(Topic ID: 110738)

What EM game surprised you most?


By AlexF

5 years ago



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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by illawarra92
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There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 5 years ago

There are titles that you always heard were great. Games like Atlantis or Slick Chick that seem to have universal appeal. What about those games that surprised you. Nobody talks about them, your expectations were low and they caught you off guard at how fun they are.

A couple that I bought on a whim that turned out to be a blast were Royal Guard and Kickoff.

#2 5 years ago

Palooka is one that I picked up on a whim. I had never even seen one before. I was already a big fan of early 60s Williams, so when Robert offered to send this one along with Kings & Queens, I said heck yes! Guess which one is getting the most play.

#3 5 years ago

Golden Arrow. The first one I had I did not care for, but the second one I had totally reversed my opinion of the game. Totally fun, and great use of the 5" gong bell with the chimes unit.

#4 5 years ago

Gottlieb Olympics. Has that I almost made it, I just have to hit that start button again. The artwork is ok. It is very challenging for sure.

Here's to Jeff for inviting guys over to play his pins, Thanks.

#5 5 years ago

Of all the EMs I got to play at Expo, two had me keep pushing the start button (of course after making sure no one was behind me waiting to play ).

Abra Ca Dabra - I know alot of people like this pin, but the first few times I played it, I didn't care for it much. I must have put 30 games on it over 3 days and I really like it now. A guy I bought a Centaur from a few months ago has one and I'm going to go pick it up this weekend.

Spin Out - Not sure why I like this one so much. Maybe it's the roto. It's plain and simple, but I just couldn't get enough of it.

#6 5 years ago

Dancing Dolls. Guy in our league has a perfect playing one. Tons of fun.

#7 5 years ago

None really
Started playing pinball at the end of the EM era
It was cool to play a new title every month, but as a child i had no aprrciation of how great agame was. They were just games back then

#8 5 years ago

Gottlieb's Domino. Played it at the St. Peter's Village Arcade. Don't usually go for the two inch flippers but really liked this one. Loved the roto wheel and lighting the Dominos. Only thing that hurts it for me is the so so backglass. Nonetheless, I'd pick one up for the right price. Fortunately it's not a pricey wedge head.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from AlexF:

There are titles that you always heard were great. Games like Atlantis or Slick Chick that seem to have universal appeal. What about those games that surprised you. Nobody talks about them, your expectations were low and they caught you off guard at how fun they are.
A couple that I bought on a whim that turned out to be a blast were Royal Guard and Kickoff.

Agree on Royal Guard, I love the snap targets & 2 ways to get special!!

#10 5 years ago

Williams Heat Wave.
I'm an EM convert and have several 1970's wedgeheads that I enjoy... but I always avoided anything older like the plague (especially with 2" flippers) . I got a chance to play Heat Wave at Pinfest in Allentown earlier this year and it totally reversed my view of short flippers.
It has a thermometer animation in the backbox (like Centigrade 37) and you're trying to advance it towards a special via 7 mushroom rollovers and two swinging targets. The game also features a drop target with a value that advances along with the thermometer. Gameplay is lively and challenging and the artwork is just classic.

I have since added a Heat Wave to my lineup and also a GTB Melody to round out my 1960's short flipper lineup. These are both addictive "just one more game" pins.

#11 5 years ago

1962 Williams King Pin for me.

Looks like a total drain monster with at least 8 ways to lose the ball but the ball ends up staying in play much longer than you woulds expect as long as you are nudging. Total fun and a bunch of ways to earn Specials.

Ken

#12 5 years ago

When I first played it in '98 at the Fabulous Fantasies show in vegas I knew nothing about it. But I played Balls-A-Poppin more than any other game that weekend. I was amazed with the multiball.

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

Williams Heat Wave.
I'm an EM convert and have several 1970's wedgeheads that I enjoy... but I always avoided anything older like the plague (especially with 2" flippers) . I got a chance to play Heat Wave at Pinfest in Allentown earlier this year and it totally reversed my view of short flippers.
It has a thermometer animation in the backbox (like Centigrade 37) and you're trying to advance it towards a special via 7 mushroom rollovers and two swinging targets. The game also features a drop target with a value that advances along with the thermometer. Gameplay is lively and challenging and the artwork is just classic.
I have since added a Heat Wave to my lineup and also a GTB Melody to round out my 1960's short flipper lineup. These are both addictive "just one more game" pins.

Two inch flippers and the ability to control the ball with them separate, as Bear Bryant used to say, the champions from the turds.

It takes some skill to control the ball with two inch flippers and no inlanes like those old games had.

#14 5 years ago

Two I've owned in the past that totally surprised me and kept me playing for a long time were William's Teacher's Pet and Gottlieb's Big Casino. Very hard games to complete to light the specials. Other contenders that I've owned in the past were Royal Guard, Sweethearts, and Olympics.

Two favorites that I still own are Ice Show and Melody. The Ice Show is a bit harder than your average add-a-ball, while the Melody is just plain fun. And they look great side-by-side!

#15 5 years ago

Lady Robin Hood, GTB, 1948, 2" flippers-6 of them, nice artwork, bells, cooooool mechanics and EXCELLENTLY ADDICTIVE GAMEPLAY!

This is the second pinball to have flippers, Humpty Dumpty to be the first.

#16 5 years ago

I third of fourth a 1968 Gottlieb Royal Guard. I didn't think much of this machine but I must have played 300 games of it at a friends house during a tournament. Thankfully this game is cheap (still) and can be found rather easily. This game is a drain monster but you work the skill shot to get the right rollovers to light so when it does drain you get 500 points. You smack the targets that go back and forth to light up the stationairy targets to turn them into 100 points on each hit. What a great game although I hate the theme. Maybe the theme would grow on me if I owned one.

#17 5 years ago

Most of the early to mid 60s WMS EM pins are vastly under-rated, or at least not talked about much.
Teacher's Pet is a fav of mine, as is WMS reverse wedgehead SwingTime.
But as to an EM pin that has surprized me, as to how much i enjoyed it, is GTB AAB Majorettes.
And for underwhelming me, to my surprize, are Capt Fan and Wizard.

#18 5 years ago

Target pool... The more I played it, the more I liked it. Great game for nudging fans.

#19 5 years ago

I played Gottlieb Rollercoaster at the recent Sydney Expo and while it seemingly had a simple gameset I really enjoyed playing it and returned probably 6 or 7 times through the day. I think it had something to do with the fascination of the overhead lanes on an EM.

#20 5 years ago

Target Pool

One of the games I played as a kid but I didn't realize how fun (and deadly) those lit alternating arrows were and the ding-ding-ding of the 300 points. Great balance of skill and luck (great sling action) needed to reach special or obtain your high scores on this game.

Only downfall is the artwork is sub-par.........

#21 5 years ago

My wife and I really took a liking to Jubilee after playing it in a local arcade. It's especially fun as a two player game since you can affect the other person's game by stacking balls against them. Needless to say, we have our own now.

Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics
www.ElephantEater.com

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

And for underwhelming me, to my surprize, are Capt Fan and Wizard.

I hear you on those. Back when they came out I played both a bunch. But that was because they were easy to win free games on. But in a personal collection where you are no longer paying quarters to play games like that can get old fast. Now I gravitate towards the kind of games that took my money as fast as I dropped it in.

#23 5 years ago

Spin Out is one that I always find myself wanting to play one more game. While it has very simple gameplay, which doesn't give it as much staying power as other wedge heads from this era, it has great flow with the spin lane shots up the left and right side. And it has enough balance for scoring and winning specials between the top ABCD lanes and the four in a row roto numbers.

#24 5 years ago

Ice Review.

Never expected to keep it but gameplay is top notch.

Take out numbers 1 - 6 and light KO holes for 100, 200 points or special. Light all 5 pop bumpers for special.

Very tough game but when you do above, get ball in KO hole for 200 and get a good score, with whole playfield lit up, it is as good as any 60's game I have played, which is most of them.

#25 5 years ago

CCM hi flyer. 4 drops to hit . A huge spinner and nice flow to the top of the play field

Much fun

Jeff

#26 5 years ago

I'd say Williams "Trade Winds". At first glance, you wouldn't think this game has much going for it, but it's a great player and very challenging. Nice package all around. Those reverse wedgies are great games for the most part.

#27 5 years ago

Hit The Deck.
Played it digitally and liked it (great artwork), but in person, despite it being pretty much all bumpers and lanes it's just great fun. I really like the asymmetric flipper slings too. It's one of those games that's fun for beginners and advanced folks. Not too difficult, but work if you're trying to get all the lanes and yet you pretty much hit something every shot so it feels like you're doing something all the time. It's incredibly fast and keeps you on your toes.

#28 5 years ago

I'll also mention Spin A Card. I had previously ignored/avoided the game because it wasn't a 'wedgehead', and the artwork didn't grab me. But an opportunity to get a very nice low-play original came up, so I bought one and rebuilt it. Then I was just floored by the gameplay - terrific game, and completely hooks you to keep playing it. Fantastic player. And plenty fast too.

#29 5 years ago

I have some of the cookie cutter Gottliebs and love them. I bought a project College Queens and finally got it running recently. I was not expecting much but I really enjoy it and so do my friends. The lanes on the left and right side are really different and cool for an EM. There is a lot of action with all the pops and vari-targets. I also like the progressive scoring in the rules. You have to play a little different on the later balls than the earlier balls.

#30 5 years ago

Gottlieb "Race Time" is another surprisingly good player. It's really well designed for head to head play. There's one on eBay right now. Don't give this game short schrift. If you come across one, snag it, or give it a try.

#31 5 years ago

My Big Hit was really fun (will be leaving Wednesday sadly). Kept me hitting the start button again and again. Some would say too easy, you can cradle the ball easily, but lots to do and it shows with all the mechanics under the field. I think this game gets a bad rap due it 's oft maligned cousin Pro Football (also a center shooter). These two games share nothing other than that in terms of fun and great gameplay.

#32 5 years ago

Some of you may know that I have a liking for the woodrails and early 60's EMs. Many of these games are surprisingly fun, particularly if they are playing well.

I spoke of the 1961 Egg Head in an earlier thread as a "sleeper," but I recently picked up a well restored 1961 Gottlieb Oklahoma (signed by Wayne Neyens) because I wanted to get a multiplayer machine for my collection. This game has twin roto targets, double jet shooters that fire the ball toward the roto targets and spins them and has closely approximated pop bumpers in an upfield design that doesn't encourage the ball to immediately drain.
Machine weighs a ton. The massive lock down bar seems to weigh 20 pounds...

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#33 5 years ago

Hey, you bought that from Rob Loring didn't you? He bought it from Rob Berk. Neat game. I remember playing that exact machine at Pinball Expo many years ago. It was fun and loaded with charm.

#34 5 years ago

Yes, it's from Rob's collection. A very charming piece, indeed!

#35 5 years ago

Gottlieb's 1952 All-Star Basketball.

I remember seeing it for the first time at a Pin a Go Go show one year... and thinking to myself:
"Boy, this sure doesn't look like very much".

Was I definitely in for a surprise! A lot more fun than it looks!!

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

Some of you may know that I have a liking for the woodrails and early 60's EMs. Many of these games are surprisingly fun, particularly if they are playing well.
I spoke of the 1961 Egg Head in an earlier thread as a "sleeper," but I recently picked up a well restored 1961 Gottlieb Oklahoma (signed by Wayne Neyens) because I wanted to get a multiplayer machine for my collection. This game has twin roto targets, double jet shooters that fire the ball toward the roto targets and spins them and has closely approximated pop bumpers in an upfield design that doesn't encourage the ball to immediately drain.
Machine weighs a ton. The massive lock down bar seems to weigh 20 pounds...

GREAT looking game!!

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#37 5 years ago

Great topic... there are plenty of EM gems that don't get much love... a game I just finished this year and brought to the York show - Bally's Expressway. I never played it when it came out; in fact I never knew the game existed until seeing it at a show in the early 90s. If you are patient, have good ball control skills, and understand how to build and then score the bonus kickout, you can beat this game with decent regularity... any impatience and lack of control and your ball is done and you're going to walk away frustrated. The special feature consists of making letters in sequence, and also takes skill to light and then make specials. Most folks don't spend time understanding how to beat this game; once you play it regularly, the game gets a LOT more interesting and fun.

A few games that don't get much attention from woodrail aficionados - GTBs reverse flip games
Hit N Run and GlobeTrotter from the early 50s. Getting used to the flip setup takes some time, but these two games keep you coming back for more; lots of great ways to win, and almost getting there is easy, but getting over the hump and popping games by score and special is a special thrill, and not easy at all to accomplish. Great artwork to boot on both games.

Last but not least - Gulfstream. Everyone talks about how WMS put out a slew of games during the early-mid seventies that played and/or looked the same to save money; that's fine, but if you take some time to play a well shopped Gulf that came out during this time, then you're most likely going to really enjoy it, despite it's rather simple layout and game rules. One of the first games to support DC bumpers/kickers, because of the pure speed of the game, making 3 numbers in a line to light the special kickouts can be a challenge, especially on 3 ball play. Keeping the game angled at 5-7 degrees... it's even more challenging. Plus, there's always the "fool's gold" option of lighting 4 corner numbers on the tic-tac-toe layout to pop 3 games. It was my first pinball purchase in 1990, and it still sits proud in my line-up today.

#38 5 years ago
Quoted from Dono:

Last but not least - Gulfstream. Everyone talks about how WMS put out a slew of games during the early-mid seventies that played and/or looked the same to save money; that's fine, but if you take some time to play a well shopped Gulf that came out during this time, then you're most likely going to really enjoy it, despite it's rather simple layout and game rules. One of the first games to support DC bumpers/kickers, because of the pure speed of the game, making 3 numbers in a line to light the special kickouts can be a challenge, especially on 3 ball play. Keeping the game angled at 5-7 degrees... it's even more challenging. Plus, there's always the "fool's gold" option of lighting 4 corner numbers on the tic-tac-toe layout to pop 3 games. It was my first pinball purchase in 1990, and it still sits proud in my line-up today.

Yep, definitely an underrated game mainly because it has a Williams name and not Gottlieb that has that "Just 1 more game appeal" again and again. The artwork is fun as well with nice colors. I have a small collection and it has been with me since the beginning of my addiction and is a keeper as it has been in 3 houses we have lived in. Goes well in texas too seeing we are 4 hours away from the Gulf of Mexico.

Ken

#39 5 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

Yes, it's from Rob's collection. A very charming piece, indeed!

Man, that game is cherry! Love those games you don't see every day, especially when they are this nice.

#40 5 years ago

.

Post edited by Drano: posted in wrong EM thread

#41 5 years ago

For me, it was Gottlieb Neptune. I picked one up due to the unique look of the scoring reels. The game was fine and fun, but did not really grab me until the scoring was changed to Novelty mode.

That one change completely altered my perception of the game. It is now my #1 favorite EM. Three balls and WOW set to 50K points plus machine gun knockers equal an incredibly addictive game. The game requires touch, sharp shooting and nudging skills.

Another machine that caught me by surprise was A-Go-Go. The spinning roulette wheel between the two sets of 2" flippers coupled with the simple design of three pop bumpers and a ball capture, makes this game incredibly entertaining. If I find another one for a good price, I would definitely add it back into the collection.

Marcus

#42 5 years ago

Gottlieb Mini Pool. I had never played one before and three or four years ago at the York show I traded a Melody for the Mini Pool. It seemed like a fair trade as both are low production and the Mini Pool was in equal condition. I took it home and tuned it for my tastes and it is now the EM I go to most in my collection. Great nudger trying to get all the pool balls knocked out.

Chad

#43 5 years ago

I'm not much of a fan for em games but played a 4 million bc this weekend and would consider picking one up. Was pretty fun and like the zipper flippers

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

1961 Gottlieb Oklahoma

Beautiful looking game. It must take a lucky bounce to get the ball back up through to the top pop bumpers. A shot from either flipper looks extremely hard to make that narrow gap.

#45 5 years ago

Most recently, was surprised at how addictive Hot Line is (another 2" flipper game). Not quite so recently, am still surprised how much fin Mars trek is. Easy to play for hours. And pretty much all my pin friends concur.

#46 5 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

Some of you may know that I have a liking for the woodrails and early 60's EMs. Many of these games are surprisingly fun, particularly if they are playing well.
I spoke of the 1961 Egg Head in an earlier thread as a "sleeper," but I recently picked up a well restored 1961 Gottlieb Oklahoma (signed by Wayne Neyens) because I wanted to get a multiplayer machine for my collection. This game has twin roto targets, double jet shooters that fire the ball toward the roto targets and spins them and has closely approximated pop bumpers in an upfield design that doesn't encourage the ball to immediately drain.
Machine weighs a ton. The massive lock down bar seems to weigh 20 pounds...

Oklahoma is one of the most brutal games ever made. I had a bet with a guy in our league that I could score higher by not touching the flipper buttons while he could try all he wanted to get points by using them. I won.

#47 5 years ago

Some games are like that. The harder you try the worse your score.

#48 5 years ago
Quoted from fastford02:

Gottlieb Mini Pool. I had never played one before and three or four years ago at the York show I traded a Melody for the Mini Pool. It seemed like a fair trade as both are low production and the Mini Pool was in equal condition. I took it home and tuned it for my tastes and it is now the EM I go to most in my collection. Great nudger trying to get all the pool balls knocked out.
Chad

Glad you're likin' that "Mini Pool", Chad. I dealt that "Melody" a long time ago. Got another cherry "Mini Pool", that's why I let the other one go.

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from gearheaddropping:

Oklahoma is one of the most brutal games ever made. I had a bet with a guy in our league that I could score higher by not touching the flipper buttons while he could try all he wanted to get points by using them. I won.

You are on to something: The more you analyze the playfields of various games, the more your realize how ingenious some of them are. Some are so difficult that you may never beat them, and conversely, some are so easy that they can be beaten routinely. Oklahoma, Slick Chick, Flying Chariots, Egg Head, Derby Day, Bank-a-Ball, Abracadabra, World Champ, to name a few, seem "brutal," but once you get the rhythm, and learn the key shots, they can be tamed. Granted, mine are home games set on free play, but playing them honestly, with the tilt still enabled and proper slope, etc., the occasional big game is SO rewarding. For me, I'd rather win one game in 8 tries on a "brutal" machine, than win every time on an easier one.

BTW-- Funny story: I was working on my River Boat and noticed that the 10's bell wasn't ringing, but was scoring. I was tweaking the gap on the relay, firing a ball, but no flipping, just to watch what was happening in the cabinet. Finally got the the gap correct, it was ringing properly, and I noticed that on my third ball of no flipping, I was already close to winning a free game. The fourth ball I played with flippers and scored 20 points. I shot the 5th ball, and went behind the cabinet game and won two games letting it do it's thing...

#50 5 years ago

I can't think of an EM more "brutal" than "Capt. Card"/"High Hand". More often than not, I've had some very frustrating games on these two. I've never played "Oklahoma", but I've played "Flying Chariots" and "Sunset". These games are drain monsters, and I've had game times of about 40 seconds on them. I had a "Sunset" (briefly), and I had several games where I didn't get a flipper shot at all! Gottlieb made some real stinkers, but don't judge all those two player games as being bad players. "Gondolier" and "Race Time" are two very good players, and "Swing Along" is pretty good as well.

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