(Topic ID: 288491)

First pin suggestions - Something similar to TZ.


By rubysbest1

8 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 23 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 days ago by jawjaw
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 8 days ago

    In 1996 I got my first "real job", and the ice cream shop next door had a Twilight Zone where I spent a non-trivial amount of time and money. Frankly I wasn't very good, but I really liked it. That same description of my pinball skill probably applies today as well.

    Fast forward to today, my first thought was to go buy a Twilight Zone but I'm concerned about buying such an old game. I'm a relatively handy and mechanical person, but frankly I already have a dizzying number of things to maintain and work on in my life, and at the moment, I'm looking more for a pinball playing hobby than a pinball repair hobby. I recognize I'll likely need or want to do something at some point for any game, even a brand new one, but I'd like a high play time to repair time ratio.

    I've been looking around at some of the top 100 games, and I've made a list of likes and dislikes, which I think I can be summed up into these two games:

    * Elvira's House of Horrors (Limited Edition) Dislikes:
    ** Long, obnoxious cut scenes
    ** It feels like all the play is at the top of the playfield, and so the middle feels very boring.
    ** Doesn't feel very chaotic, or "dynamic".

    * Twilight Zone likes:
    ** Multi flippers
    ** The mini playfield
    ** It's "mechanically loud" - clacks, pops, clicks, etc.
    ** Dot matrix screen
    ** There are lots of bumpers, ramps, and targets spread around the playfield, which I feel makes the play more fun
    ** It feels a little chaotic, which is fun.

    I'm not to concerned with theme, in fact especially if there is a value to be had, I'd sort of enjoy a less popular themed game, with the qualities of good game play I listed above.

    My budget would allow for a brand new game, which I assume would help with time spent repairing, but I'm located in Central California, 3 hours from LA, and 3 hours from SF, so there seems to be a good selection of used games available as well.

    Are there other games I should be looking at, which offer action packed, full playfield TZ-like play, on a newer lower maintenance platform, or that are known for being low maintenance machines?

    Thanks folks.

    #2 8 days ago

    I consider Iron Maiden the modern TZ and it fits your requirements.

    #3 8 days ago

    There are lots of good ones these days, and the top 100 is a great place to find in-depth reviews and videos.

    I really think you would be happiest with a very good condition twilight zone. You know you like it already, it checks your boxes, and you have a lot of nostalgia tied to it.

    Jurassic park, Iron maiden, avengers infinity quest, and Teenage mutant ninja turtles all check off many of your boxes as well.
    You may also give consideration to a jersey jack game or even Spooky's alice Cooper.

    #4 8 days ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    I really think you would be happiest with a very good condition twilight zone.

    I hear ya, I'm just not sure I know enough to identify a good 30 year old game from a not-so-good 30 year old game, especially from several hours away before I drive there.

    Thanks

    #5 8 days ago

    I own a TZ and after a thorough initial checkup/cleaning/fixing after buying it has worked great for years now. Go for a TZ!

    #6 8 days ago
    Quoted from rubysbest1:

    I hear ya, I'm just not sure I know enough to identify a good 30 year old game from a not-so-good 30 year old game, especially from several hours away before I drive there.
    Thanks

    Place a wanted ad on here. Browse the TZ club for thoughts. Feel free to post pics asking others for advice. Hell...PM me pics of a possible buy and i will give you my assessment.

    #7 8 days ago

    I would suggest that if you like Twilight Zone you are most likely a fan of the designer more than anything else... Pat Lawlor. Here is a complete list of every game he has made, with links to them. https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/pat-lawlor If you like multi flippers, Twilight Zone, Lots to do, lots of mechs, and want a modern machine with deep code you play with forever, my number one recommendation is...

    Dialed In.


    https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/dialed-in

    The theme is a little meh, but just pretend it's called "Disaster".

    #8 8 days ago
    Quoted from rubysbest1:

    * Twilight Zone likes:
    ** Multi flippers
    ** The mini playfield
    ** It's "mechanically loud" - clacks, pops, clicks, etc.
    ** Dot matrix screen
    ** There are lots of bumpers, ramps, and targets spread around the playfield, which I feel makes the play more fun
    ** It feels a little chaotic, which is fun.

    Many people thing Ripley's (RBION) is Stern's answer to Twilight Zone. It's a Lawlor after all, but looking at your "likes" I'd suggest TSPP.

    Checklist:
    - Multi flippers...CHECK
    - Mini Playfield...CHECK
    - Mechanically loud...CHECK
    - Dot Matrix...CHECK
    - Lot of "stuff"...CHECK
    - Feels Chaotic...CHECK

    Custom art and sounds, plus it's plentiful and affordable.

    #9 8 days ago
    Quoted from Guinnesstime:

    Many people thing Ripley's (RBION) is Stern's answer to Twilight Zone. It's a Lawlor after all, but looking at your "likes" I'd suggest TSPP.
    Checklist:
    - Multi flippers...CHECK
    - Mini Playfield...CHECK
    - Mechanically loud...CHECK
    - Dot Matrix...CHECK
    - Lot of "stuff"...CHECK
    - Feels Chaotic...CHECK
    Custom art and sounds, plus it's plentiful and affordable.

    Was going to say RBION or Road Show seems like a safe bet. Road Show is still (relatively) reasonably priced, lots of shots, 4 flippers, tons of modes, wide body like TZ,and a unique layout.

    #10 8 days ago

    Ripley’s was my first game. I loved it and learned that maintaining pinballs isn’t that hard which was a nice surprise.

    You can get a nice one for under 4K and then with the money you saved you can pick up another game. And then another. And then another.

    Repeat this 50 or so odd times. At some point you’ll sell it to make room and regret it and buy it again. Mine comes in this week

    Welcome to the sickness!

    #11 8 days ago
    Quoted from grantopia:

    Was going to say RBION or Road Show seems like a safe bet. Road Show is still (relatively) reasonably priced, lots of shots, 4 flippers, tons of modes, wide body like TZ,and a unique layout.

    I love Road Show. It was my 2nd pin and I miss it. Played it a ton. One thing is it'll likely be problematic at one time or another because of the nature of the heads. If I found a HUO / CQ one I'd get it back, but not at the price nearing TSPP, plus there's no mini Playfield (which was a like from the OP).

    #12 8 days ago

    Get a TZ. I felt same about TZ. It was one of few games I connected with back in the 90s. I avoided buying one because I was scared of maintenance. I bought other cheaper games instead that came and went. When I finally got TZ it was very rewarding. Maintenance was not that bad and no different than any other game. Once you spend a little time sorting out all issues, most older games hold up well especially in home environment.

    #13 8 days ago

    Nothing is like TZ You know this. So buy a TZ

    It's probably my all time favourite pinball machine . Blew me away when it first appeared back in 93. As soon as I could in the mid 2000s I bought one, a bit rough but plays great. Never regretted it .... it's my happy place machine, just the sounds alone transport me back to my younger days. I love loads of machines but TZ to me *is* the 90s. Sometimes you gotta go with your heart.

    Whats the worst that can happen ? Don't over think it. Always a ready market for TZ if you decide to sell it.

    #14 8 days ago

    If he doesn't buy a TZ now, he'll buy one later. So the wise thing to do is buy something else now so that he ends up with 2 machines.

    #15 8 days ago

    Wonka all the way....It feels like a widebody in a standard size pin; so much depth...Light years better than Jurassic Park 2

    #16 8 days ago
    Quoted from rubysbest1:

    Fast forward to today, my first thought was to go buy a Twilight Zone but I'm concerned about buying such an old game. I'm a relatively handy and mechanical person, but frankly I already have a dizzying number of things to maintain and work on in my life, and at the moment, I'm looking more for a pinball playing hobby than a pinball repair hobby. I recognize I'll likely need or want to do something at some point for any game, even a brand new one, but I'd like a high play time to repair time ratio.

    My first pinball machine was a TZ and I don't regret that decision one bit as it still gets played regularly. I am a huge fan of the TZ series and I love how the game integrates the theme into the game play as there is so much to shoot at and the spiral magnets are always fun to watch when they grab the ball.

    I have had my TZ for over 13 years now and my TZ isn't any more difficult to maintain than any of my other pinball machines. If this is the game that you remember playing in your youth I would look for a good example and pick one up. TZ's are not inexpensive, but then neither is any other desirable pinball machine in decent condition.

    Gord

    #17 8 days ago

    Similar experience - 90s, played TZ (in a pizzeria i worked at though!), was amazed. Many years later got one.

    In 2013 i sold off my collection after personal matter, recently tho - back into the hobby and after evaluating everything, TZ won out again (its next to me now ). It NEVER gets old and has so much charm. Truly a work of art IMO.

    So - although i have a yearning to find a pin that compares - to date, no game has kept my attention like TZ has.

    At first there is a curve to the technicals, but all very manageable. Also, most TZ today are bullet proofed to the common problems - its likely the machine you end up buying has these resolved.

    For reference - common problems - the clock (make sure updated clock boards, originals are prone to heat), the M/CPU board (make sure rebuilt, so much power in this game tends to need a rebuild or it resets mid game when flippers are used).

    The only game that seems to me similar (genius in design) - Iron Maiden. It may even (gasp) be a better pin than TZ. I almost bit BUT the theme. Not a fan of the band and wouldn't be able to tolerate it against my wall. If they retheme it i'm a buyer.

    #18 8 days ago

    Buy twilight zone... we've had one in the family for 25+ years, it was my wife's when we married....

    I never even took the glass off it until i got into the hobby myself late last year.

    #19 8 days ago

    TZ was my first pin, purchased over 20 years ago. If you're willing to pay for a good one up front, I would say mine has been pretty solid over the years. Try to buy from a known seller, and Pinsiders can advise of how much to just trust vs seeing for yourself. I will say that even if a game seems 100% working when testing in person, things can be missed, marginal, or get broken during shipment. Be prepared to do a bit of work no matter what. Even on a brand new game, straight out of the box, possibly even more in that case.

    I agree that Iron Maiden is my best suggestion for a game available new that would play similar to TZ. I love the game, but I would not call it a suitable substitute for TZ, despite the similarities. It's pretty bare as far as gadgets go. Granted, mine is a Pro, but even on the Premium, there's no mini-playfield, nothing to equate to the gumball machine, no powerball. I would say IMDN is far more chaotic.

    #20 8 days ago

    Stop and go pins. RBION, Road Show, as others mentioned and maybe Wonka also mentioned. Or just get a TZ.

    #21 8 days ago

    lol why are people suggesting games like RBION, Road Show, etc. He said he is hesitant to buy an older game and that cost is not an issue. If he were going to buy an older game he should just go with TZ. Not a cheaper, worse version of TZ.

    And I agree with most others here, get a TZ.

    #22 8 days ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    lol why are people suggesting games like RBION, Road Show, etc. He said he is hesitant to buy an older game and that cost is not an issue. If he were going to buy an older game he should just go with TZ. Not a cheaper, worse version of TZ.
    And I agree with most others here, get a TZ.

    Because they are great games, cheaper, and not necessarily a "worse version of TZ". If he wanted a TZ he would just buy one and not have started this thread. There isn't a modern pin like TZ that has the things he is looking for below. If you want a game that "feels" like TZ, you are not going to find one that was manufactured in the last few years. JJP pirates might be the closest thing since its loaded with crap and a wide body, but it still doesn't feel like a classic Lawlor game.

    Quoted from rubysbest1:

    * Twilight Zone likes:
    ** Multi flippers
    ** The mini playfield
    ** It's "mechanically loud" - clacks, pops, clicks, etc.
    ** Dot matrix screen
    ** There are lots of bumpers, ramps, and targets spread around the playfield, which I feel makes the play more fun
    ** It feels a little chaotic, which is fun.

    #23 8 days ago

    You will not be disappointed with TZ. Great single or multi pin collection pin. Once it is up an running it is solid. I have had mine for 4.5 years with no issues. Or get TSPP.

    #24 8 days ago

    Twilight Zone or Dialed In. The power is ever present in DI. I would argue DI is the modern equivilant of TZ. But be mindful that the pinside echo chamber is generally negative on DI, but it is arguably the best Lawlor game of all time.

    #25 8 days ago
    Quoted from herg:

    TZ was my first pin, purchased over 20 years ago. If you're willing to pay for a good one up front, I would say mine has been pretty solid over the years. Try to buy from a known seller, and Pinsiders can advise of how much to just trust vs seeing for yourself. I will say that even if a game seems 100% working when testing in person, things can be missed, marginal, or get broken during shipment. Be prepared to do a bit of work no matter what. Even on a brand new game, straight out of the box, possibly even more in that case.
    I agree that Iron Maiden is my best suggestion for a game available new that would play similar to TZ. I love the game, but I would not call it a suitable substitute for TZ, despite the similarities. It's pretty bare as far as gadgets go. Granted, mine is a Pro, but even on the Premium, there's no mini-playfield, nothing to equate to the gumball machine, no powerball. I would say IMDN is far more chaotic.

    Interesting compare. How is Maiden in any way similar to tz?

    #26 8 days ago
    Quoted from holminone:

    Interesting compare. How is Maiden in any way similar to tz?

    Mostly just flipper locations. He is asking about something new that has some of these features.

    Quoted from rubysbest1:

    * Twilight Zone likes:
    ** Multi flippers
    ** The mini playfield
    ** It's "mechanically loud" - clacks, pops, clicks, etc.
    ** Dot matrix screen
    ** There are lots of bumpers, ramps, and targets spread around the playfield, which I feel makes the play more fun
    ** It feels a little chaotic, which is fun.

    Of those, IMDN has multi-flippers in the same locations, kinda mechanically loud, targets spread around the playfield, and definitely feels chaotic. If new is #1 priority, then what else meets more of the criteria?

    I would agree Dialed In probably is more similar, but I discounted it due to availability.

    #27 8 days ago

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I had looked at dialed in early on, and sort of forgot about it as I kept looking. I'm putting it towards the top of my list, since I think it does seem to tick a lot of the same boxes, but obviously it's newer. Wonka also looks like it may be a good choice for a new one (though availability looks like a challenge for wonka).

    I've also decided not to be afraid of TZ just because of its age, and it's officially going on the list. Here's a TZ table that's about a 5 hour drive from me. It's obviously been used in a bar environment, but he has a good pinside reputation.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/101955

    What are your thoughts on that table?

    #28 8 days ago

    Uh oh, you're new here....it's not a table.

    If that one doesn't work out and you are patient, TZs show up for sale on Pinside in Socal and NorCal fairly often. I've seen some pretty nice ones pop up.

    I am working on the dream of retiring in Atascadero/Templeton. There are some pinsiders up there in the central coast.

    #29 8 days ago

    Looks ok from the pics, but,a bar pin from Dego,I would ask a fellow insider in the area to completely check that baby out!!IMHO.

    #30 8 days ago
    Quoted from rubysbest1:

    What are your thoughts on that table?

    The right magnaflip plastic is pretty much shattered, the left sling corner is cracked, and there is no detail in the pictures. For $7900, I'd pass, but I'm probably completely out of touch on TZ pricing.

    #31 8 days ago
    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    Uh oh, you're new here....it's not a table.

    Perhaps he's British??? Might have to rent a lorry, then put the table in the lift to get it up to his flat?

    All in good fun. Glad to see you're going for a TZ. There's something special when you walk up to a machine you grew up with that new ones can't replicate. Of course you'll need a few of those too at some point.

    #32 8 days ago

    Dialed In! is a modern TZ.

    #33 8 days ago
    Quoted from jaytrem:Perhaps he's British??? Might have to rent a lorry, then put the table in the lift to get it up to his flat?

    Hahaha bollocks mate, you bloody got me.

    Quoted from xsvtoys:

    Uh oh, you're new here....it's not a table....
    I am working on the dream of retiring in Atascadero/Templeton. There are some pinsiders up there in the central coast.

    I'm born and raised in Atascadero, and live in Templeton now. Good luck on the dream. If you get serious about it, and want feedback on specific areas or whatever, feel free to ask me.

    Quoted from herg:

    The right magnaflip plastic is pretty much shattered, the left sling corner is cracked, and there is no detail in the pictures. For $7900, I'd pass, but I'm probably completely out of touch on TZ pricing.

    Awesome. Thanks for pointing out those specific things. I figured if it was still up on pinside market after a month, there had to be something I wasn't seeing.

    Quoted from hawkmoon:

    I would ask a fellow insider in the area to completely check that baby out!!IMHO.

    Is that a common thing for random pinsider strangers to do? What's the protocol for that sort of thing?

    #34 7 days ago

    $7900 is very high and I would like to see pics with game on at least. A TZ selling for that much should be extremely nice with extras like mods, colordmd, leds, etc. Price range is typically $6000-8000. An average routed game would be on the low end of that and maybe below if issues.

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