(Topic ID: 220539)

Deepest Alpha-Numeric game?


By mrossman5

10 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by jfre81
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 10 months ago

    Just curios to see if there are any deep alpha numeric games and if they are any good.

    #2 10 months ago

    Alpha numeric or Solid State in general? In terms of early SS look no further than Barracora. Roger Sharpe's other masterpiece Cyclopes is very complex too with the monster bonus.

    #3 10 months ago

    I'd like to hear about this too.

    #4 10 months ago

    Though I've played the majority of system 11's, I believe that the alpha numerics' are on a decently even scale rule wise. The technology in the mid to late 80's & early 90's had limited capacity in terms of memory storage. Yes, the game play varied in terms of rule & layout from their system counterpart, but the overall rules were limited to the board's total recognition output. Atari = system 80 ~ early Nintendo = system 11's ~ Playstation 7 = JJP!!!

    #5 10 months ago
    Quoted from Frippertron:

    Alpha numeric or Solid State in general? In terms of early SS look no further than Barracora.

    Any games before 91-92 I guess. I just would think the later alpha numerical games would probably have more depth than just a numeric game.

    #6 10 months ago

    I find the system 7 games to often have more depth to them than system 11s. It seems like they scaled back at system 9. Can't speak to bally though...

    All the Williams alphanumeric seem to have pretty simple rulesets. Modes hadn't really been invented yet, jackpots (and having things to do in MB) were brand new, ramps and other multi-level stuff were finally becoming standard.

    Taxi is pretty good, multiple ways to score.

    #7 10 months ago

    Don’t know if it qualifies (dmd conversion) BOP with DP’s 2.0 kit

    #8 10 months ago

    surf n safari. title fight. funhouse.

    #9 10 months ago

    I think if you were to break it down by manufacturer/MPU it'd look something like:

    System 80B:

    Bone Busters
    I've only played it a handful of times, but Diamond Lady struck me as a game with a lot of interesting ways to approach the game.

    Gottlieb System 3:

    Any of the Alphanumeric titles. Lights Camera Action has modes, not unlike early DMD games have.
    Operation: Thunder has some cool timed modes.
    Definitely "deeper" than anything William's was doing with System 11 (but that doesn't mean they're better games).

    System 11:

    Whirlwind (Probably the closest game System 11 got to feeling like WPC, to be honest)

    WPC:

    Funhouse (though, the depth is more in the brilliant programming that went into Rudy's ability to remember player's names and follow the ball with his eyes)

    I haven't played many DE alphanumeric games, so I really can't comment on their depth.

    #10 10 months ago

    Don't buy an alphanumeric game if you are looking for "deep." there simply aren't any.

    I don't know that anybody would call games like Wwind or Funhouse Deep - they really aren't.

    #11 10 months ago

    Elektra is it but it is pre-alpha-numeric. Look up the ruleset... I wrote a 15 paragraph explanation of the rules once and it is NOT complete. As others have said, "deep or complex" does not always equate to "good". Elektra is not just deep, it is very specific. Not for the faint of reading.

    Also an early one not yet mentioned is Williams Defender.

    #12 10 months ago

    SS era games, numeric or otherwise, are fun BECAUSE rulesets are simple. Easy to learn and understand, difficult to master, short ball times, plain fun. Pinball at it's purest. I can't imagine someone like keefer or lyman coding an early Bally or Stern. I wonder what they would do to a game like Flash Gordon?

    #13 10 months ago

    Most system 11 games revolve around the multiball sequence. Once you complete that sequence - repeat it. The fun is in seeing how many times you can repeat the sequence in a single game, which can very difficult on certain titles and very easy on others. A few of the later titles have some depth to them, such a Whirlwind with the cellar door value prize collecting, and Black Knight 2000 with the Ransom mode (which was basically the first "wizard mode" but is somewhat randomly awarded being that the RANSOM letters carry over from the game to game).

    Then there are single ball system 11 games like Cyclone, Bad Cats, and Pool Sharks that have a lot of interesting gameplay rules that revolve around different playfield features, but there still isn't much "depth" to any of them.

    -BB

    #14 10 months ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    SS era games, numeric or otherwise, are fun BECAUSE rulesets are simple. Easy to learn and understand, difficult to master, short ball times, plain fun. Pinball at it's purest. I can't imagine someone like keefer or lyman coding an early Bally or Stern. I wonder what they would do to a game like Flash Gordon?

    As someone who's a fan of more complicated rules and has attempted to rewrite the software on some of these earlier games, the biggest challenge is just getting all this information to the player at all. Without callouts, displays, etc there's only so much complexity the player can understand, even if you code it in. System 11s were at a point tech/presentation wise (good sound quality, voice, alphanumeric display) where they could do a lot more, but they mostly didn't.

    #15 10 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Elektra is it but it is pre-alpha-numeric. Look up the ruleset... I wrote a 15 paragraph explanation of the rules once and it is NOT complete. As others have said, "deep or complex" does not always equate to "good". Elektra is not just deep, it is very specific. Not for the faint of reading.
    Also an early one not yet mentioned is Williams Defender.

    Would love to see this ruleset. I wish the playfield for this game was more interesting.

    #16 10 months ago

    I'll second Taxi.
    Hit passengers in semi-specific order, timed bonuses (carry passengers ), multiball with extra scoring if you lock balls, many ways to build points.

    #17 10 months ago
    Quoted from MarcelG:

    Would love to see this ruleset. I wish the playfield for this game was more interesting.

    Not sure what you mean by "interesting". It's just as "interesting" as Metallica or AC/DC.

    My original post was over in the "Elektra Club" thread. There could be errors and others have added a few rules that I forgot about.

    It's only about 80% complete but I cleaned them up a bit more today when I posted this:

    >>
    I have attempted to compile a list of rules for Elektra. However, by the time I get to the 20th rule, I forget all the others and my head starts to hurt... It does have the most overly complicated rule-set up to that point in pinball history I have ever encountered.
    I am now attempting to do this since there is an official Elektra thread...
    I know things are missing but here is a start:

    LOCKING BALLS
    Making green 1-2-3 targets lites left rollover button lites. These lights alternate the direction that they flow every 5 seconds.
    Ball rolling over lit buttons in direction of travelling lights around the LEFT ROLLOVER ORBIT, or by dropping 2X-3X-5X "in-line" drop targets behind the captive ball will lite the top 4-5-6 target arrows, one at a time.
    Making 4-5-6 targets lites the top saucer arrow to allow for locking a ball and also lites the top right rollover button intermittently to score special.
    You can light the green arrow LOWER LOCK by completing ANY set of standup targets (including the easy to hit center red targets) 5 (need to confirm this?) times.
    Making the 5 blue standup targets:
    Lites left outlane for 10 Elektra units and bottom saucer green arrow for LOCK ball.
    Note: You can "lane change" the needed blue targets with the left flipper at any time.

    Capturing balls in both the upper and lower LOCKS starts mulit-ball play.

    Also, with 1 ball locked in either captive hole, completing ANY set of standup targets will start multiball play.

    OTHER STUFF
    3 red center stand up target awards:
    1st time opens right ball return gate.
    2nd time lites ball return arrow to collect bonus.
    3rd time lites 2 blue target lites.
    4th time lites 2 additional blue target lites.
    5th time lites outlane specials, left outlane for 10 Elektra units and bottom saucer arrow for LOCK ball.
    Completing 3 middle level targets? don't understand what this rule explains?
    Lighting orbit spinners? not sure how or how much they are worth
    Captive ball drop target multipliers? not sure to which bonus these are applied.

    OBTAIN SOME ELEKTRA UNITS
    There a many ways. Here are some:
    Completeing any bank of standup targets awards 2 Elektra units. (rules setting)
    Making 5 blue targets:
    Lites left outlane for 10 Elektra units and bottom saucer arrow for lock ball.
    Note: The blue target bank becomes more and more difficult to complete. The targets required to complete the blue bank will flash and will lite solid when collected. They change with each completed set.
    Note: You can "lane change" the needed blue targets with the left flipper at any time.

    Making either 1-2-3 in sequence or the 4-5-6 targets flashes 2X target for 10? seconds.
    Target must be hit when flashing in order to collect double bonus.
    Locking both balls awards an extra ball. (rule setting) Maximum of 1 extra ball per ball in play (rule setting)
    Striking the red target at the end of the captive ball hallway awards ? Elektra units.

    EXTENDED END OF BALL PLAY (LOWER PLAYFIELD)
    Mini playfield becomes active after ball-in-play enters out-hole and a minimum of (rule setting;default=6) Elektra units are achieved.

    LOWER PLAYFIELD RULES
    Each ball you play in Elektra can potentially be extended to the lower playfield.
    Each extended ball in the lower playfield "starts fresh" and no progress "carries over" from previous extended ball play.
    Your main objective is to actually NOT just hit everything or JUST keeping the ball alive.
    The Elektra units translate to the number of seconds you have "unlimited balls" while playing the lower playfield. Once all Elektra units have expired, it is sudden death and either the next ball begins or, the game ends if it's the last ball in play.
    What you want to focus on is to hit the 6 orange side targets but not necessarily complete them. The reason is because striking them once lights them but they all go out after you lite them all. Striking a LIT orange target on the lower playfield awards the most points (5,000). Just lighting a target scores much fewer points (need amount here).
    Lighting 5 orange targets lites the left orbit arrow.
    Completing all 6 side orange targets one time flashes the center green target for 2X and hitting that green target lites it solid and collects it. 2X is the highest multiplier on the lower playfield.
    Lighting 12 orange target lites the right orbit arrow.
    The lower playfield does have a bonus which increases with each target bank completion and that is displayed in the center. I believe it has a max but I don't know the amount.

    Tilt penalty – Ball in play.

    #18 10 months ago
    Quoted from silver_spinner:

    surf n safari. title fight. funhouse.

    I have to agree with SnS. Filling the grid more than once was difficult. Scoring awards based off "bingo" style lines was neat. Plus a good spin in the whirlpool is satisfying!
    Actually a fun game, usually priced well. But can be hard to find.

    #19 10 months ago

    I'd say Taxi or TM:BoP. Maybe FunHouse.

    You can score well in Taxi without focusing on passengers or multiball, just picking up passengers and then hitting the standup for the million, but it's also risky because of the speed of the table and the drains that often come if you ring a shot off a post.

    #20 10 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Elektra is it but it is pre-alpha-numeric. Look up the ruleset... I wrote a 15 paragraph explanation of the rules once and it is NOT complete. As others have said, "deep or complex" does not always equate to "good". Elektra is not just deep, it is very specific. Not for the faint of reading.
    Also an early one not yet mentioned is Williams Defender.

    Elektra is amazing, IMO.

    #21 10 months ago

    Black Knight 2000 has more than one multiball mode and the first "wizard mode" - should be in the discussion.

    #22 10 months ago

    I don't know if Diamond Lady is really deep as much as it's just hard.

    #23 10 months ago

    Surf n safari is a great game! One of the earliest fan layouts too! Watch Bowen talk about Barracora if you want an "elaborate" SS. Nobody mentioned Algar yet. That game is filled with various rules and things to do. Too bad they only made a few hundred of them. What do you guys think of RoboWar? It's has great rules that are varied for the time and change depending upon which state the game is at.

    #24 10 months ago

    Not an alpha numeric, but an early solid state, I believe you will find Hercules to be one of the deepest ever. Widest too.

    #25 10 months ago

    What about the 10 DE games? Everyone I have played didn’t seem too deep.

    #27 10 months ago

    I will cast another vote for Surf N Safari. I'm not sure how deep it is but definitely one of the games that I miss after I moved it out of my collection.

    #28 10 months ago

    Whirlwind has a fair bit going on for a Sys11 too.

    Two distinct multiball modes that can be stacked and played at the same time, well before BSD, AFM, MM etc. made that standard. Lots to shoot at, and you're forced to make a variety of shots to keep bringing multiball around, where the big-point shot is. The spinning discs on the playfield only add more unpredictability and randomness.

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