Looking for the best art & play combo of a non-Gottlieb EM. let's hear your thoughts.
Well Fireball is certain(t)ly up there if "best playing" means getting your dick/vag knocked in the dirt.
Favorite Williams - Heat Wave
Rules: The rules are simple, but difficult to master. The moving stand up targets coupled with a drop down target offer a simple, you difficult to master shot sequence. Advancing the drop target value from 100 to 500 is very rewarding.
Art: I love the boardwalk style art. The heat is real when you gaze upon the backglass. You can just feel the strength of the sun
Animated Backglass: A thermostat that rises as you advance throught the game adds quite a bit to the experience of playing.
Flippers: 2" flippers are my favorite. A player must learn to recognize ball trajectory in order to effectively nudge on this game. It's a skill that will mean the difference between a 500 point game and a 4,000 point game.
Favorite Bally - Capersville
Rules: There is so much going on with Capersville. You can advance "capers" to earn specials and points. You can lock balls into a ball capture saucer for multiball. You can park a ball in the Capersville 4 stop captive ball alley. You can score points by skillfully (or luckily) putting a ball into the far left lane. And the multiball is both infuriating and fun at the same time.
Art: Pointy People as far as the eye can see!
Zipper Flippers: Having zipper flippers turns this fantastic layout into an incredible experience.
Also if you could mention what separates those from the others in your mind (ex: art package, great skill shot, etc. that would be really helpful).
Dragon by Interflip. 5 single stand-up targets, unique artwork
Night Rider by Bally. 10 drop targets, 3 bumpers, 2 spinners and coll artwork.
Bon Voyage by Bally. Great art work, nice layout.
Underwater by Recel. Fun to play
Completely forgot about Bally's Wizard. That game is great. Art is awesome gameplay has those cool flag targets. Played the shit out of it when I was younger.
Quoted from Yoski:
Night Rider by Bally. 10 drop targets, 3 bumpers, 2 spinners and coll artwork.
I'm afraid Night Rider blows.
The problem is those spinners....they light for 100 points which does absolutely nothing for you. If say, dropping a DT bank would light a spinner for 1,000, the game would be much more interesting. Great looking game for sure though.
Bally Alladins Castle . Bonus up to 30K, potential for shoot again on every ball. 3 strong pops, spinner, 10 star rollovers, 2 in Aladdin's Alley work toward a special on every ball, great R rated backglass and a timeless theme with vibrant colors.
Williams Rancho. Western Artwork insinuating a brothel IMHO, cacti , tons of fun to play! Spinner , drops, kickout holes, kickback lane, the game has a lot to shoot at. I think the 2 pops are D.C. Powered because they fire the ball hard. 6 digit scoring is very cool for an EM.
Williams, Big Daddy
Honorable mention...Bally Capersville
Honorable mention...Williams Heat Wave
With a tip of the hat to Nic:
Bally Freedom (early production version with the pop bumper between the flippers)
Bally Wizard with my favorite EM shot... left orbit into the 3,000 point kick out hole then down the flag lane to flip over all 4 flags. Love it!
I'm partial to Bally Bow and Arrow as well as Williams Aztec. My daughter has a Sonic Prospector which is a great game too. Gotta love them EM spinners!
4MBC, Four Million BC.
Enthusiasts generally understand after they play the game.
Check out some of Mr. Zale's other "zipper flipper" innovative game titles such as Joust, Capersville, Op-Pop-Pop, Nip-It, Mini-Zag, Cosmos or Bazaar, beyond Fireball.
They are all worth your time.
I have to say, I'm partial to many of the Ted Zale designed single player/multiplayer Bally games from the 60s and early 70s.
Old Chicago has a nice variety of features and those nasty lower pops, plus great art all around. It'd be my favorite Bally (not a fan of 2" flippers so no FB or 4MBC here).
I also am not a fan of 2" flippers, but I feel like zipper flippers would be really cool and change the game entirely.
Just about all reverse wedgehead Williams are great games. I own River Boat which is, in my opinion, having played both, a better game than Heat Wave. Williams made a lot of great games in the 60s
Quoted from chuckwurt:
They are regarded as the best EMs overall as the total package.
I think Williams are better machines, though I'll state Gottlieb chimes sound better.
Just picked up Williams Olympic Hockey last week and we have been flogging it for dear life! Game is a riot with awesome flow, great playfield action with cool backglass animation with goofy goal buzzer that cracks me up every time a goal is scored.
Jungle King and Lucky Hand were "meh" and Ship Ahoy is just ok.
I think this isn't really as bad as it used to be...Plenty of Williams/Bally games get respect these days.
Gottliebs undeniably have the best "feel" - best bells and chimes, best flipper feel, and in some cases the best art (though much of the Bally stuff is on par). Fact is there are PLENTY of mediocre gottlieb games and there are lots of great Williams games. I personally think most of the Bally stuff sucks until about 1975 (fireball excepted), mostly due to consistiently terrible rulesets and dull playfields.
Gottlieb certainly didn't take many chances, their playfields and rulesets tend to be pretty similar. They'd never make something like Space Mission, which was one of the best selling games of the 70s, or Fireball, which everybody remembers.
I will say there are very few terrible Gottlieb games, and Bally/Williams can be a little more hit and miss.
I suggest the following:
1. Williams Dealers Choice...Williams answer to drop targets was rollovers. This game has an on playfield extra ball and special. When set up correctly, this game is super fast.
2. Sonic Mars Trek... two goals on this game, build up the bonus and double it and spell "Mars Trek." Great artwork and fast DC powered pop's and slings. These games also have playfields and resist wear and backlasses that do not flake.
Williams Liberty Bell - Pretty nice looking (not it's strong(est) point), but fantastic rules, play, reliability, and GREAT speed with those factory-DC pop bumpers and flippers. Nobody has really caught onto this game. This game will not be leaving the basement and will share the basement among some of the best of the best. I thoroughly enjoy this game, and you will have to squeeze every vantage point you can get out of it as you work on upping your rewards. And that's only playing alone! It is two player and makes for a GREAT friendly-competition game and know that from experience. Picked it up really cheap in GREAT shape and I expect you'd easily be able to do the same. Rips a unit that controls two lighting effects in sync, off of the spinners, which produces a cool light show and an orgasmic EM sound when you hit them hard.
All in all a really fun skill-based game that is very easy to learn and very difficult to master. Extra Balls, bonuses, SPECIALs, and all that great stuff as good rewards to expand your game and score. Love it!
1962 Williams King Pin
Fantastic theme! Outstanding artwork! Excellent gameplay!
Norm Clark's initial design effort and some say his finest. Wild 4-flipper/kickback action combined with bowling's challenge as well as its fun!
I love it so much, it's the only game that I own two of!!!
Quoted from Otaku:
Williams Liberty Bell - Pretty nice looking (not it's strong(est) point), but fantastic rules, play, reliability, and GREAT speed with those factory-DC pop bumpers and flippers. Nobody has really caught onto this game.
It's just so darn ugly. But yes it's a fun game to play with that Williams speed. It's also weird that Williams didn't get their Bicentennial game out until halfway through 1977.
I think most people prefer the almost identical but much better looking 4-player Grand Prix, which people HAVE caught on to and was one of the top sellers of the 1970s.
Quoted from CrazyLevi:
It's just so darn ugly.
There are many Williams games that are good or great players, but just not terribly attractive. There aren't too many ugly Gottlieb or Bally games. Some of the '60s Ballys had gorgeous playfield art. Williams is definitely the leader in visually unappealing games, starting around the mid to late '60s.
I like Evel Knievel and Mata Hari. EM EK is pretty tough to win on a regular basis. EM MH can have some very long games with huge bonus countdowns.
My vote is for WMS Spanish Eyes. Ugly on the outside, but very entertaining. Never has not flipping been so important to EM gameplay.
Second vote for King Pin Williams and Fireball. I would say 3 million but that wicker furniture plastics and the sideart could of been better.
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