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(Topic ID: 100655)

Recap on visit to Pinballz Arcade in Austin, Tx

By GreyhoundAggie

6 years ago

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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Paul_from_Gilroy
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    #1 6 years ago

    Got to visit Pinballz Arcade in Austin last Saturday.

    They definitely have a huge selection of games. It was a good chance to try some machines I had heard about but never had the opportunity to play.

    The pros: Large game selection from old school EM's to a brand new WOZ. They have a snack bar and bar inside for anyone who wants anything from alcohol on down. Plenty of other video games too and very family friendly. Also open til 2AM on the weekends.

    The cons: Games are very overpriced to play. Average cost per pinball game was $0.75 with some of the newer popular games like MM and Star Trek costing $1.00. WOZ was $1.25 per play. So even though they have lots of games to try, your money doesn't go nearly as far as it should.

    Some of the games weren't kept in great shape. Some weak flippers. If you want to buy one of their games, prepare to sell your first born. $4500 for The Shadow with complete Sanctum burn through (they had it taped over), $3000 for High Speed, and the low low price of $19,995 for MM.

    The games I got to try:

    The Shadow - Fun and fast. I drained very quickly. Wasn't too sure of how to proceed.

    Banzai Run - Unique game with the upper playfield. Was a lot of fun and the ball carrier toy was cool. Played a couple times. Can dfefinitely see why people like it.

    Bride of Pinbot - Got drain monstered very fast. Good looking game though.

    Indiana Jones (Orig) - Tons of fun. Enjoyed the mini games in the DMD. Could definitely see owning this one.

    Iron Man - Insanely fast. Got drained before I knew what hit me. Looks like a great game to own though

    Black Rose - Played this 4 or 5 times. Had a lot of fun. Wasn't as complicated as others but really enjoyed the minigames and a fun theme. The cannon popping out of the playfield is a neat toy. Could see owning this one for the right price.

    Theatre of Magic - Great game. Lots of different shots and a cool playfield. Had a lot of fun and can see why it's top 10. Would be fun to own.

    ST:TNG - Lots of ramp shots and hole shots. Multiple missions in game. The cannons are a neat toy. The voice acting makes it a lot of fun and being a huge fan of the show made it that much better.

    So all in all it was a fun trip. I will definitely go back just because they are about the only place around to try a lot of the different games. Just sucks they overcharge. But I will definitely put some time in here when I am ready to grab another pin and decide on which couple to focus on next.

    #2 6 years ago

    I would pay triple the price per game to have this arcade in my area!! I got a chance to visit last year, and was blown away. Love the place. Can't wait to get back there.

    #3 6 years ago

    Definitely true. But charging people $0.50 a game to play galaga is a bit steep IMO.

    #4 6 years ago

    If you are local you can join and get discounted tokens. Even without that, I appreciate the opportunity to drop 50c into galaga at a place near by if I so desire! I really have no issue with the prices - it costs a lot just to cover upkeep & tax stamps let alone the rent and an ROI.

    I do agree that a little more maintenance would be nice.

    #5 6 years ago

    Yeah, those prices are there probably because they get tired of being asked if they would sell. So instead, they just price them high to begin with so they don't have to worry about it.

    We have a place here in OKC that kinda does the same. When they really are ready to sell a machine, they move it away from the other machines and lower it to a much more palatable price.

    #6 6 years ago

    Didn't know that btw. That would definitely help. And I agree it's nitpicking to complain about the prices when you get the chance to play so many different pins.

    We should try and meet up there sometime and play some pins.

    #7 6 years ago

    The pricing on the actual pinball machines themselves to purchase has been covered in other threads.

    Think about it, if you have a working machine that is constantly generating income you DON'T WANT TO SELL IT.

    For every machine they sell they have to go through the trouble of finding a replacement, refurbishing it e.t.c. and for what? Just so it can earn the same as the machine they just sold for a "good deal" to somebody?

    It's in their best interest to price the games high because they don't want to sell them.
    (And believe it or not, they DO end up selling games for those prices, in which case it's worth the trouble to find/refurbish/setup a replacement game)

    #8 6 years ago

    I gotcha fattrain. I said the same thing to my buddy. You make more money having it sit there. But if someone does want to buy make it worth your while.

    I still had a great time and will definitely go back.

    4 weeks later
    #9 6 years ago

    Dropped $20 there while travelling through TX that weekend. Amazing selection of games!


    Missing the DOD shot on an IM in the wylde. I was just happy to get there.

    My daughter playing a game of Hercules!

    Finally playing Haunted House (and getting owned in 2-player by my daughter)

    Getting a new personal high score on SM

    Experiencing Rollergames

    After we went through our tokens we went around the arcade and played everything with a credit or ball left in it, All share games!

    Nearly getting to the last Castle in MM. Furthest I've been.

    #10 6 years ago

    Fellow Austinite and Pinballz fan here! A agree with your assessment, games are not always shopped/maintained and can be a bit pricey. The TZ had weak flippers for months, but they just fixed it. But the selection is great. Couple of things: if you put a $20 in the token machine, you get $22 worth of tokens. Also, the owners are about to open another, larger Pinballz down I-35 near Buda. I'll wait to see if they get new games for that second location, or if they split up the pins from the original location.

    #11 6 years ago


    2 months later
    #12 5 years ago

    just got back from pinballz again. Great games of Robocop and Grand Lizard! and I finally figured out it's a BYOB place.

    5 months later
    #13 5 years ago

    Just wrapped up my first visit to pinballz. I don't care what tone OP says, 0.75 or a dollar for a game is not unreasonable. This isn't the 1980s, and where else can a guy find this selection of games to play outside of a pinball expo? nowhere.

    I spent almost 5 hours playing games that I have only seen in photos. Really enjoyed myself. The IM ate my tokens with a pinball missing error. The attendant, Trevor, was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. He said he does this part time a couple of nights a week and it is a chore keeping up with the older games. He's a true pinball guy, and has three games in his personal collection. Talking with Trevor was one of the highlights of my evening!

    Played a Hercules.... wow! Slooooooow! haha! I seemed to gravitate to alot of sterns....Wednesdays are throwback nights and they had one token specials on many games. Transformers was one of them and I played a ton of games on it. Banzai Run is really cool!

    I almost felt overwhelmed with the choices...I wanted to play them all! they have their hook in me.... I'll Be Back!

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from Blitzburgh99:

    I don't care what tone OP says, 0.75 or a dollar for a game is not unreasonable.

    I agree,
    For the space Pinballz takes up, it's quite a value in this day and age. Especially since they need every bit of $$$ to keep it up and running!
    Here was my "visual" visit a couple years back... (for those that might be curious.)

    #15 5 years ago

    Looks awesome. Hope to make it there sometime soon.

    #16 5 years ago
    Quoted from Blitzburgh99:

    I don't care what tone OP says, 0.75 or a dollar for a game is not unreasonable.

    DMD's - Cactus Jack's in OKC negligible distance difference (10 miles by google maps..). Games play SUBSTANTIALLY better than Pinballz, IMO, and almost all are 75 cents.

    Solid states - Pinballz. CJ's basically has a handful of sys 11's and that's it. The only pre-DMDs standing out in my head are BOP and High Speed... Pinballz has waaaaaay more, and I actually had less issues with these than I did their DMDs. Banzai Run, Centaur, and Sorceror were a few that I got to play last time I was there that were real fun and played well.

    EM's - Don't even waste your time. Pinballz has or had a few (three last time I was there) but they were so badly playing I wouldn't have even bought them for 500 bucks off them, much less their asking prices...they're so bad they're just "sucker traps" for free quarters for the business IMO. CJ's has none. I wish they'd just not have EM''s more of a disappointment to see them and then they are out of order or play really badly than to not see them there in the first place.

    So depending on distance and preference of type of game, at least from D/FW....we have a choice, thankfully. Wish Pinballz could find a balance between quantity/quality, seems like Darren has made a sacrifice in quality area to have the quantity and variety. I guess if I had to summarize it, Pinballz is the place I will go to play some oddball games when I am already in the area. I am not playing any games that are available locally to me due to the price, and I'm specifically seeking out games that I have NOT played before any time I am at Pinballz..

    CJ's is the place I would travel to when I want to play a great example of a DMD game I might be interested in purchasing, but am on the fence and need to put some games on something that will resemble what my games at home will end up playing like.

    It wasn't out of line to say that 1.25 for WOZ or 1.00 for ST pro is bonkers. ST pro is 75 cents at CJ's, 50 cents at our local movie theater, and pretty sure unless it's changed, 25 or 30 cents at Nickelrama which is a HELL of a lot closer to us than either. It's all about knowing what you're in for and going for specific things....

    1 month later
    #17 5 years ago

    I visited Pinballz on Research Boulevard a couple days ago. Very nice collection of pins. I like going to a place like Pinballz (or PHOF, or PAGG, or whatever) and coming out of there with a modified wish-list in my head (that mental list, in the back of my head, of games I might want to own someday). So, this time, based on fun factor, Monopoly stayed on my wish list. I don't know why I like it as it isn't a very highly rated game. I play it every chance I get trying to figure that out! Scared Stiff moved higher. Black Rose moved lower.

    As others have noted, quite a few games had problems. One had a stuck UR flipper, a few had switch problems. If I owned a place like Pinballz, I'd probably go nuts trying to keep every pin in tip top shape all the time.

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