(Topic ID: 232627)

Does anyone else see Houdini as lacking in several areas?


By harryhoudini

10 months ago



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#51 10 months ago
Quoted from frankmac:

Where will Houdini, Mafia,Thunderbirds, and ACNC be this time next year..
Lots of good pins in 2019 to spend your hard earned money on. And the games that are 50% questionable will drop like anchors .

You can't lump Houdini in with Mafia, Thunderbirds and ACNC. Not even close.

#52 10 months ago
Quoted from athens95:

Playfield is done by Micro with a great clear coat. 1000X better than the stuff Stern uses.

WERE done with Mirco. Now they're using a US manufacturer for at least some of them. But yeah, the build quality is somewhere between Stern and JJP - i.e. great overall.

#53 10 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

I must be drinking wine to early on a Friday as I agree completely with Bubblehead???? lol

Glad I’m not the only one! (but I’m drinking)
Bubble made a good point regarding Oktoberfest polka and I didnt need a decoder ring to understand it.

#54 10 months ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

Another gripe I have is the overall concept implementation. There are some pretty iconic Houdini escapes and feats that should have been more prominent. The ball shooting out of the crate seems like a big "miss" in terms of featured functionality. I mean, how about a water torture cell where the ball disappears? It feels like there were no Houdini historians or magic consultants used in designing the game.

I think it's quite the opposite. If you go back and read rosh 's posts around the time the game was being shown off on tour you can hear how they relied heavily on the subject matter to guide their game design... probably too much.

The art and sound is meant to be 'period' - and that doesn't resonate with everyone.

The game is probably a case for why 'artistic freedoms' should be leveraged more to make an entertainment device more attractive to it's target audience.. rather than focus on accuracy.

#55 10 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I think it's quite the opposite. If you go back and read rosh 's posts around the time the game was being shown off on tour you can hear how they relied heavily on the subject matter to guide their game design... probably too much.
The art and sound is meant to be 'period' - and that doesn't resonate with everyone.
The game is probably a case for why 'artistic freedoms' should be leveraged more to make an entertainment device more attractive to it's target audience.. rather than focus on accuracy.

The amount of text displayed to the player is mind-boggling. Truly this is the pin for you if you like reading while you play pinball.

#56 10 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Is there another commercial pinball machine since the invention of the flipper whose development cycle didn't include a whitewood?

Alien. Was never a single flipping white wood in the entire years of development. Houdini at least had the excuse that the entire thing was done in 4 months, an impressive feat in and of itself. Even if I join the majority in not caring much for the end result that was quite a trick to pull off.

#57 10 months ago

I think it was an impressive first effort considering how quickly they released it. I'm not a fan of the graphics/animation. The first time I saw it it reminded me of Apple's "Hypercard" app from back in the day.

#58 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

You can't lump Houdini in with Mafia, Thunderbirds and ACNC. Not even close.

In the used markets I believe you will be able to compare them .. Houdini retails for $6999 and now sells close to 6k used. I Believe the other pins in this group will have similar price drop % amounts.

I would pick up a used Houdini for 5-5.5k next year..

#59 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

There are huge variations in play experience on Houdini based almost solely on setup. It needs pretty extensive dialing in from the factory. But once you get it right, it's very good. Unfortunately most ops just throw it out without setting it up properly.

This is right on the nose. The game will probably never be able to earn on location due to this. It really does need to be set up within a few millimetres to really shine - and that’s just not going to happen on location or frankly at most homes.

I don’t get the criticism about the animation though - it’s supposed to be more period, and reminds me of Terry Gilliam’s art from Monty Python. It’s almost identical to Aerosmith’s style as well, which is a Stern game. They seem to know what they are doing..

Good lesson for AP to make the layout more tolerant of setup variation perhaps. But they did design the game with the intention that it play a little floaty and slower than your typical game. Nobody sets it up like that though.

I still play this game all the time though, the setup time is worth it. And they really came through on the power supply thing. Selling it at cost and ALSO giving out a full $150 credit ? That’s over and above IMO.

#60 10 months ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Alien. Was never a single flipping white wood in the entire years of development.

Ahh, makes sense.

Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

It’s almost identical to Aerosmith’s style as well, which is a Stern game.

I don't mind Houmdini display much actually, I get what they are going for; Aerosmith's is hilariously bad.

#61 10 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

And they really came through on the power supply thing. Selling it at cost and ALSO giving out a full $150 credit ? That’s over and above IMO.

How does everyone keep saying that???? If you bought a car and it didn't start would you be happy in buying a battery and be given credit to buy something in their gift shop or god for bid you have to buy another game?? Right would have been to just send out the dam Correct power supply end of story. Did you notice that Houdini power supply is NOT in the October Fest? Because they knew it was Wrong. Keep your gift shop coupon just make the dam game work as paid for. $7,000 is still allot of money start up or not. Just sayin, this game really disappointed me.

#62 10 months ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

Does anyone else see Houdini as lacking in several areas?

Houdini's not perfect, but I dig it. The game has a great vibe - unique animations, callouts, artwork, layout, rules, gameplay, and all!

These guys get it:

#63 10 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

How does everyone keep saying that???? If you bought a car and it didn't start would you be happy in buying a battery and be given credit to buy something in their gift shop or god for bid you have to buy another game?? Right would have been to just send out the dam Correct power supply end of story. Did you notice that Houdini power supply is NOT in the October Fest? Because they knew it was Wrong. Keep your gift shop coupon just make the dam game work as paid for. $7,000 is still allot of money start up or not. Just sayin, this game really disappointed me.

Ok, cargument time! Lol. Your analogy doesn’t work though. It’s not that the car wouldn’t start, it’s that it would steer inconsistently. It’s not like the game didn’t work.

Have you never had a recall? This happens ALL.the.time with cars. And yes, even the battery. Toyota, Honda and BMW have done it in the past 1-2 years alone. FOR THE BATTERY.

Sure it’s frustrating. And OF COURSE the power supply is not in Oktoberfest. They made the power supply decision 2 years ago, and had the supply already ordered or in inventory. They spent 6 months just figuring out how to fix it - only after realising they didn’t do enough testing offsite in different electrical environments. They could have just blew it off and said we were all crazy like most companies do. Instead they designed an out-of-cycle fix, made it cheap to buy, AND credited buyers back for it.

Anyway, I’m not trying to jump down your throat, but this is how I run my company, and it has paid us back in spades every single time. You screw up, you fix it. You don’t hide. And everybody screws up once in a while. Even me! Today, I got in a big argument with a guy over the internet!

#65 10 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Ok, cargument time! Lol. Your analogy doesn’t work though. It’s not that the car wouldn’t start, it’s that it would steer inconsistently. It’s not like the game didn’t work.
Have you never had a recall? This happens ALL.the.time with cars. And yes, even the battery. Toyota, Honda and BMW have done it in the past 1-2 years alone. FOR THE BATTERY.
Sure it’s frustrating. And OF COURSE the power supply is not in Oktoberfest. They made the power supply decision 2 years ago, and had the supply already ordered or in inventory. They spent 6 months just figuring out how to fix it - only after realising they didn’t do enough testing offsite in different electrical environments. They could have just blew it off and said we were all crazy like most companies do. Instead they designed an out-of-cycle fix, made it cheap to buy, AND credited buyers back for it.
Anyway, I’m not trying to jump down your throat, but this is how I run my company, and it has paid us back in spades every single time. You screw up, you fix it. You don’t hide. And everybody screws up once in a while. Even me! Today, I got in a big argument with a guy over the internet!

Yes I have had Many recalls but they didn't make me Buy a new airbag and offer me a discount code for the T-Shirt shop while I waited! lol And technically no my game did not work. Unless I wanted to keep one arm in coin door and adjust the coils for each shot making sure my wife didn't turn a light on. lol Its all good this game and experience just frustrated me. I am glad others enjoy it and I would never tell them they are wrong for that. Way to many fun and enjoyable titles out there to not move on.

#66 10 months ago
Quoted from athens95:

Not sure people look at this game correctly.

Interesting.. thanks for that. Personally, the thing is I would love to own one and get in on that gameplay but I think it'd grate on me the horrible voiceover and animation each time I play it. I mean, WOZ has some video/audio mishaps perhaps but overall it's a masterpiece combining the old and new. Houdini just did a big ol belly flop there and it makes me sad.

#67 10 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I think it's quite the opposite. If you go back and read rosh 's posts around the time the game was being shown off on tour you can hear how they relied heavily on the subject matter to guide their game design... probably too much.
The art and sound is meant to be 'period' - and that doesn't resonate with everyone.
The game is probably a case for why 'artistic freedoms' should be leveraged more to make an entertainment device more attractive to it's target audience.. rather than focus on accuracy.

HA! I have to really disagree there... as an example, the art uses "chiller" font in some instances... it couldn't be less period if they tried. I think that goes for the whole thing.. the colors.. I mean, I have the visual (it's been a while) of some almost fluorescent (green, purple) colors being used for fonts or background during the animations. There are plenty of sources to draw from of recent design concepts using vintage, infact more of a steampunk look would have done wonders, but really it's a travesty.

#68 10 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

This is right on the nose. The game will probably never be able to earn on location due to this. It really does need to be set up within a few millimetres to really shine - and that’s just not going to happen on location or frankly at most homes.

In what regard? I thought we were talking "computer" setup.. what exactly isn't being done properly?

#69 10 months ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Alien. Was never a single flipping white wood in the entire years of development. Houdini at least had the excuse that the entire thing was done in 4 months, an impressive feat in and of itself. Even if I join the majority in not caring much for the end result that was quite a trick to pull off.

Lmao alien. Perfect.

Maybe Mafia as well?

I agree it was quite a feat. But you can tell Houdini is a first draft when you play it.

#70 10 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Lmao alien. Perfect.
Maybe Mafia as well?
I agree it was quite a feat. But you can tell Houdini is a first draft when you play it.

Semantics but Technically Mafia was and still Is a white wood as its simply a sheet of plywood with a plastic sheet over it. lol Trust me, as a Chicago theme I Wanted to like that game but they are just crazy thinking there is that much value there.

#71 10 months ago

I bought this game a few months ago and have no regrets. IMHO, the art on the back glass and playfield is very well done, but the animations and cabinet are awful. The sound is meh, but there are tons of settings to adjust the frequency of callouts, so no complaints there. The layout is different. Sure, it’s not a flow monster, but do you really want another fan layout. The rules are where it shines. There’s so many modes and the color coordinated lights are great. There are some exploits sure, but it’s a deep pin. Everyone compares this with WOZ. Why? WOZ is better quality sure... but it’s also 1500 more.

#72 10 months ago
Quoted from Genjuro:

it's a good game for the reason that it makes you a better player. You can't fake it through this game and just bash everything on the playfield in the smallest bit. It has a different pace, and requires stop and go with calculated shots

^^^^ 100% what he said. Couldn't agree more. Play this game on purpose or it will eat you alive
If you DO play it purposefully, you will be rewarded with better scores, infinitely more fun factor and you'll become an overall better pinball player

Recommended in a medium to large collection and by average to better players IMO

I also have no issues with either the call-outs OR the animations - seem very "period appropriate" to me ...

#73 10 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

It still blows my mind that "whitewood" was a corner they cut to get this thing out the door quick.

Didn't they have a whitewood three Expo's ago, just the playfield on a table, in the room next to Rob Anthony's repair room ?

LTG : )

#74 10 months ago
Quoted from Genjuro:

I own a Houdini and I have to tell you that it's not a game that I would own as my only game... that being said it's a good game for the reason that it makes you a better player. You can't fake it through this game and just bash everything on the playfield in the smallest bit. It has a different pace, and requires stop and go with calculated shots in my opinion. Development has been responsive to requests, and so far it's been very fun.

I agree. I think that is going to make Houdini a game like TZ. You can't kick it's but every game. There are things you may never achieve. And you'll play it again.

LTG : )

#75 10 months ago
Quoted from frankmac:

In the used markets I believe you will be able to compare them .. Houdini retails for $6999 and now sells close to 6k used. I Believe the other pins in this group will have similar price drop % amounts.
I would pick up a used Houdini for 5-5.5k next year..

Houdini has been out a year. A 15% drop is about normal.

Thunderbirds has been out just a few months and there's a basically new one with 10 plays that can't be unloaded for 35% off.

People in LINE are bailing on ACNC, selling their spot for less than they have into it. NO ONE was bailing on Houdini pre-release and while it was initially shipping.

A rational person who can do math wouldn't make the crazy comparison you did, because it's oranges to prunes.

#76 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

Houdini has been out a year. A 15% drop is about normal.
Thunderbirds has been out just a few months and there's a basically new one with 10 plays that can't be unloaded for 35% off.
People in LINE are bailing on ACNC, selling their spot for less than they have into it. NO ONE was bailing on Houdini pre-release and while it was initially shipping.
A rational person who can do math wouldn't make the crazy comparison you did, because it's oranges to prunes.

What pin would you compare Houdini with?

#77 10 months ago
Quoted from harryhoudini:

HA! I have to really disagree there... as an example, the art uses "chiller" font in some instances... it couldn't be less period if they tried. I think that goes for the whole thing.. the colors.. I mean, I have the visual (it's been a while) of some almost fluorescent (green, purple) colors being used for fonts or background during the animations. There are plenty of sources to draw from of recent design concepts using vintage, infact more of a steampunk look would have done wonders, but really it's a travesty.

I gotta say when I saw them using a wrong font I just had to walk away... I didn’t even think this kind of criticism was possible. Really?!

#78 10 months ago
Quoted from lancestorm:

I gotta say when I saw them using a wrong font I just had to walk away... I didn’t even think this kind of criticism was possible. Really?!

When I see fonts that are out of place, I get so mad!!

#79 10 months ago

All I got to say is, thank you CGC for a pin that will not ruin another pinsiders life.

#80 10 months ago
Quoted from frankmac:

What pin would you compare Houdini with?

It's an upper mid-tier pin. There are plenty to compare it to if you're talking price depreciation, but why? The only salient point is your initial dumpster pin comparison was completely wrong.

#81 10 months ago
Quoted from lancestorm:

I gotta say when I saw them using a wrong font I just had to walk away... I didn’t even think this kind of criticism was possible. Really?!

Agreed. This guy is really something.

I like the pin. Excellent first effort. Challenging layout. Very deep. IMO on-par value-wise with JJP & Stern LE for $2000 less. Crapping on it over subjective things like font preference and animation style is a bit silly. Same goes for the guys calling the layout “broken” because they can’t make the shots.

Also, seems like a lot of the guys crapping on Houdini are JJP Fanboys. What’s up with that?

#82 10 months ago

I can tell you, I am not a JJP fanboy, I have been a pretty harsh critic of Hobbit and DI, and POTC had to grow on me, WoZ was a good first effort, but their “followup” ability to produce the same consistent quality and value both in gameplay and theme on post Oz titles has been lacking IMO, with only the recent POTC being the only exception to that rule.

American Pinball has shanked and sliced it’s fair share of bad strokes and lost the confidence of some players, buyers, ops, and collectors. Houdini may have been a feat to pull off in 4 months, but I think that the abbreviated development cycle shortcomings show through on the final delivered product. Gold Star for effort, but a C+ at best on execution. The title may resonate differently to you, but for me, this is how I see it.

#83 10 months ago

Fonts matter to me.

They may not to you, and that's cool, but I get to decide what matters to me, and bad typography irritates me.

Stern is barely figuring out what to do with their LCD, results are all over the map, it's hardly surprising AP is too. It's not the most important thing, I don't really like Iron Maiden's LCD much, but the game shoots great, so it's not a big deal. I don't even like the band really, I'd still own it. Because, again, it shoots great, it's a fun game, the physical part is nailed. The reason to play pinball.

If Houdini shot less tight people would forgive a lot more. To me it feels like there's one more shot than necessary crammed in, and I don't like how that feels. That trumps whatever is on the LCD.

I'm biased since it's what I do for a living, but I'm also informed because of that, and I think AP needs a creative director, to help them navigate the waters they're struggling in. Someone to bring the right eye to the art direction, make things consistent, spend creative resources wisely. But I doubt companies like AP really have the budget for stuff like that, everyone probably wears a lot of hats. Clearly they have engineering and programming talent, I just think they need another tent pole.

#84 10 months ago
Quoted from athens95:

Quit moaning it is too hard. Play it some more and get better at it. You will appreciate it more.

A game needs a payoff for this to be true. At the end of the struggle, it needs to have been worth the journey. Houdini doesn’t provide that. The work to improve on it isn’t fun. And that’s the one thing a game needs to be worth it.

#85 10 months ago

The art and playfield geometry are my biggest gripes with Houdini. I wish they had gone with a different artist for Oktoberfest, just not my style.

The playfield could have definitely used a couple revisions, but as others have said at least they shipped a game and made it to game #2.

I'm looking forward to trying Oktoberfest.

#86 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

It's an upper mid-tier pin. There are plenty to compare it to if you're talking price depreciation, but why? The only salient point is your initial dumpster pin comparison was completely wrong.

Ok, I will take Mafia and Thunderbirds out.

But Houdini and ACNC are right in the same ballpark in lots of areas.

#87 10 months ago
Quoted from frankmac:

Ok, I will take Mafia and Thunderbirds out.
But Houdini and ACNC are right in the same ballpark in lots of areas.

They're not even in the same sales ballpark. Houdini has sold and will continue to sell way more than ACNC.

#88 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

They're not even in the same sales ballpark. Houdini has sold and will continue to sell way more than ACNC.

How do we know that? They aren’t making sales figures public I presume. ACNC we know the max on at least.

#89 10 months ago
Quoted from Aurich:

They may not to you, and that's cool, but I get to decide what matters to me, and bad typography irritates me

Yup. Bad kerning and inappropriate fonts can ruin art packages just as bad as amateurish drawing. Especially on a game like Houdini that relies on its art and attention to detail WRT subject matter. Doesn't affect play and is minor overall (I own some other ugly games), but still a factor.

Regarding shots, I get the play better mentality, but when an important shot is 1/8" wider than the ball, you're just not going to make it as often. Someone brought up TZ as being difficult - it's a difficult game to master but none of the shots are stupidly tight. I'd rather play a drainy game with normal shots, than a long playing game with stupid tight shots.

#90 10 months ago
Quoted from Aurich:

How do we know that? They aren’t making sales figures public I presume. ACNC we know the max on at least.

Serial numbers. I know what the one we got was (serial number and actual machine number) back in the first week of Feb 2018. Compare that to recent serials, and Viola! you're at least in the ballpark if not the actual number. They've shipped more than AC/NC will ever make already.

#91 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

Serial numbers. I know what the one we got was (serial number and actual machine number) back in the first week of Feb 2018. Compare that to recent serials, and Viola! you're at least in the ballpark if not the actual number. They've shipped more than AC/NC will ever make already.

If so that's great. But also it's pretty surprising as I think ACNC is a lot better game. Goes to show how important it is to have things available. People ready to buy a game right now do not have acnc as an option.

-1
#92 10 months ago
Quoted from jgentry:

If so that's great. But also it's pretty surprising as I think ACNC is a lot better game. Goes to show how important it is to have things available. People ready to buy a game right now do not have acnc as an option.

There are plenty of people selling their place in line for AC/NC, which portends weak demand for the run overall. If you really wanted one you could have one in a week to ten days.

#93 10 months ago
Quoted from lancestorm:

I gotta say when I saw them using a wrong font I just had to walk away... I didn’t even think this kind of criticism was possible. Really?!

It's like using Comic Sans. It's just a big indicator that someone didn't know what they were doing.

#94 10 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

There are plenty of people selling their place in line for AC/NC, which portends weak demand for the run overall. If you really wanted one you could have one in a week to ten days.

That's a huge stretch. There are quite a few people that would love to have one in 10 days. Seeing as Spooky has delivered about 30 in six months that doesn't seem likely. There is also only 2 spot listed on pinside and both are in the 300's.

11
#95 10 months ago

At first I didn't want to like Houdini based on their early work with Jpop. After playing it some, I warmed up to it a lot. For the last month, I've had one in my game room on loan from a friend. I've had time to not only play it a ton, but add some mods and really go through the game inside and out. Reading the original poster's issues with the game, he seems more like an enthusiastic Houdini fan who had a different concept for how he would implement the game rather than having to many real issues with the game play or build quality.

For my 2 cents... First of all the game is getting great support both for software updates and tech support. Two main players from AP are on pinside all the time listening to comments and giving support. The recent software update that came out a couple of weeks ago is really great and fixes some bugs and annoyances that I had. Also, since putting in the new regulated power supply that was released by AP, the shots are much more consistent and the trunk shot hits every single time. Personally the trunk shot never gets old to me. It's just cool; plain and simple.

The shots are too tight, but they are satisfying when hit. Most importantly, the tight shots don't lead to drains very often when missed. If a missed shot led to a post rebound straight down the middle or to the outlanes then I would have a problem. Play better... The one shot I do have problems hitting is the milk jug. That one seems to get made off the sling shots more than directly from the flipper. This leads me to another point. This game has adjustments for every coil and plays much better when tweaked so the flippers, slings and pops are not sluggish. I'm not saying to crank them up, but a little work to get them just right leads to much better game play and more accuracy on the trunk and kickouts. The good thing is that these settings are saved when you do a software update, so no need to repeat.

As for the artwork, video and sounds. I like them all. Not the greatest of all time by any means, but better than many. To me the way the display and graphics are integrated into the backglass art is really well done. Better than Stern and way better than JJP. The artwork on the playfield and cabinet to me implement the theme very well and the game really benefits from the factory art blades inside. After putting those in, it was a huge improvement to the overall playfield appearance. The video and sounds are not lacking and sort of what I would expect in the pinball machine. This is not a video game. The four speaker system in the head sounds really rich too rather than having a lot of muffled mid/low range sound shooting at the floor from the bottom of the cabinet.

I've found the build quality and design to be excellent. The cabinet is sturdy as hell. I do prefer the snap latch on the new Stern lockbars, but that is no big deal. The playfield clear is really nice and shiny. The system runs on a simple black box computer and the driver board nodes are on the bottom of the playfield - where they belong. This minimizes the amount of wiring between the playfield and the rest of the machine. A USB connector inside the coin door is used for updating the software and this process is easy as can be with simple download and install.

Considering this is a first game and the amount of time it took to develop, this is a really good game. It could have been great with a few tweaks on the playfield to make the shots more open, but all in all I still like it better than any of the other non-Stern titles out there from Spooky or JJP (though I haven't played much on the single spinning disk version of POTC).

#96 10 months ago
Quoted from John_I:

To me the way the display and graphics are integrated into the backglass art is really well done. Better than Stern and way better than JJP. But all in all I still like it better than any of the other non-Stern titles out there from Spooky or JJP (though I haven't played much on the single spinning disk version of POTC).

I applauded your personal view until you claimed the graphics and display were better then JJP or Stern?? Really. When I purchased Houdini the Number 1 request was a code update to "Skip the long and poor graphics!". I respect your view on the game but hard to believe you think these graphics are on par with a JJP, Stern, heck even a Data East game.

#97 10 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

I applauded your personal view until you claimed the graphics and display were better then JJP or Stern?? Really. When I purchased Houdini the Number 1 request was a code update to "Skip the long and poor graphics!". I respect your view on the game but hard to believe you think these graphics are on par with a JJP, Stern, heck even a Data East game.

I was talking about the way it was incorporated into the backbox with the backglass wrapping around the display. That way the display in effect becomes a part of the backglass. I wasn't talking about the content on the screen. Iron Maiden and Deadpool are miles ahead as far as content...

#98 10 months ago
Quoted from John_I:

... I wasn't talking about the content on the screen. Iron Maiden and Deadpool are miles ahead as far as content...

Perhaps, but between IMDN's video game graphics and DP's L'il Deadpool kiddie cartoons, Houdini's screen segments are honestly fine by me in comparison.

#99 10 months ago

I started writing up my comments...I think it turned into a review. LOL Really tho, just wanted touch all the topics.

Interesting thread. I own Houdini and thoroughly enjoy it. #2 in the 'fav' list but the latest "#1 pin" is still in the honeymoon phase, so not a fair comparison. Only been in the 'home ownership' end of the hobby for 2-3 years, but an old school player for longer than I want to admit. However, the great pins of the 90's I missed entirely until I started up again.

I understand the comments. So here's my take on it, from personal experience.

Is it fun? Not if you just want to drop a couple of quarters in it on location. It would suck. It takes thought and skill (both of which I lack) on the shots and rules. While I don't own a lot of pins (9) compared to many on Pinside, the ones I own cover a fairly wide variety. 70's, 80's 90's, and then jumps to >2010. Some easy, hard, great, and not so great. The easiest? HS2. The pin that will wear you down...LAH at times. Another hard one?...JD and it has staying power in the lineup, for sure. Would Houdini be the only pin I own? Probably not if I just wanted a single pin to slap a game on. That would be MM, AFM, TOTAN, etc. - none of which I own.

Artwork: Completely like it, lots of little details if you look for it. But that's me. I have an AS and really enjoy the completely different style of artwork by Donnie. But Houdini's steampunk style is appealing in a different way. Is it photoshopped? Don't know and don't care, but I can tell the artist has a sense of humor which is subtle. Even more so after talking to the AP guys at recent show. A style that I like. Fonts? What's a font? JK. They could use work (more so on the animations than artwork). Would I ever not buy a pin based on fonts? Seriously? Not really on my 'must meet criteria'. If you ever saw my power point presentations, you'll understand why it's not an issue. But if your profession is art related, then I completely get the comments.

Theme? Watch the Houdini series on Netflix, you'll understand the theme much better. Great movie/mini-series. AP borrowed a lot from that flick and it was fun to spot the similarities.

Software: Deep, as expected. Much more to do than I'll ever finish. I'm not that great of player tho. Josh over at AP really listens (and chimes in) to the forum feedback and has been updating despite another game in the works.

Humor: Lot's of quirky humor in the game, doesn't get old. Plus a little friendly humor poked at other manufactures. Jokes in the artwork, voices, animation. I'm sure more to be found.

Animations: Not the same league as JJ. And neither is my AS, AP mentioned they tried to keep some of the animations 'old school'. I'm OK w/it, but I understand some complaints.

Service: A couple of minor hiccups, but AP (Barry) supported me and took care of an issue when he didn't have to. Much appreciated on my end and it won't be forgotten

Play: Not easy, absolutely no doubt about it. I didn't want an easy game. Already have some. AP did a good job of compensating. Miss a shot? You'll likely get something else important (i.e. a 'SEANCE' letter). Generous ball save, 2nd chances, bonus times, multiballs, etc. So I think a fairly good balance. But still, no doubt about it, it is a game you have to concentrate on the shots to get a killer game. It can be frustrating if you aren't having a good night. I don't get many SDTM balls tho.

Sound: lacking in bass...as in 'none'. I added a sub, wow - huge difference.

I mentioned on another Houdini thread, I had my choice of any NIB pin. Don't regret my choice. Wife enjoys it immensely (that's important since she's the fiance committee)

Again, sorry for what turned into a review. Just my 2 cents. Like any pin, not for everybody.

#100 10 months ago

I think Houdini is a mixed bag. I like the playfield art and really like the unique shape of the cabinet. For me, the callouts were amusing at first, but the more I’ve played on location, the more I wish they would update that. The animations are truly awful, and the monkey with the bandaid needs to go.

I agree that a shot should have been eliminated, or this should have been reconfigured to a wide body. The orbits are buttery smooth, and are the standout in my opinion.

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