Here's my review. Got to play close to 20 games at Arcade Expo in CA.
I agree with what a lot of people say; this game does not feel or play like a wide body. The game design is stellar, top notch; Eric did an amazing job. Every shot feels good. The rules & code utilize the entire play field very well.
The far left orbit shot on videos shows a magnet that blocks the loop shot and diverts the ball back down the left loop. This looked uninspiring on the video, but in reality the magnet really whips the ball back down the loop. It was really a neat feature.
Chest shot; when the shot was a pass thru it whips around to the upper flipper. Good shot. With the chest ramp up, it's a very brickable shot. This shot is probably the most concerning for me overall. It felt cool when you made the shot, but it bricks a lot. Im hoping production games have a solution and/or there's an easy fix adjustment to make it not so ejectable.
The upper flipper shot was very cool and satisfying. The Maelstrom whirlpool does obstruct the top part of the shot; but after a few plays I got the feel for it and was making loops like crazy. It was very satisfying and fun to hit some loops and decide whether it was time to shoot gold targets and collect gold. One time I hit about 6 loops then nailed the gold targets and collected a TON of gold playing as Gibbs. More on that later.
The right ramp to the boat play field is steep and tough. It's much better than it appears but if you don't get it up there, get ready for a brutal return.
The mini boat play field was actually way cooler than I thought it would be. I was able to load the cannon probably 6-7 times; unfortunately, the coil was very weak and could never make it to the other ship.
As far as overall gameplay and rules. This thing is a masterpiece homerun. Everyone did their job...Eric, Keith, Joe, JP, David, etc...This game feels good, looks good, sounds good, plays good, and keeps you on your toes. The PIRATE Lanes are BAD ASS!! So inventive and intuitive. It was much harder than the design team makes it look on the streams to toggle through lane rewards let alone get all 6 lanes lit. I didn't focus too much with the multiplier rules until my last few games where I started getting the hang of the rewards. Overall, this is a very fun feature. Gathering gold is also very fun! Being able to repeat loop shots and decide when to cash out by hitting the gold targets and then collect that cash out with the action button was cool. Way better than doing the tie fighter button mashing in SW. I didn't focus too much on chapters and such since most the wizard modes aren't coded in yet. So My go to characters were Black Beard, Gibbs, & Jack Sparrow - though I did try a few of the others. With black beard I was able to get a huge multiball stack going and started getting some super X's going which ended with a good 560k GC score. But, it wasn't til my last game of the night that I broke that GC score playing as Gibbs. Utilizing what Keefer said in the stream 'it's important to focus on each character's strengths'; I went straight for gold with Gibbs. At one time I looped around 6 shots, hit the gold targets and collected nuggets upon nuggets galore. It was still ball 1 so I decided it was best not to start Tortuga mb with that huge gold collect, but rather get some other multi balls ready and I did just that. It wasn't til that game that I realized how bad ass the Tortuga multiball sound effects and call outs were. I was able to get Maelstrom and Tortuga going, then kept resurrecting multi balls either with add a ball or by starting another multiball just in the nick of time. It was very satisfying! During this chaos I did happen to look at one of my chapter values and it was inching close to 4k so I kept hammering away at the chapter modes. I think I got through 3 or 4 chapter modes of that movie that game. In the end, I blew up that Tortuga multiball with over a 100 gold going in playing as Gibbs and cracked my previous GC for just over a million and had 230 gold champ as well.
All in all; this game is exciting! it keeps you on your toes; you have to think fast and think ahead. It has great shots, fun toys, crazy diverters, wild ball feeds, lots of strategy, feel good moments followed with exciting call outs and more importantly, that one more game feel - it has tons of aspects that make you feel rewarded. This game smokes any other newer game out on the market now. Owners will not be disappointed. I don't see any other game out now, and possibly ever, that can match up to this pin. Yes, it is that good! For me, its not a matter of IF I'll get one, but when.