Yes, it's time for yet another buying advice thread, sorry!
After owning a Taxi for 5 years, I recently had to let it go. It was a bit tricky to part with it as it was a gift but we eventually ran out of space and sold it to a friend (yay I still get to play with my baby every once in a while!).
The good thing is we now have pin space again and after years fantasizing on having another pin, I can finally get a different one and would love to hear your thoughts on my shortlist.
My pinball background in case it can help you assess which pinball could be the best fit for me: Taxi remains my only "proper" pinball reference. I did play others - notably at Modern Pinball, NY - but rarely long enough to get good, definitive opinions. If it can help, on top of my head: WCS probably remains my best memory of a pin other than Taxi, it ended being the one I played the most at Modern Pinball. Loved Fun House too, but it's above my budget. On the other hand, I remember hating The Avengers (like most people I think) and didn't like Dr Who.
- Single pinball collection so I'm looking for something that can keep me entertained for some time
- Upper flipper(s)!
- The more family-friendly both theme and fun-factor wise, the better. I'd like to be able to play with my 6yo kid.
- Good-looking (subjective, I know, I listed the machines I already dismissed at the end of this post)
Here's my current shortlist of pinballs in my price range (living outside the US), in order of preference:
- Tommy has always been high on my wanted list. I absolutely love the artwork, especially the playfield. The layout also fits what I'm looking for - upper flipper, orbits, two ramps, cool toys - supporting a very decent mission-based ruleset.
- JD: dig the artwork, dig all the ramps and flippers, don't mind the lack of bumpers. However I played it extensively on The Pinball Arcade and to my surprise it never clicked which echoes with the love/hate reputation it seems to have in the (many) threads I have already read. That being said, I know virtual pinball doesn't reflect the "feel" you get from playing an actual machine, so I'm not sure how much credit I should give to this impression. Plus it's a $1400 game AMIRITE.
- The Getaway: High Speed II - I have a soft spot for this one. Like the theme, Supercharger, shift gear but most of all its speed and flow. Contrary to Judge Dredd, this is one I love playing the most in Pinball Arcade. Downside is the ruleset that seems to be regularly pointed out as a mid-term weak spot, but considering I managed to stay entertained with a Taxi for so many years I may not grow tired of it as easily as people who've owned (or owns) deeper pins.
- I'm not excluding making a move on a Whirlwind I spotted nearby. It's the only pin of the list I actually checked on site. The guy is asking a bit too much for it in my opinion. There's room for negotiation but I'm a bit afraid I'll grow tired of it faster than a Dot even though WW is considered as one of the best and deepest System 11. I did get to play it for 15 minutes and enjoyed it a great deal though. The fact however remains that I can land a Dot for 300€ more.
Last one is The Shadow (with mandatory alternate translite). I intentionally left it out of the poll as I'm afraid it will get most votes but it's also on my shortlist. I'm just a bit afraid about it being less accessible for the little one.
In the same price range, I'm dismissing games like LW3, WWF Rumble, WCS, Baywatch and Pinball 2000s mainly due to cosmetics (don't like the artwork, basically). On the other hand, WH2O or Fish Tales would be top candidates but I doubt I can find one in my price range.
Sorry for the long post and thanks for the reply