I thought I would do a little write-up for those who are expecting a new DI or those who are just curious about all the toys on the playfield.
I’m trying to keep this short, but there is so much going on with this pin that I simply don’t have the time (or stamina) to do a thorough analysis. I own the pin and have well over a hundred plays on it, so I have a pretty good understanding of the rules and mechanisms.
The rules and playfield layout are incredibly fun and approachable, but I won’t cover that. The lighting and toys really stand out to me, so I thought I would just cover those as objectively as possible.
Having the entire lighting system on RGB LEDs makes for an incredible light show. The software shines in this department; small touches like fading and strobing round out the more common color-changing effect. Lighting is coded differently for each mode giving each disaster its own unique feel.
Wow – a ton of toys that all do a great job of interacting with the ball. That is what makes a toy good in my opinion; the ability to interact with the ball and add randomness and strategy to the playfield.
The drone magnet in conjunction with the nearby rubbers can act as if another slingshot is part of the mechanism. Try changing the default setting of ”hitting the drone standup target to receive a drop” from OFF to ON. You can actually hear the drone motors spinning when a package is ready. Very cool but borderline annoying if you are having trouble hitting the stand-up target.
The Quantum Theater is just a flat-out, kick-ass tribute to Pinball 2000. There is so much going on in the theater; an angled clear plastic screen reflects a third (!) monitor onto a translucent panel and digitally displays virtual targets, activities, spinners, lottery tickets and much more (just like PB2000 technology). When the theater is inactive, you can see through the clear panel and it just looks and acts like another lane that feeds the upper right flipper. When active, it will either stop the ball, drop it straight down or whip it back through the right orbit or sometime into the jets. There is a fair amount of randomness to the theater magnet release.
The QED fellow that travels left and right is a real prick – sometimes you love him (when he saves a ball from a SDTM drop from the theater) and often you hate him (when he seemingly gets in your way on a crucial hurry-up shot). You can work around him, though using both flippers – it is a really good toy with explosive lighting effects.
Betty the mechanic thwarts ball progress by sometimes diverting what should be a great combo shot back to the right flipper into a clumsy ride onto a "plexiglas" upper playfield above the pops. The upper playfield is full of rubber that requires some good nudging. There are three possible exits – a hole down into the pops, the default drop in front of the pops, and a secret hideout behind the theater (I’ve only hit that once). There are a couple modes that use Betty and the upper playfield – this is well done so far. I hope additional code can make even more use of that upper playfield later. During regular play, you can get Betty to release her evil diverting tactics by locking a ball in the train station.
The smart phone is absolutely fantastic for being able to quickly glance at how many shots are left during each mode and where to shoot. It is often setup in a “Skype/Facetime” type loop when a mode is initiated. Character animations are pretty good but still need quite a bit of work (many static images that should be animated during speech). Voice work for each of the 11 (I assume) characters is good. A lot of humor in some of the dialogue (highlights include the yokel bellyaching about aliens and how nobody believed him and the trashy girl complaining about the tornado in her trailer park – but still has time for a little innuendo while Skyping with you). Classic Lawlor dialogue, no doubt. Each character has quite a few lines, so it avoids get repetitive.
Hidden underneath the playfield are three magnets that cause havoc in the middle of the playfield. They are usually only on during multiball or specific modes (like EMP). These are just like Addams family or Last Action Hero – they work great and can be very dangerous, hilarious or aggravating. I recommend turning them up a notch from default. Luckily it is not overused or it could lead to some real frustration.
The ball-locking train station looks cool and futuristic; it lends itself well to futuristic Quantum City – the town we want to destroy (I am still not sure why we want to destroy it instead of save it). Nothing special with the lock mechanism, but the release back onto the playfield is fast and dangerous – kind of the like the left ramp on Monopoly. You have to be ready for it or your ball will likely drain on release. I personally love it.
I think that is all the major toys. Crazy Bob is a whole different story, but I don't consider it a toy.