(Topic ID: 40005)

So...Orbitor 1....What? Why?


By Astropin

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 84 posts
  • 57 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by dothedoo
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 2 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

IMG_4390.JPG
orbitor1.jpg

There are 84 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
-5
#1 7 years ago

We've all seen it, many of us have played it (once probably). Why does it exist and why is it worth more......check that.....why is it worth anything at all?

889 were made. Personally that's 889 too many. It's not fun, it's not pretty, it's not "inventive" or even very "interesting". Some ideas are just bad.......clearly.

If I had been the head of Stern at the time I would have told the person(people) who presented the idea to me to "get the F out of my office.....Oh, and stay off the LSD!"

Now you can say "they were just trying to think outside the box". Or it was "an exercise of imagination ", but that doesn't make it a good idea. Think outside the box all you want......hell maybe even make a prototype; but how the heck did it get past the prototype stage?

Call me crazy but pinball must have a reasonable amount of skill involved to be interesting. Hell, even pre flipper machines had more skill involved just from the ball launch alone.

#2 7 years ago

The plus side is that a risk was taken in pinball design. Such a creative risk would never be taken today, especially when it can't be tied to a Marvel property. Heh.

Yeah, there's one at my local haunt, and it almost never gets played. The most despicable act during a tourney was committed by a friend a while back: He chose this machine for a tourney round. He won it. The rest of us got frustrated by it.

As for PF design, there honestly isn't much going on with it. There's too much of a focus on the surface of it, and it ends right there.

#3 7 years ago

I kind of agree. I've played this game several times. I actually do like it, but only on occasion. I'm good for about one game, and then I find it boring and need to move on to the next game. I would never actually buy one. In a large enough collection, maybe. Probably not.

#4 7 years ago

Eh, I dunno. I wouldn't want it as my only game, but I wouldn't complain if I had one to play from time to time. From a business standpoint, though? Probably a terrible idea.

#5 7 years ago

The "why reason" is easy the video games were hot back then and the pinball companies were hurting and were trying anything to make sales and lure players back to the games. Stern was the smallest company and probably was the one hurting the most so they were willing to try just about anything. There were some truly great games with incredible game play made by all the pinball companies in that era but it wasn't doing much to pull the players away from the video games. Williams and Bally had their own oddball games like Rapid Fire and Hyperball around then too The same sort of thing is happening these days with the I phones and Smart phones and video games.

#6 7 years ago

So you suck at it

#7 7 years ago
Quoted from bangerjay:

So you suck at it

Ha! In other words, yes! But, if you want to take a run at a $10 game...say...while playing on a treadmill at 10mph...I'm there!

#8 7 years ago

I'd like to find one locally to buy, I've always had a good time playing Orbitor 1.

#9 7 years ago

More skill to it than meets the eye, but unfortunately, most people find it too frustrating. Completing the top drops and spelling Orbitor is no easy feat.

If you think it's difficult to play, try working on one!!

#10 7 years ago

It so unusual I would love to have one. Certainly not for a small collection but interesting to play.

Here's play tip. When the ball is behind the flippers and rolling towards them and the drain hole, hit and hold both buttons so the flippers are engaged forward. The ball will warp around the drain hole and float in front of the flippers back into play.
Its counter intuitive I know but that makes it interesting. Also your competitors will call it stupid luck.

Kudo's to old Stern for taking a chance.

Kim

#11 7 years ago

It's plenty inventive.

Quoted from rmarket:

The "why reason" is easy the video games were hot back then and the pinball companies were hurting and were trying anything to make sales and lure players back to the games. Stern was the smallest company and probably was the one hurting the most so they were willing to try just about anything. There were some truly great games with incredible game play made by all the pinball companies in that era but it wasn't doing much to pull the players away from the video games. Williams and Bally had their own oddball games like Rapid Fire and Hyperball around then too The same sort of thing is happening these days with the I phones and Smart phones and video games.

Exactly.

#12 7 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

We've all seen it, many of us have played it (once probably). Why does it exist and why is it worth more......check that.....why is it worth anything at all?
889 were made. Personally that's 889 too many. It's not fun, it's not pretty, it's not "inventive" or even very "interesting". Some ideas are just bad.......clearly.
If I had been the head of Stern at the time I would have told the person(people) who presented the idea to me to "get the F out of my office.....Oh, and stay off the LSD!"
Now you can say "they were just trying to think outside the box". Or it was "an exercise of imagination ", but that doesn't make it a good idea. Think outside the box all you want......hell maybe even make a prototype; but how the heck did it get past the prototype stage?
Call me crazy but pinball must have a reasonable amount of skill involved to be interesting. Hell, even pre flipper machines had more skill involved just from the ball launch alone.

I disagree with this entire premise.

I think Orbitor 1 is an amazing game and I would gladly add it to my collection if one could be found in my area.

Once you get past its unique nature, there are quite a few exercises in skill required to do well in the game. You have to hit the drops. You have to hit the spinners. You have to spell Orbitor. There is a multiball that can be earned.

I am very glad that Stern took the chance to make a unique game.

Marcus

#13 7 years ago

I used to feel the same way about this one until I played John Dayhuff's Orbitor 1. A fine example of the game and totally crazy fun.

If I ever got my hands on one, I'd find a way to retheme it to skateboarding. Had they done that, they'd have had a hit.

#14 7 years ago

I both loathe and love the game. I would never buy one, but I respect it.

#15 7 years ago

I don't quite understand the hate toward this machine.

Mine gets a lot of play, especially from non-pinball people. They just think it's totally crazy and since they don't really play any game with much skill, it works out nicely for them. After owning it for 15 years, the novelty has long since worn off for me. But I do still play it on occasion.

I will say there are a lot of tricks in the game that aren't obvious when only playing the game a few times. Naturally, keeping the flippers front to have the ball go back to the main playfield is fun . . but what's more fun is getting it to do a complete loop behind the flippers.

My biggest complaints about it are:
#1- If the ball has no momentum and gets to the center, it can take a while for the spinners to kick it back out. Maybe my spinners just need to be "stickier", I'm not sure.
#2- The minimum ball time is super annoying and I don't think it can be disabled. So when somebody who REALLY sucks is playing it, you keep hearing "shoot ball again, shoot ball again"

#16 7 years ago

I've only seen one that I can recall, and that was ages ago....

Seems like something that'd be easier to enjoy if you don't go into it thinking of it as a pinball, but rather as a different sort of game. If you're anticipating a completely different experience, seems it'd be a lot easier to enjoy.

#17 7 years ago

Here's more information about the history of Orbitor 1:
http://www.flippers.be/stern_orbitor_one_history.html

Personally I love the game. Had one for years and regret selling it.
It's a fun game. You can learn how to play it.

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from Goonie:

Ha! In other words, yes! But, if you want to take a run at a $10 game...say...while playing on a treadmill at 10mph...I'm there!

I seem to remember you backing out of that. Sir or maam

#19 7 years ago

I think it was a fun and interesting departure from the norm. I consider myself lucky to have owned one. Just remember nobody bought pins for home use back then. It would have been way cool to see one in an arcade back in the day.

#20 7 years ago
Quoted from bangerjay:

I seem to remember you backing out of that. Sir or maam

Hmmm, I don't recall being asked. But, given my attire that evening, I probably would not have said yes.

#21 7 years ago
Quoted from GWalton:

#2- The minimum ball time is super annoying and I don't think it can be disabled. So when somebody who REALLY sucks is playing it, you keep hearing "shoot ball again, shoot ball again"

I heard there was a ROM set that took this out. Not sure if it is true.

I own one, I love it. You HAVE to know drop catching to make it work, and really think about the momentum of the curves. If you can manage that, you actually need a lot of skill to make it work. You can do it though, and when you it is a unique feeling. Won't be leaving here

#22 7 years ago

At the time it was made, they were trying anything to make a pinball machine that could compete with the income levels of video games.

They were hoping this was it.

LTG : )

#23 7 years ago

It's a fun game that probably entertains guests more than any other.

It's a game that has everyone laughing (and swearing) - totally cool.

#24 7 years ago

Maybe they were just trying to make something that would suck quarters even faster than the average pinball machine.

In that, they probably succeeded.

#25 7 years ago

I own this game, so there may be some bias, but I think it is really fun and does require a lot of skill to do well. I understand why a lot of people don't like it, because there is much more randomness to it, but to say it doesn't require skill is just incorrect. I like to think of it as pure pinball entertainment. I love watching the ball do all the weird movements, and trying to predict where it will go. You just need to back off your competitive side, relax and have fun!

I actually love the way the game looks, but I love the early 80's sci-fi themes. The cabinet leaves a lot to be desired though.

As has been mentioned before, you must master the drop catch to be able do well. Also, the unique skill of saving the ball from behind the flippers is a lot of fun.

I have ROMS a friend of mine modded to make it a 3 ball game, which is much better than the original timed one.

#26 7 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

We've all seen it, many of us have played it (once probably). Why does it exist and why is it worth more......check that.....why is it worth anything at all?
889 were made. Personally that's 889 too many. It's not fun, it's not pretty, it's not "inventive" or even very "interesting". Some ideas are just bad.......clearly.
If I had been the head of Stern at the time I would have told the person(people) who presented the idea to me to "get the F out of my office.....Oh, and stay off the LSD!"
Now you can say "they were just trying to think outside the box". Or it was "an exercise of imagination ", but that doesn't make it a good idea. Think outside the box all you want......hell maybe even make a prototype; but how the heck did it get past the prototype stage?
Call me crazy but pinball must have a reasonable amount of skill involved to be interesting. Hell, even pre flipper machines had more skill involved just from the ball launch alone.

I dont' think you fully understand this game. If you think there isn't skill to it. Why do the A players still win the tournaments involving this game. By a lot? I own this game, and they still constantly kick my ass at it. And for the skill shot. Do you even know what it is? If you think it's locking the ball. It's not.

This is ground breaking at it's finest. 1980, and it's the most unique pinball ever made. People that play mine, never forget it. Talk about it. Tell their friends about it (non pinheads) and then they are over to play it. So it must have some impact on non pinpeople. I love it because I love my games to have uniqueness to them.

#27 7 years ago

It's a museum piece for sure. It's super intereseting and one of a kind. It's weirdness peobably works against it and it becomes pretty annoying.

#28 7 years ago

its an apple orange deal, its just there have been severial thousand apples built and only one orange. hence the small but loyal following, not saying its my fav game all the time, but if the house was on fire i would most likely go for it first definatly hardest to find another in as good cond for somewhat reasonable price.

people play for different reasons, myself i like ball english, speed, and irregular motion. and orbitor 1 is most likely second to none so needless to say a must have.

point people would be better off suited to other games and real rule involved task and rule set people its not that you cant score points and there are task in the orbitor its just not its cup of tea,
balls & games can be short lived.

i find that the game is really friendler than most people think, the balls really want to stay in front of the flippers (if you let them) but thats where it gets kinda tricky, you play easy and soft and you have time to let the ball come out, you play hard and fast and it will come back alot faster a lot of split second dessions will need to be made.

i like sweepin the rear feild and laying down all 3 right side target bank in one destructive pass makes me smile every time.

short commings?, well i wish the captive ball lock was not obtainable from the shooting lane to easy to load, and i do most shots off left flipper, seems like most rear fast broad sweeps occur counter clockwise and wish it was a little more ballanced maybe.

other little things i really like about the unit is its a wide body, they freekin rock. play agressive and you can get lots of air ball, and with the room lights out & sound cranked up its just pretty cool exp.......

#29 7 years ago

I had one and sold it a few years ago. It probably would have had more staying power in my current collection, as opposed to the 4 I had at the time. I think the ROMs without minimum game times would definitely be a plus. Neo, what is the skill shot?, I don't recall...

#30 7 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

We've all seen it, many of us have played it (once probably). Why does it exist and why is it worth more......check that.....why is it worth anything at all?
889 were made. Personally that's 889 too many. It's not fun, it's not pretty, it's not "inventive" or even very "interesting". Some ideas are just bad.......clearly.
If I had been the head of Stern at the time I would have told the person(people) who presented the idea to me to "get the F out of my office.....Oh, and stay off the LSD!"
Now you can say "they were just trying to think outside the box". Or it was "an exercise of imagination ", but that doesn't make it a good idea. Think outside the box all you want......hell maybe even make a prototype; but how the heck did it get past the prototype stage?
Call me crazy but pinball must have a reasonable amount of skill involved to be interesting. Hell, even pre flipper machines had more skill involved just from the ball launch alone.

So why bring it up. Sounds like someone has some hidden Orbitor 1 issues.
I have on and love it, it not like any other machine, except for the other 888 of them.

#31 7 years ago

in a small collection, I agree it doesn't have long term staying power. But larger collection, it's unique value it's worth having.

For the true skill shot. You want the ball to go up and around and hit that yellow target that increases your spinner value. It's the only way to truly hit it with skill. The rest of the time it's random dumb luck. But it's also the game changer. That spinner value is key element in good scoring on that game.

#32 7 years ago

Only pinball machine that I have ever walked away from with balls left to play.

#33 7 years ago

I love it for it's quirkiness. And you can still hit targets with skill, you just cant cradle and shoot. your vitriol against it is a little out of place. I really can't stand CFTBL but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve to exist.

#34 7 years ago
Quoted from Bub:

So why bring it up.

Just trying to figure out what anyone see's in it. (Came across a video review of it recently and that reminded me of playing it at the PHOF).

Now I know......still don't agree but hey....to each their own.

#35 7 years ago

Like any game, you have to give it 50 plays to really know it.

Sometimes I read reviews on Pinside and they say "I really did not like the colors"....

#36 7 years ago

That game is nutty. I remember when I played it the ball literally 'orbited' around something in the middle if the playfield (I think a pop) for like 6 minutes. I walked away.

-2
#37 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Like any game, you have to give it 50 plays to really know it.
Sometimes I read reviews on Pinside and they say "I really did not like the colors"....

50 games aye? Of Orbitor 1.

I think I'd rather poke myself with a stick.

#38 7 years ago
Quoted from aeneas:

Here's more information about the history of Orbitor 1:
http://www.flippers.be/stern_orbitor_one_history.html

OT: Great web site you've got there.

#39 7 years ago

I have yet to find this to play one. Looks very interesting and might last in a big collection.

#40 7 years ago

Orbitor 1 is a f**ing awesome game, end of story... if you don't get it, don't knock it... Personally I love it and it will never leave my collection...

The unique playfield and challenge of 'reading the playfield' to aim shots never gets old, and the artwork, which is just rocks floating in space attracted by gravity, being mirrored perfectly by the spinning disks and the ball(s) orbiting them using the Earth's gravity is pure genius.

Quoted from Rascal_H:

I remember when I played it the ball literally 'orbited' around something in the middle if the playfield (I think a pop) for like 6 minutes. I walked away.

Clearly that particular game had a fault with the spinning disk... it was either spinning too slow or, more likely, the outer surface wasn't cleaned and it lost its traction... it needs to spin the ball to make it ride out of the dip... If it works properly the ball hits the disk about max 3 times before it's shot out, and with such incredible spin... combine that with the sloping walls of the playfield, and you have some crazy ball action... think wall of death...

People think Tron is cool due to the ball spin... that's nothing compared to the mighty O1!!

Quoted from Astropin:

50 games aye? Of Orbitor 1.

I think I'd rather poke myself with a stick.

The op's attitude of not wanting to give the game a fair chance probably explains his lack of understanding and appreciation for this masterpiece in pinball innovation...

#42 7 years ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

Orbitor 1 is a f**ing awesome game, end of story... if you don't get it, don't knock it.

That's like saying "Battlefield Earth" is an f**ing awesome movie, end of story... if you don't get it, don't knock it.

Sorry, doesn't work that way. It's a bad movie....period. I'm sure there are some people out there who loved it. Doesn't make it a good movie and it certainly doesn't stop most people from knocking it.

Quoted from pinballslave:

The unique playfield and challenge of 'reading the playfield' to aim shots never gets old, and the artwork, which is just rocks floating in space attracted by gravity, being mirrored perfectly by the spinning disks and the ball(s) orbiting them using the Earth's gravity is pure genius.

Playing it gets old for me.....rather quickly. Using the terrain (so to speak) and spinning disks to simulate gravity wasn't genius....it was obvious.

Quoted from pinballslave:

The op's attitude of not wanting to give the game a fair chance probably explains his lack of understanding and appreciation for this masterpiece in pinball innovation...

I tried to give it fair chance. (I've played it more than a few times but certainly not 50) I love space/astronomy/sci-fi.....and pinball. This one just didn't cut it for me.

-1
#43 7 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

That's like saying "Battlefield Earth" is an f**ing awesome movie, end of story... if you don't get it, don't knock it.

Sorry, doesn't work that way. It's a bad movie....period. I'm sure there are some people out there who loved it. Doesn't make it a good movie and it certainly doesn't stop most people from knocking it.

I'm just trying to counterbalance your blatant negativity of this game... You ask a question which you clearly have no interest in getting an answer to because when one is provided you reject it... I personally don't see this topic as anything other than to spread your hate of this game, which I can't see the benefit of...

Quoted from Astropin:

Using the terrain (so to speak) and spinning disks to simulate gravity wasn't genius....it was obvious.

So obvious that no-one else did it eh...

#44 7 years ago

Because how boring would it be if everyone only liked the same game?

What if everyone drove a Chevy Cavalier? How boring would that be?

Chris

#45 7 years ago

Yepper^^^^^^

-1
#46 7 years ago

By the way Mr Astropin, you say there's no skill involved in this game... but I call total BS on that one... there's more skill to this game than most other machines due to two things:

1) You have to read the playfield slope to hit what you're aiming at.
2) The ball can't be easily caught on the flippers to aim shots...

How you can say that clearly more skill = no skill is beyond belief... I'd suggest it's you who stays off the LSD!

#47 7 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

50 games aye? Of Orbitor 1.

I think I'd rather poke myself with a stick.

Then your mind is made up.

No sense in asking others opinions about it.

#48 7 years ago

Wow this is the most bizzare game i've ever seen. Good story on it in that link. Haveing never played one, i think it has it's place due to it's weirdness. I don't think it would have much staying power for me but who knows, i've never played it. I think as one said, you need to approach it as a completly different game from your average, take it for what it is, have fun with it and try and master it. It deffinatly looks difficult to say the least.

#49 7 years ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

The op's attitude of not wanting to give the game a fair chance probably explains his lack of understanding and appreciation for this masterpiece in pinball innovation...

Masterpiece of innovation, yeah I guess I could see that.

Orbiter 1 is a funny game in that I really enjoy the game... from afar. I typically run into one every few months or so, and I'll play it and play it and play it and genuinely have a blast playing. Then it's almost as if I go over a waterfall, and I won't want to see the game for another few months because I'm sick of it. So I'm always happy to see it at shows or playing at friends' houses, but really couldn't imagine owning one.

With that said, there is a ton of skill to ball control in O1. If you can't master the drop catch, you're just a monkey flinging poo around the table.

#50 7 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Then your mind is made up.
No sense in asking others opinions about it.

Yeah....I guess I wasn't really asking. More "curious" as to who and why anyone likes it. Maybe that was a bad idea. Then again, maybe not because it looks like this thread has introduced some people to the existence of it for the first time. That's never a bad thing. I'm generally a very open minded person. I gave (I feel like I gave) Orbitor 1 a chance.....didn't like it.

Like I said, there are people who liked Battlefield Earth.....I'll never get that either.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 149.95
Boards
Allteksystems
From: $ 150.00
From: $ 1.25
Playfield - Other
Rocket City Pinball
From: $ 45.00
Displays
PinballSolutions.eu
From: $ 10.00
$ 119.95
Boards
Allteksystems
From: $ 25.00
Boards
nvram.weebly.com
$ 149.00
From: $ 14.00
Electronics
Third Coast Pinball
From: $ 170.00
$ 12.00
Electronics
Third Coast Pinball
From: $ 18.00
Apparel - Men
Pinside Shop
There are 84 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside