some commentary about the recent delivery.
I've played the earlier versions of the game plenty at Allentown and other shows over the years.
The game we unboxed yesterday right out of the box sure felt a ton better than all my earlier games.
The game needed some tweaks to be perfect... but not the kind of stuff that kept us from playing.
- The box had gotten beat to hell... shipping company had not been gentle... but the game escaped major issues
- One beacon dome had gotten smashed inside the box. I attest that to how they pack it and the 'extra bumps' the game clearly had gotten. It still works, just the dome needs replacing
- There ARE unpacking instructions.. we just found them after we were done
- The game came with all the hardware you'd expect... a few key fobs too
- The game comes with like 4-5 keys. The head has two pop-out locks that were not keyed together, and then the coin door is its own lock too. Would like this where the locks were unified
- The pop-out locks on the head were a bit fickle and I don't really see these as 'improvements' even tho they are fancier locks. I'd prefer a locking assembly with standard barrel locks
- The head had a plate with pins to help align it, and is mounted with 3 machine screws at the back, and two thumb screws through the base of the head. Seemed stable enough
- The head attached easily - it is managable by one person.. but heavy enough you need to pay attention (this is with the LCD in the head)
- I'm not a fan of the MDF cabinet material - give me real plywood
- The game had ample packing protections... including things like the coin box and playfield being zip tied down to keep them in place
- This game had the lit side panels (which look great!) but they are pretty simple in implementation. Just standard led strips laid in the bottom of the slot and along the top. The top strip had pulled down a bit and needed to be reset to be setup properly and not cause shadows on the side panels. easy fix by removing side panel and just pressing strip back into place
- The pop bumper switches need some adjustment to get triggering well
- The game shipped with latest code and all the latest hardware and PF mechs
- The game was wired for extra switches that do not come standard and the coin door switches were not plugged in. Just things to be aware of when you say 'what are all these extra plugs?' - But it didn't have any issues with the start button/etc like earlier games did
- The power plug is extra goofy tho. This is an area I think they cheaped out. The power switch for the game is almost in the standard spot under the cabinet... but the power socket is right there as well in the same assembly. That means your power plug is connected at the bottom of the cabinet.. middle of the game. This has a few problems... one.. the plug stands to pull out easier.. two.. the plug must be removed to put a lift cart under the game.. three.. the power plug is now dangling UNDER your cabinet vs behind the game like usual.
This game has the lit inside side panels and backboard. Very nice! The lit cabinet side panels are very cool too (even if built kind of cheap). I would think mod'ers could do that easily.
We set the game up, and jumped right into playing - no tweaks done at all before we were able to play.
The game plays a lot smoother than the examples I played previously. The airlock was easier to hit, and was able to backhand from left flipper with purpose.. We were hitting ramps and combos on the fly and with purpose. It felt great!
We were in a almost completely dark room.. and in that environment... the lower third of the game is pretty damn dark. The first two balls... I was like... uhh.. wow. But I must have adjusted some after a few balls. I think those that play in a completely dark room will likely be looking to supplement the lighting. I think if you have some ambient light, you'll probably be ok stock.
The beacons are pretty damn cool I would think these would be a MUST for any game where you will have an environment where the game can shine. In a dark room and those things start going off... it's a 'cherry on top' moment for the game.
Everything about the game just felt a ton better than the previous times I've played the game... both on the prototype and on the game that would make the show rounds. We had some airballs that were interesting... but I attest that to a brand new game that needs some breaking in. The pop bumper switchs would need adjustment, but we didn't bother and that could be taken care of later.
I think most buyers would be perfectly happy with the unboxing experience we had last night. And I think buyers will have a great time exploring this game!