(Topic ID: 57789)

AAB v Replay EM's Opinions


By Shapeshifter

5 years ago



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  • 193 posts
  • 52 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by boilerman
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    There are 193 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 5 years ago

    So, been wondering about various titles and which is better AAB or replay version? Here are some titles off the top of my head.

    Buckaroo v Cowpoke. Buckaroo wins. Just seems more fun to play.

    El Dorado v Gold Strike. Consensus seems to indicate El Dorado the better player but not played.

    King Pin v Pin-Up. Pin-up wins. Knocking down for third time and chasing roving light for extra ball and big score very good.

    High Hand v Capt Card. CC all out winner due to drops re-setting.

    Abra Ca Dabra v Team One. No contest - artwork so superior on Abra.

    2001 V Dimension. Again, easy winner. Dimension due to drops re-setting.

    Jacks Open v Lucky Hand. Don't know. Both great.

    Buccaneer v Ship Ahoy. Don't know.

    Grand Slam v World Series. Don't Know.

    Ice Revue v Ice Show. Both great, edge to Revue as more player friendly.

    Hit the Deck v Neptune. No idea but both look great!

    Sing-Along v Melody. Don't know but like both.

    Sky Jump v Sky Dive. No idea.

    Any opinions as after deciding on a game, it can be tough to decide whether to go AAB or replay, although seems like AAB versions have greater playability. Discuss

    #2 5 years ago

    Gulfstream v Tropic Fun. Not a fair question since GS is adjustable to AAB if you want to set it up that way.

    Haven't played both versions of the others enough to say.

    #3 5 years ago

    AAB.... period.

    #4 5 years ago

    I don't know what the different rule on Grand Slam would be, but frankly, Grand Slam, IF IT'S SET UP RIGHT AND LEVELED.... (/sigh)...is such an easy game, I really don't know why you'd ever want the add a ball. On mine, I can get 30-40 runs pretty easily. I haven't waxed it yet, so there is that, but I don't see it making a significant difference. It's already clearcoated.

    Though, I will say that Card Trix is way better than Spin A Card (or whatever the replay is named..). You NEED extra balls in that game to roll the machine.

    #5 5 years ago

    This topic has certainly been covered many times over here and on RGP. I agree it's best to judge them on a case by case basis. I have owned several AABs and found them to be fun, but generally prefer replay games. I know the argument that AABs last longer in home use, though some say that is a detriment of them being too long. I think where you grew up plays a role as well. I prefer replay games as I grew up in a replay state.

    #6 5 years ago

    This has been discussed plenty. I lean toward the AAB camp but certainly agree some versions are better than others. I would say Cowpoke is a bit better than Buckaroo. Better art in my opinion and the Buckaroo roto only has one "4" making it very hard to light four numbers in a row.

    I owned Gold Strike and found it could be too easy, I would give the nod to El Dorado.

    It's true what you say about Abra-Ca-Dabra/Team One. The art package is awesome on Abra while Team One is pretty weak. Sometimes great gameplay can make mediocre art less of a concern. I haven't played either though.

    I find Astro's (AAB) art package to be really cool and Four Square (Replay) to be blah. Once again I haven't spent any time on either.
    Alex

    #7 5 years ago

    i'll wade in with my opinion - for me the 'special when lit' and chasing credits is a huge part of my love for these games - perhaps because where I grew up we did not have any exposure to aab play??

    but the thrill of the special light coming on and the chase to wrack up games is a blast - somehow, at least for me winning balls to extend a game doesn't seem to have the same appeal
    but I can appreciate how for others it would

    regards, Ron

    #8 5 years ago

    I agree Ron. I think a lot of it has to do with nostalgic appeal. You'll sometimes see fans of one discount the value of the other. I have both AAB and replay and find the sound of the knocker to be rewarding in both instances. It still boils down to achieving a goal or beating the game. That's a big part of what makes these things fun.
    Alex

    #9 5 years ago

    Add-a-ball without question for me.

    Replay is rather meaningless in the home environment with the machine set for free play. I do understand the nostalgic appeal for those who grew up playing in arcades though.

    Then the question becomes progressive AAB or WoW ABB, which is better?

    It would be Wow AAB for me. I find it adds another level of excitement to the game. At any time, until the last ball drains, you can light Wow and rack up multiple free balls. This keeps you in the game to the very end.

    Fun stuff!

    #10 5 years ago

    AAB all the way for me.

    I thought Wow AAB you could only max out at 5 Wow's. Meaning if you were down to your last ball the max you could get would be 6 (including ball in play). Whereas 'regular' AAB you could get up to 10 (including ball in play). Did I miss something?

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from pinwhoo:

    I thought Wow AAB you could only max out at 5 Wow's.

    Well I can't speak for all Wow games but on my Jungle King you could rack up all 10.

    #12 5 years ago

    Pretty sure Card Trix will let you get as many as you can as well...

    #13 5 years ago

    Seems like nostalgia plays a big part on whether AAB or replay better.

    But, for some games i.e Capt Card v High Hand .......no debate!

    Yes, this topic been on RGP a ton but not really on Pinside and always good to hear fresh views anyways.

    #14 5 years ago

    I am a Replay guy myself because that is what we had in California. I owned a Gottlieb Bank Shot AAB for a while, but sold it in the hopes of acquiring a Sure Shot in the near future which for me has a better Ruleset by far.

    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Seems like nostalgia plays a big part on whether AAB or replay better.

    Yes indeed.

    Ken

    1 week later
    #15 5 years ago

    replay for me... i gotta have the knocker...

    agreed on the "nostalgia/what you were used to" comment... personally, i always thought aab games were a rip-off because you couldn't "win"... on an aab machine, the machine always "wins" eventually...

    2 weeks later
    #16 5 years ago

    I just recently had both a Royal Guard and Palace Guard set up in my basement. And the winner was.......Royal Guard! Even though I enjoy AAB games and grew up playing them here in Wisconsin, there are instances where the replay game is better. I've also had a Pop-a-card and Drop-a-card several years ago side by side and in this case the AAB Pop-a-card won hands down. So it just depends on the rule set. If you are interested in acquiring an AAB I put three on the market just last week - Subway, Palace Guard, and Ice Show. Drop me a message if you are interested in any of these great machines. Tim

    #17 5 years ago

    Replay every time. I've just got a Hurdy Gurdy, first add-a-ball I've ever played. I miss the on 'field specials but what really kills it for me is no end of game match feature. Every time a game ends, I listen for the match cycle and then it dawns on me, it isn't there. Seems to me if pinballs were meant to give free balls instead of replays, they'd have been like that from the start. The truth is, add-a-ball games are just a compromise to get past anti gambling laws.

    9 months later
    #18 4 years ago

    AAB all the way!!! Just bringing this dead thread back to life with my opinion.

    #19 4 years ago

    I strongly prefer replay machines, but if AAB is all that's available, I'm okay with those too.

    #20 4 years ago

    IMO if you are a better than average player or even an exceptional player like myself the replay versions are the way to go, they end . I can play most AAB games for a long long time, some I get so bored of after the 20 somethingish balls and just turn the game off and or walk away.

    I own nothing but replay games, but many swear by the AAB machines.
    I believe that it like most things is a personal choice. the operators would have been sorry had they had AAB games in my area when I was a kid. I would have played all day on a 10c

    I vote Replay

    Brian Lenker
    Madison hts MI
    586-344-0721

    #21 4 years ago

    Great topic. But personally I like AAB. The main objective of pinball is to achieve High scores. AAB adds another element to the game with the purpose of improving you score.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from cantbfrank:

    Great topic. But personally I like AAB. The main objective of pinball is to achieve High scores. AAB adds another element to the game with the purpose of improving you score.

    This is 100% true, and always having a potentialy higher high score to beat is WAY WAY better than a free credit...

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    replay for me... i gotta have the knocker...

    AAB games have knockers too, and if your a good player they go off more than any replay game...

    #24 4 years ago

    I now think I love both and it is more a case that certain games are better in the replay and some with AAB. And some AAB are too easy and others are just right.

    And I prefer the 70's WOW AAB to the 60's AAB.

    All personal preference!

    #25 4 years ago

    With games made in both versions, some are better as AAB, and some are better as replay. Some are enjoyable both ways ("Sing Along"/"Melody" "Card Trix"/"Flip a Card"), but there are some hands down winners, mostly AAB over replay. As mentioned, "Dimension" and "Capt Card" are way better than their replay counterparts. Some have completely different rulesets, and so are almost different games ("Domino"/"Play Mates"). I grew up playing AABs, but have grown to like many of the replay games as well. I find many "replay guys" are not very fond of AABs, but that's OK because it leaves more of them for the rest of us. Not having a match feature is irrelevant. When you think about it, the match feature was nice when you had to pay to play, but it's one feature of a pinball machine that is based totally on luck and not skill. The cool thing about AABs is that the score limit is open-ended. Theoretically, you can say the same about a replay machine, but having a five ball limit generally prohibits really high scoring.

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from Gerry:

    AAB games have knockers too, and if your a good player they go off more than any replay game...

    Some games have nicer knockers than others. I've always loved the pronounced "thwack" that "Gold Strike" has!

    #27 4 years ago

    Playing an AAB game is like fighting the Vietnam War, it goes on forever, and at the end you haven't accomplished a thing. Sorry, it's all about winning games for me.

    The only ABB I like better than the replay version is Buckaroo/Flipper Cowboy, and that's because the backglass is better, the animation is cooler (with the noise the gun makes), and Cowboy doesn't have that creepy giant horse on the playfield.

    #28 4 years ago

    I enjoy replay games and my Astro AAB. It's all pinball to me.

    #29 4 years ago

    Here are some disparate observations I have on the subject:

    The replay wheel is a fun tally of how badly you "beat" a game, but if it still has leftover credits on it and you max the wheel out on your current game, the knocker is silent when you hit a special. I rarely have to put credits on my Spin-A-Card because it's always hovering around 9-12 replays, so some games end with dead specials. Bummer.

    Some AABs can be changed to novelty mode where specials earn points instead of balls. In this mode, the number of balls is fixed. This seems like a good option for truly skilled players who dislike AAB games for their interminable game length. I'm a mediocre player, so AAB mode suits me fine.

    The backglass artwork for AAB games is sometimes inferior because the artist has to sacrifice detail on the front to reserve space for the previous hi-score box and the lights representing additional balls or extra-high scores. Compare the amount of activity on Pin-Up to King Pin. The latter is much more exciting. POW!

    King Pin-Up.jpg

    But I own and enjoy both AAB and replay games. It's all pinball, all fun.

    #30 4 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    replay for me... i gotta have the knocker.

    Get to hear it 5-10 times a game with AAB!!

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from Bribo13:

    MO if you are a better than average player or even an exceptional player like myself

    Now that's some funny shit right there. Sounds just like the UM locker room right before the App St. game!

    #32 4 years ago

    I'm a total AAB guy. THAT SAID:

    Not only does it depend on the game, but on how it is set up.

    For instance: Lucky Hand v Jacks Open - you can play both at the VFW. Lucky Hand is set up too hard to generally even get one free ball. Also, IIRC, once you get into royal flush mode for extra balls, it only lasts for one ball, so it is really too hard to get a freebee.

    The same for Free Fall v Sky Jump. I own both, prefer Sky Jump.

    Love, love, love Ship Ahoy. Used to play it in The Pub back in the day in Madison. WAY better than Buccaneer. Also the WOW v pure AAB brings it to an end soon enough.

    Dimension can get too easy, same as Gold Strike. I don't think there is any way to make dimension harder. At one point we unsoldered two WOW targets to make the game a challenge.

    Hit the Deck v Neptune. Own HTD, play Neptune at the VFW. I prefer Hit the Deck, since I own one goddammmit.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from cjmiller:

    The only ABB I like better than the replay version is Buckaroo/Flipper Cowboy, and that's because the backglass is better, the animation is cooler (with the noise the gun makes), and Cowboy doesn't have that creepy giant horse on the playfield.

    I also prefer the satisfaction of hearing the knocker fire accompanied by the cowboy shooting the target every time you earn an extra ball versus the horse kicking the cowboy whenever the 100 point bell sounds.

    #34 4 years ago

    Some like aab's.
    Some like replays.

    I grew up playing replays and I'll be honest with you this Dimension I've been playing lately is the only aab I've had so far where I like the ruleset better than it's counterpart 2001 (haven't played it yet). But, the more I play it the easier it is to run the ball count up to 8 or 10 balls thereby making it a long game. And, I have a bad pop I haven't had the time to fix yet. So, when i get my 2001 up and running I'll have to compare them.

    I have a Drop a Card and I think it has a great ruleset. I don't get all the drop targets down very often and it keeps you coming back for just "one more game" as the designers had hoped for. I haven't played Pop a Card yet.

    I had a Gold Strike and it was too easy with super-long game times. I like El Dorado better.

    But, there's two camps here. The aab's may reset targets on some games where the replays don't but what I like about the replays is it's so hard to get all the drop targets down! They designed them so you will be close but a lot of times you WON'T get all the drop targets down. That's why I like replays. Short game times and if you do achieve your goal the designers incorporated into the game, you had one heck of a good game!

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from newmantjn:

    Now that's some funny shit right there. Sounds just like the UM locker room right before the App St. game!

    Not trying to pile on to poor Brian here, but he also said he could have played all day on a dime if he played AAB.

    Well, if you're really that exceptional, you could do the same with a replay game. Just keep beating it. Rack up the replays. And stay all day long.

    As for the vote, well, I grew up in replay territory. I never visited the states that were AAB when I was a kid. I had never even played an AAB game until a few years ago.

    I understand the argument for AAB games, but I just don't find them as interesting to play. That's a general statement, I realize there are some AAB games that have better rulesets than replay games do.

    I've had games that were convertable to AAB, and I gave it the old AAB shot for awhile. Just couldn't get into it. I guess it's truly old dog/new tricks here.

    But if others like them, great. That shrinks the pool of guys trying to buy up replay games.

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from newmantjn:

    Dimension can get too easy, same as Gold Strike. I don't think there is any way to make dimension harder. At one point we unsoldered two WOW targets to make the game a challenge.

    It's true that on "Dimension" you can rack up lots of balls, but you can lose them very quickly as well. "Gold Strike" can reach that "critical mass" point where you have so many balls racked up that making the WOW again is pretty easy. It would be harder to accumulate all those extra balls if the "A-B-C" sequence reset after every ball. They could have made only one lit spot for WOW on the upper drop target bank, and it would have been a little more tame. Seems like it would be an easy modification if you have one and find it too easy.
    As a kid though, playing those marathon games was awesome. It's basically the same idea as winning replays, except the games run consecutively without resetting the score. I guess that was the whole idea in the first place to get around the "replays=gambling" nonsense.

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from leckmeck:

    Compare the amount of activity on Pin-Up to King Pin.

    Yeah, but the backglass on "Pin-Up" is much more colorful and attractive than the one on "King Pin"; I think anyway.

    #38 4 years ago
    Quoted from cjmiller:

    The only ABB I like better than the replay version is Buckaroo/Flipper Cowboy,

    What about "Cow-Poke"?

    #39 4 years ago

    I prefer:

    Cow-Poke over Buckaroo
    Melody over Sing Along
    Diamond Jack over King of Diamonds
    Neptune over Hit The Deck
    Capt. Card over High Hand

    So for me, AAB rules supreme.

    Marcus

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from jrpinball:

    Yeah, but the backglass on "Pin-Up" is much more colorful and attractive than the one on "King Pin"; I think anyway.

    I'll grant you King Pin's color scheme is heavy on blues and reds, whereas Pin-Up has a more pleasingly balanced palette. It's interesting to see the color variance between the two. The walls, ceilings, and background people are completely different, but I think both have great color choices. Gordon Morison was ace at combining colors.

    #41 4 years ago

    As a 90's kid who has zero nostalgia factor, my opinion is that AAB is the only logical choice for a home environment due to credits being worthless. All other arguments are emotionally biased.

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from appeac:

    As a 90's kid who has zero nostalgia factor, my opinion is that AAB is the only logical choice for a home environment due to credits being worthless. All other arguments are emotionally biased.

    Credits are no more worthless when we have our own games than they were when we paid. A replay meant another chance to play a pinball. OK, we don't need a replay to have another game now, but pushing the start button to use up a few replays won is still satisfying. It also means the game had been been beaten, which is what playing pinball is all about. The feeling is the same, for me at least, whether a game was operated or is in the home. I still get the same satisfaction winning 75 games on a bingo as I did in 1965. That I won't get paid out is not important. I still feel the same when the knocker thwacks as I did when I put my only coin in as a schoolkid. For me it's no different, that's why I play these old games. I never played AAB as a kid, not until a couple of years ago. I think it's just another great variation on the game. I prefer replay games, it's what I grew up with, but I wouldn't crawl over an AAB to get to a Space Invaders.

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from appeac:

    As a 90's kid who has zero nostalgia factor, my opinion is that AAB is the only logical choice for a home environment due to credits being worthless. All other arguments are emotionally biased.

    Strict logic makes for a dull opinion. There's a big difference between something that makes sense and something that makes you fall in love. How we feel about a game is why we own them.

    I'm an AAB guy myself, but I find winning replays valuable to me in unexpected ways. When a friend comes over and beats the hell out of one of my replay games, I get the pleasure of playing down their credits some other evening. That's not worthless.

    #44 4 years ago

    There is something about hearing that "thwack" when someone wins a free game, even when the machine is set to free play.

    I don't know how many conversations have gone something like this, when a newbie hears the knocker go off.

    Newbie: "What was that!".

    Player: "I just one a free game".

    Newbie: "But we're not paying anything".

    Player: "Yeah, but I still beat the machine!".

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from appeac:

    All other arguments are emotionally biased.

    In some games, the rule set flat out sucks for AAB, also some game are not even available in AAB. Volley anyone?

    #46 4 years ago

    Like most have stated, it depends on the game. Dimension v 2001, Capt Card v High Hand are the obvious
    no-brainers. Dimension can have a game go on forever but you can just as easily have a ton of balls drain
    really fast. I grew up and still live in AAB country (NY state) so I prefer most of those. However, a good replay
    game is still a great game. I prefer a Target Alpha to a Gold Strike (yeah, 4 plyr vs single) but a GS is just too
    easy. Of course, you can always set those AAB games to 3 ball play and then let us know if you think they are
    still too easy! Things here were always 5 ball, so I prefer that.

    A lot depends on what you grew up playing. While getting a free game is cool, there is something to be said
    for extending a game by accomplishing that 'last' objective on the playfield....sometimes that opens things up
    and you can really get a big score going. Other times, that free nut just disappears after hitting the wrong
    thing and you are left with that feeling of wanting to kill the machine.... It's all fun. Given a choice, I'll take the
    AAB games but I can't think of too many instances where I would turn down a decent replay game....They are
    just different - sometimes easier than AAB's, sometimes harder. Either way, getting a good score on one is
    still an accomplishment. I will say, there is something pretty cool about racking up a bunch of free balls on a
    Dimension when all 20 targets are down...thwack twhack twack twack.... Going for those center targets can
    just as quickly result in a slam down the middle also! Those designers knew what they were doing... not a lot
    of clinker games escaped to the public....

    #47 4 years ago

    Once one realizes and understands 'credits' as being just another points system, and serving as the key indicator of having completed the objectives of the game to beat it, the notion of replay games being worthless in a home environment becomes nonsense (which it is). It is also trivial to flip one pawl arm up out of the way on a standard Gottlieb credit unit such that all the credits reset to zero at that start of every game, so that 'points' system can have max range each time (if so desired). You can still play for high scores (if that's your thing), but going after and completing the objectives of the game, in a fixed quantity of balls (3 or 5), can be more satisfying.

    [As an aside, in the 50's Gottlieb used two separate scoring systems on some woodrails anyway; there was the regular scoring, and they also had a 'points' system. You could earn both score and points, and win credits through both.]

    But alas, the AAB vs. Replay debate really hasn't changed at all in the last 20 years or more.

    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from leckmeck:

    I'll grant you King Pin's color scheme is heavy on blues and reds, whereas Pin-Up has a more pleasingly balanced palette. It's interesting to see the color variance between the two. The walls, ceilings, and background people are completely different, but I think both have great color choices. Gordon Morison was ace at combining colors.

    "King Pin" came out well before "Pin-Up" did. I don't know if that had any bearing on the differences in the artwork, but it may have been a factor. Love those Gordon Morison "shadow people"!

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from Jvspin:

    There is something about hearing that "thwack" when someone wins a free game, even when the machine is set to free play.
    ...
    Player: "Yeah, but I still beat the machine!".

    yes there is... that knocker is an incredibly satisfying sound to this day... and every time i put a coin in a machine, i'm trying to beat it, even though i'm the person taking the money out of the cash box...

    my bestie was over yesterday afternoon and evening for a marathon session... every time the knocker went off, there was celebration in the room, because one of us had triumphed over the beast... heck, we even get excited when we get a match...

    Quoted from appeac:

    As a 90's kid who has zero nostalgia factor, my opinion is that AAB is the only logical choice for a home environment due to credits being worthless. All other arguments are emotionally biased.

    i'm comfortable in my emotionally biased position... both for why i like replays and don't like aab's...

    if we take emotion completely out of the equation, owning pins (or any other toy, ftm) is pointless... regardless of flavor, i have toys because they are fun and enjoy them (they cause an emotional reaction)...

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