(Topic ID: 89790)

Pinballs that are non-pinhead friendly


By StrangelovePhD

5 years ago



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  • 70 posts
  • 58 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 68 days ago by phil-lee
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 5 years ago

What are some pinball machines that are fun for non-pinball players and preferable fun for pinball players, too? I don't want my pinball collection to be a set of games that only I play because they are too difficult or hard to understand. The ones I have Shadow, Judge Dredd, Dracula, and South Park are with the exception of SP maybe a little too mean to new players.

#2 5 years ago

BBH has a very simple rule set.

#3 5 years ago

Fish tales. Simple and addictive game with great artwork.

#5 5 years ago

South Park. Novices at the arcade near me seem to love it. Shot are big, so aim doesn't have to be the best. Easy to understand since the shots are repetitive.

#6 5 years ago

Non pinheads tend to gravitate to games with obvious things to do (large toy to shoot at like the castle on mm) or themes they know, like Gillian's island or Adams family.

#7 5 years ago

TAF
TFLE
PoTC
BDK
FGY
WCS
LOTR (friendly noob appeal with advanced players ruleset)

#8 5 years ago
Quoted from 85Txaggie:

South Park. Novices at the arcade near me seem to love it. Shot are big, so aim doesn't have to be the best. Easy to understand since the shots are repetitive.

Good call, the OP should definitely buy a South Park, why didn't he think of that?!

#9 5 years ago

I had a similar issue. I added an RFM to my collection.

The in-laws were over last night and they understood and enjoyed RFM in a way that DW never seems to for them.

#10 5 years ago

Bally Strikes and Spares

#11 5 years ago

Well, I got sick and couldn't make it to Allentown, and sent my girlfriend and her best friend with a list of games to play that I was interested in considering for a second pin. Maybe it's because they're girls, or not true pinheads, but they loved WOZ. I sent them with cash and my credit card and almost ended up 9k poorer. They also really liked Metallica, but when they got back I kept hearing about WOZ and how the ECLE or RR would be great in the house.

So, I think WOZ appeals to the ladies, but in general my impression was that the newer flashier pins with lots of bells and whistles were what stood out to at least those two specific non-pinheads.

#12 5 years ago

Jackbot was the favorite for the under 11 crowd this weekend at my house.

#13 5 years ago

Is demolition man a good non-pinhead pin? Are system 11 games more attractive for being straight forward or do they not get that much play because they don't have a dmd?

#14 5 years ago

TFTC, World Cup Soccer,Indy 500, scared Stiff come to mind as just pure fun and nice shots fast play.

#15 5 years ago

On the cheaper end of the spectrum, there's Big Hurt.

Baseball theme where it's very easy to get multiball. The kids love that one.

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from n0s4atu:

Maybe it's because they're girls, or not true pinheads, but they loved WOZ.

Makes sense. Definitely aren't any men or true pinheads that enjoy WOZ.

#18 5 years ago

Rather than focusing on particular games, I've thrown a lot of parties over the years and have averaged about 15 or more games available at each party and I've noticed some general patterns in terms of what games are less friendly for inexperienced pinball players, especially if one ignores the lure of specific themes:

(1) If the game has more than two flippers (it is hard enough for inexperienced players to deal with two flippers).

(2) Similar to above, if the game has an upper flipper and requires a cross-playfield shot, inexperienced players will generally ignore the upper flipper - this will lead to frustration as the upper flipper is often required to do well in games or necessary to prevent frequent ball drains.

(3) If the game has more than one cabinet button on each side that are a key element of game play(e.g., Shadow ramp diverter buttons, Black Knight magna save buttons, Dungeons and Dragons outlane blocker buttons). Inexperienced players are nervous enough dealing with one button on each side. One exception might be WCS with extra button for magna save - novices just ignore it and that doesn't really matter to much in the case of this particular game.

(4) If game does real, physical "lock" of balls and the game does not make it obvious or clear that a ball has been locked and a new ball has been served to the plunger. I've seen novice players sit there and look for the ball that has been locked for a few minutes and then just give up and walk away without realizing a different ball is in plunger lane.

(5) Novices love seeing cool toys as long as it isn't too hard to understand what they do or how they integrate with play (e.g., if the glove in JM happens to be working, good luck trying to explain to a novice pinball player how to use it and why they even care - similar issue with crane in DM and many other interactive toys - probably reason why most frequent interactive toys in pinball machines are bash the toy ones).

(6) If the game has features that require using something other than the cabinet buttons after ball is plunged (e.g., HS II Shifter, plunger switch becoming Gun Shooter as in STTNG/ DH).

Note that there are exceptions to these rules, for example, when theme is a big lure to game (I've had to teach numerous people how to use the gun in DH because they saw this game and just had to play it due to theme - luckily, I can make sure they choose to shoot the gun with skill shot choice and can show them right away how to shoot gun - similary, I'd have folks choose the skill shot in STTNG that loads the gun on first game, first ball for same reason). However, sometimes rules closely linked to game themes can be a turnoff. Take for example, the first step in Dr. Who - I've seen folks walk away from that game before they even start because they are asked to make the choice between doctors. A novice pinball player's fear of playing just gets reinforced by facing right at the start a decision choice that totally confuses and scares them.

#20 5 years ago

Many of my friends/family have enjoyed playing Big Guns. It is pretty straightforward to explain and the cannons are definitely a fun little gimmick. Also, for multiplayer it is great to try and steal each others locked balls. This also gives someone the opportunity for multiball who might not have been able to lock 3 balls on their own. Even my parents loved it (I have never seen them play a pinball or video game in my life), they recently visited for a weekend and couldn't stop playing it the entire time. It actually woke me up some mornings!

#21 5 years ago

High Speed, Pinbot/Jackbot, Cyclone, Taxi, Whirlwind, BOP

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from n0s4atu:

Well, I got sick and couldn't make it to Allentown, and sent my girlfriend and her best friend with a list of games to play that I was interested in considering for a second pin. Maybe it's because they're girls, or not true pinheads, but they loved WOZ. I sent them with cash and my credit card and almost ended up 9k poorer. They also really liked Metallica, but when they got back I kept hearing about WOZ and how the ECLE or RR would be great in the house.
So, I think WOZ appeals to the ladies, but in general my impression was that the newer flashier pins with lots of bells and whistles were what stood out to at least those two specific non-pinheads.

I think I spent some time showing them the game, they started talking to Jack and everyone had smiles on their faces.

#23 5 years ago

Personally I would balk on the Taxi, this game, while easy to understand the rules, the actual shots are very difficult to make and the game is very fast as well. It's my favorite but it's difficult.

I'd say Diner. Fun theme easy to explain lots of character and you don't have to get the jackpot all in one ball

#24 5 years ago

There is one thing in common with all newbies: they only shoot up the middle.

So then the best games for newbies are ones where constantly shooting up the middle will cause something interesting and meaningful to happen.

Doctor Who, is probably the best I've found that is like this. Players can simply keep shooting up the middle and get the multiball. All up the middle they can: shoot locks, wail on some targets, shoot into dalek gates, and watch the balls fall towards you for multiball.

I also have Road Show, which you'd think is similar: shoot up the middle and wail on Ted's dozer blade, then shoot the locks to start multi ball. But newbies simply cannot make the lock shot required to start it — it's a tough shot.

WCS is a good one, getting goals is fun for everyone.

Another good one is Junk Yard. Wailing on the wrecking ball and shoot up the middle to start multiball is really fun for newbies too.

#25 5 years ago

Roadshow. Guests love it.

#26 5 years ago

I find that most guests can't master the lock shot, which they have to hit twice to start multi ball. Then the multiball has no ball saver so they flame out quickly and are disappointed with how much effort was spent achieving nothing.

DW has a ball saver and hitting daleks and hearing them scream feels like a jackpot to them, even when technically you have to get all three for a jackpot.

#27 5 years ago

In my limited experience I have noticed that noobs enjoy WHO Dunnit.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from accidental:

I find that most guests can't master the lock shot, which they have to hit twice to start multi ball. Then the multiball has no ball saver so they flame out quickly and are disappointed with how much effort was spent achieving nothing.

Yeah, but they don't care because the machine is fun and is humorous.

#31 5 years ago

Most non-pinheads that come over to play have spent the most time with the system 11s and Gottlieb system 1s that I've owned. Easy to understand.

Overall, Dr Dude, IJ, and Sinbad have been the most popular with the wife and family. They love playing a game or two on everything I've brought in, but they always keep pressing the start button on those three.

My stepdaughter wants a WOZ; my wife can't stand it.

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Yeah, but they don't care because the machine is fun and is humorous.

That's true!

It only takes one ball to advance to Friday, so hearing "[swoosh] OVERTIME!" over and over and over drives me mental

#33 5 years ago

at my house twister is picked most they like the spinning disc and the fan easy to lock balls and lots of multiballs

#34 5 years ago

Junk Yard. Even my mom can start multiball on that one.

#35 5 years ago

Tee'd Off gets played the most at my house by non pinheads. The theme is not intimidating, it's easy to understand, and the playfield colors are vibrant and attractive. It's a great game for people who don't play a lot of or know much about pinball! That, and they love being taunted by the gopher! "Are those range balls you're using???"

IMG_20131129_181051_797.jpg
#36 5 years ago

Non-pinhead friends pick up on Taxi really quick. Look for the flashing lighted passengers and take them for a ride, it don't get easier than that!

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from accidental:

Another good one is Junk Yard. Wailing on the wrecking ball and shoot up the middle to start multiball is really fun for newbies too.

Good call. It's a fun shot because the wrecking ball goes wild, it's a lot more fun than hitting a standup target or something.

#38 5 years ago

In my collection, WOZ and LOTR. Also STLE, the bright lights are hard to resist.

#39 5 years ago

A good non-pinhead pin at my bar is bonebusters. Going by the recommendations by iluvak9, it has a cool toy (talking topper), locked balls that you can see, easy rules, 3 main shots. And the game calls out where you should shoot.

Add to that a very goofy theme and people really like it.

Surprisingly people put more quarters in my SF2 than anything else so go figure!

Junk yard is a great call. I think cyclone is another fun and easy to pick up game, no multi ball and a fun spinner on the backglass.

#40 5 years ago

Out of my 15 working machines, Pirates of the Caribbean and Bad Cats get the most plays when new people play my machines.

#41 5 years ago

JD is very nonpinhead friendly. Have them start Super Game as it is easy to start mutliball.

#42 5 years ago

70s and 80s pins

#43 5 years ago

If you can afford it, Attack From Mars is probably one of the most rewarding for newer players. The center saucer shot is one of most satisfying relatively easy to get payouts and requires the least amount of rules understanding.

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from StrangelovePhD:

Is Demolition Man a good non-pinhead pin? Are system 11 games more attractive for being straight forward or do they not get that much play because they don't have a dmd?

I don't think so. At least, the multiball start shot is quite difficult, and the thing that newcomers find the most satisfying is the multiballs.

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from davjoszie:

In my limited experience I have noticed that noobs enjoy WHO dunnit.

Fun game easy toy

#46 5 years ago

Since we are a bunch of hockey fans, my friends love my Power Play.

#47 5 years ago

Lots of non-pinheads gravitate towards TOM, RS and TAF usually when they come over. They feel good after killing the center ramp on TOM and making the trunk rotate a few times till they step up to Demoman and get killed because they can't or don't have control of the ball. Demoman is usually the first pin that gets attention mainly because it has unique top handle controls but otherwise if they are not making their shots they go to the outlanes.

#48 5 years ago

Non pinheads seem to gravitate towards Fishtales, Road Show and Scared Stiff with the games I have. Visitors never play Twilight Zone....ever.

#49 5 years ago

Yeah Scared Stiff is a great one for newbies. The ramps are really smooth and easy to hit, the crate is fun, the leapers are interesting even when missing the ramps and hitting the stand ups and the theme is really well executed.

#50 5 years ago

I buy pins I like!

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