Is Houdini Too Damn Hard? Poll

(Topic ID: 222154)

Is Houdini Too Damn Hard? Poll


By jeffspinballpalace

5 months ago



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  • 87 posts
  • 36 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 days ago by kdecgp
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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Topic poll

“Is Houdini Too Damn Hard?”

  • No - default settings are just right 19 votes
    8%
  • No - game is no harder than others 23 votes
    9%
  • No - mastering a game takes awhile 86 votes
    35%
  • Yes - have adjusted settings (ashamed to admit it) 0 votes
  • Yes - adjusted settings (not ashamed) 6 votes
    2%
  • Yes - adjusted settings and having fun 9 votes
    4%
  • Yes - don't care what others think 26 votes
    11%
  • Yes - geometry is off & game is FUBAR'd 78 votes
    32%

(247 votes)

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#1 5 months ago

I see a number of Houdini pinball machine being resold already. This seems primarily due to the game being difficult so people either don't have fun playing or they get frustrated and decide to get rid of it. My question is for anyone who has purchased a Houdini - what adjustments did you make to help your family to enjoy playing Houdini pinball more?

Menu adjustments allow for the game to be set easier or harder. The default settings are IMPOSSIBLE for most people, and that is coming from someone who thinks hard games are good to find. The objective of the game is to collect Houdini letters and start the wizard mode. I've watched a number of vids where players do not collect a single letter during the game. While I see people playing, I don't see many doing it well. Sure, they bang the silverball around and complete modes and get to see lots of cool stuff, but at the end of the day how many letters did they light?

I suggest adjusting a few of the game settings to make the game easier until you've learned the rules and have seen most everything, while collecting the letters and work towards the wizard mode. The changes which come to mind ...

Standard Adjustments -
Balls per Game - 5 vs 3
Ball Saver Time - 24 vs 12 sec
Max # Extra Balls - 9 vs 4

Replay Adjustments -
Replay Award Type - extra ball vs points

Feature Adjustments -
Escapes for Escape from Death - 1 vs 2
FILM Lit at Start of Game - On vs Off
Illusions for Houdini Letter - 3 vs 4
Illusions for 2nd Houdini Letter - 8 vs Off
King of Cards Throws Per Hand - 8 vs 5
King of Cards Timer - 60 vs 40
Missions Completed for Houdini Letter - 3 vs 5
Movies Started for Houdini - 3 vs 5
Seance Jackpots for Return from Beyond - 1 vs 1 (no change)
Trunk Multiball Jackpots for Houdini Letter - 2 vs 3
Visits to the Magic Shop for Houdini Letter - 3 vs 4

Looking over this list, one might worry they are making their game too easy. I’d say - nonsense! You still need to play well for 30 or 40 minutes to reach the Wizard mode and your chances of success have increased from never to slim. Lowering the requirements increases the average number of letters collected and likely the amount fun people have playing. insert your opinion here ->

Other game settings to consider with default value shown.

Standard Adjustments -
Tilt Warnings - 2

Replay Adjustments -
Replay Award Level 1 - 500k
Replay Award Level 2 - 1M
Replay Award Levels 3 & 4 - 1M (not being used)

Feature Adjustments -
Handcuff Escape Pops per Handcuff - 3
Handcuffs in Handcuff Escape - 6
Jail Escapes for Houdini Letter - 3
Jail Escapes for Extra Ball - 6
Movies Started for Light Extra Ball - 3

That leaves physical adjustments which could be made to the playfield to impact game play. Moving posts, removing rubbers or changing pitch are commonly targeted for this.

#2 5 months ago

Havne't had enough time to tell

#3 5 months ago

For me it's not that that it is hard, I love hard.

It's that the shots feel....off. The geometry feels wrong to me and made shots feel lucky more than skill even when having a good game.

I love the art, think it's a cool game and I hope american does amazing, the game just doesn't feel good to shoot for me

#4 5 months ago

With all due respect, I don’t agree with the geometry argument - true it is not a fan layout and fast shooter like say Star Wars or Monster Bash - but the shots are makeable - I think it’s more that they aren’t your standard Bally/Williams type shots, and are not sort of built into your muscles as a player. They are unusual, which I think it awesome - but I can understand that’s why it turns people off. I guess that’s what they mean when they say it “feels wrong”.

They are also just HARD. The inner lane is difficult to hit, and everybody focuses on that, but you can definitely hit it - many players haven’t discovered that they can backhand it for example. A friend of mine didn’t believe you could master the Milkcan shot - absolutely you can. I can do it on demand, 8 out of 10 times

That said, that inner loop shot is IMO a bit too hard to be the main shot used for multiball, IMO. I play 3 or 4 games every day on my Houdini, and I have many games where I never get trunk multiball. Then when I do - POW! It’s over in 5 seconds.

My 2 main criticisms of the game are not really about the shots:

1) The left outlane is waaaaaaay too open, IMO. I lose almost every single ball down there, and it is very difficult to save the ball via nudge - and forget about it during multiball. Every ball goes left

2) I don’t know quite why this is, but it is REALLY hard to get control of the ball. I’m not sure if it’s the flipper rubber or if I just really do suck THAT bad, but I can never get the ball under control fast enough to barely get anywhere in the modes. I have increased the modes to a 60 second clock and even that’s very very tough

The scoop issue is annoying but fixable and a normal NIB type issue. Same with the shooter lane and the plunger - both pretty simple fixes.

I’m playing with 5 balls, and barely ever get 2 letters, and I have NEVER started a mini-wizard mode. I’m not that bad though - I can get to the wizard mode on a lot of my other games

#5 5 months ago

I'm glad you like it, not bagging on the machine at all. I make the shots, it's just not a blast for me to shoot.

I only have like 50 games though so I'm by no means an expert.

#6 5 months ago

I played and just felt it had almost no flow. Issue for me is the game rarely if ever returned the ball to the flipper i needed. Forget about combos.Thus resulting in a post pass or the ball is just flat out of control. Its a shooters game which some like and some don't.

#7 5 months ago

I played only 10 games on it at CAX this weekend. So I'm just a first impression.

When you walk up to the machine, it's just a glorious presentation. Lines were 3-5 people deep all weekend. More than any other machine there. And they had 2. Then you play a game, and it spits you out, and demoralizes you (not in a way my TNA does, which actually is part of its charm). This is a fundamental marketing problem. Esp for a game that is super deep and is a quest to the finish. If the game "felt good" and then had super challenge code and depth, it would be the right balance.

Instead it's full of tough shots, and complex code. The overall package didn't compel me to buy. I played a ton of an AMFr LE (new to me), and it just sucks you in right away in fun. You can score OK, but then you realize what's there behind the initial lip gloss. Which isn't deep on that game, but you can understand why its so beloved.

I was really interested in buying a Houdini. I went to the CAX AP meeting, and really enjoyed it. But as they walked us through the creation one thing struck me. The initial design and prototype was on a brutally fast schedule. My impression (don't know the facts), is that it didn't spend time as a white wood, modifying shots, getting it to feel right.

The interesting thing here is that they specifically mentioned game 2 is a flow monster, with open shots. So it feels like this particular part of Houdini was a major lesson to them, in terms of marketing and curb appeal of a game.

So given the quality of Game 1, which is amazing, game 2 has huge potential for me.

#8 5 months ago

The geometry is off. It’s soooo difficult to put combos together. They made the left loop soooo wide that two roll over switch’s were needed for that shot.

Lessening the width of that shot and giving others an 1/8 inch more would have made ALL the difference

Prettiest most feature packed game I have seen in so long but sold it in just over a week because of this.

#9 5 months ago

It's not too hard, but it's also not forgiving. I think AC/DC is harder.

Houdini is a cradle and aim shooter. Ya gotta post pass and cradle to make shots. It's more technical and not conducive to flailing on the fly.

All the shots are do-able (well, maybe not the milk-can), they just require precision.

It offers nice variety from the Stern multiball games that keep adding balls to the point of exhaustion.

#10 5 months ago

When I first got the game I found it to be very difficult and confusing. But after playing it for a while you figure out the shots. The inner loop is tough but make-able. I find myself getting trunk multiball quite a lot now. Seance is now a breeze. The scoop is very doable while the milk can usually goes in on a bounce. Apart from that I have figure out which shot is easier ans safer with each flipper. Consistently getting close to a million every few games now. At first I wanted to write off but now I find myself playing it more than Dialed In. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to activate the outer lanes modes ("back from the dead" and "forgot what it's named"). In all I find this game to be tough but very enjoyable.

#11 5 months ago

Where is the response, "not too hard just not a good game"?

Shots can definitely be hit as I'm not even good and I didn't have any issues. The problem is the game fails in many places resulting in a game that just isn't fun IMO.

#12 5 months ago

I found it very hard... to want to play.

#13 5 months ago

That's because it's hard "by accident", not by design. By design would be fun.
By accident because the whitewood stage was skipped.
It could have been great "by accident" too. It was a chancy move.
For whatever reason this risk factor was not eliminated.

#14 5 months ago

For those with a strong opinion that the game is hard or will never be fun, have you been able to adjust game settings and did that help? There is a lot going on. Some shots must be satisfying though right? Maybe shooting trunk lane and watching 3 point shot into trunk, rippable spinner from either outlane, milk can + ramp combo or + scoop combos?

IMG_0485.JPG

#15 5 months ago

I find Houdini to be a very HARD game as the shots are tight, the ball can be tough to get under control, and some of the objectives seem to be damn near impossible to complete. Yet, I really enjoy playing it! I also happen to really like the theme, artwork, sounds, and even the graphics which is certainly not the case with many of its detractors.

I don't think it's too hard though compared to some of my other games. TWD, for example, plays equally brutally and I've owned it for quite a while now.

I've made the following game adjustments from my initial set up which have helped increase its enjoyability:

- 5 balls (the BIG change)
- increased time limit of modes from 45 sec (default) to 60 sec
- decreased playfield slope from 6.5%+ to recommended 6%
- closed up outlane gaps to narrowest settings

My high score is 2.1 million and longest game has been about 20 minutes (both on 5 balls). I have never achieved more than 1 letter, played a mini wizard mode, or gotten beyond the second secret mission combo. It's still fun trying though!

#16 5 months ago

Its not about just making the shots..... Its about making them with consistency. How the heck do ya make three shot combos while trying to cradle the ball ans working against the timer.

Jkleinnd said it best with, " its hard by accident not by design "

-1
#17 5 months ago

the shot balance is not good. its ok to have 1 or maybe 2 hard shots. that makes the challenge. having some easy shots in the game keeps you feeling like you did something in the game. I played the game a lot and it just suxs. i rather would play any other game. they should have made it a wide body and then flared open the entrance to the shots.

just proves the basic point of gameplay trumps toys.

#18 5 months ago

I've played about 8 games on it and think that the shots are makable ....yes they are hard, but it makes it different from other games. If all pinballs were made the same we'd all only own 1 game.

#19 5 months ago

Played some late night Houdini games and had a blast! Those who dismiss the game early on as too hard/no fun are sadly missing out as it really opens up the more you play. Inner loop shot is no big deal anymore and at least 1-2 trunk multi-balls per game are typical. Completed a majority of the stage and jail escape modes along with scoring an extra ball in the card toss (a first for me ) in a final 26 min game.

Houdini is truly special and like no other game in my lineup. And ... it's about to get even better with the coming code update from AP!

#20 5 months ago

There should be an option for hard due to mechanical failure. I know a lot of people have experienced power fluctuations in the flippers, trunk shot missing, or issues with the scoop.

#21 5 months ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Played some late night Houdini games and had a blast! Those who dismiss the game early on as too hard/no fun are sadly missing out as it really opens up the more you play. Inner loop shot is no big deal anymore and at least 1-2 trunk multi-balls per game are typical. Completed a majority of the stage and jail escape modes along with scoring an extra ball in the card toss (a first for me ) in a final 26 min game.
Houdini is truly special and like no other game in my lineup. And ... it's about to get even better with the coming code update from AP!

Next good game you have, take a pic of your center playfield and show us your Houdini curious what colors the lit inserts are.

#22 5 months ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Next good game you have, take a pic of your center playfield and show us your Houdini curious what colors the lit inserts are.

Are you referring to the chain links, Houdini letters, or both?

#24 5 months ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Played some late night Houdini games and had a blast! Those who dismiss the game early on as too hard/no fun are sadly missing out as it really opens up the more you play. Inner loop shot is no big deal anymore and at least 1-2 trunk multi-balls per game are typical. Completed a majority of the stage and jail escape modes along with scoring an extra ball in the card toss (a first for me ) in a final 26 min game.
Houdini is truly special and like no other game in my lineup. And ... it's about to get even better with the coming code update from AP!

nice to make progress!! how many letters does a 26 minute game get you ? for the trunk mb and completing the modes you have to make some combo's ? can the time limit of modes be increased further ?

#25 5 months ago

I'll make a mental note to check next time. I've never really paid much attention to these (or the chain links either for that matter) as I usually don't achieve more than a letter or two and I'm typically looking at the screen at the end of a game.

Quoted from pinballjj:

nice to make progress!! how many letters does a 26 minute game get you ? for the trunk mb and completing the modes you have to make some combo's ? can the time limit of modes be increased further ?

Not sure how many letters if any (see above). I tend to attack Houdini on a broad front and as far as I'm aware, I've yet to play (let alone complete) all 10 stage modes, or all 5 film modes, or all 5 jail escape modes, or all 5 secret mission combo shots in a game. Doing any of these earns you a letter. The times I've earned letters must have been for completing trunk or séance multi-ball jackpots or collecting all of the magic shop items.

Shot combos are required for the secret missions. The stage and film modes require a certain sequence of shots be made. Time limits on modes can be adjusted in the settings.

#26 5 months ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

I'll make a mental note to check next time. I've never really paid much attention to these (or the chain links either for that matter) as I usually don't achieve more than a letter or two and I'm typically looking at the screen at the end of a game.

Yes there is a row of gas lamp inserts (one circle above each Houdini letter). After qualified they all turn yellow together and maybe pulse too but when you collect each letter, one lamp will be lit a solid color. All colors are different so it will look like a rainbow if you did a good job and got all 7 Houdini letters. and who know what happens once you start Wizard mode.

#27 5 months ago

You had me right up until

Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Standard Adjustments -
Balls per Game - 5 vs 3

#28 5 months ago

It takes time, but I dig Houdini so far on location!
It will be interesting to see a Houdini vs ACNC poll in about a year or two being both are getting similar reactions about shots.
What will it be, tight shots or the designs?
I like a good challenge.

#29 5 months ago

Probably no better themes for tight game. With ACNC you are in a castle fighting monsters. Pretty close quarters in every turn. With Houdini you are performing illusions and slight of hand in small spaces. I am probably grasping at straws with my interpretation but nothing wrong with a nice tight game.

#30 5 months ago
Quoted from RTS:

Houdini is a cradle and aim shooter.

Agreed, get control and backhand safer shots. It becomes much easier to progress through the game.

#31 5 months ago

I honestly don't think the game is too hard, but I don't think it is worth the effort (if that makes any sense). The shots are very difficult but don't feel rewarding when you make them, just "hey, glad that is over with" ...

#32 5 months ago
Quoted from busa32927:

the shot balance is not good. its ok to have 1 or maybe 2 hard shots. that makes the challenge. having some easy shots in the game keeps you feeling like you did something in the game. I played the game a lot and it just suxs. i rather would play any other game. they should have made it a wide body and then flared open the entrance to the shots.
just proves the basic point of gameplay trumps toys.

Both orbits, the scoop and the stage are all pretty easy shots, how many do you want?? Learn how to backhand the inner loop (post passes are no problem) and it's not that hard either.

#33 5 months ago

I don't own one, but Houdini has become one of my favorite games to play on location over the past few months. At least on the one I've played, the flippers are like big, soft, puffy pillows- it's easy to control the ball, there's only a small space between them plus you've got that center post, and the outlanes aren't too bad either. So, even though many of the shots are brutally hard, it doesn't feel unfair (although I like games that feel unfair too). I also like that despite the deep (or at least complicated) ruleset, it's not bewildering like some games are, it's easy to figure out the basics.

It's way out of my price range, but if I could own any game that I've played, Houdini would be my first choice. I can also definitely see how 5 balls would make it a better game.

-1
#34 5 months ago

Fans of games like Houdini (and many other games, but we will stay on topic) remind me of people who try to get you into a new tv series with the pitch “watch the first 10 episodes and then it really starts to get good.”

Sorry, but with so many games (shows) out there I want to be hooked by game one (or the first episode if you please) and build my discovery and excitement from there.

#35 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballcorpse:

Fans of games like Houdini (and many other games, but we will stay on topic) remind me of people who try to get you into a new tv series with the pitch “watch the first 10 episodes and then it really starts to get good.”
Sorry, but with so many games (shows) out there I want to be hooked by game one (or the first episode if you please) and build my discovery and excitement from there.

I don't know about that logic. Out of hundred(s)+ of pinball machines I have played, there have only been two I enjoyed from first plunge. Those were AFM and MM. All the rest required 10-100 plays before I started appreciating them. It took me that long to form an opinion. I pretty much enjoy 90% of Pinside Top200 and really enjoy 25% them. I don't doubt your sincerity that you don't like the game, only your observation that someone should know right away.

#36 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballcorpse:

Fans of games like Houdini (and many other games, but we will stay on topic) remind me of people who try to get you into a new tv series with the pitch “watch the first 10 episodes and then it really starts to get good.”
Sorry, but with so many games (shows) out there I want to be hooked by game one (or the first episode if you please) and build my discovery and excitement from there.

I feel like this attitude is what keeps shows like “full House” on TV. We would never have had The Wire, The Shield, True Detective ... or Houdini!

#37 5 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I feel like this attitude is what keeps shows like “full House” on TV. We would never have had The Wire, The Shield, True Detective ... or Houdini!

If you weren't hooked on The Wire after the opening scene alone, I can't help you .

If Snotboogie always stole the money, why'd you let him play?
Got to. It's America, man.

#38 5 months ago
Quoted from grantopia:

If you weren't hooked on The Wire after the opening scene alone, I can't help you .
If Snotboogie always stole the money, why'd you let him play?
Got to. It's America, man.

Haha, ok you got me there. Arrested Development is another good example - it takes 4 episodes to really get how deep and hilarious that show. My point was that if we resist change, we’ll just be getting Medieval Madness rebrands forever.

#39 5 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I feel like this attitude is what keeps shows like “full House” on TV. We would never have had The Wire, The Shield, True Detective ... or Houdini!

For the record, I was hooked on The Shield and True Detective immediately. I haven’t seen the wire yet

My attitude is: I know what I like and don’t like when I see it or play it, I don’t need to be convinced by others to like it

#40 5 months ago

The games that are instantly gratifying the first time I play become less fun as time goes on.

The games that initially challenge (and frustrate) are the exact opposite. They get better with time.

Houdini's depth and challenge make it a great home game. You can still have long ball times. .

#41 5 months ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

I don't know about that logic. Out of hundred(s)+ of pinball machines I have played, there have only been two I enjoyed from first plunge. Those were AFM and MM. All the rest required 10-100 plays before I started appreciating them. It took me that long to form an opinion. I pretty much enjoy 90% of Pinside Top200 and really enjoy 25% them. I don't doubt your sincerity that you don't like the game, only your observation that someone should know right away.

I certainly am not trying to wave the “I don’t like game x, and nobody else should either” flag in every thread on the subject. Plenty of other pinsiders seem to enjoy that task.

I just know for the games I personally enjoy, I did from day one.

#42 5 months ago

duplicate

#43 5 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Haha, ok you got me there. Arrested Development is another good example - it takes 4 episodes to really get how deep and hilarious that show. My point was that if we resist change, we’ll just be getting Medieval Madness rebrands forever.

How much could a banana cost? Five dollars?!

I'm just giving you a hard time but I do agree. There truthfully aren't that many games I don't have some fun playing - not that I'd want to own them all. I've only played Houdini a few times on location so I don't really have a love/hate stance yet. It seemed like the shots were tight and the rules didn't always match up with that (get X combos in time where you seem to burn most of that time getting control of the ball) but I appreciate them trying a non-traditional layout. I really try not to judge a game on the first play just because there's so much you don't know.

#44 5 months ago
Quoted from pinballcorpse:

For the record, I was hooked on The Shield and True Detective immediately. I haven’t seen the wire yet
My attitude is: I know what I like and don’t like when I see it or play it, I don’t need to be convinced by others to like it

Fine, fine !! Lol. Also for the record, I was not implying you are a Full House fan.. more that I am emphatically not

#45 5 months ago
Quoted from grantopia:

How much could a banana cost? Five dollars?!
I'm just giving you a hard time but I do agree. There truthfully aren't that many games I don't have some fun playing - not that I'd want to own them all. I've only played Houdini a few times on location so I don't really have a love/hate stance yet. It seemed like the shots were tight and the rules didn't always match up with that (get X combos in time where you seem to burn most of that time getting control of the ball) but I appreciate them trying a non-traditional layout. I really try not to judge a game on the first play just because there's so much you don't know.

Has anyone in this family ever even SEEN a chicken?

#46 5 months ago

I have had my Houdini since March...love it and play it nearly every day...yeah, shots can be tough but I am constantly making them more and more. Also, an added benefit is that I have noticed that I am doing better on other machines in my collection. There is a definite flow to this machine...especially when completing "scoop" missions or hitting the spinner during the needle illusion.

13
#47 5 months ago

Is Houdini a hard game, absolutely, there is no argument about that. Is it too hard? Well I guess that depends on the player and what they want in a game. It is a challenging and unique layout that requires skill, it makes you use and develop flipper skills to control the ball and it will make you a better player (e.g. a shooters game). This is not a game where most shots comes back nice and easy to the flippers, there are enough games like that already.

The rules are wide and deep and yes, spelling Houdini on default settings is a monumental task. The game is one of the deepest games out there, so adjusting settings to make it easier to progress through the game is absolutely appropriate, that is why settings exist. In the next release we will add presets, and for some owners, if not most, the 'easy' setting is appropriate (I should have really labeled it Enthusiast). Very few people will spell Houdini on Factory settings, it is a huge challenge requiring you to master the machine (those the reason it is called the Master Magician mode). Lowering the threshold for a Houdini Letter on some of the tasks is certainly appropriate (e.g. Secret Missions) as is enabling the second Houdini letter option on tasks where that is an option. I believe that most good games are far more about the journey, than the destination.

Having said that, most enthusiasts should be able to complete all Stage modes, not saying all in one game, but each time you play a stage mode it is most certainly attainable, and some can certainly be completed a majority of the times you play them. The next release will show on the marquee status screen which modes you did complete when playing them. Walk through walls and Chinese water torture, can be completed at a high rate. Needles, Straitjacket and King of cards are also easy to 'complete' and Handcuff not far behind. Elephant requires you to find the rhythm on the ramp shot, but it is three ramp shots and the stage, not exactly an outrageous task, but certainly challenging. Bullet Catch and Metamorphosis are more challenging since they require the inner loop shot to advance the first step (of course the magic standup targets can always advance you one step through each mode). Milkcan Escape is a very, very difficult mode, but also the most lucrative by far, and it also leaves you with the playfield multiplier raised up. I've completed it, but not very often, but getting two steps through, using the magic stand-up for one, is not uncommon. Key is to also leverage that increased playfield multiplier right after it by quickly starting a movie mode or another stage mode. It is also a great stack with a multiball, especially seance, where the magnets will often 'shoot' the milkcan loop shot for you.

All of the Movie modes are completable, as they are heavily focused on orbits and ramp shots, and none require the inner loop or the milkcan shot. It is the easiest mini-wizard mode to get to, which is extremely valuable. Quite a few people have gotten there, but you need to give it some focus. The key is you have to be sure you are using your flippers to complete FILM, so that each shot to the innerLoop is starting a mode, and with a little planning you can get have a couple start with Trunk Multiball. Man from Beyond, with its three stages is a little more challenging (especially when the lights go out) but also a favorite of many owners.

Anyone who has played, knows Seance Multiball is pretty easy to start, the key is to make sure you stack it with a mode like Needles.

Houdini was designed to do well on location for operators and to give a home owners a game that will challenge and entertain them for a long time. It is not a game you will get bored of quickly, it gives you a lot for the money. Is it for everyone, absolutely not, few if any games are, but for those who enjoy a challenge and for those who want to improve as a player, for those who want depth and breadth so it stays interesting, Houdini is the game for you.

Oh, and it is also one of the nicest looking games ever made.

#48 5 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Is Houdini a hard game, absolutely, there is no argument about that. Is it too hard? Well I guess that depends on the player and what they want in a game. It is a challenging and unique layout that requires skill, it makes you use and develop flipper skills to control the ball and it will make you a better player (e.g. a shooters game). This is not a game where most shots comes back nice and easy to the flippers, there are enough games like that already.
The rules are wide and deep and yes, spelling Houdini on default settings is a monumental task. The game is one of the deepest games out there, so adjusting settings to make it easier to progress through the game is absolutely appropriate, that is why settings exist. In the next release we will add presets, and for some owners, if not most, the 'easy' setting is appropriate (I should have really labeled it Enthusiast). Very few people will spell Houdini on Factory settings, it is a huge challenge requiring you to master the machine (those the reason it is called the Master Magician mode). Lowering the threshold for a Houdini Letter on some of the tasks is certainly appropriate (e.g. Secret Missions) as is enabling the second Houdini letter option on tasks where that is an option. I believe that most good games are far more about the journey, than the destination.
Having said that, most enthusiasts should be able to complete all Stage modes, not saying all in one game, but each time you play a stage mode it is most certainly attainable, and some can certainly be completed a majority of the times you play them. The next release will show on the marquee status screen which modes you did complete when playing them. Walk through walls and Chinese water torture, can be completed at a high rate. Needles, Straitjacket and King of cards are also easy to 'complete' and Handcuff not far behind. Elephant requires you to find the rhythm on the ramp shot, but it is three ramp shots and the stage, not exactly an outrageous task, but certainly challenging. Bullet Catch and Metamorphosis are more challenging since they require the inner loop shot to advance the first step (of course the magic standup targets can always advance you one step through each mode). Milkcan Escape is a very, very difficult mode, but also the most lucrative by far, and it also leaves you with the playfield multiplier raised up. I've completed it, but not very often, but getting two steps through, using the magic stand-up for one, is not uncommon. Key is to also leverage that increased playfield multiplier right after it by quickly starting a movie mode or another stage mode. It is also a great stack with a multiball, especially seance, where the magnets will often 'shoot' the milkcan loop shot for you.
All of the Movie modes are completable, as they are heavily focused on orbits and ramp shots, and none require the inner loop or the milkcan shot. It is the easiest mini-wizard mode to get to, which is extremely valuable. Quite a few people have gotten there, but you need to give it some focus. The key is you have to be sure you are using your flippers to complete FILM, so that each shot to the innerLoop is starting a mode, and with a little planning you can get have a couple start with Trunk Multiball. Man from Beyond, with its three stages is a little more challenging (especially when the lights go out) but also a favorite of many owners.
Anyone who has played, knows Seance Multiball is pretty easy to start, the key is to make sure you stack it with a mode like Needles.
Houdini was designed to do well on location for operators and to give a home owners a game that will challenge and entertain them for a long time. It is not a game you will get bored of quickly, it gives you a lot for the money. Is it for everyone, absolutely not, few if any games are, but for those who enjoy a challenge and for those who want to improve as a player, for those who want depth and breadth so it stays interesting, Houdini is the game for you.
Oh, and it is also one of the nicest looking games ever made.

great input from the inspired pinball designer. How the heck do you light chain link inserts and what do the colors mean? I see three groupings of 5 links - does collecting them all help ????

Presets go a long way towards adding enjoyment and I feel that change will be well received. People afraid of adjusting each setting can choose a preset and have adjustments made for them. Curious why factory settings would be the current option where only 10%(?) of players would want to use them, rather than making the beginner or the enthusiast preset the factory setting since it might apply to 90%. That way machines going on location are ready for the public and a brand new home buyer will also be set. Experienced folks know about the menu and would go there to adjust the game to more difficult. Suggest naming current factory default as the "Mean" setting.

#49 5 months ago

Look, the game is super cool, and can be fun, but the shots are awkward, balls take forever, and making the shots aren't particularly satisfying.

#50 5 months ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

great input from the inspired pinball designer. How the heck do you light chain link inserts and what do the colors mean? I see three groupings of 5 links - does collecting them all help ????

From what I can tell they are linked to the modes, combos, missions, films. For instance, completing a combo 1 (ramp + scoop) (magenta insert) will light a magenta link. Other groups like film are cyan and things like jail escape are green. I'll play tonight to really confirm but from the top of my head that's what happens.

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