Houdini vs Alice Cooper vs Maiden......If you had to pick 1

(Topic ID: 217664)

Houdini vs Alice Cooper vs Maiden......If you had to pick 1


By NorCalRealtor

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 170 posts
  • 75 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by Billy16
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“In my shoes, pick one for the home lineup”

  • Maiden Pro 222 votes
    54%
  • Alice Cooper Nightmare Castle 70 votes
    17%
  • Houdini 117 votes
    29%

(409 votes)

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There are 170 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
#1 9 months ago

Sorry for another lame poll and another thread involving Maiden.

We have a baby on the way (our first) and this next addition to the home lineup may be the last for a while. Trying to choose wisely.

Thought I was getting ACNC as I have one pre-ordered with an early spot in line, but after playing all 3 of these titles at a show last weekend I'm torn.

Love the looks, animations, sound, etc, on ACNC but am not yet sold on the layout. First impressions felt clunky. Could have just been me shooting poorly.

First impressions (on layout alone) were better on Houdini and Maiden.

Maiden shoots like a million bucks and is probably worth owning, but it played surprisingly long. I put up 200M+ on first try and a few games later 400M+, with some shorter games mixed in. Music and theme are fine for me. Feels like the safe choice. Maybe too safe? And is it too easy? The playfield is wide open and no shots felt too dangerous. Plus they will be everywhere on location.

Houdini was a surprise. Not previously on my radar at all. Looked great and well-made. Packed with features. Played well. Some tight shots, which I don't mind. I like a challenge. Good music. Animations and speech were just okay. Brand new company though? Maybe some risk there. Reliability? Serviceability?

Bottom line:

Preference to ACNC based on looks, concept, animations, uniqueness and my early pre-order spot.

Preference to Maiden Pro based on layout, price and lack of unknowns.

Preference to Houdini based on looks, layout, features, challenge, uniqueness.

Would love to put more time on all 3 b4 deciding, but I think the only one nearby is Maiden.

p.s. I'm a big Stern fan, but I also enjoy owning the occasional pin that you don't see everywhere. Makes it more fun when your pinball friends are over. Current home lineup is Stern Pirates, GOTLE, WNBJM, Comet and F14.

Thanks!

#2 9 months ago

Long term, you wont regret Houdini.

#3 9 months ago

I vote maiden I just love the layout and rules on the game. My second choice would be Alice Cooper I got to play it Allentown I thought it had a good layout and I liked the artwork. It also depends on what theme you like the most like maiden is an easy choice for me as I think it's a good game and it's my dream theme.

#4 9 months ago

I have only played Alice Cooper once and it was hands down bar none the worst game I've ever played (Yes worse than Rogo)
so not complete enough for me to judge.

IMDN is very good (if you can deal with the music...somone 'fixed' it with nerw music yet?). Fun, intersting, display goals are cool, layout good, ramps are a little tough.

I only played Houdini once and it seems pretty packed. The shots were tight and hard *cough* which isn;t a bad thing. Def interesting.

#5 9 months ago

I would stay put with your Alice Cooper preorder. That game might be really tough to come by for the next 2-3 years. There will be plenty of Iron Maidens around, Stern is selling a ton of them and the secondhand market will be healthy. Houdini sort of falls in the middle as far as availability goes, but if you drop your preorder spot on ACNC, it might be something you would regret most in the long run.

Also, with ACNC having a while before shipping, you could keep the spot, pick up one of the other two games now, and sell it when ACNC money is due. If you really end up loving Houdini or Iron Maiden in the mean time, maybe you could move something else to pay for Alice Cooper.

#6 9 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

(Yes worse than Rogo)

Hahahaha

#7 9 months ago

I agree with the OPs assessments. IM is a great game all around but I think the ball times are too long and (for me) I suspect it will make the game feel like a grind in the long run. Perhaps too much time in multi-ball? Even with the outlanes wide open it just seems difficult to not have at least one massive scoring ball during a game.

ACNC seems like you hit a lot of posts which gives a clunkier feel and (for me) less fun to play. I think it would get old in a collection quickly.

Houdini is a great game - sure some of the shots are a little tight but I think that will make it last longer in a home environment. The layout, artwork, animations all seem very well integrated If you like the magic theme then this is a killer game to own. I am just waiting until the supply and demand levels out (hopefully enough time to figure out what to sell).

Good luck with the pin-choice. Hey wait a minute - don't you have a bedroom to paint and baby furniture to put together? Your going to get busy quickly and won't have time for long games anymore (so don't get IMDN - therefore Houdini will more likely fit your future lifestyle).

#8 9 months ago

Love the Maiden pin but Houdini surprised me at GSPF. A game room showpiece, ton of fun, and a choice that would entertain a variety of guests as well.

#9 9 months ago

What is ROGO? Lol

Quoted from jar155:

I would stay put with your Alice Cooper preorder. That game might be really tough to come by for the next 2-3 years. There will be plenty of Iron Maidens around, Stern is selling a ton of them and the secondhand market will be healthy. Houdini sort of falls in the middle as far as availability goes, but if you drop your preorder spot on ACNC, it might be something you would regret most in the long run.
Also, with ACNC having a while before shipping, you could keep the spot, pick up one of the other two games now, and sell it when ACNC money is due. If you really end up loving Houdini or Iron Maiden in the mean time, maybe you could move something else to pay for Alice Cooper.

I think I'm only about 90 days out on getting my Alice Cooper. Not much time.

#10 9 months ago

Haven’t played or even seen in person ACNC however after playing Houdini at the Ohio show, I switched my JJP POTC preorder to Houdini. And I gotta day I love my Houdini.

IMDN is fun to play (pro) but I have to admit (and I know I’m in the minority here) I just don’t see the hype. Although I still want to own one. I love the looks of the LE and it would go well with my MET, AS and LUCI but want to play a premium to see if I like it better.

So my vote right now is for Houdini. Love the uniqueness of the machine, the music, sounds and call outs. LOVE the leds on the machine as well!!

#11 9 months ago

I want all 3 too.

#13 9 months ago

IMDN is really fun. Will it be really fun after owning it for a year? Not sure.

Houdini is a great looking game. Packed with features. Tight shots. I haven't played enough on it, but I really liked it. Can't wait to play more.

AC. Eh. Played a few games at Pinfest. Not sure about this one yet. It wasn't setup properly at Pinfest (weak flippers) which really hurt my first impression.

#14 9 months ago

For the home, hands down get Houdini.
On route IMDN

#15 9 months ago

Maiden looks like it will be known as a players's game, with so many different ways to blow up the game.

Houdini looks like a game to wow guests and non pinheads as it is visually impressive.

AC - LCD animations look killer. Code should become great with Bowen on team. Layout - need to see more updated videos.

#16 9 months ago

Great feedback so far!

Hard to tell if the poll results are rightfully where they should be, or possibly skewed due to the availability of these titles. Not everyone has played Houdini and even fewer people have played ACNC.

Either way, my pre-order pin is in last so far. Hmmmmm.

Keep the feedback coming!

#17 9 months ago

Polls are fun and all, but they don't speak to what you want.

I personally am sticking with Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle because I'm going to have a hard time playing it anywhere else, and I enjoyed what I played of it at Pinfest. Yes the shots are tight, and yes the code is early but I still enjoyed it. I came home and ordered one a week later.

#18 9 months ago

So given the full features on ACNC and Houdini as well as their prices, why not expand your consideration to an IMDN Premium?

#19 9 months ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

So given the full features on ACNC and Houdini as well as their prices, why not expand your consideration to an IMDN Premium?

Good question. I watched the short Stern video showing the added features and and I think I'd be fine with a Pro. None of the added features screamed "must have!" to me. Plus, many LE owners claiming the added features have been problematic/fussy. Might feel different once I actually play a Prem/LE, but that's where I'm at right now.

#21 9 months ago

Houdini for home.

Then play IMDN on location. Flipper Room has one.

#22 9 months ago

Have only played one of these pins and loved it, but from reading your summation of each of the games it looks like Houdini is your winner.

#23 9 months ago
Quoted from imagamejunky:

Houdini for home.
Then play IMDN on location. Flipper Room has one.

And our league spot is getting a Premium in 2 months, courtesy of the location owner. Not quite the same as having one at your house, but it's definitely a relevant detail I forgot to add.

#24 9 months ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

Great feedback so far!
Hard to tell if the poll results are rightfully where they should be, or possibly skewed due to the availability of these titles. Not everyone has played Houdini and even fewer people have played ACNC.
Either way, my pre-order pin is in last so far. Hmmmmm.
Keep the feedback coming!

Played acnc at TPF 2018.
Nice looking game!

But after looking at all the offerings houdini stood out for features, artwork and price.

Plus I met with Barry and the team! What a great group of guys.

I was sold before I met them though.

For my home I need challenging games that look exceptional.

#25 9 months ago

Maiden isn't just a great choice for your next pin - its a great choice for your only pin! It's pure class.

It's definitely not too easy, and if you're fighting the beast every game, you can always set it up harder.

I think you'd really regret that Alice Cooper. The Law's not kidding - that game sucks. It shoots like crap, it feels totally amateur...and it will have you seeing turquoise for days!

#26 9 months ago

I played my friend Dennis' Maiden. He has the LE version. We were all pumped up until the ball got stuck at the upper right post area. Then we lost it when
the snuffalupagus lock wigged out and we had to shut the game down. So Maiden LE is out.. (Mic drops and hits the floor).

#27 9 months ago

I played about 10 balls on ACNC during the TX show and I own both Houdini and Maiden. Both ACNC and Houdini have tight shots. If I miss a shot, I'd rather hit a rubber post vs a target that fires an airball back at you (I'm also talking about you Star Wars and GoT). I have ACNC on order and can't wait to see how the code comes together. All three are keepers for me.

#28 9 months ago

IMDN but get the shaker. Fun factor is huge.

#29 9 months ago
Quoted from RebelGuitars:

I played about 10 balls on ACNC during the TX show and I own both Houdini and Maiden. Both ACNC and Houdini have tight shots. If I miss a shot, I'd rather hit a rubber post vs a target that fires an airball back at you (I'm also talking about you Star Wars and GoT). I have ACNC on order and can't wait to see how the code comes together. All three are keepers for me.

It just hit me the ACNC layout is kind of like No Fear. Pretty much all lanes/ramps/orbits with posts in between. No pop bumper area. I don't remember NF feeling clunky though. Wish I could play ACNC some more to see if I was just playing shitty on it, or what. Aside from layout concerns it's cool as hell.

Houdini felt like Jpop could've designed it. Felt like an evolved and loaded W/B. Excellent first effort from American Pinball.

Maiden felt like the latest Stern speed demon, flow monster, loop & combo king. Fairly bare, but fun! Like an evolved (albeit easier) Iron Man or Tron. Hopefully not too much easier. Don't like my games too long.

I'd buy Houdini this instant if it was same price as Maiden Pro. I see the added value, but I don't take forking over an additional $2k lightly. That buys a good System 11.

#30 9 months ago

Maiden's going to be everywhere.

I'd say get a Houdini. If you play ACNC later and like it, pick one up later. Price will only rise on the first lot to hit the market, and will fall thereafter (like every other pin).

#31 9 months ago

You buy Houdini, I am buying Iron Maiden and we will trade them out in a year.

#32 9 months ago

Maiden pro all the way... we didnt care for the other choices at all.

#33 9 months ago

I've played Houdini enough to know I don't need to play it much more.

Only played Cooper once and thought it was ok.

IMDN is great. I've seen most of what it has to offer and am still eager to put more quarters in. I think it's the clear winner of this bunch.

#34 9 months ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

It just hit me the ACNC layout is kind of like No Fear. Pretty much all lanes/ramps/orbits with posts in between. No pop bumper area. I don't remember NF feeling clunky though. Wish I could play ACNC some more to see if I was just playing shitty on it, or what. Aside from layout concerns it's cool as hell.
Houdini felt like Jpop could've designed it. Felt like an evolved and loaded W/B. Excellent first effort from American Pinball.
Maiden felt like the latest Stern speed demon, flow monster, loop & combo king. Fairly bare, but fun! Like an evolved (albeit easier) Iron Man or Tron. Hopefully not too much easier. Don't like my games too long.
I'd buy Houdini this instant if it was same price as Maiden Pro. I see the added value, but I don't take forking over an additional $2k lightly. That buys a good System 11.

It took me around 50 games on Houdini to get the shots down more consistently. I expect to have to do the same with ACNC.

#35 9 months ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

It just hit me the ACNC layout is kind of like No Fear. Pretty much all lanes/ramps/orbits with posts in between. No pop bumper area. I don't remember NF feeling clunky though. Wish I could play ACNC some more to see if I was just playing shitty on it, or what. Aside from layout concerns it's cool as hell.
Houdini felt like Jpop could've designed it. Felt like an evolved and loaded W/B. Excellent first effort from American Pinball.
Maiden felt like the latest Stern speed demon, flow monster, loop & combo king. Fairly bare, but fun! Like an evolved (albeit easier) Iron Man or Tron. Hopefully not too much easier. Don't like my games too long.
I'd buy Houdini this instant if it was same price as Maiden Pro. I see the added value, but I don't take forking over an additional $2k lightly. That buys a good System 11.

I too was bricking left and right on ACNC at Golden State. I feel like I need to give it more of a shot though. Didn't get enough play on it. Based on your criteria here's my vote:

1. Houdini
2. Maiden Pro & a System 11
3. ACNC

Maiden will be everywhere. Houdini may not be as easy of a find around these parts on location. Although I gotta admit, I wouldn't fault you for going Maiden Pro + Sys11. More pins are never a bad thing.

#36 9 months ago

It's between Iron Maiden and Houdini. I would pick Houdini. I agree with some comments, it will be a longer lasting fun game.

#37 9 months ago

Haven't played or seen any of them so can't say much. However, just from reading comments from others that have played, it seems like IMDN is by far the best received. If you can tolerate the theme, the pro seems like the no brainer considering cost and fun factor. Houdini seems pretty good but more than a few have mentioned shots are very tight. I wouldn't think of buying it unless I played it a bunch. Might be a brickfest. Spooky seems to cater to a specific type of pinhead and that's not me. Never found their games that fun but cool they are doing some unique pins.

#38 9 months ago
Quoted from PBFan:

I agree with the OPs assessments. IM is a great game all around but I think the ball times are too long and (for me) I suspect it will make the game feel like a grind in the long run.

Iron Man ball times are too long? You must be the best player ever!

If you like difficulty go with Houdini. IMDN looks great but it does look like it might (might) get tiresome with longish ball times. I'm like you, I prefer shorter games.

#39 9 months ago

I played all 3 of these games at Pinfest this year.
I wanted to like ACNC more, but it definitely felt clunky to me. It seemed like every shot that I took missed the mark, but I only played 2 games on it.
Iron Maiden was fun, and I'd definitely enjoy playing it more.
Houdini is the one that I kept going back to. I found it very interesting.

I voted Houdini because I'd rather support an underdog. I'd love to see what they come up with next, and Stern will survive without your money.

#40 9 months ago

I think it’s a huge mistake to buy a pinball machine based on speculation of what the market MIGHT do down the road.

Buy the pin you want to play the most. It should be that simple.

Make a decision based on the information you have right now.

#42 9 months ago

I have both Houdini and Iron Maiden LE in my collection - hands down, Maiden is better then Houdini or Alice Copper IMO. Iron Maiden is a great theme - and not sure why some are bashing this game because of the theme - including SDTM you guys are great, but damn, you really didn't have to bash the band. Much better then Aerosmith... lol

As for Houdini, I am very disappointed with the layout of this game. I mean it is FRUSTRATING! if it wasn't for those stand-ups, tight shots, it could of been a great game. I give American Pinball a thumbs up though on their first game as the build quality is A+. Rules are also very well implemented.

Played Alice Cooper at the Allentown show and walked away after 2nd ball ... couldn't stand it. Layout is ok, but the flippers were so weak the ball couldn't make it up the ramp.

#43 9 months ago
Quoted from dts:

IMDN but get the shaker. Fun factor is huge.

Thats because on the pro its the only interactive toy the game has.

I had Houdini and it is beyond unbelievable in looks and features..... Best new game in a long time for that reason, but it got tiresome quickly because bricking combos needed to progress in the game were just way to difficult to hit on a consistent basis.

So for me.... Im defiantly leaning towards SW Prem. or CGC #3 ( whenever that is ) and keeping the $$$$$ in my pocket for the next few weeks.

Maybe I pick up 5 color DMDs.

#44 9 months ago

Houdini-

Super innovative layout, challenging, it’s a long term keeper. IMDN is also awesome, you can’t go wrong with it either - my sense is there will be a lot of Maidens available on the used market eventually, just because of the volume of Sterns made. Time will tell how IMDN lasts, I am not sure. It sure is fun, but so is Houdini, and Houdini forces you to become a better player, which IMO is very rewarding

-1
#45 9 months ago

keeping my cash in pocket. Wouldn't pay for any of these.

#46 9 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Houdini-
Super innovative layout, challenging, it’s a long term keeper. IMDN is also awesome, you can’t go wrong with it either - my sense is there will be a lot of Maidens available on the used market eventually, just because of the volume of Sterns made. Time will tell how IMDN lasts, I am not sure. It sure is fun, but so is Houdini, and Houdini forces you to become a better player, which IMO is very rewarding

weird writing since so many Houdini's are for sale not to long after Owner number one took delivery .
in the past month I seen at least a half dozen Houdini for sale hundreds less than new with add ons being dumped.
So not sure how you reckon a long term keeper ?
I too would hold out on the cash as Iron maiden is best choice but the NIB price has me waiting / I can wait for under 5 k pricing when used . any price higher than 5 k is just Insane !!!!! Bring on the new Sterns so people dump the games to buy the new model...
for what it is all worth in my opinion
Buy a few Older games instead is the best option , as so many great under rated games are out there

if you want a Houdini here is a nice one second hand http://www.villagebbs.com/forum/index.php?topic=38979.0

#47 9 months ago

PinFever. very good point on Houdini's for sale ... I am thinking of selling mine too, but it is just a very nice looking game and hope it will eventually grow on me. Plus they are always improving code. I had made mistakes before by selling games too soon and code just made it a much better game. With Houdini, I am not sure how much improvement there could be just because of the darn layout + tight shots.

One comment on Iron Maiden - although fun and different layout, the extra cash for an LE or to be honest a premium may not be worth it. I purchased an LE because this is a dream theme for me and love the band since I was a kid. But VERY disappointed at the lame ass toys in this game. Really, he couldn't think of anything else then a ramp lifting and start the mode. Plus that bullseye on top, why couldn't they put a magnet there.... again, feels like I got ripped off by Stern. Hopefully this is my last stern I will ever buy NIB.

#48 9 months ago
Quoted from PinFever:

weird writing since so many Houdini's are for sale not to long after Owner number one took delivery .
in the past month I seen at least a half dozen Houdini for sale hundreds less than new with add ons being dumped.
So not sure how you reckon a long term keeper ?
I too would hold out on the cash as Iron maiden is best choice but the NIB price has me waiting / I can wait for under 5 k pricing when used . any price higher than 5 k is just Insane !!!!! Bring on the new Sterns so people dump the games to buy the new model...
for what it is all worth in my opinion
Buy a few Older games instead is the best option , as so many great under rated games are out there
if you want a Houdini here is a nice one second hand http://www.villagebbs.com/forum/index.php?topic=38979.0

Well.. I’ve played it - a lot- for one. There’s a lot of complaining that the shots are “too tight”, which is another way of saying that you’re not used to games which require precision. I SUCK at the game, but I am seeing myself get better, and i go and shoot a Stern and I can make every shot. That’s not fun for me - although I do think IMDN is a great game and I think I’ll get one eventually too

#49 9 months ago
Quoted from AttilaK:

PinFever. very good point on Houdini's for sale ... I am thinking of selling mine too, but it is just a very nice looking game and hope it will eventually grow on me. Plus they are always improving code. I had made mistakes before by selling games too soon and code just made it a much better game. With Houdini, I am not sure how much improvement there could be just because of the darn layout + tight shots.
One comment on Iron Maiden - although fun and different layout, the extra cash for an LE or to be honest a premium may not be worth it. I purchased an LE because this is a dream theme for me and love the band since I was a kid. But VERY disappointed at the lame ass toys in this game. Really, he couldn't think of anything else then a ramp lifting and start the mode. Plus that bullseye on top, why couldn't they put a magnet there.... again, feels like I got ripped off by Stern. Hopefully this is my last stern I will ever buy NIB.

I know people try to justify why pro is best, LE is best etc but it really does seem like Maiden pro is good enough on all levels and it might be a bonus not to have features that are already causing issues.

The other surprising thing is that Stern light shows seem to have got less inspiring of late?

Compare AC/DC , TWD, and KISS LE's - they are all much more dramatic than the last 3 or 4 Stern games.

#50 9 months ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

I don't remember NF feeling clunky though.

Because it isn't clunky at all. So smooth, fast and flowing. One of my favorites because that's the style I enjoy.

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