New! Dark mode!

Browsing Pinside at night? Getting tired of all the white? Switch to dark mode using the button in the top right (or CTRL-B)!

(Topic ID: 276073)

Early Solid State Recommendations


By sataneatscheese

54 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 87 posts
  • 48 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 day ago by Krupps4
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 4 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    20201018_125657 (resized).jpg
    20201018_125644 (resized).jpg
    17319e74f47643d01d15bc5a24044b23aa6e746d (resized).jpg
    20200827_202210 (resized).jpg

    There are 87 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 54 days ago

    I am really starting to enjoy a few of the early Solid State games I have played at the local arcade. Now that I understand the rules, Meteor, Flight 2000, and Kiss are tons of fun and play very differently than newer games. I had a chance to play a 1980 Black Knight a few months back and loved it. I am debating rotating an early Solid State (1979-1983) into my collection in the next few months. Looking online, Black Knight, Black Hole, Paragon, and SeaWitch seem to be solid choices for early Solid State games that are not absolute unobtanium. What other early Solid States do you guys think rise above the rest?

    There are a few early Solid State games and older games I don’t care much for. Freedom 1776 (love America, not a huge fan of the game), Playboy, Strikes and Spares, Stars, and I HATE Old Chicago. I don’t like old games that play real slow.

    I’ve rotated a dozen or so games through my basement in the past few years, but High Speed (1985) was the oldest.

    From what I have seen, Black Knight and Black Hole are at the top of my list.

    Just looking for ideas and recommendations to dive into for further research.

    Thanks all!

    #2 54 days ago

    I think Firepower is a hell of a game for the money.

    I also like EBD even though it always kicked my ass lol

    #3 54 days ago

    For me Sterns and Ballys rule that time, and its not close.
    Most classic ballys would fit your bill along with others. Flash Gordan is a game everykne should own. Things like Harlem globetrotters, mystic, viking, frontier are all good games. Of course they arent cheap theae days, but what is. Centaur is usually well recieved.
    Williams 80s games like taxi, space shuttle, whirwind, big guns, all can be fast and bad ass.
    Sterns like meteor, nine ball, catacomb, quicksilver, big guns etc etc are getting way high priced so i dont think there's a ton of value there.

    Black hole is...well it looks decent anyway.

    #4 54 days ago

    Strikes and Spares, Mystic, Harlem, EBD all great. I just can’t stand Flight 2000. KISS is a chore to play too. Something odd you probably have not considered is Farfalla. It’s really a great game. I would suggest not going the Williams route unless it’s Firepower.

    #5 54 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Black hole is...well it looks decent anyway.

    Hey I like playing Black Hole.

    Picked up a Firepower this summer and I am really enjoying this brutal game!

    #6 54 days ago

    Embryon and eight ball deluxe are my favorite Ballys. I like centaur but not forking out $4000+

    I picked up a Stern Big Game a bit ago and LOVE it. crazy fast widebody. I am trying to secure a catacomb now but not sure it is going to work out.

    that same era williams I like sorcerer.

    #7 54 days ago

    I bought Future Spa for the theme, but its gameplay has made it one of my favorite shooters.

    #8 54 days ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    Embryon and eight ball deluxe are my favorite Ballys. I like centaur but not forking out $4000+
    I picked up a Stern Big Game a bit ago and LOVE it. crazy fast widebody. I am trying to secure a catacomb now but not sure it is going to work out.
    that same era williams I like sorcerer.

    How much time to you have on Catacomb?

    Seems like a love it or hate it...
    I hated the game but luckily it wasn’t hard to move.

    #9 54 days ago

    no early SS thread is complete without mentioning Alien Star

    I'll also second/third the Firepower recommendation.

    #10 54 days ago

    I say go for the sure bets while you are starting out. Meteor and Seawitch aren’t that are to find and they are both great classic games. No need to think to far out of that box at this point.

    #11 54 days ago

    FirePower, GorGar, Flight 2k ...

    #12 54 days ago

    Awesome guys! Got lots of research to do.

    I AM taking 8 ball deluxe, strikes and spares, kiss, playboy, meteor, and flight 2000 off the list because I have access at Crabtowne USA 15 minutes from my house. Iffy on seawitch as there is a Beatles there (which is fun!).

    #13 54 days ago

    Paragon is fantastic. I own a whole wall of early Ballys (and a couple Williams) and Paragon is probably my favorite. It can be brutal, but so fun. And being a widebody, there are so many different things to shoot for / ways to play. Sometimes I start a multi-player game and play each player with a different strategy. Not all games from this era have that many things going on.

    If you like Black Knight, you should also think about Solar Fire. Always felt it was the best of the Williams double playfield games.

    #14 54 days ago

    Beatles is, pains me to say it, better than Seawitch. Seawitxhbisbat the bottom end of the good Sterns. It is fast and in your ass though.

    Lot of firepower love. Good game but ibkknda like Blackout more

    #15 54 days ago
    Quoted from Cheeks:

    Paragon is fantastic. I own a whole wall of early Ballys (and a couple Williams) and Paragon is probably my favorite. It can be brutal, but so fun. And being a widebody, there are so many different things to shoot for / ways to play. Sometimes I start a multi-player game and play each player with a different strategy. Not all games from this era have that many things going on.
    If you like Black Knight, you should also think about Solar Fire. Always felt it was the best of the Williams double playfield games.

    Paragon has the best backglass of all time. I have been kooking for a backglass for my wall. I think I have exactly one game on this pin.

    #16 54 days ago

    If you’d consider 1984 Alien Star is a SPECTACULAR game

    If not, Joker Poker is da bomb

    #17 54 days ago

    Paragon IS an old machine that can play slow as well though. You can jack it up for sure but a lot of golden cliffs, saucer, and lazy Susan's can slow things down.

    #18 54 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Beatles is, pains me to say it, better than Seawitch. Seawitxhbisbat the bottom end of the good Sterns. It is fast and in your ass though.
    Lot of firepower love. Good game but ibkknda like Blackout more

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment of Seawitch . It’s a great pin and no way at the bottom end of the Sterns

    #19 54 days ago
    Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

    If you’d consider 1984 Alien Star is a SPECTACULAR game
    If not, Joker Poker is da bomb

    I second Joker Poker. I own one and it’s such a great pin. Very simple to understand but so fun to shoot and play. As a bonus, it looks killer as well.

    #20 54 days ago

    Barracora is a great pin

    #21 54 days ago
    Quoted from Krupps4:

    ...It’s a great pin and no way at the bottom end of the Sterns

    Well I said the bottom of the good Sterns. Certainly its way above viper, IMDN, Dracula etc

    #22 54 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Well I said the bottom of the good Sterns. Certainly its way above viper, IMDN, Dracula etc

    That you did... I didn’t pick up that subtlety. What do you consider to be the “good Sterns”? Just curious.

    #23 54 days ago

    Nine ball, catacomb, stargazer, big game, quicksilver, meteor, seawitch, F2k (maybe) cheetah, dragonfist....maybe one or 2 more on there but thats the general idea.

    #24 54 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Nine ball, catacomb, stargazer, big game, quicksilver, meteor, seawitch, F2k (maybe) cheetah, dragonfist....maybe one or 2 more on there but thats the general idea.

    Gave away my Stargazer in the late 90s. Apparently a big mistake. I miss it, but I think that might be the current price talking.

    I remember Xenon fondly from the era, but I have to admit that I haven't played one in decades....

    #25 54 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Nine ball, catacomb, stargazer, big game, quicksilver, meteor, seawitch, F2k (maybe) cheetah, dragonfist....maybe one or 2 more on there but thats the general idea.

    That’s a good list. No arguments there. I’ve never played a Dragonfist. Still waiting for that day to come.

    #26 54 days ago
    Quoted from Krupps4:

    . I’ve never played a Dragonfist. Still waiting for that day to come.

    Its a little linear but cool, and that spinner counter is great.

    Quoted from sandro:

    I remember Xenon fondly from the era, but I have to admit that I haven't played one in decades....

    Yeah Xenon has the looks but the play isn't there for me.

    #27 54 days ago

    A topic I could go on and on and on about - my favorite generation.

    High end lucky if you find them - plus they are real great games:
    Frontier, Quicksilver, Fathom, Centaur, Flash Gordon, Cheetah, Barracora, Embryon, Ali and 9 Ball are all super.

    Mid range: Paragon, Firepower 1, Big Game, Xenon, Meteor (bit on the easy side), Alien Poker, and Eight Ball Deluxe are all winners.
    Power Play, Harlem Globetrotters, Mata Hari, Viking (rare), Future Spa and 6 mill$ man are all fun too.

    Even the games people shit on like Kings of Steel, Flash, and X's and O's have merit.

    Avoid Gottlieb's - too many headaches unless there are lots of after market electronic components installed, though a Sinbad with a good CPU is pretty fun.
    Even then - gameplay is far superior on Bally/Stern/Williams.
    Same with Atari games: Miserable hardware, and they look far cooler than they are.

    #28 54 days ago
    Quoted from Krupps4:

    That’s a good list. No arguments there. I’ve never played a Dragonfist. Still waiting for that day to come.

    Opinions on Dragonfist will be all over the map as it is a low production game and not many have had the chance to play it. That said, Roger Sharpe wrote a review in Playmeter back in the day and gave it a 2 out of 4 star rating. Pretty much said nothing new to see here and Stern will have to do much better in future releases. Sharpe would rate all the new pinball and video games from each manufacturer and it was unusual for him to rate something as low as 2 stars. As I said, opinions vary so play it first and see for yourself.

    #29 54 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Yeah Xenon has the looks but the play isn't there for me.

    I so much wanted to like Xenon because of the art and early voice, but the more I play it the more boring it becomes.

    #30 54 days ago

    Alien Star, Paragon, Joker Poker, Meteor, Black Hole, and Sinbad are all classics. Though I would not call it "early SS", TX Sector is absolutely the best 80s game if you can find one.

    #31 54 days ago

    I have a small collection of early solid state games. When non-pinball people visit my Black Knight gets the most plays. Xenon is 2nd. I had a Centaur and it was played a bunch. Bally Strikes & Spares & Eight Ball were also popular, easy to play.

    However for me, if I want to be challenged every time, it's Flash Gordon. Paragon is 2nd. That title with a clearcoated PF rocks. Fathom, Centaur and EBD are really fun too but getting expensive. Fireball II is a lower cost option.

    For Williams, Black Knight is a great choice. Firepower also good.

    Early Sterns? These are getting pricy, Meteor is a good choice but most were played to death. I love Nine Ball but really tough to find.

    #32 54 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Nine ball, catacomb, stargazer, big game, quicksilver, meteor, seawitch, F2k (maybe) cheetah, dragonfist....maybe one or 2 more on there but thats the general idea.

    Lot of bad and good in that list. Every single classic Stern is not great. Star Gazer and Quicksilver are a bore, F2K? Really? That game is so bad. Catacomb is a horrible design... the rest of the games you listed are MUCH better. Flash Gordon and Paragon are way better games then the rest of the Sterns you mentioned.

    #33 54 days ago

    I really enjoy Galaxy. Flight 2000 isn't as bad as you guys make it out to be. Really cool multiball sequence on that and its an early classic too.

    #34 54 days ago
    Quoted from ejg10532626:

    Even the games people shit on like Kings of Steel, Flash, and X's and O's have merit.

    Should have never sold my X’s & O’s. But you already know that

    I’m very partial to classic Bally and Stern games. They just have something honest and wonderful. I’m actually bummed out that I’ve never owned (and will probably never own) a Stargazer. It’s just a fun game. I’ve owned a few Bally games, and loved them all. Even the ones I’ve sold away have been fun to visit. If I had more space, I wouldn’t have sold them.

    Why do I like them? Just damn great games. In fact, I think I’ll go upstairs and play some Harlem “left”. In my house, Harlem “left” means the one with the plastic prototype playfield that plays slick as snot on a doorknob. I might follow that with a few games on Harlem “right”, which is an awesome wooden playfield. Classics rock!

    #35 54 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Yeah Xenon has the looks but the play isn't there for me.

    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    I so much wanted to like Xenon because of the art and early voice, but the more I play it the more boring it becomes.

    I agree it’s a pretty simple playfield layout and the rules could use some enhancements, but when set up right it has some great action. I put curved inlanes, special lighting and a say it again board in mine. Really changes the game.

    #36 54 days ago

    Blackout is the only one I regret selling

    #37 53 days ago

    After watching a few more videos Black Knight is winning over Flash Gordon. They both look like fun but the speech and sound on Black Knight is far superior. I love low bit rate Steve Ritchie. Still reading into the others. Thanks again!

    #38 53 days ago

    There are a number of really great options that are readily available for a reasonable price. Black Knight and Flash Gordon are good examples. I say decide on a few that you really like and look for the best example of one of them that you can find that’s priced fairly. That would be the one I’d get.

    #39 53 days ago

    My collection consists of mostly early SS, here's my list in no order;
    Black Hole
    Spiderman
    Sinbad
    Paragon
    EBD
    Gorgar
    Circus & Gebie (wide bodies)
    MARS:GOW
    Haunted House
    Split Second
    Firepower

    The nice thing about these is many were made so relatively easy to find
    an LOTS of info out there about repair.

    Steve

    #40 53 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    For me Sterns and Ballys rule that time, and its not close.
    Most classic ballys would fit your bill along with others. Flash Gordan is a game everykne should own. Things like Harlem globetrotters, mystic, viking, frontier are all good games. Of course they arent cheap theae days, but what is. Centaur is usually well recieved.
    Williams 80s games like taxi, space shuttle, whirwind, big guns, all can be fast and bad ass.
    Sterns like meteor, nine ball, catacomb, quicksilver, big guns etc etc are getting way high priced so i dont think there's a ton of value there.
    Black hole is...well it looks decent anyway.

    This post all day. Just forget the rest lol

    #41 53 days ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    After watching a few more videos Black Knight is winning over Flash Gordon. They both look like fun but the speech and sound on Black Knight is far superior. I love low bit rate Steve Ritchie. Still reading into the others. Thanks again!

    Flash Gordon is far superior to Black Knight.
    FG may not appear to be better, and no multiball on FG.
    Doesn't matter. FG "Is" better.

    Really it's the age old argument whether you like Bally style play more or Williams style play more.
    Also harder or easier, as FG is much harder.

    #42 53 days ago

    Once you re-pin the pins and change out or refurbish the boards and power supply, Gottliebs Joker Poker is in my opinion at the top of the list.

    #43 53 days ago

    My favorites are Paragon and Flash Gordon. Both are superb games. Great playing and challenging as well.

    I will give mention to Cheetah and Medusa as well, since I don't recall anyone else suggesting them thus far.

    #44 53 days ago

    I second FP. Also wanted to say that when my kids were little they loved FP — simple and fast gameplay, cool sounds, interesting art.

    Quoted from Completist:

    I think Firepower is a hell of a game for the money.
    lol

    #45 53 days ago

    Black Knight, Fathom, Seawitch, Flash Gordon, Firepower

    #46 53 days ago

    The only great game I haven’t seen listed yet is Countdown. Blast to play for dollars. The bonus countdown never gets old.

    #47 53 days ago

    I love Crabtowne for the variety of early games they have but their EBD is not setup well. It has no pitch and the sounds are set to chimes. Play the one at Mom's Organic Market to get a feel of how it is meant to play.

    #48 53 days ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    After watching a few more videos Black Knight is winning over Flash Gordon.

    Have them both, and they are both excellent pins, both have that "just one more game" vibe going on. I know you were told to avoid early Gottlieb solid states, but I would throw out one - Buck Rogers. Get it with the Pascal all-in-one board replacement (a must for any System 1 Game). No voices but it is still fun to play and it will be a little less expensive too.

    #49 53 days ago

    I am liking the multi level games. What do you guys think of Haunted House compared to Flash and BK?

    #50 53 days ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    I am liking the multi level games. What do you guys think of Haunted House compared to Flash and BK?

    It’s horrible. A maintenance nightmare. Black Hole is the better of the two and I can’t stand that game either.

    Don’t get stuck on a game that “has two play areas”. It can help some games but don’t assume a game is better or “well designed”, just because there is an additional level.

    Flash Gordon is the far superior game on the list thus far. I hate to shoot down others but the best designed Williams two level is actually Jungle Lord. The sound is annoying but the rules are so much better than BK, SF, or (gasps) Pharroh! The gameplay of the other Williams split level tables grows old after a couple hundred plays.

    Hell, if you can find one, Barracora is a way better game than even any of those classic Williams.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 27.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 29.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 24.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
    $ 65.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lermods
    $ 20.00
    Playfield - Protection
    UpKick Pinball
    $ 36.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    From: $ 42.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 48.00
    Playfield - Plastics
    Ramp-O-Matic
    $ 9.99
    Cabinet - Other
    Bent Mods
    $ 44.99
    Lighting - Interactive
    Lee's Parts
    $ 89.00
    Cabinet Parts
    Pappy's Pinball Palace
    $ 60.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Docquest Pinball Mods
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 54.99
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 76.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 7.95
    From: $ 155.00
    From: $ 9.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    From: € 3.70
    Flipper Parts
    Buthamburg
    $ 41.00
    $ 99.00
    Lighting - Under Cabinet
    Rock Custom Pinball
    From: $ 47.00
    $ 229.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    £ 29.00
    Lighting - Led
    PinballToys
    $ 32.00
    $ 999.00
    Flipper Parts
    Mircoplayfields
    $ 999.00
    Pinball Machine
    Mircoplayfields
    € 95.00
    Lighting - Led
    FlipperLED
    There are 87 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside