The promotional interviews continue to trickle in, as Jeff Teolis uploaded a massive, multi-interview, episode from his many travels in the past month. Nick and I are interviewed about Coin-Op Carnival and Nick's tremendous Multi-Bingo around the 25 minute mark:
I'm also fresh off my weekend exhibiting at...
...near Ann Arbor, MI...
...which was a right dandy time.
My Friday began with a sip of tea from my...
...before taking my son to school and dashing off to the "E.M. World Championships" at the start of the showcase weekend. I believe there were about 64 people competing ( j_m_ are my numbers correct?) and when I got knocked out there were 6 people remaining in the competition. So, I don't think I earned any bragging rights from my 7th place showing, but I always have a great time at that tournament. 1 on 1 competitions throughout the day with time to meet and converse with your partner as you're playing. Great fun.
After getting knocked-out, I set up my booth behind the bar at the back of the main hall:
I've said it before and I'll say it again, cfh 's collection of 400+ machines is the best kept, widest era spanning, assembly of games I've ever laid eyes on.
The collection of neon is almost as extensive as the games themselves, like this little gem behind the bar where I was exhibiting:
Pretty awesome to have access to this assortment of so many rarely seen titles. New additions to this year's roster were a handful of pre-war games scattered about. Here are just a couple examples (can't believe I didn't get pictures of the others):
I managed a pretty decent game on Bally's "Air Way", sinking 8 out of 10 balls:
Then, of course, there was the drool-inducing collection of woodrails:
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Oh, and did I neglect to mention the line-up of upright and skill-roll games?
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I could continue, but I was there to let people know about our book. Many of which were purchased. And it was so delightful to connect with people over this passion project of ours! The unfortunate part of these updates is that it's hard to photograph and make visual these experiences and relationships. I've really come to value these conversations, repeated meetings, and developed friendships over the years of exhibiting at shows like this. Moreover, I feel odd singling out any particular meeting because I won't be able to mention all of them, nor would I do them any justice with a short recount, so I'll just take this opportunity to lapse into a brief parade of pictures from the weekend:
...and my 3-day view from behind the bar:
On Sunday, the final day of the show, I completed a puzzle with my son before leaving home for the day:
A great number of folks in the Michigan Pinball community approached me over the weekend to ask about my fine son and recounted memories of him as a wee fellow being worn on my chest at various events. Our big little dude is a little too big for that these days.
Anyhow, on this last day of the VFW Show, I tried getting out from behind the table every once in a while to sample the majority of the woodrails.
I've heard Gottlieb game designer, Wayne Neyens, mention his (and his family's) fondness for Niagara, and after playing it I can see why his kids were upset when Wayne traded it away for a set of encyclopedias. Very fun game with that characteristically pitch-perfect Neyens thresholding built into a gaggle of ways to win replays. Add to that the accomplished, whimsical, and intricate artwork by Roy Parker, and I can see why this title is in high demand:
Thumbs up, indeed!
Next, I was really drawn to the theme (CROQUET!??!) of Green Pastures , but found the gameplay pretty difficult. The layout of the bumper sequence was actually quite inventive and daring, as it was layed-out in the configuration of a croquet field. Unfortunately, it felt too challenging to accomplish, with the second half of the number sequence ascending up the playfield and posts drilled into the middle of the playing surface obstructing desirable ball paths off the flippers. And while there were still a number of different ways to win replays, this game seemed to have those replay thresholds set way too high. I didn't even come close to achieving any of them. When I walked up to the game, based on theme and artwork I thought this would instantly rocket to the top of my short list. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I felt quite the contrary as I walked away:
Perhaps I just need some more time on this game to appreciate it. I wish I did because of the theme and artwork, but perhaps I'm just saving myself the pain of trying to find one, as it's a pretty low production run game.
Anyhow, this one seems to be a mainstay of the VFW, but a new addition I spotted in a separate annex was 1950's "Rose Bowl":
This title is thematically reminiscent of the designer's (Wayne Neyens, again) first game, College Daze, which was released just a couple of years prior. Rose-Bowl , however, has an interesting feature in which the game provides a random score for the visiting team at the start of the game and your job, as the home team, is to beat their score by the end of 5 balls. However, much like "Green Pastures", this was another instance where I felt like the replay thresholds were set impossibly high, making the game much less fun when the possibility of winning feels too far away. But again, that was merely a first impression and perhaps I just got a couple of high visiting scores to beat.
Nevertheless, I was thankful for the opportunity to play a number of these rare games I'd not had the chance to prior to this past weekend.
More importantly, I'm glad to have connected with a great number of readers, which has me jazzed for the next tour stop in Fort Wayne, IN at Summit Sports, Comics, and Games!
This particular date lands on a Wednesday, which also happens to be new comic book day (the day each week that new comics are released). So come on out to Summit in Fort Wayne on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 for your chance to take a look at our new book in person.
Thank you for your continued support of our project! ...and coming soon, we'll have an unexpected announcement to share with you.