Alright so I got to spend some time on it. I’d like to think I have a little skill to me as I won the state championship in Oklahoma and was ranked in the top 40 on the stern circuit for most of the season. These are my thoughts and my thoughts only, I don’t have a horse in this race and hope every pinball that comes out is successful.
The game is prototype for sure. I can’t speak for coding (very early stages) or artwork as I believe it’s not final. Many of the shots weren’t doing anything or were very buggy which was expected. What I can speak to is playfield design and how the shots were.
The right ramp has a feature with 3/4 of the middle of it missing completely. If you don’t hit this ramp solid, it won’t make it around the ramp without the speed. It’ll simply fall back to the playfield.
The skill shot can actually go to the outlane, similar to Congo. The kickback then sent it back up to an area that is like a “snake feed” that goes back to the playfield.
There is a magna save. It’s more similar to Pharaoh’s magna save and the button is on the right side of the cabinet. It’s in such a place that you won’t accidentally hit it.
One of the main multiball features is started by hitting a roving target in the back. It was supposed to spell zombie and then start a multiball we believe, but the software never allowed for that feature to start.
Alright so, how does it shoot? Honestly after about 20 minutes, I went from being really excited to play it to an uh-oh feeling. The game plays very slow.
The orbits were moderate to hit. The shots seemed earlier on the flippers than expected. Both shots seemed to feed back to the opposite flipper, though it hung up a couple of times.
The ramps were another story. We kept count. I was 0 for 12 getting the ball successfully up the ride the coasters ramp (right ramp). Not 0 for 12 misses, that’s how many rejects I had from a trap. Either the flippers weren’t strong enough or that shot is only an on the fly shot. Across 4 players we were 0 for 20. I’ll try the other pin today and see if that was just a fluke.
The dare devil cycle shot was reject city. We’d get clean hits, the bottom would kinda lift up and the ball would just come back to the flippers. Think of the Death Star shot on Star Wars, but without the speed and it being closer to you.
The atomic shop shot reminded me of the orb shot on GOTG. It was a fairly safe return. I think a ball was supposed to lock behind it, but when I hit it nothing happened.
The spinning Oozie shot really killed any flow of the game for me. The ball seemed to spend more time being deflected off of it and trickle back to flippers. We hit it a few times to spin it, but the shot itself wasn’t satisfying and seemed to be more of a flow killer.
I’m going to play it some more today and try out the other prototype they brought. I’ll probably have some more thoughts on it later today. As of right now I’m underwhelmed by the gameplay itself. Compared to JP and Wonka on shot flow or just design, it’s not in the same ball park. If you love these games, then I’d probably advised to dial down expectations when stepping up to RAZA. Shots on this aren’t necessarily tight as it is that the geometry just makes the game play ok. When you do brick a shot (and it’ll happen more often then not) it didn’t feel like you were going to be punished for it.
I’m sure the entire package (art/sound) will come together come March. I wish Deeproot the best and hope they can back up everything that has been touted for the past couple of years. I really want my expectations to be matched and for this to be a kick ass pin. At this point though, with how it actually plays, it was underwhelming.