I finally had a chance to PLAY the games I’ve been reading about every day on Pinside.
I hadn’t played anything but a TSPP ‘til yesterday (since 1977, I mean), but at the Ann Arbor Pinball Museum (Sat. May 17th) I had several hours to get acquainted with many other titles.
I’m saving my pennies and selling an old car in hopes of adding another pin or two to my collection of one---so attending a free-play arena was something I needed to do.
I also got a chance to play a wide-variety of EMs (Jacks Open, Fireball) and sample some of the newer pins that I see the Pinsiders raving about: Fish Tales, WH20, Tron, SStiff, MB, BBB, Funhouse, TOF, and others.
It was difficult to get more than a basic feel for the games because of how loud it was in the building, but I managed to come away with a few impressions.
First: In a loud environment---every game seemed to lack the intimacy which is necessary to form a bond with the machine while playing.
WOZ seemed really solid and well-built, with terrific ball-flow and an incredible playfield (lighting, art, toys) and the flat-panel backglass is amazing. The only change I would make is to lose the ruby slippers/flippers and just replace them with ruby flippers… or emerald…? Game is prohibitively expensive---but I’ll admit---if JJP could do something just as impressive with a theme like Scarface I would have no choice but to pre-order it immediately, even if I had to go into debt!
Family Guy was exactly what I expected, and comes very close to what I want as my second pin. (It fits hand-in-glove with my TSPP.) The mini-playfield, however, I was not thrilled with. Maybe I needed more time with it.
I had a fun time at the museum, and never had to wait more than a few minutes to play a chosen game. Great place---great people, and I scored my first pinball t-shirt!