(Topic ID: 42894)

An in-depth discussion about IJ4


By DrStarkweather

6 years ago



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  • 47 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by TomT
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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IJ4.jpg

#1 6 years ago

Hello Everyone. There was a thread recently looking at Champion Pub, its merits and its value in the marketplace. Iv been reading/thinking a lot about newer games. It seems to me that its nigh impossible to evaluate a game until its been out for at least a couple years. Avengers, ACDC, XMEN, TF, even as far back as Tron get criticized and cheer-leaded less on the merits of the game but more because of how people are invested in it.

So Id like to look back at a game that we can all agree is beyond that era, and its a game that doesn't often get looked at very deeply. A game that isn't talked about much. Stern's Indiana Jones.

First, a few numbers:

IJ4 was released in 2008 by Stern. Designed by Borg. Pinside has the Software listed as by Lopp, but IPDB lists Ropp, Sheets, Keefer, and Sullivan.

It is currently listed as #197 and IPDB has it at #258. Seems like pretty bad numbers, yet it still commands a somewhat heavy pricetag.

IJ4.jpg

What are the games merits? Is the game priced on theme alone? In what kind of collection does it belong? Talk amongst yourselves.

#2 6 years ago

A lot of people seem to hate it, but I love mine.

Has a great "wow" factor to it (ark) that really draws in visitors when they are at my house, too.

I don't think they made very many at all. I've heard anywhere between 300-600...but I certainly have no idea.

Pete

#3 6 years ago

It has little redeeming quality, in all honesty. It was a give up design, from a time when Stern was on the ropes.

#4 6 years ago
Quoted from pmWolf:

I don't think they made very many at all. I've heard anywhere between 300-600...but I certainly have no idea.

That would certainly explain why they aren't all over the place, those numbers would place it with '24' and CSI. Doesn't seem like very many for the theme, I would think that Stern would have pushed it more or either didn't have confidence in the game from the onset?

#5 6 years ago
Quoted from gambit3113:

It has little redeeming quality, in all honesty.

Respectfully disagree of course.

Here is what it has going for it:

- Completely kick-butt theme. For some people, theme can make you forgive quite a bit. Indiana Jones is just a great theme, and the game pulls it off wonderfully. Great voice quotes and vids from the movies, and that great soundtrack.

- Fantastic "wow" toy in the ark. It's the type of thing that people see once, and then grab their friends and say: "Holy smokes, you've got to try this!"

- Along that same lines, that multiball start is pretty dang awesome. Sure, you might hate it...if you are dead inside. However, at that point, you probably hate all things pinball anyhow.

- That cabinet art is pretty sweet, too.

- There is a MINIMUM of Shia LeBouf and the Crystal Skull movies. This is a great thing, really. There are only a couple of clips from the 4th IJ movie, and all are from the trailer. There are NO awful quotes from that trainwreck, and it's great that it doesn't shove the movie down our throats. (It's the only time I was happy to see content OMITTED from a Stern Pin...but there you have it).

- I do like all of the "movie scenes" crammed into the game. It's kind of neat to advance the "We....are going...to DIE" scene in Temple of Doom. Again, I'm a sucker for the theme....this stuff makes me feel happy inside. Additionally, there are a TON of scenes.

Sure, if you are a pro-player, and only care about scoring or tournaments...this game is certainly not for you. In order to score well, it is kind of a plow-fest. However, if you just want to have a good time, the game has quite a bit to offer.

However, a claim that the game has little or no redeeming qualities is kind of harsh. This game has a lot of negativity surrounding it, and it is kind of unfortunate. I get a lot of people over to my gameroom, and most play IJ4 and have a great time. I hear things constantly like: "Wow, I thought this game was supposed to be terrible, but I really like it!"

It seems unfortunate that most folks have a negative opinion of it based entirely on what they've heard, and not because they've played it.

Pete

#6 6 years ago

It was a rushed game, I think it was cranked out in three months, start to finish and it shows.
I'm no pro player but I found the game extremely boring to play. Been awhile since I played one but here is what I remember, shoot the ramp a bunch of times to light something, shoot the ramp again to collect what you were shooting the ramp for, then shoot the ramp a whole bunch more times, repeat, repeat, repeat. Somewhere in the middle of that, you shoot some other things but mainly its shoot the ramp. Ark MB is cool and the Dots are good but that is about it.
I think the theme alone is what causes this to have high price. There certainly are much better playing games IMO, for less.

#7 6 years ago

I play one semi regularly on location. Its a guilty pleasure for me. Kind of long ball times but I like it.

#8 6 years ago

I found most things do bore me over time with this game but I will always hold a special place in my heart for arc multiball. That is just a cool effect.

#9 6 years ago

It's pretty awful. Aside from the Ark spilling balls out to start multiball, there's nothing else remotely interesting with the game. There's a location one near me and I've tried multiple times to understand what went wrong, and it's just simply a bad game. For me, it's bottom of the barrel for DMDs, along with stuff like South Park. It's a shame, because the IJ license is a really good one to work with.

#10 6 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

It's pretty awful.

If its so awful, why is it a 4Kish game? Iv heard very few positive things about the game, but its twice the price of a WPT. Is it just because its Indiana Jones?

#11 6 years ago

I reckon THE ARK opening up and spewing balls out has got to be one of the coolest designs in Pinball. Big wow factor.

Pluses: very nice looking game. Nice yellow playfield. Looks stunning with LEDs.
http://www.pinballarcade.co.nz/SternIndy.htm

Minuses: rules could be better. But fun for a while. I think if you got to the wizard mode you'd be playing for a couple of hours to do all the multiballs 4 times each (or whatever it is)

All up, not as bad as some people make out.

rd.

#12 6 years ago
Quoted from DrStarkweather:

If its so awful, why is it a 4Kish game? Iv heard very few positive things about the game, but its twice the price of a WPT. Is it just because its Indiana Jones?

The theme saves it from sub-$2000 pricing. Also, it's actually somewhat scarce, you don't see them very often at all.

As for the reasons why it's so awful, it's just that there's basically not any satisfying shots on the table, the modes aren't compelling at all, and it's not particularly challenging.

#13 6 years ago

This game was the same year as BDK and Shrek btw.

#14 6 years ago
Quoted from TZBen:

I play one semi regularly on location. Its a guilty pleasure for me. Kind of long ball times but I like it.

Same here TZBen. IJ4 isn't a bad pin, but it's overpriced.

#15 6 years ago

Compared to my WMS IJ, the stern game is a complete turd. I played it this week at the replay lounge in lawrence. There really are no satisfying shots, except the wide open ramp you hit over and over. I got a replay on the first game and was really pondering even playing it. I played last action hero yesterday and potc and those are both inifinitely more fun pins. LAH is 1/3 the price and potc is actually a game worthy of a $4k price tag. FYI, there were 3k stern IJs made.

#16 6 years ago

this is one of the few pins I got bored of after 3 games.
I didn't hate it but felt no desire to play another game and left the arcade with credits on the game.
Unbeleivable long ball times and boring as hell, shoot ramp 4 times to start mode then shoot ramp 4 times to finish. then shoot ramp 8 to start next mode and 8 times to finish.

don't remember the exact number of shots but you get the drill.

-1
#17 6 years ago

Just got mine last week great game better than the Williams
The game is fast, fun and it has scenes and quotes from the movie and I don't why people hate it because they prefer the Williams. I got mine for £2000 ($2986) yes it is not as good as tron, iron man ect. My first game I got 222,947,326 and I don't even know what I was doing.

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from Pinballgeek:

Just got mine last week great game better than the Williams

Do you REALLY believe that though?

#19 6 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

Do you REALLY believe that though?

The Williams is always slow when I play one but I always prefer a fast game which flows

#20 6 years ago

If I ever saw an IJ4, I'd play it.

#21 6 years ago

I think this game needs the outlanes on a maximal gap and needs some new software (P-ROC project?). The Ark is cool, the mini-playfield with the captive ball is nice, I really like the theme, and the captive ball that reveals a scoop is nice, but for the rest it doesn't do it for me. Too easy (the one I played at least) and too repetitive.

#22 6 years ago

Insult to pinball enthusiasts everywhere. It has targets that do NOTHING. Not ten points. NOTHING. Worst. Game. Ever.

#23 6 years ago

IJ4 earns well, so someone must like it.

#24 6 years ago

Lots of folks like insipid things. One Direction, W, Jan Brewer, Adoph Hitler, Ticket-Tac-Toe, the Wiggles, Brussels sprouts.

#25 6 years ago
Quoted from pinlawyer:

Lots of folks like insipid things. One Direction, W, Jan Brewer, Adoph Hitler, Ticket-Tac-Toe, the Wiggles, Brussels sprouts.

Lol! Someone should print this on a t-shirt. I'd buy it!

#26 6 years ago

Theme alone will get someone to drop quarters. Doesn't make it a good game...

#27 6 years ago
Quoted from gambit3113:

It has little redeeming quality, in all honesty. It was a give up design, from a time when Stern was on the ropes.

Bingo. It's like they came up with the ark and just quit after that. By far...the most repetitive modern era game and quite possibly the most unbalanced scoring too. Your bonus gets out of control with bonus multipliers and can be way more than your overall score. Everything is the same; rats, snakes, ants. The amount of repetitive shots to complete the 4 modes is mind boggling and it is made even worse since no modes stack, so you have to do them all individually. The only reason it still commands a high dollar is because of the theme and low number of units produced.

All that said, I have one on route by me and I do play it from time to time because even though the game is terrible, I love Indiana Jones and I love pinball. It won me free pizza last month for my high score since it was the game of the month!

#28 6 years ago
Quoted from pinlawyer:

Insult to pinball enthusiasts everywhere. It has targets that do NOTHING. Not ten points. NOTHING. Worst. Game. Ever.

I'm still waiting for you to say something definitive. I'm not 100% clear on your feelings yet.

#29 6 years ago

The target thing is not true at all every switch or target does something. Now lamps thats another story.

#30 6 years ago

I bought one NIB in 2008 thinking (incorrectly) that it would be a nice replacement to the Williams IJ I'd had for five years from 2001-2006.

After two months of trying to like it, I couldn't do it.

Cabinet artwork is fine and that's where it ends for me.

Personally, I do not like the Ark Multiball spilling six balls out - 2 or 3 balls is all you need for a good multiball. The left side of the playfield has sh*t shot selection. Fine, make one "gobble" hole, but two - c'mon. The captured balls arena in the top left is worthless to me. The ramp sucks as you just get your ball returned to your same left flipper - I much prefer criss-cross shot ramps for left/right flipper combos or the ability to pass the ball around. I hate Sterns with the 2/3 DMD for animations instead of the full-length DMD stuff. The artwork on the multiball inserts angered me with its "1", "2", "3", "4". How boring! Put some damned effort into the insert art instead of throwing 16 numbers at us right in the middle.

And perhaps I compared it too much to IJ'93 and found it to be relative crap.

I bailed out quickly and only lost $400 on the thing. Good riddance.

#31 6 years ago

First machine I ever bought, and because of that / the theme / the rarity of the machine, it will never leave.

The Ark is cool, but I think 8 balls is probably 4 too many.
Excellent sounds / music / cabinet.
The TOD scoop is unique

The real problem with the game is the rules, or lack thereof. It's really one mode repeated over and over and over.

I would love it if someone updated the rules a la Cactus Canyon or Star Wars. I wish I had the talent to attempt it myself.

I can see why it's a great earner on location - between the theme / relatively easy to achieve Ark show, it's perfect for dropping a couple bucks at the movies or something.

#32 6 years ago
Quoted from zucot:

First machine I ever bought, and because of that / the theme / the rarity of the machine, it will never leave.
The Ark is cool, but I think 8 balls is probably 4 too many.
Excellent sounds / music / cabinet.
The TOD scoop is unique
The real problem with the game is the rules, or lack thereof. It's really one mode repeated over and over and over.
I would love it if someone updated the rules a la Cactus Canyon or Star Wars. I wish I had the talent to attempt it myself.
I can see why it's a great earner on location - between the theme / relatively easy to achieve Ark show, it's perfect for dropping a couple bucks at the movies or something.

#33 6 years ago
Quoted from DrStarkweather:

If its so awful, why is it a 4Kish game? Iv heard very few positive things about the game, but its twice the price of a WPT. Is it just because its Indiana Jones?

Simple - route earnings. IJ4 from everyone I have heard who runs them on route it is a monster that just keeps earning. WPT was a dud on route.

It's a guilty pleasure for me. I will tell you that it really isn't a very good game, but if it is on route and in a line up with four other games that are good games, I still find myself oddly attracted to playing IJ4 over and over. I never need to own one, but if it is as the mini-golf course that has four like it was last year, I'm positive I'll play it more than the others there for whatever reason... even if those other games are ones that I would own one day.

And yes, I really and truly do like it more than the Williams version though.

#34 6 years ago

I played IJ4 on location in Garden City SC. It's my wife's favorite pin. I don't know I kind of wanna buy one but look at all the other great pins you can pick up for about $4.5k. It would also look great sitting next to POTC.

#35 6 years ago

I have owned IJ Williams for 7 years and I bought IJ4 NIB. I still have IJ Williams as it is a great game and I sold IJ4 after 2 years of ownership.

IJ4 is just a horrible game............. yup, it's absolutely awful.

QSS

#36 6 years ago
Quoted from pinlawyer:

Lots of folks like insipid things. One Direction, W, Jan Brewer, Adoph Hitler, Ticket-Tac-Toe, the Wiggles, Brussels sprouts.

Brussels sprouts? Wtf?

As for IJ4, hated it. The movie clips were a bore and killed any flow. The ark was neat the first time.

#37 6 years ago
Quoted from SealClubber:

It was a rushed game, I think it was cranked out in three months, start to finish and it shows.

No. They spent plenty of time on it. Problem was, they spent too much time on the theme and not enough on the rules. It was highly promoted when new. The art, dots and most of the audio are all awesome. Game looks fantastic next to a POTC. The rules totally blow.

Quoted from LesManley:

...quite possibly the most unbalanced scoring too. Your bonus gets out of control with bonus multipliers and can be way more than your overall score.

This can't be emphasized enough. The only viable strategy on the game is to shoot the captive ball over and over and over to increase the bonus multiplier. To make matters worse, the captive ball area is difficult to clean. Once that area gets dirty, there's really nothing to shoot at.

The requirements to reach the wiz mode are ridiculous. For even a really good player, it will take at least 45 minutes of mindless plowing to reach the wiz mode. I won't say it's the worst Stern built in the last 10 years, but it's definitely in the bottom 3. If you care anything about gameplay, you shouldn't buy one. You will be bored in no time.

#38 6 years ago

I had to throw Brussels sprouts in there. Doesn't really fit in with the others, but I threw it in. Blecccch.

#39 6 years ago

I like Brussel Sprouts. However I don't really like IJ4. The one time I played it was enough.

#40 6 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

For even a really good player, it will take at least 45 minutes of mindless plowing to reach the wiz mode.

And oddly, this is what I like about it... but I'll tell you I really don't like it in so many other games.

I like the fact that you can pretty easily track exactly how far you got. If you set it up hard, it's a real challenge to light multiple lights.

The thing that disappoints me about it is that the layout I think is solid, and the rules are really close to being awesome too. The captive ball scoop is an amazing toy that should make some more appearances and should have some cooler rules associated with it... you can do *so* much with just that thing alone... If every time you started a new scene, you were given a new task, that would be a big improvement, if the pops picked the scenes at random (like old DE games) that would be a big improvement, and if you got to a mini-Wizard mode for completing any one movie, that would be cool as it would be much more obtainable for one person. Oh, and you have to dump the silly bonus multiplier rules as was mentioned before.

I go back over and over because of that scoop toy being so freaking satisfying to hit. It's frustrating to me - two of my all time favorite toys are on two games that I really don't care for, that and the crane on BDK (which is the best toy ever, period, in my opinion.)

#41 6 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

The captive ball scoop is an amazing toy that should make some more appearances...

It is a neat toy, but it often has seating problems on location. Takes a couple of tries to get it all the way down. Also, the playfield opening there got tore up quick on location. Worse than the SOL hole on AFM. If they were to bring it back (wouldn't surprise me), it would need some fine tuning and maybe a factory protector for the opening.

#42 6 years ago

IJ4 is a wow pin for first time players. But if you play pinball often, after 20 to 30 games you have seen the ark wow factor and are very bored with the rest of what the pin has to offer.

I owened one that was perfect, put cliffies on it and loved it for a while until I got into the pin further. It lasted over a year due to the fact non pinheads enjoyed it and I had others to play. To me its a 3k pin tops.

#43 6 years ago

its ashame too such a good looking pin.....

#44 6 years ago
Quoted from phishrace:

It is a neat toy, but it often has seating problems on location.

Interesting. I've played at least a half dozen of these on location, and I've never seen one with a problem with that part. It seems to be a simple mech, so I'm surprised to hear that.

I do agree about the need for some sort of factory protector there though.

#45 6 years ago

I have had IJ4 for the last 3 year's, and I love mine. My advice is to find someone who has one, or one on location and play it. The pin does great on location so it can't be that bad. You always hear people complaining that the game is not deep, and is to easy. This may be true for some players, but I play pinball for enjoyment, and am not a pro player. I like pinball for what it is entertainment. I think some people don't like the game only because others say it is bad.and don't give it a chance. A good example of this is Congo. For years people said it was a sub par game, but look what happened to it, people started playing it and realized it is a really good and fun game, and the price has gone through the roof. Yes I have had a Congo for quite a few years to. I am just saying you need to play the game and decide for yourself, even most of the guys who say the game is bad who have posted in this thread admit to playing it when they see one, so what does that tell you about it.

#46 6 years ago

I've heard from a couple ops that it does ok on location, and that's been corroborated by a lot of casual players saying the same thing. The only game I hear the gushing about is Junkyard.

#47 6 years ago

It was my most disappointing NIB purchase period and put me off of ever buying a NIB without playing first.

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