Quoted from 27dnast:
Just curious: is that the same advice you gave to every single Alien pre-order?
Hell yes. I don't recommend pre-ordering anything. I've consistently said that with Alien, in public and privately to people who asked. How Heighway did business or what people chose to do weren't under my control, but the pre-order model sucks ass, and Alien is not only not an exception, it's up there with the poster children.
Honestly TNA is probably one of the safer pre-order bets, not just because Spooky has proven themselves to be trustworthy and competent when it comes to delivering games, not just because it's not really even a pre-order in the sense of "hey the game is years away but give us money to develop it", but also because the simpler nature of the title lends itself more to understanding what you're getting from videos etc.
But I've played the TNA whitewood, I didn't just order it. And I'd recommend to anyone on the fence that they play first. And I say that as someone who wants this game to succeed. If I could pick between Alien and TNA selling 1000 copies I'd pick TNA, and I get paid if the former happens.
Seriously, it would be the best news in pinball to me if that happened. I hope Alien comes out properly and does well, obviously, but I'm not a blind partisan here.
Playing games before buying them isn't crazy advice that anyone should ever question, no matter how involved in the game they might be.