(Topic ID: 221050)

Suggestions for first solid-state pinball purchase


By ClarkWGriswold

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Sputnik
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    #1 1 year ago

    I have a handful of arcade cabs at the crib and I want to add one or two pins to the mix over the next year. Here are my parameters....

    Budget - 1500.00 or less apiece. Would I pay more than 1500? Maybe, but definitely looking to keep each purchase below 2k. I am not looking for a project. Looking for a complete and working pin in slightly above-average players condition.....maybe a pin with some board bulletproofing already done.

    Era - only interested in solid-state, generally 1978-82 era. If it happens to be a model/manufacturer that can be bulletproofed with something like a Rottendog combo board, so much the better.

    Features - I want both to be talkers and at least one to have a multi-ball feature. I like speech. I will admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for Gorgar in this regard and I am actively looking for one of those as we speak. I understand that Gorgar gameplay is pretty basic but I like the idea of owning the first pin with speech. I also like the artwork and I can find a pretty nice one in my price range as well.

    I think a Gorgar/Firepower combo wouldnt be a bad 1-2 punch for a new guy. Vector has a lot happening on the playfield and looks intriguing as well. I am not a super-nerd just yet, so I don’t necessarily need a ridiculously deep rule set but I would like at least one of the pins to be faster and a bit more in-depth than Gorgar, for example.

    I am sure you guys can take this information and make some suggestions that I had not even considered. Thanks for the input in advance.

    Carter - Virginia

    #2 1 year ago

    Firepower - Three ball multi-ball, speech, awesome sounds, fast and mean.
    Paragon - Widebody, four flippers, incredible artwork, in-line drop targets, lots to shoot for. No speech though.

    Black Knight would also be a good choice - three ball multi-ball, speech, upper and lower play fields, four flippers, bonus mode.

    #3 1 year ago

    Jungle Lord! MB, speech, ramps, and rules. Usually can be found for ~$1k

    #4 1 year ago

    Alien poker, fast playing talker. F2k deep for a early ss with multiball, and a talker.

    #5 1 year ago

    You might consider some early ss Classic Sterns.
    Flight2000 has multi ball and speech and a unique ball lock system.
    Catacomb is a beautiful game with unique features as well.
    Big Game is pure classic pinball.
    There are others as well however they are difficult to find. The three mentioned are not exactly abundant but are for sale from time to time.
    Hope 'ya land one, or two.
    Let us know.

    #6 1 year ago

    Flash Gordon

    /thread

    I know it doesn't have multiball, but who needs stinkin' mb when the one ball keeps you on your toes!

    Sorcerer and Space Shuttle, made outside of your year range but still solid games with MB

    #7 1 year ago

    My first advice - don't get too caught up on features or titles. There are a ton of good games. A lot of titles have come out of nowhere as darlings. That's often because it's featured in a tournament lineup, or a member of the community anoints it as something special. Those games were good before they were well-revered, and it's fun to discover them on your own! Also, if you have space for 2 games, and get 2 of your grails right away, you have less flexibility when it comes to picking up new machines later (which you'll likely want to do).

    That said, I think early Williams games are the best value right now. The best Bally games are highly sought after.. I'd just avoid that arena for now until you decide what you really like. Early Sterns are the latest to see a big bump in price, but there are some really good titles that haven't seen a huge increase so far (Meteor being among my favorite of those). Gottlieb has some good titles in that era, but I find them more difficult to make reliable.

    The era you mention is my favorite. The titles with speech really start to limit you, though. I've owned Gorgar. What a gorgeous game.. I loved the way it looked. The gameplay, on the other hand, gets rather dull.

    Really, I'd suggest picking up a solid working game of the era and just playing the shit out of it for a while. You'll get your flipper skills on practically any game. As long as you don't overpay, you can typically get a good amount of your money out of it.

    #8 1 year ago

    Also, use the "Games" tab on the site to help you discover games in that era. Paying attention to the production numbers will help you find games that aren't incredibly rare. The ratings will give you a snapshot.. but click on the actual game to read reviews. Be skeptical of most reviews, good or bad - some people shill their own games, and some have a weird ax to grind on others. Caucasian2step reviews a lot of games, and does so very well. Even still, he'll have preferences that may be different than your own, so once you get to playing some games you can determine if you like similar features, etc, and use that to better determine if a certain game is worth seeking out.

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    #9 1 year ago

    Space Shuttle would be my recommendation. Not to expensive, easy to work on, parts are easy to find, does have speech but pretty limited, multi-ball, easy rule set. Out of the handful of games I have owned all of my friends and family would play Space Shuttle the most.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from mantz88:

    Space Shuttle would be my recommendation. Not to expensive, easy to work on, parts are easy to find, does have speech but pretty limited, multi-ball, easy rule set. Out of the handful of games I have owned all of my friends and family would play Space Shuttle the most.

    Love mine too. If you can move past your 1982 barrier this is a great choice. Grab this and EBD LE and call it a day lol.

    #12 1 year ago

    Flash as they made a million of them, it's a great game, and they are easy to find.

    most of the early ballys are good too, cheap and plentiful.

    #13 1 year ago

    Williams Flash is also a great option. They made about 20,000 of them so they are easy to find and a fun, cheap starter pin. Williams Blackout is also very fun, but to be honest, this era created some of the greatest games of all time. The titles worthy of ownership are nearly endless. See what is available and then make a decision, no need to hunt down specific titles yet.

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Flash as they made a million of them, it's a great game, and they are easy to find.
    most of the early ballys are good too, cheap and plentiful.

    Beat me to it.

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from Frippertron:

    this era created some of the greatest games of all time. The titles worthy of ownership are nearly endless. See what is available and then make a decision, no need to hunt down specific titles yet.

    I certainly agree with this sentiment. Not sure why the 82 year barrier was put there, but as mentioned, there are a lot of games that are made during and beyond this year that fit the bill nicely.

    #16 1 year ago

    Stars

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Flash as they made a million of them, it's a great game, and they are easy to find.
    most of the early ballys are good too, cheap and plentiful.

    If Gorgar is too simple then there's no way flash isn't

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    If Gorgar is too simple then there's no way flash isn't

    I don't get this line of pursuit. "What's the deepest system 11 game?" There aren't any. Don't buy a system 11 game if you want deep.

    Don't buy an early solid state if Flash or Gorgar are too simple for you.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    If Gorgar is too simple then there's no way flash isn't

    Flash has much better gameplay than Gorgar. I've owned both. Flash has been in my collection for 7 years, Gorgar lasted about 6 months. Gorgar has everything else going for it, but Flash plays really fast and has some strategy to it. I keep it around for my wife these days (her favorite game), but it definitely held my attention for a long, long time.

    #20 1 year ago

    Man, you guys are on point and quick. I can dig it. To clarify, the years I listed were a best guess based on budget mainly. As I mentioned, I have a real predilection for speech, and I want to find an above-average example with multi-ball for around 1500.00.

    I have also fallen victim to listing some titles that I have actually played a little bit or at least have seen either in the wild or for sale with some basic frequency on different mediums. Alien Poker was mentioned in this thread and I am aware that pin gets high marks on most solid-state lists but I have never even seen one in person.

    There happens to be someone local selling a Paragon as we speak. There has also been a Vector and an Elektra for sale recently in my general area. A really nice looking Gorgar just sold on here a few days ago and I am kicking myself for not jumping. This price range moves quickly.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from ClarkWGriswold:

    Man, you guys are on point and quick. I can dig it. To clarify, the years I listed were a best guess based on budget mainly. As I mentioned, I have a real predilection for speech, and I want to find an above-average example with multi-ball for around 1500.00.
    .

    Then get a Firepower. Really no other choice.

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from ClarkWGriswold:

    Man, you guys are on point and quick. I can dig it. To clarify, the years I listed were a best guess based on budget mainly. As I mentioned, I have a real predilection for speech, and I want to find an above-average example with multi-ball for around 1500.00.
    I have also fallen victim to listing some titles that I have actually played a little bit or at least have seen either in the wild or for sale with some basic frequency on different mediums. Alien Poker was mentioned in this thread and I am aware that pin gets high marks on most solid-state lists but I have never even seen one in person.
    There happens to be someone local selling a Paragon as we speak. There has also been a Vector and an Elektra for sale recently in my general area. A really nice looking Gorgar just sold on here a few days ago and I am kicking myself for not jumping. This price range moves quickly.

    Pick up that Paragon. Will kick your ass, and take names doing it. But every once in a while you'll get that one ball the scores big. Love me some Paragon! Doesn't have speech, but you don't really need it.

    #23 1 year ago

    If you are considering Alien Poker, I would check out Laser Cue. Same layout with a third flipper but ultimately a much better game (standups instead of saucers for the side shots and 50v flippers). Black Out is a game I think fits the bill and I enjoy it much more than Firepower. Space Shuttle would get my vote as well.

    #24 1 year ago

    I'm going to throw F14 in the mix. It's a little past 82, but it's fast, fun, and I think they made 3 billion of them, so the prices are generally lower. Seems to be creeping upward though.

    Hectic multiball, incredible light show.

    Just my $0.02

    #25 1 year ago

    Man, there was a Space Shuttle for sale locally too in the last week or two...I have never played it so I didn’t investigate. Might have to see if that is still around....seems to be getting some love on this thread.

    #26 1 year ago

    If multiball is a necessity, which it shouldn't be for the era, you need to seriously look at Space Shuttle. It's a game that just never gets old and is everything great about the 80's in one pin.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from Frippertron:

    If multiball is a necessity, which it shouldn't be for the era, you need to seriously look at Space Shuttle. It's a game that just never gets old and is everything great about the 80's in one pin.

    Good price point, fun sweepable drops, good spinner rules...cant lose!

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I don't get this line of pursuit. "What's the deepest system 11 game?" There aren't any. Don't buy a system 11 game if you want deep.
    Don't buy an early solid state if Flash or Gorgar are too simple for you.

    All the later system 7+ games blow away flash and gorgar. Not 'deep' by modern standard but at least they're more than just 'hit the drops a lot and then rip the spinner' like flash is. Gorgar at least has the snake, kickout, standups, etc. Flash is about as basic as you can go.

    #29 1 year ago

    Space Shuttle .

    Speech (Steve Ritchie), Multiball (3 ball), Tight and Fast (like my 1st boyfriend), 1982, and it was the game that saved pinball.

    #30 1 year ago

    Black Hole. Great rules, good looker, fast playing, speech, Multi ball and lower playfield.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from woz:

    Black Hole 1980. Great rules, good looker, fast playing, speech, Multi ball and lower playfield.

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Tight and Fast (like my 1st boyfriend)

    #33 1 year ago

    I'd suggest going a little deeper into the 80's and maybe checking out High Speed, Pinbot, and Grand Lizard. These games all have fun multiballs and you should be able to find them in your price range.

    #34 1 year ago

    I love my Gorgar It is not as deep as others. I remember when it came out, it was completely awesome. But my F2K is far more challenging, you have to work to get multiball. If I did not have either and could only afford one it be F2K.

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