Blackwater 100 is a very unique pinball machine that you don't come across very often. The theme is motorcycle dirt bike racing. Released by Bally in 1988. This was one of Dennis Nordman's earlier pinball designs.
This game has many interesting shots that have never been done before or since in any pinball machine that I have ever seen.
Instead of a regular game where you launch one ball into play... Blackwater 100 has three "heats" and each heat STARTS with 3-ball multiball. You launch the three balls behind the starting gate in the upper right corner. The game then counts down "READY", "SET", "GO" along with RED, YELLOW, and GREEN lights and the gate is dropped and the balls roll down the track and enter the playfield. You control the gate drop with two extra green buttons below the white flipper buttons. A bonus is given based on how well you time the gate drop when the game says "GO". If you are too early, no bonus... if you are right on you get a nice bonus... if you are delayed then your bonus quickly goes down.
Game play is chaotic at first with all three balls entering the playfield at the same time. Having been to many dirt bike races in my youth, the way the heat start along with the cool dirt bike sound effects really captures the mayhem and chaos that ensues at the beginning of a real dirt bike race.
Chances are you will quickly drain a ball or two in the initial chaos and that's OK. Luckily, the game has two ball locks that will temporarily hold a ball when it enters. This allows you to focus better on other balls in play.
The game has five flippers. Two in the regular position, two at the bottom of the upper playfield, and one down on the left on the apron. Yes, the apron... well... there really is no apron and instead there is a third playfield there for even more crazy fun.
Gameplay is pretty straight forward in that you are trying to complete three "laps". Each lap consists of accomplishing each of the eight challenges on the playfield. After each lap, there is a special timed test that you must accomplish for big points.
I picked up a Blackwater 100 a few months ago for a pretty good deal. It was fully functioning, but needed a major shop job. It was probably one of the most difficult playfields to take apart to shop out. Lots of crazy molded plastic parts that create hills, ramps, berms, and tunnels.
Just check out some of the up-close playfield shots here:
This game takes a while to "dial in". You need to make sure each switch is responding correctly and smoothly, otherwise you won't be able to complete all the challenges.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on Blackwater 100.
Here is a picture of my game...