(Topic ID: 233240)

Pinball similar to Alien Star?


By Legilimens

4 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 38 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 86 days ago by mbaumle
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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Alien Star vs Tag Team Chart (resized).jpg

#1 4 months ago

I really enjoy the play style of Alien Star and it’s affordable, but it’s pretty rare and hard to find for sale anywhere near me.

I am new to pinball and interested in getting my own someday and would like a starter game similar to Alien Star. Wondering if there are other machines similar to it that I should check out.

Thanks!

#3 4 months ago

Yeah, what is it you like about alienstar more specifically? Lots to love but no other game really like it on the whole.

alienstar is awesome!

#4 4 months ago

I like the simplicity, combined with a multi ball, and the playfield setup.

pros: Fairly simple and straight forward, multi ball, decent artwork and sound (I like the theme), plays faster than the really old machines (pre 80s) but it isn’t quite crazy like some of the newer machines. I feel like it’s a good beginner machine where you can get the hang of it quickly and then work hard at mastering the mechanics of it.

#5 4 months ago

I looked at a list of all pins ordered by release date, and the only one of a similar age that stuck out to me was Super Orbit, though I can't really explain why.

You'd probably like Robo-War and TX Sector, though those are probably also hard to find.

#6 4 months ago

Tag Team

#7 4 months ago
Quoted from Legilimens:

I like the simplicity, combined with a multi ball, and the playfield setup.
pros: Fairly simple and straight forward, multi ball, decent artwork and sound (I like the theme), plays faster than the really old machines (pre 80s) but it isn’t quite crazy like some of the newer machines. I feel like it’s a good beginner machine where you can get the hang of it quickly and then work hard at mastering the mechanics of it.

ok, that helps. When you say multiball, I am going to assume it is the 2 ball mutiball that is part of that distinct flavor of the game. Also sounds like you specifically like the Gottlieb sound package and theming.

I will agree with Ryan that TX-Sector and RoboWar would be the closest.
Excalibur fits also, but that is a bigger focus on drop targets.
Maybe Devils Dare or ForceII, but less so based on pf dimensions and overall layout.

Tag Team is not in the same feel and more clunk and just not as well done on the whole so I would not include that one. It does have a certain flavor but not the same style as AlienStar for me.

I would likely toss in Starlight (sorry, that one will be much harder to find) if you want similar but Williams.
I would then suggest Fathom or Centaur is you want some similars but Bally.

#8 4 months ago

Sweet, thanks very much! I am going to look into these recommendations closer and keep playing pinball to find what I like!

Much appreciated!

#9 4 months ago
Quoted from Legilimens:

I like the simplicity, combined with a multi ball, and the playfield setup.

Take a hard look at Firepower. Simple, cheap, fast, space themed, and has multiball, and requires good aim and skill to master.

The suggestions by Whysnow are good, but all super expensive and/or hard to find.

#10 4 months ago

barracora

#11 4 months ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

I looked at a list of all pins ordered by release date, and the only one of a similar age that stuck out to me was Super Orbit, though I can't really explain why.

Super Orbit and Alien Star are two of my favorite games. I have them sitting next to each other.

I will say that they were both difficult to acquire but definitely worth the time and expense.

That 50x inlane shatz to a juiced spinner is effin’ awesome on Alien Star.

#12 4 months ago

Williams blackout seems to fit your needs.

#13 4 months ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

Take a hard look at Firepower.

oh yeah! another good one!

yes, completely space this one.

for sure fits the bill!

I would put Stern Meteor on the list also for a much cheap $ game that is similar in feel in some ways.

#14 4 months ago

9 ball is another one if you can find it.
Multiball, great spinner location.
Really good skill shot.

#15 4 months ago

Haunted House
Black Hole
Paragon
Gorgar
Black Knight
Firepower

#16 4 months ago
Quoted from donjagra:

Haunted House
Black Hole
Paragon
Gorgar
Black Knight
Firepower

Firepower is the only one of those i would call even remotely similar.

#17 4 months ago

Ice Fever is another good one with the same spinner rules.

Sorcerer has a similar multiplier rule in multiball and the artwork is awesome.

Alien Star is really something special though

#18 4 months ago
Quoted from donjagra:

Haunted House
Black Hole
Paragon
Gorgar
Black Knight
Firepower

I do like the look of the Gorgar play style, but I’m not crazy about the play field art.

Black knight seems pretty cool too. I like the separate play level that’s isolated. I’ve got homework to do!

Thanks everybody for the great input thus far!

#19 4 months ago

Super Orbit is a simple game with spinner and good space theme. Not the easiest game to find but price is reasonable.

#20 4 months ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

I looked at a list of all pins ordered by release date, and the only one of a similar age that stuck out to me was Super Orbit, though I can't really explain why.
You'd probably like Robo-War and TX Sector, though those are probably also hard to find.

Liking the look of robo-war!

#21 4 months ago
Quoted from Legilimens:

Liking the look of robo-war!

If you got a computer with a halfway descent video card you can at least try the games first before you go out and buy em.
obviously it isn't real pinball, but it gives you a descent feel for the game. Plus it's all free, all made from a dedicated community.

https://vpinball.com/VPBdownloads/robowar-vpx/
https://vpinball.com/VPBdownloads/firepower-williams-1981-v1-0-3/
https://www.vpforums.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=11668
https://www.vpforums.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=12639

#22 4 months ago

Just curious, what's a clean and very nice Alien Star going for these days?

John

#23 4 months ago
Quoted from Dayhuff:

Just curious, what's a clean and very nice Alien Star going for these days?
John

not enough info to go off.

Post up some pictures of all the good stuff. Board, PF, Bglass, shopped, LEDs, how are the displays.

Like most games the range is huge.

#24 4 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

not enough info to go off.
Post up some pictures of all the good stuff. Board, PF, Bglass, shopped, LEDs, how are the displays.
Like most games the range is huge.

Yeah I understand. I don't have pictures but the game could be in my grasp down the road. Here's what I remember about it. Cabinet is very nice all around. Backglass looks great but once you get up close there looked to be some very slight lifting at the bottom but again hardly noticeable and I didn't see the backside. Playfield looked great too, I don't remember any real wear as I'm pretty sure it has factory mylar. Working 100% and recently shopped and cleaned. All plastics nice. This is a collector quality game for sure and hard to find in any condition it sounds like.

John

#25 4 months ago

2500 is a general range without actual photos.

at least, I would be interested at that price.

I already have an AlienStar but would really like to find a second in order to make one really nice restore.

#26 4 months ago
Quoted from Dayhuff:

Just curious, what's a clean and very nice Alien Star going for these days?
John

I sold a really nice one 10 years ago for $400. I had it next to Space Shuttle, and played Space Shuttle 10x as much as Alien Star. So with all things being equal, probably more than $400..... LOL

#27 4 months ago

LOL.......ok, thanks guys.

John

#28 4 months ago
Quoted from hocuslocus:

If you got a computer with a halfway descent video card you can at least try the games first before you go out and buy em.
obviously it isn't real pinball, but it gives you a descent feel for the game. Plus it's all free, all made from a dedicated community.
https://vpinball.com/VPBdownloads/robowar-vpx/
https://vpinball.com/VPBdownloads/firepower-williams-1981-v1-0-3/
https://www.vpforums.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=11668
https://www.vpforums.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=12639

Yeah I’m not too crazy about the video game versions, but good tip.

I’m not going to buy anything without playing it first.. I’m making a list of games I’m interested in and then finding out where I can play them.

#29 4 months ago

Flash Gordon is also an amazing game from that era.

#30 4 months ago

Almost any Bally or Stern from 77-81.

2 weeks later
#31 3 months ago

Did you find anything? Sorcerer, Space Shuttle, or Firepower would be the way to go.

1 week later
#32 3 months ago
Quoted from Frippertron:

Did you find anything? Sorcerer, Space Shuttle, or Firepower would be the way to go.

Nothing yet, but I’m still on the prowl. I’ve been finding some machines nearby to play and soon I’ll be going to someplace that has a plethora. I’ve been monitoring the market here, but nothing in the realm of realistically close enough that I could go and play test.

#33 3 months ago
Quoted from Legilimens:

Nothing yet, but I’m still on the prowl. I’ve been finding some machines nearby to play and soon I’ll be going to someplace that has a plethora. I’ve been monitoring the market here, but nothing in the realm of realistically close enough that I could go and play test.

An excellent plan. You are wise beyond your post count. Hang in there, you'll find something eventually.

#34 3 months ago

I'd personally say Firepower II over Firepower 1.

Did anybody suggest Xenon? That seems an obvious candidate.

#35 3 months ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

Did anybody suggest Xenon? That seems an obvious candidate.

ugggh not even remotely IMHO. That is a boring turd of a game propped up by pretty art.

#36 3 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

ok, that helps. When you say multiball, I am going to assume it is the 2 ball mutiball that is part of that distinct flavor of the game. Also sounds like you specifically like the Gottlieb sound package and theming.
I will agree with Ryan that TX-Sector and RoboWar would be the closest.
Excalibur fits also, but that is a bigger focus on drop targets.
Maybe Devils Dare or ForceII, but less so based on pf dimensions and overall layout.
Tag Team is not in the same feel and more clunk and just not as well done on the whole so I would not include that one. It does have a certain flavor but not the same style as AlienStar for me.
I would likely toss in Starlight (sorry, that one will be much harder to find) if you want similar but Williams.
I would then suggest Fathom or Centaur is you want some similars but Bally.

Just bored at work so figured I'd argue my case. I've included a side by side diagram of the playfields. The color lines and circles denote things that the games have in common. The white areas are things that I view as different between the machines.

Alien Star vs. Tag Team: Are the Games Similar?

Similarities:
1. Both games are made by the same company in roughly the same time frame (roughly 1 year apart) and even share the same designer.
2. Both games use a saucer as a ball lock. While Alien Star only has one saucer and a 2-ball multiball, Tag Team has two saucers and thus a 3-ball multiball.
3. Both games for you to spell words by hitting targets to light the locks. Alien Star = ALIEN (lock lower left) , Tag Team = TAG (lock upper left) TEAM (lock lower right)
4. Both games have an inlane to spinner shot/rule, and both games this shot is Shatz-able.
5. Both games have 3 pop bumpers all located in the upper half of the playfield.
6. Both games have playfield scoring multipliers in multiball.
7. Both games have a method to multiply your bonus.
8. Both games possess and orbital shot that feeds the pops, denoted in a curved purple line.
9. Both games plunge into the upper rollover lanes and feed the pops.
10. The inlane and flipper geometry is very similar if not identical between the machines.

Differences:
1. The most obvious difference to me is the inclusion of the third flipper on Tag Team.
2. Tag Team uses drop targets where Alien Star instead uses standup targets.
3. The kicker shot on the lower left is what starts the multiball on Tag Team, although this shot is similar to the lock shot to start multiball on Alien Star I believe it makes the multiball more difficult to achieve and is again a difference.
4. Tag Team has a virtual ball save on the lower left with its dual outlane design. Again, to me, this is an additional feature that potentially improves gameplay.
5. Tag Team has roving bonus collect shot that provides more varied scoring opportunities and strategy potential.
6. Alien Star has the randomized award collection via coordination of the standup targets and upper rollover lanes.

I believe based on the evidence I have provided in this list as well as the corroborating photographic and diagramed evidence you can now see that these two games, again designed by the same company, at roughly the same time, by the same person actually have a lot in common in their layouts, rules, and overall gameplay.

Alien Star vs Tag Team Chart (resized).jpg

2 weeks later
#37 86 days ago

Dang Tsskinne. An epic comparison. I appreciate you taking the time to do that. If I could upvote twice I would!

#38 86 days ago

I'm suddenly interested in buying a Tag Team pinball machine.

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