(Topic ID: 194036)

Best game for a newbie

By Jaws72

3 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 92 posts
  • 61 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by pacmanretro
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


Linked Games

There are 92 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 3 years ago

Hello. I've always been a fan of pinball. I remember my summer vacations going to Wildwood, New Jersey...watching my dad pay pinball.
So, now here I am, grabbing the torch! Unfortunately,, it's harder to find pinball machines to play. Gone are the days of arcades.
If you're lucky, you are able to find somewhere within 30 minutes that has a couple machines.
I am now looking to buy my first machine. I have a 13 year old son that enjoys playing too. Was wondering, what are some of the decent machines for a newbie?

Thanks and keep playing!

#2 3 years ago

There are lots of machines to buy. #1 determining factor is how much are you thinking of spending? Also, what era game are you looking for 90s and later or 80s and earlier?

#3 3 years ago

Just cut to the chase and get a $50,000 Kingpin.

#4 3 years ago

I think we would need to know a little more info to help.
Price range matters. Also theme, maybe you don't like say aliens.
Would you want to start with an EM or SS machine? Fixer upper or ready to flip?

#5 3 years ago

Oh..and WELCOME to Pinside!

#6 3 years ago

I always recommend Pinbot ... It's a great game, relatively inexpensive, not too difficult to maintain, and easy to sell if you find that pins aren't your thing.

#7 3 years ago

Joker poker

#8 3 years ago

Welcome! What major cities are you closest to?

Also, the machine you're looking for is World Cup Soccer 94. Haha

#9 3 years ago

Firepower is a great first Solid State game, or any EM in my opinion

#10 3 years ago

Welcome Jaws,

I recently took the plunge into the hobby. My advice is YouTube a crap load of pinball game plays. Be careful as some are Visual Pinball and not actual machines.

I've found that while I'm a sucker for a great backglass, the EM chimes and softer flippers just don't thrill me as much.

I ended up finding a Game Plan Sharpshooter. I love it, as does my wife. It doesn't have ramps and toys, but that's cool with us. It's more "classic pinball " if you will.

Maybe you want the ramps and toys?

These are things to consider.

Also, do yourself a favor and get something more main stream than say a Game Plan machine. You'll want to have lots of help st some point, so obscure games will limit that to a degree.

Good luck!

#11 3 years ago

I second the "Firepower" recommendation. Or a fun and affordable system 11 like Taxi, Mousin Around, F14

#12 3 years ago

Spiderman will always please the masses. Higher on the spectrum of price range, but holy crap any age range will play it over and over

#14 3 years ago

go to the pinside top 100, they are all great games
find one close to you that is in your price range

buy it


#15 3 years ago

Personally, I started with Evel Knievel, and I thought it was perfect. It's an old Bally solid state game (also available in EM, but stay away from that for now). Any old Bally will work. Mata Hari, Eight Ball, Harlem Globetrotters.

The reason I recommend them is because a game with some miles on them like these can be bought fairly cheaply (under $1000, and a real beater for a lot less). They are a perfect place to learn how to fix them, and you will NEED to fix it. Most parts can be bought, including full replacement boards.

Don't worry all that much about cosmetics, you will have years to get fussy. What you want is the full play experience. So find a friend in the hobby that can look at it with you. Or check around here for someone that might be willing to help you find one.

There are some great people in this hobby, but there are also some shysters. Some people will be happy to help you out, and others just want to rip you off. Just keep your radar up. You will be able to tell the difference pretty quick. The good guys, really are great guys to know. The people I've met in this hobby are what make it so great. The pinball is awesome, but having a bunch of friends over for a night of fun are the best part.

#16 3 years ago

your in a good area to buy used games. Jurassic Park is a good game to bust your cherry and your boy will know the theme. allentown.craigslist.org link

#17 3 years ago

I think the two biggest questions are, how much money do you want or have to spend, and what are your abilities as far as working on things and troubleshooting. If you have no mechanical ability and can afford to buy a new game then I'd say go that route. If you have mechanical ability then I say buy whatever you want to, you may even enjoy tinkering with an old machine if that's the case.

#18 3 years ago

Something modern enough to be reliable but with simple gameplay and rules.

I recommend trying Iron Man! It was my first game and can be relatively easy to find at a reasonable price.

#19 3 years ago

Welcome to the hobby. This forum is a great place to enjoy pinball.

I would consider looking at the top 100 on this site. Then you get to price range etc etc.

Maybe attend a good show to try a bunch of machines.

I bought the exact machine I wanted. But, now I want more.

#20 3 years ago

First question should be... what's your budget?

That will dictate EM, System 11 or DMD.

We can help you from there with a handful of great choices.

#21 3 years ago

It's been said before, but an excellent first game is Fish Tales. A Williams/Bally quality pinball machine, an early but great DMD game, popular to the point of well > than 10k being produced, and because of so many examples prices are very good for what you get compared to many other machines.

#22 3 years ago

Is your son going to be involved here from a playing perspective. If so, you may wish to acquire a game that holds his interest as well. A newer game will have a higher degree of potential success here than an older game I feel from my experience with my children.
Demolition Man

Good luck

By the way, share the love of the Jersey Shore. Spent my summers in Ocean City!!

#23 3 years ago

Budget wasn't mentioned, so I'd suggest Attack From Mars. It's very easy even for people new to pinball to pick up and play and they make them new now so you won't have to worry as much about buying a 20+ year old machine that may have issues.

#24 3 years ago

I'd be leaning towards a working project, maybe $1500 to $2000? Theme is important but something you can play and tinker with is probably even more important to start with. Maybe you'll want to restore games, or maybe just be a player.

#26 3 years ago

Your budget and willingness to work on a pin can help decide on what pin you are wanting to buy.

I would also do your due diligence before you plunk your money down. Check the prices on the pin. If you are not careful, you can over pay by hundreds of dollars. Retail/Ebay prices can be high.

One of the things people new to the hobby need to know is that it is not just buying and playing a pinball machine. There will maintenance involved at some point. For a lot of people, tinkering and modding a pin is more fun than playing them.

#27 3 years ago

Hi Jaws! Welcome! I would definitely say try as many different machines from different manufacturers/eras as you can before you commit to buy one. There are some great machines at locations kind of close to you, as well as tournaments and leagues that can be found at this thread: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/philadelphia-area-pinball-leagues-and-tournaments

If your family still comes down to the NJ shore for the summer, there are a few boardwalk arcades in Ocean City that carry pins. Jilly's is a staple. Many of their games are beat up, but you can play newer Sterns for a quarter. All the best in finding your first pin!

#28 3 years ago
Quoted from dzoomer:

It's been said before, but an excellent first game is Fish Tales. A Williams/Bally quality pinball machine, an early but great DMD game, popular to the point of well > than 10k being produced, and because of so many examples prices are very good for what you get compared to many other machines.

Fish Tales was my first non-EM pin. Got the bug and now have 30+ pins. Welcome to the hobby!

#29 3 years ago

just get something with 2 or 3 spinners - nothing satisfies like hitting a shot thru a spinner... addictive

#30 3 years ago

Go after a decent priced machine that has a theme that resonates with you.

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from AJB4:

just get something with 2 or 3 spinners - nothing satisfies like hitting a shot thru a spinner... addictive

I have to agree. My first pin, an EM, was Williams Grand Prix. Those

spinners are addictive!

#32 3 years ago
Quoted from Azmodeus:

I would consider looking at the top 100 on this site

Not necessarily. There are great games below this "sacred top 100" I would watch the papa vidoes on youtube. See how different era machines play. Reach out to local pinsiders that will let you play games in their collections.

#33 3 years ago

It's nice to see you mention your son! When I bought my first machine a year and a half ago, it was a Simpson's pinball party. It was 20 minutes away so i decided to look at it. It was in incredible condition, and I had played it enough before on location that I knew I wouldn't regret having it. My wife on the other hand thinks it's just ok. So after a few months I decided to get another machine. This time I made sure it was one we both liked. So whenever I found one locally, I made sure she came with to see if she liked it. We ended up getting a whirlwind. She has taken claim of that machine now! I have to admit, it is much more enjoyable when you can share the hobby as family! We have our first child on the way and is due in october. We can't wait to share the hobby with our little one!

#34 3 years ago

Spiderman and MMR

#35 3 years ago

I have to agree with most on Spider-Man. More on that in a sec. As a first pin I think family fun factor has to be taken into consideration. Second is rules. If you get a game that becomes too easy it will get boring. If the rules are too deep it becomes unapproachable. That happened to me with The Simpsons Pinball Party and LOTR. Family and friends found them difficult and never played.

I went through a few games until Spider-Man hit the sweet spot. Every game has something to do. Guests can have a few multi balls and enjoy the experience while the rules are not so deep that it feels difficult but deep enough that it doesn’t get old. Great gameplay and sounds, lighting etc make it a first pin win.

#36 3 years ago

It helps to narrow down what you like. There are pins from different eras and prices range from a fee hundred to over $10000. New pins are great for a beginner because they involve less maintenance and pack a lot of gameplay. Downside is that they are expensive which makes it harder to buy more pins. Older 90's dmd games can be found cheaper but then you have to worry about condition and whether everything is working. More popular dmd pins get very expensive but there are still a lot of fun pins for around $3500 or less. If you go back to pins before dmd displays, they get much cheaper but they are much simpler in design and gameplay. Basically, the older the pin the more cheap they get. If you are wanting to tinker, getting an older cheap pin to learn on may be a good place to start.

Best thing to do is to get out to shows or find pins on location to try out. Actually playing pins has changed my mind on what I thought I liked and what I thought I did not like. If there is a retailer nearby, they may have a bunch of pins to try out that are for sell. You will pay a lot more for a retailer but they will make sure game is working and provide support. Not a bad way to start if a reputable retailer. Also check out youtube video of gameplay and pinball arcade for virtual gameplay of real pins. They are not the same thing as the real thing but should help narrow down what you like.

#37 3 years ago

JP never gets old. My 1st pin and still one of the most played. There's a nice looking one 4 sale for $1000.

#38 3 years ago

when reading your topic, my first thought was Spider-man

#39 3 years ago

Jaws72 what is your budget?

#40 3 years ago

Lots of places relatively nearby with all kinds of pins.
EM's your thing? There's the Village Arcade in St. Peters.
New & old there's The Pinball Gallery in Malvern & Railroad Tavern in Linfield.
These are just a few to wet your appetite.
Good Luck & welcome

#41 3 years ago

If money is no object Hobbit is a good choice. It's one of the easiest modern games ever made and has lots of gimmicks and eye candy. Wide open playfield give you plenty of time to judge your shots. Also it's really easy. Not frustration for newbies with this one.

There also seem to be lots of used ones coming up lately so you can save some cabbage.

#42 3 years ago

Taxi and Comet are good choices for beginners, both are family friendly fun with easy rule sets and plenty to shoot for. I have a Comet both at home and in our company break room. Lots of decent bang-for-your-buck in some of the most reasonably priced and most popular games in pinball history.

#43 3 years ago

Absent knowing your budget this is a question that can't be answered. Also, having an idea of the types of themes you may be drawn to also helps (theme matters a lot on the first game).

#44 3 years ago

Personally, i think late 80s Williams games -- System 11 era -- are great starter pins:

Taxi, Pin*bot, High Speed, Mousin' Around, Whirlwind, F-14 Tomcat, Elvira, Earthshaker ...

Just so many fun games with great flow and good rules that are generally available for a much lower investment than DMD-era games.

#45 3 years ago

I think Jaws is out buying a machine, hence no response.

#46 3 years ago

If you want to keep the cost reasonable, i e $2500 or so, I'd recommend Jurassic Park. I started with an F- 14. I bought it cheap from an F-18 pilot and it was junk. I was just too dumb to know it. Nothing had been done on it for years. It only got cleaned when one of his buddies gave it a beer bath. And along the way they tried to change the F-14 logo to F-18. But, that game definitely taught me how to repair pinball machines. I now have more money in it than I'll ever get out of it. I still love playing that machine and plan to keep it. I'm even toying with buying a new Playfield for it. I just don't know if I want to dump that much more money into it. The third game I bought was a Jurassic Park from a guy who owned it 20 years and maintained it well. (But the it did have a major hack on the power supply board that I fixed just for my peace of mind.) The JP playfield and cabinet looked brand new. That game in that condition was definitely a different pinball experience. I just jumped in and started playing that game and tweaked it along the way. The Jurassic Park seems to be a theme and Rule set that everybody understands. which makes it a fun game to play for whoever comes over. Personally, I wish I would have started with that well of a maintained machine first. My personal favorite is Terminator 2, but I'm not 100% sure that game is for everyone.

#47 3 years ago

As mentioned and asked a handful of times above... what's your budget? EM's from $100 fixer's, to SuperDuper LE's at $15,000. The Op's question is way too vague.

An open ended question like that, is as silly asking us Pinsiders; what's the best car to buy.

#48 3 years ago

First pin scared stiff followed by ghostbusters then twilight zone loving all three so far.

#49 3 years ago
Quoted from Flato:

First pin scared stiff followed by ghostbusters then twilight zone loving all three so far.

First pin people arn't usually willing to spend $5k+ on their first.

#50 3 years ago
Quoted from Yoski:

JP never gets old. My 1st pin and still one of the most played. There's a nice looking one 4 sale for $1000.

Loved that game at the "Ape" show awhile back in Ft Lauderdale. It was the machine I remember the most.

There are 92 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside