Quoted from jorant:
Dialed in is awesome and a fresh take. Many of my favorite pins have "no theme." I feel the curmudgeons in the hobby are too scared of it because it is a new theme. I honestly don't get why people don like that machine.
Speaking as a true pinhead, for me Dialed In just has this dorky vibe that I can’t shake. Part of it is the Lawler design aesthetic. Not his shots, but his artistic choices. Like the lightening bolt guy, and the chick in the back right corner, and Mr. McMomJeans. These “characters” remind me of a lame children’s TV show. Combined with a vaguely uninspiring theme, it just doesn’t call to me like so many other games do.
A friend of mine owns one, so I do get to play it. Shots are amazing, and I dig some of the true innovation. The rules are terrific. From a substantive perspective, there’s nothing NOT to like about the game (er, actually the callouts are below average), but it’s still a miss for me. That said, if they start selling in the low 6’s, almost have to buy one for the sheer value at that point.
Stern definitely has amazing themes. I’m in their target demo, and aside from an occasional “yawn”, I could own most of their games from a theming standpoint.
Stranger Things is a grand slam theme. I sincerely hope they do it justice. My first glimpse of the Pro suggests they have not. But it’s early yet.