
4 years ago
Love this game, one of the best EMs. Center pops are always great, and Spanish Eyes may be the best of them (still need to play a Freedom). All the pops are nice and powerful (DC) and it's satisfying just listening to the reels click as the ball goes crazy. The constant weighing of your options (go for more numbers, collect the numbers you have, or go for the loop) is great, and I love the risk reward once 1-6 lights the loop for an add-a-ball. How many more 6k collects can you manage on ball 5 before cashing in?
4 years ago
I'm always a fan of 'build up the hole' rulesets, but Surf Champ feels a bit of a let down, since it's basically impossible to shoot the hole on purpose (especially with strong flippers and that annoying Gottlieb EM edge that the ball just rolls around). The pop bumpers are also a bit strangely placed, and don't seem to add much to the game.
4 years ago
Game can be a bit too slow and easy if set up stock. Too easy to control the ball, not enough danger (the 'outlane' kickers especially feel like a wasted opportunity since you can just hold the flipper up). So I replaced half the plastic guides with bouncy rubbers, raked it to 7 degrees, and removed the hold on the flippers so you can't cradle, and now it's a pretty fun game.

Two rules tweaks would really improve it though:
1. make 'stars' (from guessing the code correctly) worth way more. 250k or 500k, not 100k. It's possible to win by just knocking down tons of drop targets thoughtlessly and building up your multiplier, but the game is better if you need to have aim and quick thinking
2. start with a column or two already filled in with wrong guesses. The game really gets going once you've already got some data to guess with, but in the beginning when you're just shooting randomly it feels a bit pointless.
4 years ago
Thought I would really enjoy this game, I love recovery from shots, spinners, and loadable 'jackpot' shots like the right kicker, but am a bit disappointed. When I originally saw the game online I misunderstood the double bonus, thinking that it was a sequence of needing to go in the kicker and the spinner in order, but instead it's just going in either one after getting a lucky bounce. The targets don't give a fun 'recovery' when hit, they just drain. Kicker shot would be fun, except you're lucky to get it worth more than a lit spinner, and it's more dangerous too. Spinner is way too easy to light, especially once you find the mark to plunge it. My spinner is worth 30k+ off a good hit when it's lit, and if it's not lit? Well you better shoot the spinner to get up top and light it. At least on other games like Hot Tip there's at least other things to shoot at that are semi-worthwhile aren't just death.
4 years ago
Amazed this game isn't more popular. Cool layout, with lots of planning about how to get from one shot to the next, different things from different flippers, etc. Great ruleset with multiple strategies, each of which weave in and out of the others to give a good advantage to planning ahead. Challenging multiball which requires good ball control and juggling skills. You need to set it up tough though, or it can be really unbalanced. 15s double boadside, 4s right ramp, no letters to start, alternating ramps in multiball... My only real complaint is that double broadside is cumulative, and that the upper flipper/cannon aren't used in multiball.
5 years ago
seems like it should be a really cool game, but it's not.. half the tic tac toe squares you collect by accident, and sometimes it doesn't seem to give you a win when it should? you light extra ball by LOSING tic tac toe? upper playfield is entertaining, if shallow. has this horrible sound effect that just plays over and over really loud in lew of background music. fun for beginners though, just tell them to shoot the drops and the center shot.
5 years ago
two main problems with this game:
the bonus multiplier is incidental to building the bonus, which means that it also carries over ball to ball. can you picture in any other game if just reaching 10k bonus gave you a 2x multiplier? and then 15k was 3x? there are multiple useless bits of the game that could have been repurposed as a way to build your multiplier each ball, but they were too focused on using the different combinations of cards to do stuff.

2. diamonds makes the pockets valuable
spades lights extra ball, and the spinner
hearts... lights some random target behind a pop bumper for 5000?
clubs does... nothing?
just moving the spinner to clubs would improve the game immeasurably. (working on a custom rom to fix this)

also, the extra ball is in a hole you can't shoot for, and, once lit, stays lit FOR THE ENTIRE GAME, even after collecting it? craziness. there's an option to make it only light when spades is selected, which makes it balanced again, but also even less useful to possibly aim for. just turn it off once it's collected!

in general a cool table, with some nice strategy around deciding whether to shoot for drops, or change the suit to something more valuable. would be nice if the drops were angled a bit more towards the left flipper, they can be a challenge to hit, though that's not bad.
5 years ago
a worse version of Jokerz with a better theme, and the gun is cool I guess. super jackpot shot while balls are in play is cool, but too easy to get the timing down. why isn't it random? only one multiball, and it's disappointing. after going to all the effort of starting multiball, I don't want to just be locking all my balls again. Would have been much better if you need to shoot the locks to build the jackpot, then had a roving jackpot on the gun during play to collect it's nice comboing ramps, but payback time is a disappointment, you're lucky if you can get as many points as one jackpot in multiball, and that's all the ramps are good for, so that's two shots off the playfield. Right orbit is also useless, compared to jackpots, center shot just qualifies the left orbit which... is only really useful for starting multiball. basically, it's a one shot game. even just switching the left and right orbits would have made the gameplay so much more varied, as it is the left flipper is useless, all you do is put it on the right again.

ball save, which was practically invented for this game, since it really needs it, is way too short (and disabled after the first multiball, wtf?), and badly implemented (no conception of outlanes, so you can drain during the ballsave time and still lose your ball). No operator adjustments available either. after your first multiball or two, you start draining out of multiballs before even making a shot half the time, which is even worse when the plunger can send balls directly down the drain or right outlane without ever getting the ball to your flipper.
5 years ago
great sounds, love the ricochets and the screams. good for beginners, the guns are a hard shot until you can aim better, but then they get repetitive. would be nice if you needed to do something to qualify the locks. in multiball, you need to hit one of the three locks, however it doesn't tell you which till after there are balls flying at you, half the time you're out of multiball before you can discern the flashing shot from the lightshow. the final save the queen bit is good though, if the OP has tuned the number of shields and time well. lock shot should rotate after first multiball instead of just being on the left every time
5 years ago
if this game wasn't free I wouldn't have given it a second look. Just another in the endless series of 'hit these ten things to get an extra ball' EM shlock that they pumped out in between having good ideas.
5 years ago
Basically a two shot game, and one of the shots (the left kickout) can be hit by accident while aiming for the other (the ramp) as on purpose, the ramps and right kickout are basically useless, which is sad. The drops aren't worth aiming for till you get to 'millions' and then they're pretty good; basically not something you think about during normal play though. Theme is stupid, but the sound is really good, especially the rubber below the right drops whose soul purpose is to laugh at you if you hit it (it's probably my favorite feature). There's really nothing to the game, but I keep coming back to it, and friends+family love it. Great game for the money, especially if you're buying your first pin cheap. My problems with it are very similar to my complaints about T2, and when you think about it they're actually very similar games, all about just starting multiball over and over, and Jokerz' multiball is more fun that T2's (I'm not a fan of the 'lock all the balls again' approach to multiball, I just worked hard to start multiball!)
5 years ago
My father had this in our basement since I was a kid, until I was ~14 it was the only machine I'd ever played, and my time on it still eclipses all other games I own by an order of magnitude. It's also still my favorite of the lot, and I'm not sure if there's any game out there I'd be willing to trade it for, even plus cash. It's really that good. Excellent sound effects, especially the background, excellent not-wide-open layout, cool outlanes. My only complaint is that there's nothing to do in multiball.