In regards to Andrew's circumstances in leaving Heighway Pinball, new information has come to light, SMALL portions of my stated facts have been corrected and I reverified the BIG balance of my facts about Heighway Pinball. As a result, I NO LONGER BELIEVE Andrew absconded with any money or misled the new buyers of HP's financial situation. Rather, all signals point to expenses growing exponentially fast and outstripping incoming funding.
Some may hold grudges about Andrew's lying, unfilled promises or about his not revealing serious liquidity issues earlier. That is water under the bridge now that we have new Heighway Pinball and there appear to be about 50 games built and released to date. People have reported numerous minor and fatal issues. Heighway Pinball's responses have ranged from success to mixed results to some Owners and issues being ignored to some fixes maybe being designed.
My personal experience is being reported here for the FIRST time, and has never been stated anywhere before. All incidences mentioned have occurred on my machine and continue to occur. Having received an Alien SE from CT's batches of games 1.5 weeks ago, I will summarize my major issues, that are still unresolved. Everything you read next is factual and recreatible. Small concerns have since been adjudicated or omitted for the sake of brevity.
*** HEIGHWAY PINBALL NEEDS TO SUPPORT ALL EXISTING ALIEN AND FULL THROTTLE PINBALL MACHINE OWNERS UNTIL THEIR GAMES ARE WORKING 100%, BEFORE IT TAKES IN ANOTHER DOLLAR PERIOD!!
*** DO NOT BUY an ALIEN Pinball Machine ... if you expect the game to work 100%. Failures on proprietary boards, where it is nearly impossible to get a replacement during the WARRANTY PERIOD, should be considered a real and likely possibility. If parts were consistently being provided to satisfy failures, this wouldn't be as big an issue. Schematics are not available either, meaning a broken game will remain a broken game. Other parts that are likely to fail include: Xeno head, right up post, amplifier, optos and inductive switches. All of these occurred on my machine, including the two board failures.
*** DO NOT BUY an ALIEN Pinball Machine ... if you expect the main toy - Xeno head - to work flawlessly. All of these have occurred on my machine. Current Xeno design allows multiple types of malfunctions. 1) tongue unable to extend past lower jaw and pick up the ball. 2) tongue stuck extended to playfield during multiball 3) ball stuck on tongue and unable to be pulled into mouth, causing motor to run forever and ball to not drop in hole and ball to become lost. 4) ball stuck on tongue inside mouth with jaw half open will result in lost ball. Awaiting a fix to be designed.
*** If you are a NEW MONEY ALIEN PINBALL MACHINE BUYER or one required to outlay additional money .... DO NOT BUY an ALIEN Pinball Machine feeling you are lucky and expecting to run the gauntlet without encountering problems. Why pay $8k to $10k for a toy that - you can't count on it to work 100% and can't get it fixed?
*** DO NOT BUY an ALIEN Pinball Machine ... if you expect to route this game. Top glass needs to be removed and set aside to fix every issue. imo Alien Pinball could be operated on route, only if operator works from same location.
*** DO NOT BUY an ALIEN Pinball Machine ... if you expect to complete the game or to start All OUT WAR (final wizard mode) because there are current issues that can prevent it from ever happening. 1) if any of the APC optos are faulty and won't register you won't be able to lock balls or to start hypersleep multiball. 2) if inductive switch for chestbursters doesn't work, you won't be able to complete life cycle or to start Find Newt multiball. 3) can't start all out war if you encounter issue #1 or #2. This could be overcome with software adjustments, not currently planned.
Only you can decide whether to spend good money to get an Alien machine now, given the documented machine issues and spotty communication from Heighway Pinball. If you have balance of money with CT or Nitro with an option to get it back - you decide whether to request a refund or to let it ride. If you paid Heighway Pinball in full and can't get a refund and are told to pay for additional domestic shipping only, that would be an easy decision to pay the money. Stay tuned. If the situation improves, the follow up story will be forthcoming.