(Topic ID: 22624)

Top 10 early solid state games


By DrJoe

7 years ago



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  • 88 posts
  • 70 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 71 days ago by tatman9999
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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    #1 7 years ago

    Here is my list of the top 10 games from 1977-1984 (generally refered to as "ss" games or "early ss":

    1. Eight Ball Deluxe (Bally). Brilliant layout, rules, a true classic.
    2. Star Gazer (Stern). Most people haven't played a good-playing example of this. Just awesome.
    3. Big Game (Stern). Fast for a widebody and a couple different ways to score.
    4. Black Knight (Williams). First multi-level playfield, great art, good multiball.
    5. Seawitch (Stern). Lightning fast, great rules, sound, art.
    6. Paragon (Bally). Bally's first widebody. Tough game, first with in-line drops, classic art.
    7. Centaur (Bally). Very unique rules with "locking" balls, killer art.
    8. Spirit (Gottlieb). Unique playfield, rules. Great art and sound. Gets over looked for HH and BH.
    9. Flash Gordon. Bally's "imitation" of Williams' multi-level games is just brutal if set up right.
    10. Skateball (Bally). Great fun, fast flow, good rules, cool art....More fun than Flash which it's clearly derived from.

    I love this era of machines and clearly prefer Bally and Stern machines to the Williams and Gottlieb offerings from these years.

    #2 7 years ago

    Fathom
    EBD
    Flash
    Paragon
    Joker Poker
    EK
    F2K
    Centaur
    SBM
    Black Hole
    Lots of great choices,mine is based on art package as well as gameplay.

    #3 7 years ago

    Two top 10 lists without Firepower? My favorites are:

    Fathom
    Firepower
    Black Hole
    Paragon
    Lost World (although this game is super easy, it is fun for a while)
    Eight Ball Deluxe

    #4 7 years ago

    Here is my list (Only from ones I have played more than a couple times)

    1. Firepower
    2. Blackout
    3. Black Knight
    4. Alien Poker
    5. Flash
    6. Xenon
    7. Elektra

    Never played Centaur, I bet that would rank up there as well!

    #5 7 years ago

    My favorites -

    Centaur
    Black Knight
    EBD
    Fathom
    Flash Gordon
    Black Hole
    Embyron
    Spectrum

    #6 7 years ago

    In no particular order

    1. Joker Poker
    2. Xenon
    3. Flash
    4. Centaur
    5. Fire Power
    6. SilverBall Mania
    7. Black Hole
    8. Black Knight
    9. Flash Gordon
    10 Medusa

    #7 7 years ago

    My list is based on what I played back in the day when these games were brand new, and the memories they bring back from when I was a teenager:

    In no particular order...

    1. Eight Ball Deluxe
    2. Xenon
    3. Time Warp
    4. Harlem Globetrotters
    5. Bally Space Invaders (currently own)
    6. Silverball Mania (currently own)
    7. Gorgar
    8. Black Knight
    9. Dolly Parton
    10. Flash

    I could list another ten games from this period that also have fond memories for me.

    #8 7 years ago

    Black Knight
    Gorgar
    Eight Ball Deluxe
    Firepower
    Xenon
    Flash Gordon
    Black Hole
    Flash
    Fathom
    KISS

    #9 7 years ago

    Wow, Space Shuttle just BARELY misses the cut with production starting in Dec. 1984....was that intentional?

    #10 7 years ago

    In no particular order. Here's what I come up with:
    1. Eight Ball Deluxe, Bally, 1980/81, a classic that well represents what "pinball" is.
    2. Xenon, Bally, 1980, excellent artwork, theme & design, speech & sounds, + multiball.
    3. Joker Poker, Gottlieb, 1978, a classic great action drop-target game, 3 flippers, cool artwork
    4. Fathom, Bally, 1980/81, Wow!
    5. Skateball, Bally, 1980, Love it, gotta have it someday!
    6. Paragon, Bally, 1979, This widebody has it all.
    7. Firepower, Williams, 1980, another great machine from one of the greatest years in pinball ..1980
    8. Iron Maiden, Stern, 1981, Holy Grail #1 pin for me, ...never even seen one up for sale.
    9. Asteroid Annie & the Aliens, Gottlieb, 1980, Holy Grail #2 pin for me, hopefully someday.
    10. Black Hole, Gottlieb, 1981, cool game
    11. Nitro Ground Shaker, Bally, 1978-1980, gotta turn it up to 11! ...Sorry, I want one badly.

    Honorable mention:
    * Barracora, Williams, 1981, possibly too many drugs consumed in the late 70's/early 80's led to this unique artwork. Great playfield layout.
    * Silverball Mania, Bally, 1980, great backglass artwork

    1979 - 1981 were busy times in the pinball industry.

    #11 7 years ago

    No particular order except for Barracora!

    1. BARRACORA (This is the best game of the era I've played hands down)
    2. Time Fantasy
    3. Firepower
    4. Black Knight
    5. Fathom
    6. Medusa
    7. Centaur
    8. Eight Ball Deluxe
    9. Skateball
    10. Flash Gordon (Still haven't played it but it has to be awesome)

    #12 7 years ago

    Also in no particular order.
    Paragon
    Centaur
    Star Race
    Robot
    Firepower II
    Sorcerer
    gorgar
    Meteror
    star gazer
    silverball mania

    #13 7 years ago

    No order (except the first 3):

    Haunted House
    Firepower
    Tri Zone
    Black Hole
    Kiss
    Laser Ball
    Centaur
    Space Invaders
    Black Knight
    Eight Ball Deluxe

    #14 7 years ago

    Centaur
    Fathom
    Black Knight
    Flash Gordon
    Eight Ball Deluxe
    Haunted House
    Firepower
    Xenon
    Lost World
    Take Five (it still counts )

    #15 7 years ago

    My top ten in no order

    Firepower: Classic open playfield, fast, multiball, great sounds for the era

    Skateball: Nice to see this one getting love. one of the worst back glasses but everything else is spot on!

    Space Shuttle: Speaks for itself

    Black Hole: Lower playfield...love it

    Laser Cue: Stupid theme but honestly one of the best players in the bunch. strong flippers. super fast

    Meteor: The shot off the left flipper straight up into the spinner is one of my favorites to this day

    Strikes and Spares: Lots of great shots, still has an EM feel but the pace is faster

    Tri-Zone: Now don't laugh. at 7-9 degrees this game is super fun and fast. you should try it!

    Time Machine (Zaccaria): Just an absolutely incredible machine...to play AND just to look at

    Black Pyramid: again, don't laugh. it's one of those with simple shots, and couple of difficult ones. i should get bored and walk away and yet just keep playing and playing

    Honorable mention:

    Kings of Steel: If you like Skateball you'd like Kings of Steel as well

    Flash: great one

    Xenon: to look at. actually sucks to play

    #16 7 years ago

    Joker Poker
    Big Game
    Haunted House
    Firepower
    Black Knight
    Fathom
    Centaur
    Paragon
    Space Invaders
    Eight Ball Deluxe

    Just for Reference Top 10 according to IPDB

    1. Firepower
    2. Black Knight
    3. Centaur
    4. Xenon
    5. Haunted House
    6. Fathom
    7. Paragon
    8. Nitro Ground Shaker
    9. Jungle Lord
    10. Joker Poker

    #17 7 years ago

    games im dying to get are
    1. lost world
    2. medusa
    3. centaur
    4. xenon
    5. paragon
    6. fathom
    7. jungle lord
    8. volcano

    #18 7 years ago

    i should also mention at the risk of being dragged out and beat to a pulp, i cant stand firepower...absolute worst early ss ive ever played and horrible artwork imo...runs and hides

    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from darkfaith:

    i should also mention at the risk of being dragged out and beat to a pulp, i cant stand firepower...absolute worst early ss ive ever played and horrible artwork imo...runs and hides

    Ha, yeah Firepower has its fans, no doubt. You may change your tune on this game if you play a super clean, dialed-in example as it can be brutally tough. Much better playing against others (as are most early ss games) too.

    #20 7 years ago

    Hey,

    Off the top of my head, in no particular order:

    Flash - they sold nearly 20,000 of them for a reason
    Black Knight - not my cup of tea, but I can respect how big of a deal it was back then
    Gorgar
    Centaur

    I'd really like to get my hands on the last two...

    Luke

    #21 7 years ago
    Quoted from darkfaith:

    i should also mention at the risk of being dragged out and beat to a pulp, i cant stand firepower...absolute worst early ss ive ever played and horrible artwork imo...runs and hides

    Nooooo, how dare you have a different opinion! To the gallows!

    Just kidding. I do like Firepower a lot, very fun Tri-Ball, easy to understand, and awesome early 80's sound effects. Can't go wrong with that machine.

    #22 7 years ago

    Paragon has the best artwork on any machine ever.

    #23 7 years ago

    I may have missed it, but I don't think anyone mentioned Farfalla yet. It would definitely rank in my top 5 early SS pins. Other favorites from the era include ...

    Embryon
    EBD
    Fathom
    Medusa
    Paragon
    BH

    #24 7 years ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    I may have missed it, but I don't think anyone mentioned Farfalla yet. It would definitely rank in my top 5 early SS pins. Other favorites from the era include ...

    Robot got my vote for a Zaccaria pin. Farfalla is also great and has better artwork than robot , but I think robot might be more fun to play ( need more time on Farfalla to know for sure )

    #25 7 years ago

    Oh man. You guys are talking about some classics now.

    Gorgar (All Hail Lord Gorgar! Pinball god! Ruler of the silver ball, and keeper of the extra ball/special award!)
    Fathom
    Xenon
    Centaur
    Firepower
    Black Knight
    Flash
    Black Hole
    Haunted House
    Eight Ball Deluxe

    Special mention for Seawitch. Funny little Stern pin, man!

    #26 7 years ago

    WHAT ABOUT EARLY STERN?
    CATACOMB
    LIGHTNING

    catacomb_fin_001.JPG catacomb_fin_009.JPG catacomb_fin_006.JPG

    #27 7 years ago
    Quoted from Hyperion:

    WHAT ABOUT EARLY STERN?
    CATACOMB
    LIGHTNING

    Big fan of Catacomb since playing a minty one at Pinfest in the Spring.

    Just landed my holy grail pin in HUO/Museum condition: Centaur. Still glowing from the find.

    #29 7 years ago

    Well 57 different games have been mentioned so far. Here's the compilation of the top-ten as voted on here:
    1. Eight Ball Deluxe
    2. Centaur
    3. Black Knight
    4. Fathom
    5. Firepower
    6. Black Hole
    7. Xenon
    8. Paragon
    9. Flash
    10. Flash Gordon

    It's clear people love the classic Bally's and any classic Williams as long as it was designed by Steve Ritchie!!!

    1 year later
    #30 5 years ago
    Quoted from darkfaith:

    i should also mention at the risk of being dragged out and beat to a pulp, i cant stand firepower...absolute worst early ss ive ever played and horrible artwork imo...runs and hides

    That's absurd dude. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but really? I suspect it has just kicked your butt way too many times...

    #31 5 years ago

    Only ten???

    This vintage of production yielded some of the most inventive and creative solutions to eating up our quarters as quickly as possible. To be as fair as possible, I will put two (YES ONLY 2) games to the major American manufacturers at the time.

    Bally (This is the hardest to whittle down to ONLY 2 by far. There are SOOOOO many other games to add here):
    Fathom
    Skateball

    Williams:
    Solar Fire
    Black Knight

    Stern:
    Stars
    Big Game

    Game Plan:
    Andromeda
    Cyclopes

    Gottlieb:
    Joker Poker
    Sinbad

    Special mention goes to Zaccaria for their absolutely stunning works of pinball-art:
    Space Shuttle
    Devil Riders

    #32 5 years ago

    Pre-Sys11 top 10:
    -mof

    1. Centaur
    2. Black Hole
    3. Fathom
    4. Black Knight
    5. Space Shuttle
    6. Sorcerer
    7. Barracora
    8. Embryon
    9. Spirit
    10. Seawitch

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from darkfaith:

    i should also mention at the risk of being dragged out and beat to a pulp, i cant stand firepower...absolute worst early ss ive ever played and horrible artwork imo...runs and hides

    I'll come and hide with you! Gross backglass and playfield art. Meh.

    #34 5 years ago

    People forgot about early Stern because not many left.
    I find them very fun and challenging pins with great originals rules for that time.

    Catacomb
    Iron Maiden
    Seawitch
    Big Game
    Quicksilver
    Star Gazer
    Lightning
    Flight 2000
    Freefall

    #35 5 years ago

    I guess my list would be similar to what has already been said but here goes.
    1. Paragon
    2. Centaur
    3. Haunted House
    4. Genie
    5. Gorgar
    6. Nitro Ground Shaker
    7. Black Hole
    8. Eight Ball
    9. Harlem Globetrotters
    10. Trident (I know I may alone on that one)

    #36 5 years ago

    I don't think my list looks like anybody else's...
    In no particular order:
    - Space Shuttle
    - Fireball II
    - Genie
    - Blackjack
    - Meteor
    - Joker Poker
    - Speakeasy
    - Alien Poker
    - Evel Knievel
    - Phoenix

    #37 5 years ago
    Quoted from fireball2:

    I don't think my list looks like anybody else's...
    In no particular order:
    - Space Shuttle
    - Fireball II
    - Genie
    - Blackjack
    - Meteor
    - Joker Poker
    - Speakeasy
    - Alien Poker
    - Evel Knievel
    - Phoenix

    Phoenix, eh? Tell me what makes it so good it made your top 10. I'm not knocking your choice at all, it's just that this game doesn't get a lot of love. I have one, but haven't got it up and running yet and I want to get the scoop from someone who really appreciates it.

    #38 5 years ago

    I like the drop targets that have to be reset manually. It has PINK drop targets. For some reason I love the cheesy mini wire ramp shot. It's a risky one too. I am a sucker for spinners and drop targets. I like bonus multiplier games. It can be easy as pie one game and kick your ass the next. Love the art. Also, if you look at the back glass art squinty-eyed it looks just like the female reproductive system. Look at it. Now you see!

    #39 5 years ago

    Fathom
    Stargazer
    Centaur
    Seawitch
    Flash gordon
    Meteor
    Quicksilver
    Skateball
    Black hole
    Medusa

    #40 5 years ago

    Jeez i forgot EBD that should be in the top 3

    #41 5 years ago

    1: Flash Gordon
    2: Black Hole
    3: Fathom
    4: Centaur
    5: Sinbad
    6: Genie
    7: Flight 2000
    8: Black Knght
    9: Paragon
    10: Joker Poker

    #42 5 years ago

    1) Eight Ball Deluxe (1981)
    2) Eight Ball Deluxe (1983 "Classic Edition")
    3) Eight Ball Deluxe (1982 "Limited Edition")

    ...................and the rest.

    #43 5 years ago

    I was going to post ... No love for the Spa in the Future? What a cool game!

    I haven't played them all, but ones I like in no particular order:

    Seawitch
    Future Spa
    Paragon
    Fathom
    Centaur
    Flight 2000
    Genie
    Gorgar
    Flash
    All of the 4 Williams two level games are cool

    rd.

    #44 5 years ago

    in no particular order:

    Flash: Steve Ritchie enters the Legend.
    Pinball champ 82: a latin delight, double playfield, what a sound and vocals
    Devil's Dare: most underated game of all time
    Countdown: the essence of pinball, drop addict
    Black Hole: what a mood.
    Centaur: an UFO
    Fathom: drop in lines
    Embryon: a gameplay from up and down and left to right. Large is not bad.
    Flight 2000: science of the lanes
    Cyclopes: Helppppp me find à copie ! ! !

    #45 5 years ago

    Great, a thread that's gonna inspire me to buy Early SS games...
    It's bound to start happening, when? IDK!

    #46 5 years ago

    In no order (other than working):

    Seawitch
    Paragon
    EBD
    Barracora
    Flash Gordon
    Sorcerer
    Cosmic Gunfight
    StarGazer
    Joker Poker
    Countdown or Sinbad

    #47 5 years ago

    Since I am a huge fan of this generation and this thread came up again... here we go...

    1. Fathom - "the pride of creation"; two inline drop target banks with a kick out hole to lock balls... and on top they can be remotely "controlled" by another drop target bank. Then there is a spinner, which can give huge points, especially when lit during a two or three ball multiball. Furthermore a "hurry up" extra ball shot after shooting on another drop target bank in 1-2-3 order. One more thing to mention - a very nice "satisfying" combo... left flipper - cave trap drops, upper right flipper lagoon cave drops (or kick out hole)... (now I have to stop )

    I am pretty sure that this machine was only possible because of the huge commercial success of machine like Harlem Globetrotters, Kiss, Star Trek, etc. one or two years before - but okay that's another story!

    2. Eight Ball Deluxe - maybe the best single ball machine on this planet. Beside the layout there is a nearly perfect ruleset.

    3. Centaur - the most unique and innovative pinball of all time (my personal opinion). Self ejecting (up to 5!) multiball, echo board for even improving the super cool sound, captive ball for inline drop targets, magnet which holds the ball, "hurry up" (multiplier) bonus collect shot and some say the best (at least coolest) artwork ever... Only my personal number 3 because of the not perfect ruleset - but still it is very good. I also miss a spinner or playfield multiplier.

    4. Flash Gordon - hey, you need skills and a plan to have fun (and points) with this machine. And that's exactly why I love it! The artwork is also very nice - it is a shame, that nearly cabinets are totally faded. It looks great in original red. That's the only multilevel design I really like.

    5. Star Gazer - a unique design (in the usual sling area), the best spinners in pinball history. Nice rule integration for the middle spinner and the drop target right beside. I also love the way a lot of early Sterns redirect the ball.

    So now it is getting hard to find an order

    6. - 9. (alphabetically )

    Future Spa - complex layout, nice ruleset, super fun to play

    Harlem Globetrotters - one of the best players, a true battle machine in competition but compared to the top 5 it lacks of features

    Paragon - which pinball machine has Golden Cliffs, a Valley of Demons, a Beast's Lair and a Waterfall Lane. It must have been a lot of fun to design this pinball. In terms of details and artwork a top 5 machine. And it has one of the toughest shots ever - the kick out hole (5x/extraball) which is protected by a little plastic which denies clear "perfect" shots.

    Seawitch - turn it on and you will the sound of waves, how cool is that ? A superfast player, nice integration of the drops!

    The 10. place - not sure, so the is an incomplete honor roll for other outstanding pinballs

    Frontier - "ugly", but a challenging machine with the best "indirect" bonus collect shot.

    Viking - a little bit unbalanced, but the absolutely best bonus collect shot - left flipper to the kick out hole on the top left side... sounds easy, but check out the way the ball has to go

    Barracora - as you have seen til now only bally/stern... and there could be even more of them... okay Williams did a great job on this machine - design, layout, multiball - fun! Firepower 2 is also close, especially with the drop target upgade.

    Black Hole - such an amazing pinball machine. Gottliebs masterpiece - but still, I do not fall in love with the Gottlieb solid states - can't tell why. Maybe first of all because of the way the ball flows on this impressive Sys80 widebody lineup. A friend of mine has a nearly complete Sys80 lineup. That looks so cool having them in a row - but still no greed to get them.

    #48 5 years ago

    Frank,

    You must stop by Casa Del 2Step the next time you are in town!

    #49 5 years ago

    Kevin, next time - 100%! And you are more than welcome in my house either.
    But - most probably we'll meet at Pinburgh
    btw... nice #2 hobby

    1 month later
    #50 5 years ago

    1. Black Hole. Just a mesmerizing game. Very well thought out. Crazy double playfield, beautiful artwork and great sound.
    2. Black Knight. Hardcore Ritchie classic. A rush. Love it.
    3. Spirit. Maybe even more mesmerizing than BH. But with a less interesting second playfield. Still: awesome, awesome game.
    4. Orbitor 1. If only for its originality. After 8 years I still kick myself for selling mine.
    5. Lightning. This Stern is right up there with Black Knight. Lightning fast. Great, challenging ruleset. Cool theme and voices.
    6. Elektra. A very interesting and cool ruleset. Not for casual players at all. Love the ball flow on the plexi playfield.
    7. Playboy. Bally Playboy? Yes, Bally Playboy. Why?? Well, because of the iconic theme, the cool use of 1st gen sounds, the bonus grotto and Bally's nerve to make a pink game. I love to step up to this from time to time. A very personal favorite.
    8. Haunted House. Gottlieb set the standard for atmospheric games in this era. They play so different from the other brands. This one has top sound effects, 3 great playfields and it looks beautiful. Just lacks a bit in the rules department, but that's ok.
    9. Flash Gordon. Love the cheesy movie, love the pin. Top notch artwork, fantastic sounds, tough as nails.
    10. Pharaoh. Lovely artwork, nice sounds and gameplay.

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