(Topic ID: 1876)

Best family pins ...

By gweempose

13 years ago

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  • 36 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 years ago by bellbrand
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    #1 13 years ago

    I'm looking to add a third machine to my collection, and I wanted to get some input from you guys as to what pins are the best for families. I love my TZ and SoF, but the rest of my family doesn't get nearly as excited about them as I do. My theory is that the themes simply aren't easily accessible to non-pinheads, particularly my six-year-old twins. The kids play the machines from time to time, but I think they would be much more into something they could relate to. For my next machine, I would like to get something that the rest of my family will enjoy, and yet will still keep me interested. Some titles that spring to mind are MB, WCS, NGG, and perhaps WW. What do you guys think?

    #2 13 years ago

    my wife's niece and nefew love Star Wars Episode I, it could be the video modes or the love of the movie series but at least it's good clean family fun.

    #3 13 years ago

    Non-pinheads, I've found, gravitate towards machines that are less busy, and look more aproachable. The most popular machines in my collection are Sinbad and Star Trek, even though they are simple and old.

    Of the machines I've put on route, the owner has said the simpler machines attract a broader base as well.

    #4 13 years ago

    You can't go wrong with Earthshaker or Whirlwind.

    #5 13 years ago

    How about a Shrek pin, it's supposed to be the same as Family Guy. Or maybe the Flintstones ???

    #6 13 years ago

    If any of your kids play soccer, I go with the WCS. This was my second pin and all three of my kids love it. The five year old loves scoring goals and can even keep up with his older sisters a lot of the time. I think it is a lot of fun -- love getting multiball and beating other teams and the music and sound clips are great. "Goooaaalllllll!!!!" "The goalie is a wall!" "How did he make that save?!!!" "They're having trouble moving the ball up the field." Only downside for me was that I'm not that fond of the pastel color scheme. Other than that, it is a great game and fun for the whole family.

    #7 13 years ago

    I enjoy virtually all of Pat Lawlor's designs, but Shrek kind of annoys me. I like FG a bit more, but I still wouldn't buy it unless I got a steal on one. I do agree that my kids would probably like Shrek, though. As far as The Flinstones, I've never played it. The funny thing is that my kids have absolutely no idea who the Flinstones are. Sadly, they don't air the re-runs on TV anymore like they did when I was growing up.

    #8 13 years ago

    You are fooling yourself if you think you are going to get your friends and family to be into pinball based on a single machine. I say get whatever pin YOU have been dreaming of and pass on the titles that are not as family friendly.

    However, the non-pinball folks that come to my house tend to like the Jurassic Park the most. It always has the top billing with visitors and kids because they like the pinball eating T-Rex. Who doesn't like dinosaurs? The rule set is pretty brutal for the high score (Super Jackpot is the only way) and it has very short ball times, but that is what keeps me playing it.

    #9 13 years ago

    "You are fooling yourself if you think you are going to get your friends and family to be into pinball based on a single machine ..."

    It's not so much that I want them to become pinheads, but that I'd like to make a gesture to show that these extremely expensive machines aren't just for me alone. My wife is already annoyed by my new hobby. The least I can do is get a machine that she and the kids will hopefully enjoy.

    #10 13 years ago

    LOTR is the one that gets most play at my house, but that is adults. Haven't had many kids here yet.
    Most machines are family friendly, if not geared primarily to kids. I agree with donjagra. Get a game you like that is not adult themed like Scared Stiff or with excessive violence like Judge Dread. I've read of people not liking IJ because of the gun, Punching Jets and shooting modes.

    #11 13 years ago

    My kids play the Street Fighter II Champion Edition the most. It's a super cheap machine to buy and has lots of kid appeal. Just a thought and something to keep in mind. Kids like video game tie-ins. It has enough "violence" not to turn off the boys like some machines and the Chun-Li (sp) character and voice that appeals to the girls. (Quote from her on the machine : "You think girls can't fight ?")

    It can also be set to be very easy or very hard via the options and it has the DMD display that kids want. It has enough ramps, lights, flashers, etc to appeal to their senses.

    It's not my favorite machine but when they play or have friends over it's the one they all find and stay on. The TZ, CV, Haunted House, Medusa etc just don't hold them like that one.

    #12 13 years ago

    If you have the money go with MB, also ToM might be a good choice or CV. All great pins, and good looking ones too. They appeal to alot of people based on looks alone, and are all pretty family friendly.

    #13 13 years ago

    Had another thought and came up with The Simpsons, excellent game and instantly recognisable, also how about a Rocky and Bullwinkle pin.

    #14 13 years ago

    Ok .. I'm gonna get it for this .. but have you had them play the Williams games on the Xbox 360 or PS3 ??? Or have your nieces and nephews played those there ?

    Perhaps they have a favorite pinball on their game systems.

    #15 13 years ago


    I HAVE a couple of the machines in the Williams Xbox 360 collection, and I still occasionally play them on the console too.

    Most of them play very well too, and it does give you a good feel for what the real machines play like. Except for NGG, I find it almost impossible to follow what the ball is doing on the console version.... I'd love to play a real one sometime.


    #16 13 years ago

    If there is a machine that can engage non-pinball folk it is WCS94. The color-scheme is definitely outdated, but the gameplay is pretty straight forward...score goals and ride the ramps. The DMD animations are great and the entire machine is as family friendly as it gets. People of both genders and all ages seem to really enjoy the one in my place. You can get them relatively cheap and outfitting one with color-matched LEDs really improves the overall appearance and enhances what was already one of the better light shows around. Highly recommend WCS94 for a family pin.

    #17 13 years ago

    The Taxi machine on the xbox 360 is a lot of fun, but it wouldn't stop me from getting one for a family spot. In fact, I am probably going to be looking for a family pin in the spring and I am keeping a close eye out for a Taxi, Diner, or TZ.

    #18 13 years ago

    Taxi is a great family pin donjagra. Just something magical about that period of system 11 pinballs (Diner, Taxi, Earthshaker, Whirlwind, Elvira and the Party Monsters, etc).

    #19 13 years ago

    Surprised no-one voted for TOTAN.

    #20 13 years ago

    Can't get any better than Taxi for a great mid 80's Williams, Has to
    probably be the best all around pin made for that time. It still holds intrest and plays as good (or better)as some newer machines.

    Out of my collection Taxi and Southpark are the most played by friends and family, just because of the simple objectives. Its easy for everyone to understand, pick up the people to get the jackpot. Plus the colour scheme and artwork on Taxi are extremely family friendly. And the tunes are catchy and fun.

    South Park is not so family friendly in the sound dept. ie swear ROMset, but you can turn it to family mode. Definately not for everyone, but my brothers love it.

    #21 13 years ago


    Taxi isn't really an easy game, you must restart the catch of heroes at every ball.

    What about another syst 11 such as "Whirlwind","Earthshaker", Doctor Dude, high speed:


    If U prefer DOT machines White water is the name.

    #22 13 years ago

    I don't think Earthshaker or Dr. Dude are nearly as family friendly as I would want. The Girl in the car isn't exactly modest and she says "bitchen." The nurse looks more like a stripper than a medical professional.

    As lame as I may sound, I don't like that the girl on the raft isn't wearing a life jacket on whitewater. Kids might get the wrong idea about safety. In our house, life jackets are a must for boating.

    I am okay with the dangerous driving in High Speed for some reason, but it plays a lot like BK200, and I already have one of those.

    As for Whirlwind, I just don't love the backglass.

    #23 13 years ago

    There are some games that my kids would love, but I would never buy. For example, I know my daughter would be thrilled if I got a BBBB. She had a blast playing that one at the PHOF. Unfortunately, I found it to be pretty lame.

    #24 13 years ago

    WCS, TAF, and some have cited Jurassic Park as great cross-appeal pins. Kids often like dinosaurs so they like it when the t-rex eats the ball.

    The one thing that has got more kids playing pinball at Playland not at the Beach (where they have all eras of pins) is the inclusion of ticket prizes. Kids can earn tickets if you make certain score goals (novice, skilled, expert, GC). The kids can then redeem the tickets for prizes later, similar to an arcade. The kids figure out the games that pay the most tickets or which they're good at, so that's resulted in a big increase in EM and short-flipper play because some of them pay out relatively easy compared to the rest. I've even had repeat customers go back to certain games on later visits because they know they pay out well, so the idea appears to be catching on. It's also become a great way to drive interest toward less popular games by shifting the payout mix and/or hinting to kids "psst... want to earn some easy tickets? Go play Bride of Pinbot."

    I guess the point is, at Playland, the pins alone aren't usually enough to create appeal to non-pin players. If you want to add some cross appeal to your game room, adding another pin may not be the way to go. Maybe a DDR pad, Guitar Hero, a home theater, Jukebox, nice decor, etc. could be the key. You could assemble a nice home theater and 20 movie library for the same cost of a decent pin (2k-ish). Likewise, if any of that other stuff gets trashed by kids, you won't feel nearly as bad as when they're beating on your pin.

    #25 13 years ago

    What's BBBB? Big Bang Bed and Breakfast. Now that sounds like a good time.

    #26 13 years ago

    "What's BBBB? Big Bang Bed and Breakfast. Now that sounds like a good time ..."

    No doubt. I'd buy that one in a heartbeat even if I had to keep it in a locked room.

    #27 13 years ago

    No Good Gofers is an excellent family game. Funny, humorous and still challenging enough for pinheads. My kids love it. Whirlwind, Roadshow, Safecracker, Spiderman, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Junkyard, are also good ones. Star Trek New Generation, Attack From Mars, Cirqus Voltaire, Monster Bash are great but expensive.

    #28 13 years ago

    I'd say Medieval Madness

    #29 13 years ago

    There is alot out there but some of the great ones are, Whirlwind, Taxi, Spiderman, Cirqus Votaire, Who Dunnit,and or any Pat Lawlor pin

    2 years later
    #30 11 years ago

    BBBB has a family friendly theme. So do NBAFB, NBA, Big Hurt, and Lost world.

    Tip: Don't get Big Bang Bar or Playboy for family

    #31 11 years ago
    Quoted from HELLODEADCITY:

    I'd say Medieval Madness

    But Medieval Madness has the line "I'm Howard Hurtz, who the f*** are you?" Not very family friendly if you ask me.

    #32 11 years ago


    But my family pin choice is... Avatar

    #33 11 years ago

    Just asked my five year old what her favorite machine is, NGG was the answer. Just picked up RCT a few weeks ago so I thought for sure that would be the response, nope, right back to the Gofers.


    #34 11 years ago

    As somebody else said:

    And I'll add:

    #35 11 years ago

    All the chitlin's that come over love WOF and IM. Boys tend to like WOF, girls like IM?

    #36 11 years ago

    of all the ones I have owned CP, AFM and POTC were played the most by family and friends..


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