(Topic ID: 202546)

Thinking about getting an EM


By Rdoyle1978

2 years ago



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  • 28 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Rdoyle1978
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    #1 2 years ago

    I love the EM artwork, and wedgehead backbox and the simple sounds of the bells and chimes going off - wondering which game I should look at? I don't want to just blunder into getting a crappy game. I am used to modern DMD games, and I have played my share of earlier games, so I know there's a huge difference. Which EMs are considered more fun or more 'classic' so to speak? I will probably only get one, so would love to make it a great one.

    thanks!

    #2 2 years ago

    Generally Gottliebs rulle thr roost. Lots of cool artwork and their games are built tough.

    #3 2 years ago

    Personal taste thing. All manufacturers made their share of great games. Start browsing games here or on ipdb and then Google the game and watch gameplay videos to get a sense of whether you might enjoy a particular title or not.

    #4 2 years ago

    Stop thinking about and just pull the trigger. Had a bunch. Just whatch your local craigslist, when ome pops up for 2-300, go for it.

    #5 2 years ago

    Come on over and play a few of mine. Love to talk EMs.

    #6 2 years ago

    Decide if you want single player, two player, four player, add a ball or replay versions.

    Most satisfying thing an EM can do better than any modern game is the sound a spinner makes when it zings the score reels around and the chimes change going from 100 to 1000 mid spin. Oh yeah and lots of drop targets...

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from jeffc:

    Come on over and play a few of mine. Love to talk EMs.

    You have some great ones!! Visiting your place is kind of what got me thinking

    #8 2 years ago

    It’s tough to stop at buying just one EM. One always leads to two.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    "............. I will probably only get one....."

    Yea, right.

    #10 2 years ago

    I have one EM, a '76 Royal Flush which I think is great. I thought that modern DMD games were the only game in town, as that's what I knew from back in the day. That tune has definitely changed. There are a lot of great titles out there. Drop targets and spinners all day!

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    You have some great ones!! Visiting your place is kind of what got me thinking

    That would be your best bet- Try a number of them to get a feel for what you are looking for. I did it the hard way purchasing a bunch of games (over 32 at this point), fixing them up and and then playing them and moving along the ones we didn't like. Still doing that as a matter of fact! We went to Pinside this year to try several titles so keeping an eye out for those we liked.

    Single player games tend to have more depth than two or four player games (with very few exceptions) and some brands have strengths others do not. People talk about how Gottlieb are the best but currently there is only one Gottlieb (Domino which in some ways is very Williams like) in our line up that has made the cut. We prefer Williams pins the most with some Bally and a Chicago Coin thrown in. Neither my wife nor I care for banks of drop targets, other people love them. Gottliebs do have very nice chime boxes if sound is important too you and I'd wager that sound is half the experience when it comes to EM's. I spend a lot of time on the Williams chimes so they don't sound as clunky as is common after years of being hammered.

    Our current line up:

    Star Action (great speed, flow and colors)
    Ship Ahoy (outgoing pin, great chimes and 2 ways to light the wows)
    Heat Wave (lots to shoot at, backglass animation)
    Domino (speedy pin, awesome bells, challenging)
    Moon Shot (Great 4 player pin, 2 inch flippers)
    Ding Dong (another challenging 2" flipper pin, light the board 4 ways to get specials)
    Night Driver (Another simple 4 player pin, drop targets for add a ball, great chimes)
    Darts (nice old "woodrail", challenging, sounds great)
    Olympic Hockey (one of our fastest EM, great 2 player with lots to shoot at, backglass animation)
    Triple Strike (nice bowling theme pin, little slower paced, backglass animation)
    Space Odyssey (More toys on the pf than you can shake a stick at, 2 player)

    In the repair garage, playable:

    Touchdown (very fast single player football theme, backglass animation)
    Bazaar (Complex for an EM, lots going on with zipper flippers for the win!)
    Bus Stop (2 player, brutal outlanes, carry over bonus you can steal from other player, charming theme)
    Grand Tour (another charmer, carry over feature, great layout)

    Hope this helps.

    Gary

    P.S. I will warn you that EM's can be fussy at times. Some games require little maintenance once they have been gone through, adjusted and cleaned. Others...well there always seems to be one or two that I'm under the hood tweaking a switch, lubing something or adjusting a stepper. They are very complex mechanical devices that are 40 or more years old so be prepared to get your hands dirty time to time, all part of EM ownership.

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    #12 2 years ago

    You can't go wrong if you get one of the classic Gottlieb 70's drop target games -

    Atlantis
    C-37
    Abra ca Dabra
    Capt Card
    Jacks Open/Lucky Hand

    #13 2 years ago

    Very interesting insights in this thread... here s to hoping something pops up near me when I'm ready to pull the trigger..

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    You can't go wrong if you get one of the classic Gottlieb 70's drop target games -
    Atlantis
    C-37
    Abra ca Dabra
    Capt Card
    Jacks Open/Lucky Hand

    Depends if you like drop targets or not! Some people like Coke.. Some Pepsi.

    Owned Lucky Hand and I thought it was "meh" and played Abra ca Dabra at Pinside and had the same impression. Meh.

    That is why it is best to try several styles of pins before buying, you get the feel for what you like after awhile.

    Unless you get a deal on something and then just pull the trigger! Can always flip it later.

    If you are in the area feel free to drop me a note and you can try to your hearts content.

    Gary

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Decide if you want single player, two player, four player, add a ball or replay versions.

    Add a ball version is generally better for home, after all the pins are usually already setup for free play so winning an extra credit isn't as fun as an extra ball.

    Though winning an extra credit on a tough game like Domino, Heat Wave or Bazaar is a reward in itself!

    #16 2 years ago

    I think as long as you don't compare the objectives of an EM game to that of a DMD game, you'll really enjoy EMs.

    People 'round these parts seem to prefer single player wedgeheads, since they have "deep" rules that carry over from ball to ball. I was once one of those people. However, I've grown to prefer multiplayer games. While the rules can't carry over from player to player, you have the benefit of being able to compete on a multiplayer game, jeer your competition, and rotate around the game drinking some alcoholic (or nonalcoholic) delights. That to me makes multiplayer games more fun than a single player game.

    Now as far as features go, I really like drop targets. They kinda slow the game down a bit, but they're a ton of fun. Spinners are fantastic features too, ripping through them and hearing the relays and score reel trying desperately to keep up. My advice, find a game that looks interesting, play it, and sell it if you don't like it. You really can't go wrong. Just don't pay too much. EMs are a tough sell.

    Good Luck!

    #17 2 years ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    I think as long as you don't compare the objectives of an EM game to that of a DMD game, you'll really enjoy EMs.
    People 'round these parts seem to prefer single player wedgeheads, since they have "deep" rules that carry over from ball to ball. I was once one of those people. However, I've grown to prefer multiplayer games. While the rules can't carry over from player to player, you have the benefit of being able to compete on a multiplayer game, jeer your competition, and rotate around the game drinking some alcoholic (or nonalcoholic) delights. That to me makes multiplayer games more fun than a single player game.

    That is where multiplayer games shine! Having a good PF along with someone to compete against really makes for a memorable game. Some playfields are merely "ok" without nothing that stands out. Night Rider rocks it as a multiplayer with two spinners to rip and crazy popper action. Olympic Hockey also rocks it with its 5 popper action field, DC juice, backglass animation, numerous targets and lanes to advance goals and crazy goal buzzer.

    Some of the best games are against the Mrs. as we are hammering away at each other, she is a deadly player on a few of the games. Still have not beat her on 2 of the titles.

    Now as far as features go, I really like drop targets. They kinda slow the game down a bit, but they're a ton of fun.

    I think this is the problem I have with drop targets, I'm really fond of games that have lots of flowing, constant action. When playing Lucky Hand I found myself cradling the ball and lining up the shot for the drops.. over... and over.. and over again. No flow to it.

    When at Pintastic I was ecstatic to see a Black Hole as I really wanted one based on Youtube videos... and then I noticed I was more or less doing the same as Lucky Hand, cradling the ball and trying to hit the drop targets over and over. Individual drop targets seem more fun and part of the flow like on Star Action which has four and if you make the shot just right you can usually take out a pair with one go.

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    You can't go wrong if you get one of the classic Gottlieb 70's drop target games -
    Atlantis
    C-37
    Abra ca Dabra
    Capt Card
    Jacks Open/Lucky Hand

    I'll add Target Alpha and Bally Wizard to the list.

    #19 2 years ago

    One other consideration is how challenging a game do you want. I have a 4 Square and a Drop a Card almost side by side. 4 Square is relatively easy and once all the special lights lit, lots of fun to try getting that free game pop pop pop if you can hit 2 or 3 in quick succession. Drop a Card on the other hand has the drop targets but is a really challenging game (for me at least) so kind of like scoring a goal in soccer, when you do win a game it is a big deal. Both have their advantages, and appeal to me differently depending on my mood. One of the reasons its better to have more than just one em.

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from JBK:

    I'll add Target Alpha and Bally Wizard to the list.

    and...

    Volley
    Surfer/Surf Champ
    Jungle Princess/Jungle Queen

    #21 2 years ago

    Mid-1970's Bally pins have great artwork & interesting layouts. I find them easier to work on than the Gottlieb pins.

    -1
    #22 2 years ago

    Picking up today

    IMG_20171111_213027_854 (resized).jpg

    #25 2 years ago

    If I were you, a Williams Grand Prix might be a good starting point. Fun game. Check. Multi-player. Check. Cheap. Check. Good replay value. Check. Some of the best spinners ever made. Check. Hell, I think I should get one too!

    #26 2 years ago

    Williams Grand Prix, Bally Bow and Arrow and Gottlieb Fast Draw would be my top 3 multi-players from the mid 70s. Although FD doesn't have spinners, it has the Golden Horseshoe Wizard Mode!

    My daughter has a Sonic Prospector which is crazy fun as well. It has spinners and collect bonus system like Grand Prix where you can collect bonus while the ball is in play and then again when it exits. Sonic does use crappy wood for the cabinet, so keep that in mind.

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    wondering which game I should look at? I don't want to just blunder into getting a crappy game.

    Make it a point to attend Pintastic New England and the Allentown PinFest. Both shows generally have a good selection, and you could sell off a regretted acquisition at the flea market. Also check the Pinball Map for locations that have EM games to play.
    .................David Marston

    #28 2 years ago

    I don’t anticipate being able to make it to Pintastic in the near future, but I’m a big fan of Allentown. Even York had a good selection last year, but I was looking at DMDs ..

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