1st pin advice - Houdini or something else?

(Topic ID: 228890)

1st pin advice - Houdini or something else?


By Kwoody51

11 days ago



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#1 11 days ago

I've fallen HARD down the pinball rabbit hole! I have been trolling this site and craigslist like 16/7, meaning pretty much all my waking hours, even at work
I grew up with a Card Whiz and always enjoyed playing pinball when hitting up an arcade as it was the one game that you could earn a free play on... I've always been cheap!

We are now finishing the basement and wife said it would be fun to do a game corner with a pinball machine and cocktail arcade table. Her thinking was put the Card Whiz in the space - I'd prefer something a little newer and more immersive. Leaning toward a newer pin I can play vs worrying about keeping up. I'm very hands on so not opposed to fixing things just want to play vs 'fix'.

Here's my question - any advice on a new pin for someone with 2 young daughters who are 8 and 10 and a wife who doesn't have a great degree of interest?
Budget - ~$6k

Below are some games I've played/ considered but want some insights from those who have done this before. Sorry this is a bit of a dump... but wanted to give you the context

Houdini - Haven't play this but I stumbled across a local seller who has one for $6k and I'm interested as it's a 'deal' with only 200 plays however in reading seems like it's a players pin and might be too much for a novice. I'd intrigued though as seems like I could maybe purchase, play and resell if needed without much if any loss. Talking with LTG he said some of the shots are pretty tough and might be hard for a 1st pin, but could be great once skills are there. I just LOVE a deal though

Deadpool - like the play of this but not sure I'm sold on the theme for my house. Also feel like I want some more 'toys'.

GOTG - like the play of this and like the theme, also really like the movies and soundtrack. Get a little annoyed I can't seem to hit Groot consistently but will likely get better at that. Seems like there are few pro models around $5k however doesn't seem like a very highly ranked pin and thus not sure about long term play.

WOZ - love the look of this but need to play more. The few plays I have on it I seemed to lose the ball down the left outlane super fast. I also thought the audio was a little repetitive/ annoying. Probably a bit out of budget as well, but maybe not in a little bit.

TSPP - like the play of this however I couldn't seem to get multi-ball which I really LOVE. I liked the upper play field but couldn't hit consistently. I've heard rule set on this is super deep which could make for great long term play. Just wasn't feeling this as much as I had hopped however seems like this might be fun for the family. Found some example around $5k which is nice.

MM - LOVE the castle and feel like I can hit the shots on this however wonder about long term play as seem to just hit same shots over and again. Kids seem to like this one though. Seems like it's out of my budget.

AFM - not for me. Same layout as MM but doesn't seem as 'fun'. Like the brightness but the castle in MM wins over AFM for me.

GB - like this one and the toys however don't like some of the ball bouncing that seems to happen when you brick a shot which seems to dump ball to left outlane. For the right price this could fit, I like the theme and the movies

IM - liked the play of this one. Don't know much about IM theme but could be interesting. Not sure if pro model is a good value or need to get the premium which could push out of price.

JP - haven't played this one but found one for $3.5 which is nice as it's less than budget...

FT - haven't played this one but seemed to be well liked. I'm also in MN which is fishing country and near a big lake so seems like it would tie in nice. Found one semi local for ~$3.5 so well within budget.

MET - seems to be well regarded and there is a local one for less than $5k. Like IM I'm sure if the heavy metal theme is for me/ family.

MB - haven't played this but looks interesting and like the remake. Seems out of budget though.

Hobbit - not for me

LOTR - not for me

GOT - not for me

TWD - not for me/ my family

Older, but well regarded games

TAF - I thought this was THE machine for me based on my memories. Playing it I realized I like others much more.

TZ - like this one but need to play more. A single owner HOU popped up on CL for $6.5 this last weekend and I should have pulled the trigger but I wanted to play this more. Seems like it could be a little too much for family and friends.

Funhouse - interesting but main playfield seems cramped. Like the newer DMD games more.

IJ - I thought I found one of these and had cash in hand ready to buy within my budget but seller had to ask family if they'd be ok with sale AFTER I was there with cash. You likely already know how this played out....

So there you have it... if you made it to the end of my post I'd appreciate your thoughts! I didn't do a poll as I want to hear if there are other options I'm not considering.

14
#2 11 days ago

Try and play what ever you are thinking of. You are the one that has to live with it.

Any questions ? I own SS Billiards in Hopkins, stop in and I'll try and help you if you need it.

LTG : )

#3 11 days ago
Quoted from Kwoody51:

Here's my question - any advice on a new pin for someone with 2 young daughters who are 8 and 10 and a wife who doesn't have a great degree of interest?

Don’t really consider them in your decision. They will barely play whatever you get.

If it needs to be a new game and family friendly, I say ghostbusters,Tron guardians, Star Wars, AFMr or MBr

Older games that are good:

WCS
Getaway
TAF
Whitewater

#4 11 days ago
Quoted from Kwoody51:

I've fallen HARD down the pinball rabbit hole! I have been trolling this site and craigslist like 16/7, meaning pretty much all my waking hours, even at work
I grew up with a Card Whiz and always enjoyed playing pinball when hitting up an arcade as it was the one game that you could earn a free play on... I've always been cheap!
We are now finishing the basement and wife said it would be fun to do a game corner with a pinball machine and cocktail arcade table. Her thinking was put the Card Whiz in the space - I'd prefer something a little newer and more immersive. Leaning toward a newer pin I can play vs worrying about keeping up. I'm very hands on so not opposed to fixing things just want to play vs 'fix'.
Here's my question - any advice on a new pin for someone with 2 young daughters who are 8 and 10 and a wife who doesn't have a great degree of interest?
Budget - ~$6k
Below are some games I've played/ considered but want some insights from those who have done this before. Sorry this is a bit of a dump... but wanted to give you the context
Houdini - Haven't play this but I stumbled across a local seller who has one for $6k and I'm interested as it's a 'deal' with only 200 plays however in reading seems like it's a players pin and might be too much for a novice. I'd intrigued though as seems like I could maybe purchase, play and resell if needed without much if any loss. Talking with LTG he said some of the shots are pretty tough and might be hard for a 1st pin, but could be great once skills are there. I just LOVE a deal though
Deadpool - like the play of this but not sure I'm sold on the theme for my house. Also feel like I want some more 'toys'.
GOTG - like the play of this and like the theme, also really like the movies and soundtrack. Get a little annoyed I can't seem to hit Groot consistently but will likely get better at that. Seems like there are few pro models around $5k however doesn't seem like a very highly ranked pin and thus not sure about long term play.
WOZ - love the look of this but need to play more. The few plays I have on it I seemed to lose the ball down the left outlane super fast. I also thought the audio was a little repetitive/ annoying. Probably a bit out of budget as well, but maybe not in a little bit.
TSPP - like the play of this however I couldn't seem to get multi-ball which I really LOVE. I liked the upper play field but couldn't hit consistently. I've heard rule set on this is super deep which could make for great long term play. Just wasn't feeling this as much as I had hopped however seems like this might be fun for the family. Found some example around $5k which is nice.
MM - LOVE the castle and feel like I can hit the shots on this however wonder about long term play as seem to just hit same shots over and again. Kids seem to like this one though. Seems like it's out of my budget.
AFM - not for me. Same layout as MM but doesn't seem as 'fun'. Like the brightness but the castle in MM wins over AFM for me.
GB - like this one and the toys however don't like some of the ball bouncing that seems to happen when you brick a shot which seems to dump ball to left outlane. For the right price this could fit, I like the theme and the movies
IM - liked the play of this one. Don't know much about IM theme but could be interesting. Not sure if pro model is a good value or need to get the premium which could push out of price.
JP - haven't played this one but found one for $3.5 which is nice as it's less than budget...
FT - haven't played this one but seemed to be well liked. I'm also in MN which is fishing country and near a big lake so seems like it would tie in nice. Found one semi local for ~$3.5 so well within budget.
MET - seems to be well regarded and there is a local one for less than $5k. Like IM I'm sure if the heavy metal theme is for me/ family.
MB - haven't played this but looks interesting and like the remake. Seems out of budget though.
Hobbit - not for me
LOTR - not for me
GOT - not for me
TWD - not for me/ my family
Older, but well regarded games
TAF - I thought this was THE machine for me based on my memories. Playing it I realized I like others much more.
TZ - like this one but need to play more. A single owner HOU popped up on CL for $6.5 this last weekend and I should have pulled the trigger but I wanted to play this more. Seems like it could be a little too much for family and friends.
Funhouse - interesting but main playfield seems cramped. Like the newer DMD games more.
IJ - I thought I found one of these and had cash in hand ready to buy within my budget but seller had to ask family if they'd be ok with sale AFTER I was there with cash. You likely already know how this played out....
So there you have it... if you made it to the end of my post I'd appreciate your thoughts! I didn't do a poll as I want to hear if there are other options I'm not considering.

WoZ, Houdini, or AfMr SE (for the larger, color screen), in that order, although $6k might be a little under budgeted.

#5 11 days ago

All good pins but I wouldn’t recommend Houdini as your first. Also, ratings don’t tell the whole story with newer pins. GotG for example was released with awful non-existent code and the scores haven’t rebounded even though a year later the code is very good. Then you have a new game like Deadpool skyrocket in ranking because it’s new and has few reviews, mostly from people that own it.

Don’t get attached to the idea that you have to keep what you get forever. Play them and pick which one is best for you and your family. Then if you are tired of it in 6 months sell/trade it for something else.

Good Luck.

#6 11 days ago

Have you considered Road Show? Good, family friendly game. Also, well within your budget. Might allow you to get 2 games.

FWIW - My girls are 10 and 14. They were most upset when I sold CV and T2.

I wouldn't recommend Houdini for a first pin either.

#7 11 days ago

Hang around and wait for the last days of Deeproot.

#8 11 days ago

Houdini is my third game and I would completely recommend as a first game. Here's why...

Houdini's a great and unique pin for $6,000. There is a lot of value for your dollar and I'm a value shopper as well. Great mechs, great music, lots to shoot at, very deep code. Yet EASY for new players to figure out as it tells you what to shot for such as "hit the pops to shed the handcuffs!" I think the art package is great. Shots are not that hard and I'm NOT a great player. Shots feel wonderful as you hit them but if you're not hitting the shots well in one game you're probably spelling SEANCE very quickly and getting into Seance multiball. "The Man From Beyond" and Straight Jacket escape modes are crazy and very original. Weakest point in Houdini is the animation but it gets the job done and has gotten better in newer releases of the code. I like the lower scoring. You hit a shot for 100,000 and you feel like you've done something. Break 1 million and you're having a great game. Highly recommend.

I also agree with chuckwurt... consider the family but get something you'll be happy playing cause you're going to play WAY more than them.

#9 11 days ago

Houdini is terrible.
Almost anything else would be better.

#10 11 days ago
Quoted from finman2000:

Have you considered Road Show? Good, family friendly game. Also, well within your budget. Might allow you to get 2 games.
FWIW - My girls are 10 and 14. They were most upset when I sold CV and T2.
I wouldn't recommend Houdini for a first pin either.

Carlene Carter automatically makes that a no. More grating than Fish Tales, and that's saying a lot.

#11 11 days ago

Houdini...probably not so much for a 1st pin.

probably TSPP or WOZ would be best, from the sounds of it.

#12 11 days ago

Do your daughters like the Guardians movies as well? Rocket and Groot? If so I vote for that.

Medieval would be even better if you can afford it. Used remakes should be in the $7k- something range

#13 11 days ago

houdini is awesome. if you are just getting one game its hard to decide. there comes a point when owning just one game there is no "ultimate" game that beats the rest thats why so many people own many games. each are good for their own reasons.
get the houdini. yes shots are tight but they will come to you, and anyone, even a new player can get seance. its just flailing at targets that lights it.
if you get bored of it sell it and grab another game, you arent gonna lose money.

#14 11 days ago

houdini in my opinion is terrific but deep WCS94 roadshow fishtales if you have the money for a houdini you could well afford 2
much cheaper titles ive got a few games and believe 1 game in a house gets boring sooner or later if you buy right there is very minimal loss if any at all

#15 11 days ago

TSPP. Perfect 1st pin and a great stand alone.

#16 11 days ago
Quoted from BrooklynDrug:

TSPP. Perfect 1st pin and a great stand alone.

Pretty hard for a family pin. D'oh mode is annoying.

I'd definitely have the daughters play this one first.

#17 11 days ago

I have small kids, and my top 3 for kids and adults both are woz, hobbit, and tspp. Can't go wrong with any of your choices really. Mbr or mmr would be great, but I am concerned about lastability in a small collection. What about a used DI as well?

#18 11 days ago

Houdini is being dumped left and right for many valid reasons - avoid.
JJP pins have more parts than aircraft carriers - avoid.

Your over-analyzing your "first pin" a bit.
2 most important things:
1. Get a good, fun game.
2. Get one that's easy to resell, in case you do not like it or want something else.

Best option for you: Expand your budget and grab a Monster Bash Remake.
Fun for whole family - always someone who wants it when you're done.

#19 11 days ago

I stopped in a few Sunday’s back and played your great collection!!!

I was the guy asking you your thoughts on Houdini.

Quoted from LTG:

Try and play what ever you are thinking of. You are the one that has to live with it.
Any questions ? I own SS Billiards in Hopkins, stop in and I'll try and help you if you need it.
LTG : )

#20 11 days ago

First pin recommendations:

Spiderman-not vault
Simpsons
MMR
Game of Thrones-Pro

Cheaper titles:
T3
BlackRose
Earthshaker
Whirlwind

#21 11 days ago
Quoted from ejg10532626:

Best option for you: Expand your budget and grab a Monster Bash Remake.
Fun for whole family - always someone who wants it when you're done.

You don't even have to expand the budget. The base model of Monster Bash Remake is 6k. That's right on budget! I also recommend this pin if you want to play more than fix, the theme will be fun for all, the shots are easy for kids yet the total gameplay is challenging for adults, and the resale value should hold quite nicely over time.

I also wouldn't recommend Houdini for a first pin. It has tight shots and can be frustrating, especially for kids. Even if it's fun and lively and easy to follow with the directions, if you can't hit the shots consistently, you'll lose interest. And good luck with the resale.

I see you mentioned JP, which I used to own for 2 years. That was also my first pin and it was extraordinary. Watching the T-Rex eat the pinball NEVER gets old. Kids love it, adults love it, and fixing it was never an issue thanks to the community here at pinside, but for $3500 you better be getting a mint unit with 0 blemishes. Most go for 1800-3000. I don't know if I've ever seen one for 3500 before. However the parts are cheap, and the shots are nice and easy for a beginning, with advanced shots being the upper flipper. I absolutely loved this game for the time that I had it.

#22 11 days ago

As a Houdini owner (note how few posting here actually own one), I would recommend you play it -a lot- before purchase. Houdini is on the high end of difficulty, and can be frustrating for new players, and it needs to be set up within a millimeter of perfection to really shine. That said, it along with The Hobbit, is the best value you can find for a newer game.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend Dialed In if you can find one. It is a perfect mix of 90s DMD games and more modern tech/rules. WOZ is outstanding too but I find it more fun to watch than play.

You kinda can’t go wrong with a 90s Bally/Williams game though. As noted, JP is very fun (although IMO you will find yourself wanting to trade it out for more varied gameplay eventually). Look around locally and see what you find, what theme sounds fun and just do it.

#23 11 days ago

Agree with Jurassic Park. Fun and fast game. Toys for the kids and adults.
Immediately recognized theme that most people have enjoyed watching.

#24 10 days ago

Personally I would pass on Houdini. It's too hard for my skills. Also with my grandkids up to age 8 (8 year old likes Met the best,I have it on family setting)
however, they don't really play more than a few balls. So I would buy what you like best, good luck.

I will say the 2 and a half year old goes to AFM's. I would consider the Monster Bash classic edition at 6K plus shipping. I like Whirlwind a lot and regret selling.

#25 10 days ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

Agree with Jurassic Park. Fun and fast game. Toys for the kids and adults.
Immediately recognized theme that most people have enjoyed watching.

I think JP is fun and great for the family, but for a single pin(1st pin), it does have somewhat of a clunky layout. Upper flipper and T-Rex shot are clunky(but fun). Other games that are clunky but fun-Ripley's and Avengers.

When I think of what would make a good first game for the family I think of a game with basic rule set(not too deep) and a game with good shots and good flow. You want people to enjoy their first experiences. If you get a Ghostbusters, people will walk away-discouraged by extreme flipper gap.

Honestly Game of Thrones Pro really stands out to me as a perfect fit, because it has a great layout with wide open shots, fantastic rules and code, and it is a flow monster-Highly recommend. When you grow tired and want to switch it up, many people out there seeking GOT pro.

#26 10 days ago

Now that it's affordable seems like MM could be a good choice. It's got mechs kids should like with the castle and trolls.

#27 10 days ago

1) welcome to my nightmare

2) I’d disregard your wife and kids in the decision (likely) they will play a few games on whatever machine and that’s it. However that’s not 100% true, maybe you will have a wife or kids who fall for pinball but that’s not been my experience with myself or my group of friends. It’s probably like 90% that it’ll be just you playing.

3) I think greatly you’re better off getting 2 or 3 pins that can cost $6k than getting one for $6k. Said the guy with 12 pins each worth $5K+++ but I started out with T2 and Bride of Pinbot and worked up to my collection over 14 years. Can you figure two $3K pins and later sell one and get a $5k pin like SM or Tspp on up. I greatly believe two or three is better than one.

4) I don’t care for Houdini but I’ve not played it a lot but imo it’s not as great as others you listed.

5) Tspp and SM and Met pro or IM all great pins under $6K

6) AFM looks simple of basic but it’s not. It’s 100% a top5 pin. I’m sure MM is good too but I just got AFM remake and didn’t know if I was going to love it, I figured SM or IM was going to be similar but cheaper but 100% AFM is totally the boss and well worth the price. If anything surprised me of my last 4 games (Woz, DIaled In, TNA and AFM) it’s how much I loved AFM. It’s kind of simple rules but just the correct degree of challenge. Novice players can do things like city battles and maybe 5 way combo and super pops but getting the super jackpot insert or the Total Annihilation insert is really really hard. I greatly recommend AFM remake LE or special edition (whatever it’s called) with the larger display. The larger display really makes the game thst much better and the topper on the LE is unbelievably great.

-1
#28 10 days ago

If you want to hook the most people into playing, with easy success for newbies and a good challenge for you....WCS94 by a landslide.

#29 10 days ago

You should get a Card Whiz and maybe a game around $3000. Having 2 games makes it more interesting. I`d play more games before making any decisions.

#30 10 days ago

You guys are great, thanks for all the input/ advice!

I should also say that for those that have gone before me you already see through me.... I fully understand that the 1st pin is a multiplier which turns into more pins! I would LOVE a collection of 5+ pins but I could see 2 maybe 3 pins tops. This won't happen though if I don't find the 'right' pin to help prove the point to my wife that kids like it as will guest. My wife will quickly say YOU don't need more than one pinball machine.... but if it's for the kids, maybe

Some comments on games mentioned

Dialed in - love this theme as I'm on my phone ALL the time. Have played a little bit and like the game but want to play more to get a better feel for it. If you know where I can get one anywhere close to my budget PM as I would buy today!

WCS94 - local pin shop has one listed for sale and have reached out to find out the price

GOT - I agree with you on on the flow/ shots - that theme just isn't going to fly in my house, sorry...

MM - seems like these are still close to $7k, again if you know something I don't on price please let me know

MB - are you really going to be able to get one for close to $6k? Reading another thread seems it will be closer to $7k when you factor in tax, shipping and color DMD (which some say is a requirement).

I'm 100% good with picking up something now and getting something else in the future I just worry about resale as in I don't want to 'lose' money on the deal... hence why I keep coming back to Houdini as it seems like such a good 'deal' but if I/ my guest hate it and I have to resell it in 2-3 months probably not worth the hassle.

Keep it coming and thanks for welcoming me to the club/ support group

#31 10 days ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Houdini is on the high end of difficulty, and can be frustrating for new players
I highly, HIGHLY recommend Dialed In if you can find one. It is a perfect mix of 90s DMD games and more modern tech/rules. WOZ is outstanding too but I find it more fun to watch than play.

Absolutely! Definitely not the pin I would buy as a first pin... if you are not a good player it will be a brick feast. Most important shots are tight.

Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I highly, HIGHLY recommend Dialed In if you can find one.

Agreed! Fantastic flow and most shots are not super tight. Family friendly theme.

Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

WOZ is outstanding too but I find it more fun to watch than play.

WoZ is a cool game and your wife and daughters may actually enjoy it too.

#32 10 days ago
Quoted from Kwoody51:

You guys are great, thanks for all the input/ advice!
I should also say that for those that have gone before me you already see through me.... I fully understand that the 1st pin is a multiplier which turns into more pins! I would LOVE a collection of 5+ pins but I could see 2 maybe 3 pins tops. This won't happen though if I don't find the 'right' pin to help prove the point to my wife that kids like it as will guest. My wife will quickly say YOU don't need more than one pinball machine.... but if it's for the kids, maybe
Some comments on games mentioned
Dialed in - love this theme as I'm on my phone ALL the time. Have played a little bit and like the game but want to play more to get a better feel for it. If you know where I can get one anywhere close to my budget PM as I would buy today!
WCS94 - local pin shop has one listed for sale and have reached out to find out the price
GOT - I agree with you on on the flow/ shots - that theme just isn't going to fly in my house, sorry...
MM - seems like these are still close to $7k, again if you know something I don't on price please let me know
MB - are you really going to be able to get one for close to $6k? Reading another thread seems it will be closer to $7k when you factor in tax, shipping and color DMD (which some say is a requirement).
I'm 100% good with picking up something now and getting something else in the future I just worry about resale as in I don't want to 'lose' money on the deal... hence why I keep coming back to Houdini as it seems like such a good 'deal' but if I/ my guest hate it and I have to resell it in 2-3 months probably not worth the hassle.
Keep it coming and thanks for welcoming me to the club/ support group

Bring the whole family to an arcade that has a lot of the titles you have listed and see what they gravitate towards.

Pick the one your wife loves and watch the budget increase!

#33 10 days ago
Quoted from ezeltmann:

Bring the whole family to an arcade that has a lot of the titles you have listed and see what they gravitate towards.
Pick the one your wife loves and watch the budget increase!

Oldest daughter seemed to like Gotg and MM, youngest one LOVED cactus canyon, which I like as well. Didn’t realize this was a collector and is $10k+.

If you all know where I can find dialed in for a song let me know. All options I’ve seen seem to be $8k.

I’ve seen Woz for around $6500 which is a stretch but could probably work.

My wife thinks a $1k cocktail arcade table is a ‘better’ idea than a pin so she’s already on that side... I said we can just do both

#34 10 days ago

Any pin you enjoy to play a lot is great to get whether your first pin or 20th. I recommend getting as many plays on a pin as you can before considering purchasing. Most games are really fun the first handful of times you play them since everything is new and exciting.

I also recommend playing to get at least 3 pins. Buying an expensive pin as your first is fine but can limit the budget for the next pin. Playing the same pin over and over with nothing else can get old fast. Plus when there are issues with the pin, it really sucks because there is nothing else to play. However, in the end you should always buy a pin you like. Don't settle for a pin just because it's cheaper. If you love playing Houdini, then you will love owning one.

I also recommend only buying pins you are interested in. Your wife and daughters are not going to play. I have 2 boys and a girl that are 14. They never play. I enjoy when I can share my pins with others but truth is most people don't really care that much about pins.

#35 10 days ago

Forget the cocktail arcade game and get a jersey Jack Pirates. It’s like 20 games in 1. Either that or MMr or MBr.

#36 10 days ago

DI or Woz are both great with so much to see and do.

#37 10 days ago

For a first pin and for the family, I think a great choice would be Monster Bash Remake Classic (6k) or if you can stretch the budget to a Spwcial Edition (7200).

#38 10 days ago

Guys, are you missing this comment? WOZ, DI, Pirates are out, remakes are probably out too.

Woody, It's your first machine, I suggest you don't blow your entire budget. Especially if you are worried about losing money and your wife appears to be a little iffy on it.

Look around for a well priced used machine with a decent theme that you like playing. THen you can decide if you are a pinball guy or not, with little risk of loosing money if you sell it.

It is unlikely your kids will play a lot, so I wouldn't worry too much about it being a 'family' game.

It doesn't need to be a knock-out theme out of the gate. If you get more involved in pinball, then you will work your way into the big titles. Focusing on a home run machine as your only game can lead to disappointment.

#39 10 days ago

Just to clarify IM = Iron Man (not Iron Maiden).

You’d do well with IM or SM for less than $5K

#40 10 days ago
Quoted from Black_Knight:

Guys, are you missing this comment? WOZ, DI, Pirates are out, remakes are probably out too.
Woody, It's your first machine, I suggest you don't blow your entire budget. Especially if you are worried about losing money and your wife appears to be a little iffy on it.
Look around for a well priced used machine with a decent theme that you like playing. THen you can decide if you are a pinball guy or not, with little risk of loosing money if you sell it.
It is unlikely your kids will play a lot, so I wouldn't worry too much about it being a 'family' game.
It doesn't need to be a knock-out theme out of the gate. If you get more involved in pinball, then you will work your way into the big titles. Focusing on a home run machine as your only game can lead to disappointment.

Thanks for seeing the budget comment- I’d LOVE many of the pins mentioned I just don’t think I, or my wife, would allow $7-8k for a 1st pin.

What are all your thoughts on resale on a Gotg pro for $4900?

Seems this game got a bad rep at release for poor code. I like the theme. Game play seems fun, although I maybe only have 20 plays on premium on location.

Seems like a decent deal for a ‘new’ pin. Given early 90’s titles, even B list titles are selling for $3.5-4K seems like this should hold its value for a few years.

#41 10 days ago
Quoted from Kwoody51:

What are all your thoughts on resale on a Gotg pro for $4900?

It would be perfect for your family.

#42 10 days ago

Regarding MM or AFM if you think they are simple that’s not exactly the case. It’s like that novice or beginners can feel as if they are doing something grand like destroying the castle but the rules are not super easy to get to the end unless you are a quality player. I’m not horrible player but I’ve yet to see the Portal on Tron and yet I can make make it to SOS quite often. On AFM there are 6 lights to reach the wizard mode some are easy some not easy so it’s only 6 lights that’s correct but it’s not easy by any means plus there is the the scoring and stacking potentials that add to it once you get going.

A nice family game is Stern PotC also that should be below your budget.

#43 10 days ago
Quoted from Kwoody51:

What are all your thoughts on resale on a Gotg pro for $4900?

If you like it, go for it.

There are many machines priced 3500-5000, including most older Sterns and recent Pros, that you would enjoy and be able to sell easily without risking for than a couple hundred bucks.

You should buy local so you can go see it and play it first, so availability is also going to be a big factor in your process.

#44 10 days ago
Quoted from rai:

Regarding MM or AFM if you think they are simple that’s not exactly the case. It’s like that novice or beginners can feel as if they are doing something grand like destroying the castle but the rules are not super easy to get to the end unless you are a quality player. I’m not horrible player but I’ve yet to see the Portal on Tron and yet I can almost make make it to SOS (that leads up to Portal). On AFM there are 6 lights to reach the wizard mode some are easy some not easy so it’s only 6 lights that’s correct but it’s not easy by any means plus there is the the scoring and stacking potentials that add to it once you get going.
A nice family game is Stern PotC also that should be below your budget.

AFM and MM are probably the place to go. They are more in-your-face exciting than even MB, and you can find them cheaper. They are definitely fun, not too shallow, and will last a while. I got tired of MM pretty fast but the neighbourhood kids and my son loved it - so bear that in mind. The castle is an obvious “cool toy!” And you have a chance of getting the wife won over. Plus they are fun and In Your budget, and easy enough to feel like you’ve gotten someWhere.

Don’t mess with JP or Avengers or any of those clunk-fests if you can spend $6k; get an obvious winner . GOTG is newer and has the screen l, so if you feel that’s an important factor (“new!”) then take it into consideration, but know that everybody is saying “it’s so great!” now because it was SO barren on release. There are still better games, they just don’t happen to be recent.

#45 10 days ago

gotg is great and earns great (speaking from ownership). all ages play it, lots to do, great sound, great display action. you won't go wrong.
i do love houdini as mentioned above but in your case id chose GOTG.

grab it!.

#46 10 days ago
Quoted from Kwoody51:

Thanks for seeing the budget comment- I’d LOVE many of the pins mentioned I just don’t think I, or my wife, would allow $7-8k for a 1st pin.
What are all your thoughts on resale on a Gotg pro for $4900?
Seems this game got a bad rep at release for poor code. I like the theme. Game play seems fun, although I maybe only have 20 plays on premium on location.
Seems like a decent deal for a ‘new’ pin. Given early 90’s titles, even B list titles are selling for $3.5-4K seems like this should hold its value for a few years.

I think a Guardians for under $5k is worth taking a look at. You can mark me as one of those people who did not care for it when it was launched, but in it's current state of code it is a really fun game. I'm on the hunt for my second pin, and it's now on my short list that is within my budget.

#47 10 days ago
Quoted from ZMeny:

For a first pin and for the family, I think a great choice would be Monster Bash Remake Classic (6k) or if you can stretch the budget to a Spwcial Edition (7200).

This is spot on. Don't get Houdini for 6k when you can get a new Monster Bash remake for 6k. That game is really fun to play and easy to enjoy. Great shots and theme.
I own a GOTG pro and I love it with the new code. Very fun and challenging, and you can find those around from mid-5s new, or high-4s used.

And I like Houdini. It's fun, and if the family likes the theme, great. But it can be a challenging game.

#48 10 days ago

I have a Houdini and would not not recommend for a first game. Draws everyone in and I'm keeping it awhile but shots are tough and will get old quick for new players. Stern POTC was our first game and is bolted to the floor. I would definitely keep that in mind for your first. Lots of stuff to do and not that hard to progress. With your extra $$$ left over, I would get a colorDMD for Pirates and then your console arcade. Console 2 player Tetris is highly underrated as a drinking game!

Also - Even though wife/kids won't be playing it as much, It's a good idea to get their opinions and keep them involved (especially before selling a game that your wife likes more than you thought, but i digress)

#49 10 days ago

I would say one of the Mario Bros pinballs would be kid friendly if you're really considering the kids when you purchase a game. Whatever is left over you could spend on a game for yourself.

It sounds selfish, but I wouldn't buy pinballs for other people like friends and family. In the end, they're not ever going to be as interested in pinball as you. You'll have the live with the game so buy whatever appeals to you the most.

#50 10 days ago

Have a feeling the answer to OP's question is either SM or POTC. Watch the movies with your daughters and they may take a liking to it too.

Easier to play than Houdini, lots going on, saves $1500-1800 over NIB MBr or AFMr, and then that $ can be used for your inevitable 2nd game to complement it (like an early SS game).

Quoted from Bwilson:

I would say one of the Mario Bros pinballs

I don't know about that. One is a complete joke of a pinball... and the other is Mushroom World

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