(Topic ID: 105685)

What makes a game challenging to you? (poll)


By mof

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 78 posts
  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by RyanStl
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “What makes a pinball game challenging to you?”

    • When I struggle to keep the ball in play more than a few minutes -- (defensive) 58 votes
      48%
    • When I can't reach or defeat the wizard mode -- (offensive) 63 votes
      52%

    (121 votes by 0 Pinsiders)

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    There are 78 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 4 years ago

    After reviewing the results of a recent poll,
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/easy-or-challenge-poll
    I've come to learn that ALL Pinsiders prefer a challenging game over an easy game. Now I'd like to look into what Pinsiders mean by "challenging"? I've come to think that Pinsiders view pinball as being "challenging" from one of two perspectives.

    While you could agree with both of the following statements, I would assert that you favor being in one camp, when you say a game is "challenging":

    1. "Pinball is challenging when I can't ever reach/defeat the Wizard Mode..."

    2. "Pinball is challenging when I struggle to keep a ball in play more than a few minutes..."

    In short, you typically either have a defensive view or an offensive view of challenge in regards to pinball.

    Which are you? How do you know?
    -mof

    #2 4 years ago

    [reserved]
    -mof

    #3 4 years ago

    Defensive.

    I consider a game challenging when I can't keep the ball in play more than a few minutes. I have no interest in playing a game for 45-75 minutes in order to accomplish a goal. I much prefer when the game is HARDER to keep the ball in play, and the end goals come quicker (10-12 minutes for an epic long game)

    I do like small goals, like "feeding" 5 people on Diner and earning the Dine Time Jackpot, or earning Multi-ball in Black Hole -- That's like beating a solid-state Wizard mode, but you can accomplish it in <10 minutes , and so for me it's ultimately... that I don't want to ever play a game >15 minutes... and I do find ball control very challenging on Diner and Black Hole, so I consider it a defensive ball control experience, where "sometimes" I get lucky and earn a Dine Time jackpot or a multi-ball in Black Hole.

    My appreciation comes most from games that kick my butt QUICKLY and humble me. (Black Hole, Black Knight, Embryon, Fathom, etc.)

    -mof

    #4 4 years ago

    Reserved3

    #5 4 years ago

    Reserved4

    #6 4 years ago

    It really could go either way depending on what I feel like playing. Typically I'm going to favor games with shorter ball times where it's always challenging to keep the ball in play and to put together a big score, because playing an extremely long game can often just bore me and make me not want to follow it up with another.

    #7 4 years ago

    Reserved 5

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    I much prefer when the game is HARDER to keep the ball in play, and the end goals come quicker (10-12 minutes)

    I'm the complete opposite. I'm not interested in playing a drain monster, I want to see all the features a pin has to offer.

    #9 4 years ago

    [edited]

    I consider a game challenging when it has more objectives than I can achieve most of the time in the number of balls allotted.

    I consider a game frustrating when you can NEVER achieve all the objectives no matter how many times you try.

    #10 4 years ago

    I am goal/mission oriented so I will say I am definitely in the offensive camp. Not that I don't like hard, quick games. I tend to lose interest once I "beat" something.

    #11 4 years ago

    I really appreciate the responses/explanations. You guys are really helping me think this through.

    I wonder...

    Is there a direct correlation between being a defensive or offensive minded player and ball time preferences? Or is that just a coincidence?

    I also wonder, if skill level has something to do with it? I'm new to pinball (entering year 3 in a few weeks here), and so I'm still improving my skills each month... Will I some day become an offensive-minded player? Is it just a stage to be defensive?

    I'm wondering if it's more skill based, or if it's simply just a preference in how you like to get your "challenge" regardless of skill.

    Perhaps no correlations at all?

    -mof

    #12 4 years ago

    It's fair to say if you are playing to "complete objectives/missions/goals" then you would count as what I put as "wizard mode" oriented in the poll... Perhaps I would re-word that as "goal oriented" going forward.

    -mof

    #13 4 years ago

    The more you play, the better you get. The better you get, the more objectives you can achieve in any given game. A game with fewer objectives you will be able to "complete" and start over more and more, and it MIGHT become stale. Depends if the game 'clicks' with you.

    Once you get to that stage, you seek out games with more/harder objectives to keep you coming back for more.

    The really special games are the ones that provide fun for even novice players, yet have enough back end objectives to keep better players engaged.

    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    Is there a direct correlation between being a defensive or offensive minded player and ball time preferences? Or is that just a coincidence?

    I like to get lost in a game and it seems easier to do when I'm trying to go deeper into the game.

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    I'm wondering if it's more skill based, or if it's simply just a preference in how you like to get your "challenge" regardless of skill.
    Perhaps no correlations at all?
    -mof

    My issue is having a set of "rules" that you place on yourself for any reason; I'm so overly sick of overly hearing aboot one thing or the other. Fast, Flow, Stop n Go, I hate video modes because they slow the game down, blah blah blah.

    #16 4 years ago

    Ah Mof,
    Why must you try and find the meaning of life?!?!

    Here goes I suppose...
    I love the deep wizard mode games over the quick simple games (as a generalization).
    Why
    1.) I like playing the games with a brain because it is being immersed into a world. A great example is TSPP. Sure in the course of an hour game you hit the same inner loop a hundred times but each shot progresses modes towards different things. Using the shots you are literally telling a story with the silver ball. Homer day 1.) Go to work, hit the nuclear plant (pop bumpers) 2.) Go to Moe's, right ramp 3.) Drive home, Park in the garage (center shot) 4.) turn on TV, (upper PF 5.) couch end mode.
    The ball has just told the story of homers actual day!
    The beauty of the is game is that is one mode on a timer, compound that with the other tv modes / ottos modes / multiball / itchy and scratch MB / comic guy hurry ups / multiple mini wizard modes / custom call outs!!! this is the game I would want if I could only have one pin.
    The negatives are the ball times are long and four player games are near impossible.

    2.) I prefer the updated games to the originals
    Example
    Pinbot versus Jackbot
    Black Knight versus Black Knight 2000
    High Speed versus Getaway

    Code code code
    Makes the games better IMO

    3.) note I don't dislike the defense games
    Always have a good time playing them
    Love Flash Gordon
    I just haven't spent enough time with them due to availability but I'm slowly branching out.

    Good topic
    Can't wait to read more comments

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

    3.) note I don't dislike the defense games

    Me neither, I just prefer the immersion.

    #18 4 years ago

    I'm starting to diversify my collection and try to have Pinballs that are radically different from each other and yet all still fun stand alone games.
    Haven't even scratched the surface of EMs but hopefully that's something to look forward to.

    #19 4 years ago

    I think the correlation is between how comfortable somebody is with a table determines the play style they use.

    Another thing to take into consideration is location/atmosphere of the machine.

    I know while playing in league if im not familiar with a title i am playing I play defensively. I know if I keep the ball in play my points will go up even if the rules of the table havent clicked yet. By just putting around you find what shots work for you. What shots seem to be dangerous. What shot gives you what and if the risk is worth the reward. Same situation goes into playing on location.

    My goal on location is always replays.
    My goal in league is always score.
    My goal at home is almost always fun factor. (Unless im working on ball control and flipper techniques)

    Now if im playing at a buddies house its a similar situation to my house. Im there to have fun, but with a hint of competitiveness. Its always fun to brag and rile the other players up a bit.

    With that in mind. I guess I would have to be an offensive player. No matter what I play or where I play I always have a goal in mind. Sometimes it has more to do with company, fun, and laughs over what is happening in the game. Other times its grinding for points to either reach a wizard mode or get a replay for a free game on location.

    #20 4 years ago

    Any game that I can achieve a free game on my first or second play, with no idea of the rules, is not challenging

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    Any game that I can achieve a free game on my first or second play, with no idea of the rules, is not challenging

    Disagree...it is just not set up challenging. Any game can be made challenging.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from Jabbles180:

    My goal on location is always replays.
    My goal in league is always score.
    My goal at home is almost always fun factor.
    My goal at a buddy's house is competitiveness.

    Great point to consider situations.

    My goal at home is beat the GC (mine or a friend's) -- but I achieve it through defensive means (not draining) -- not by focusing on any "point maxing"
    My goal in league is don't drain -- take the easy shot and play safe -- defensive
    My goal on location is earn the free play -- don't drain -- don't read the rules -- just play and earn in 1-2-3-4-5 games usually.
    My goal at a buddy's house is actually to learn the game, so I let them explain the rules to me, and I focus on the offensive moves.

    So I'm almost always taking a defensive mindset, only when I'm being shown a pin, do I let all the "rules" and "combos" and "goals" sink in, and I try to see what the machine can do. But even while I'm learning all that -- I really like to just feel out the physics of the table, and see what the ball does. See what shots I can make regardless of their points or the rules. So, I think to be fair, I'm still playing in a defensive mindset at a friend's house, to "explore the space."

    Great posts, keep 'em coming.
    -mof

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    Any game that I can achieve a free game on my first or second play, with no idea of the rules, is not challenging

    I couldn't agree more. This is my experience at most movie theaters. Walk in. Play 1-2-3-4-5 games of whatever they have there, and earn the replay. Do it again. Leave wondering how people can possibly find a challenge in that game.

    -mof

    #24 4 years ago

    Beer.

    #25 4 years ago

    To me a challenging game requires skill but contains enough equalizers/randomness that even a master will have trouble beating the game more often than not. It is what keeps EMs perpetually interesting, and is also one of the accolades of IM. In other words, goals don't have to be deep for a game to be challenging.

    Deep rulesets provide a different set of challenges... a bad player simply can't shoot well enough or keep balls in play long enough to get to Valinor on LOTR, but it provides a consistent challenge to seasoned players. I hear a consistent theme about LOTR that people tend to play it less in their homes because it requires you to devote time to a single game, but when you have the time, the rules flow like no other. SM is similar in that respect.

    I also agree with your inclusion of Black Hole in the discussion, it is one of the reasons it has lasted in my collection.

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pimp77:

    Disagree...it is just not set up challenging. Any game can be made challenging.

    Yes, I suppose that is a factor
    played High Speed when it came out, scored a free game
    played a Space Station at a friends house, I could not loose the ball
    played a Family Guy on location, game was set so steep it was not fun

    #27 4 years ago

    At home, I prefer my games really hard now. Back legs jacked up, outlanes wide open and a tight tilt. EB's sometimes turned off. Average game times of 5 or 6 minutes tops. I rarely change rule settings. Just physical settings. Rather than going for GC or the wiz mode, I set a goal like getting all three MB's stacked on BSD, or starting TV (mini) wiz mode on FGY. Those kind of things can be done pretty quickly.

    I especially like the challenge of a game like Ripley's, where the game can send you in any number of directions in a short period of time. No point in setting a goal before you start. Even with hard settings, you can get a bunch of stuff started in a short period of time. With the slot machine on Ripley's, you never know what's coming up next. The challenge is in adjusting to what the game throws at you. I like that in a game.

    On location, the only goal is the GC score. Go big or go home. Got the GC on the WH2O at the SC sportsplex yesterday (for the 4th time this month). Now, I'm trying to crack 1B.

    #28 4 years ago

    Machines that I can score 1000 points on only once in a blue moon are what i consider challenging.

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

    Haven't even scratched the surface of EMs but hopefully that's something to look forward to.

    It is!

    #30 4 years ago

    A challenging game to me is the following and in the defensive camp:

    One that keeps you off balance and on your toes. Make risky shots lucrative enough to go for, or necessary to reach an major goal / feature (multiball, etc).

    One that doesn't feed every shot feed back to the flippers - force the player to make decisions and figure out how to get the ball under control.

    Contains randomness that impacts gameplay, be it from pops, magnets or something else. (pops that always trickle out or feed the same way don't count)

    Iron man is good example most of the above. Sure you can ramp out, but the real points come from reaching Do or Die and and to get to that point, you must hit multiple different magnets as well as super risky drone standups.

    I'm also a pretty big fan of punishment, especially in a home setting - no extra balls, sensitive tilt, monster outlanes, nice and steep, no ball save. It's possible to make any game "challenging" with the right settings.

    #31 4 years ago

    I'll just describe what I like about my grail pin Theatre of Magic

    I like the fact that starting the <Gob>Illusions</Gob> is a simple straightforward process. The auto magna save keeps the noob from losing too fast and helps build the interest.

    I think the fact that you don't actually have to complete the illusions once they are started is a plus for newer players as it allows you to complete the modes with a lower score.

    As the skills increase you start completing the Illusions rather than just obtaining them. This yields higher scores and offers some nice animations.

    Next you start learning tricks to advance the clock like hitting the captive ball when plunging after a lock. The satisfaction gained after advancing the clock and having the deflection hit the trunk to complete the locks and start multiball is exceptional.

    In a nutshell I love that you can play this game with a minor level of skill and you can hone your skills on the same machine.

    #32 4 years ago

    games I like have a shot,or shots that are not easy to make but very satisfying when you make them.
    the thing that makes you want to play just 1 more game.
    it can also be a mode or combo.
    something that you did a game or 2 ago and you almost did it on your last game.
    one of my favorite tough shots was on pinbot. the target at the far right just above the right slingshot.
    when lit it advances the planets. I would sometimes take the glass off and just practice that shot until I could make it every time. another fun shot that when you can make it is on whirlwind.
    making the right ramp shot to lock the ball from the right flipper. it is a very tough shot but if you time it just right you can do it. pat lawlor once said a good pinball game is easy to learn, easy to play, and hard to beat. I guess that's what I like.its hard to explain, but you just know when a game plays right and feels good. taxi is another one for that. getting all the fares and getting the jackpot. it can be done but its not easy.

    #33 4 years ago

    You last two folks in the thread -- did you swing offensive or defensive?
    -mof

    #35 4 years ago

    I play for score all the time, always going for the GC, haven't played TZ or LOTR on location in months because you know you're in for a 10 ball game all said and done. Objectives are nice, but I can't stand being inefficient in my point scoring at any time. Sure it's boring to watch, but I turn those one-shot-wonder games into a mini-contest with myself - how many times can I shoot it before I miss? It never becomes not-entertaining as I'm constantly trying to improve my skills. Spell RIVER 6 times? Sure why not!

    I'm firmly in the "defensive" camp, and super-long games bore me. I generally prefer extra balls turned off, and the idea of TOPS tournaments with 1 ball setting appeal to me.

    #36 4 years ago

    The high price tag that makes it challenging to own.

    #37 4 years ago

    The ball time should be proportional to how well I am playing minus how risky I play. I don't mind losing a ball quickly if the shot was not precise enough or if it's a high risk high reward shot.

    That being said I prefer more "safe" shots on the table with a few riskier ones to lots of risky ones. But then again I am still a noob and lose balls easily.

    #38 4 years ago

    Appreciate the posts. Please summarize with one word "Defensive" or "Offensive" after your description so we can see which way you swayed when thinking about it...

    thanks!
    -mof

    #39 4 years ago

    Defensive.

    I'm surprised how many people said that the ease of wizard mode is what determines the difficulty of a game. It's ball time, no question. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

    If you're always playing only for wizard mode, what happens when you beat it? Suddenly, you don't want to play it much anymore.

    #40 4 years ago

    Overall I like the games that try to kick my ass (shorter ball times).

    I'm about to add a fifth DMD pin to my current line up and it will make 4 out of 5 being designed by Steve Ritchie.....so you get the idea.

    I had a LOTR for eight years but it spent most of the last two sitting because I didn't want to commit to a possible hour and a half game.....no thanks!

    #41 4 years ago

    Absolutely fascinating results... Thrilled !
    I really appreciate the brief descriptions -- well done !
    -mof

    #42 4 years ago

    At the 50 vote mark we have a virtual tie.

    Offensive: 26
    Defensive: 24

    Loving the results so far...
    -mof

    #43 4 years ago

    Makes me wonder what's a perfect split of 50/50 offense defence?

    My vote is Doctor Who

    #44 4 years ago

    Defensive. I understand getting to Valinor is hard, but if you kept your balls in play for an hour to get there, I'm not sure the pin itself is hard.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from DefaultGen:

    Defensive. I understand getting to Valinor is hard, but if you kept your balls in play for an hour to get there, I'm not sure the pin itself is hard.

    Well said.

    That response is EXACTLY why I want to stay in this single question for a few more weeks and not move ahead too quickly, there is STILL a lot to consider in this singular question. It's responses like this one that I'm looking for. I want to hear more pitches from BOTH camps as to why offensive and defensive games are fun.

    -mof

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

    Makes me wonder what's a perfect split of 50/50 offense defence?
    My vote is Doctor Who

    Great Question, you are not one but two questions ahead of us, if you can keep your research private until we get there -- we'll be stoked to hear from you what the most balanced pins are for both, but I want to build up a few ideas before we even get there. Fair?

    -mof

    #47 4 years ago

    Collection size could also be a big factor for many. You might start off liking only "defensive" or "offensive" type pins but as your collection grows you probably begin to diversify more. Variety is definitely the spice of pinball!

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

    Makes me wonder what's a perfect split of 50/50 offense defence?
    My vote is Doctor Who

    Dr. Who would be great if it wasn't basically a 1 shot game. SONIC BOOM!

    #49 4 years ago

    Looking forward to hearing more great responses...
    -mof

    #50 4 years ago

    What kind of challenge do you seek in pinball?
    Do you prefer an offensive challenge or a defensive challenge?
    -mof

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