(Topic ID: 115926)

What's the attraction with EMs?


By Blackbeard

4 years ago



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  • 372 posts
  • 128 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by RobT
  • Topic is favorited by 10 Pinsiders

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There are 372 posts in this topic. You are on page 5 of 8.
#201 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

You're kidding, right? There's not even any software.

Looks like rules to me.....

--Jeff

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#202 4 years ago
Quoted from Darcy:

There you go, well done, posting that photo of your EM game with wire form ramps!

My understanding is that it's the first game to ever have wire form ramps. They're small but they will catch you off guard if you are not ready for them. The ball gets to the flipper much quicker than you would expect.

#203 4 years ago

that first instruction card makes it sound easy... i mean, how hard could that be?

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#204 4 years ago
Quoted from ccotenj:

that first instruction card makes it sound easy... i mean, how hard could that be?

Moving targets hard to hit with 2 inch flippers? naaah......

--jeff

#205 4 years ago

Slick Chick- Hitting pop bumpers in sequence (rotation). Even with all the software in the world, I can't think of one modern game that employs this strategy. Super pops is all you get!

#206 4 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Slick Chick- Hitting pop bumpers in sequence (rotation).

Pain in the ass is what that is

--Jeff

#207 4 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

You guys are close enough. It is the inside of the Universe that Robert in Utah is sending me later this week. Why do I like EMs? Because they don't make em like that any more.

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I foresee many games on that were you never even get to flip the ball!

#208 4 years ago
Quoted from way2wyrd:

Moving targets hard to hit with 2 inch flippers? naaah......
--jeff

and at the correct angle to not find the slings of death, almost guaranteeing the ball will find an outlane if you don't get it off the slings RIGHT NOW...

piece of cake...

#209 4 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

I foresee many games on that were you never even get to flip the ball!

Could be why the playfield is still so nice!

#210 4 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

My understanding is that it's the first game to ever have wire form ramps.

Y hello thar

#211 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Every EM is the same stupid game. Put 3 pop bumpers in the center on the flattest possible surface with a bunch of misc targets and some crappy targets and add some chime sounds and you have a winner.

I wasn't going to comment on this because even the biggest EM hater can see how blind this statement is, but I just can't help it. One thing that is definitely true about EMs is that they are all NOT the same stupid games. Back then they tried everything. There are so many crazy EM layouts it is amazing. Just look at Jack in the Box. It has no slings and pop bumpers mounted there instead. When was the last time anyone to a chance with a layout that odd in a DMD game? I thought so. Oh well the king of thumbs down lives on.

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#212 4 years ago

Bells and chimes top my list of why I still like them.

#213 4 years ago

I also did not grow up playing em's or for that matter even ss machines. I gravitated to the video games of the time (80's 90's) I have three ss games and three em games and I have to say I really like the em's. Now I am in process of getting a Fish Tales to work properly and possibly with that exception, I really enjoy the em's. Sounds, simplicity, easy rules and the fact that the em's will be around for a long time as their parts can easily be changed out or more commonly just cleaned up. I am thinking about the day that I need a specialized chip for my SS games and cannot get it.

There my .02 worth.

G

#214 4 years ago

Without reading thru all the posts, IMO, they are games the owners grew up playing. I am sure there are other reasons but I would wager this is a huge factor.

#215 4 years ago

When I was growing up I begged my mother to let me play pinball after watching some guy play on an EM in a diner. She begrudgingly gave me a quarter and after watching my game end in 8.7 seconds flat she declared it a ripoff an that I would never, ever play one of those things again. I never really played EMs until playing them in tournaments in the last eight years . I realized how challenging and fun they were. Also, I am a drop target guy. Love those 70s Gottlieb drop target games. So I really started out as a WPC DMD collector and have progressed into an EM and DMD collector. I enjoy playing both. And yes, it is cool that I can buy many EMs for the price of one new Stern.

#216 4 years ago
Quoted from ccotenj:

that first instruction card makes it sound easy... i mean, how hard could that be?

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Not hard to hit the targets. A bit harder to hit the target when it's lit. And even a bit harder when the ball hits the target and deflects right down the outlanes.

Such a great game.

Being able to aim and shoot with two inch flippers and no inlanes separates, as Bear Bryant used to say, the champions from the turds.

#217 4 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

Y hello thar

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.........I meant "With Flippers"

#218 4 years ago

To those who don't yet understand EM games, I suggest that you close your eyes for a moment. Imagine yourself in 1952. There are no electron microscopes. You have to use whatever microscope happens to be in your laboratory. You do so and you are content.

Something strange occurs when you gaze into the viewfinder. You see the future. You are gazing upon a science not yet created, a future which includes microscopes with seemingly infinite power. What a wondrous invention, you think to yourself. Then, it occurs to you that you have seen this future with your standard lab microscope. . .and you smile.

You are grabbing your leather briefcase, with its rounded top, and heading home. But, it's been a stressful day so you take a detour. You are walking into the local watering hole. Your eyes are tired from staring into microscopes all day. But, through the cigarette smoke, you can see the pinball machine in the corner. You walk over. Your hands are on the warm wooden lock-down bar. You are reading the instruction card. "It's poker," you say aloud softly as if anyone is listening. They are not. It doesn't matter. You know how to play poker. You drop in a nickel. You are transported.
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#219 4 years ago
Quoted from Shoot_Again:

Bells and chimes top my list of why I still like them.

I also like the old clanging & ringing bell sounds.

When I meet someone who says something in a whiney complaining tone like:
"those old pinball machines are so noisy ",
then that often triggers the "boring person red flag alert".

#220 4 years ago

Try a few games on a '73 Gottlieb Big Shot (2-player) or Hot Shot (4-player).
Fun game. A lot of drop targets to knock down.

If it plays a bit slow, increase the playfield slope (adjust the leg levelers to raise the back of the machine and/or lower the front), and as always, re-level it so it doesn't lean too much to right or left.

#221 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Every EM is the same stupid game. Put 3 pop bumpers in the center on the flattest possible surface with a bunch of misc targets and some crappy targets and add some chime sounds and you have a winner. Need another game? Change the artwork a little and call it a totally *different* game. I imagine EM's might work well to gut out for a virtual pinball cabinet. Or maybe you could lay some padding on them and use them for a bed. Who knows.
Of course you get people that claim that they require the ultimate skill etc. I guess people need to convince themselves that there is some reason to like them. EM's only existed because technology didnt exist to do better.

What's ironic is that you bag on em's for being repetitive, yet you own, AFM, MM and MB. Talk about repetitive. Same shit, same boring fan pattern, same rules. Apparently your not that opposed to owning games that are copies of others.

#222 4 years ago
Quoted from jdoz2:

Im 25 and love ems so growing up with them isnt a factor for me.
The art, chimes/bells, and the simple rules, and brutal gameplay is what draws me to them. I was scared of the maintenance, but after tinkering with a few it doest scare me. They are just a ton of fun for not that much money. Yeah, some can be slow, but if you rebuild the flippers and give it a decent pitch they can be mean.

This is a good summarization of my thoughts. They have a simple elegance that is missing in newer deep DMDs, so casual players will many times find an EM much more enticing. In fact they really light up is in a casual or formal competition. EMs make a nice equalizer, with a higher degree of randomness that everyone loves (the reason IM is so popular), and the rules are digestible in a single sitting. If it seems slow, increase the slope, polish the playfield, tune up the flippers and pops. The visual goal of trying to turn over the scoreboard is a constant draw for me, and 5 balls doesn't seem to be enough to get the game going... so you keep playing and playing.

#223 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Wait, thats the one with 3 pop bumpers smack in the center? Oh I might have gotten that confused with {insert any other EM here}

Dude. You easily have the biggest cookie cutter collection here. It's amazing how large, yet similar it is.

If we all had cookie cutter tastes like you, this place would be boring.

#224 4 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

Every EM is the same stupid game. Put 3 pop bumpers in the center on the flattest possible surface with a bunch of misc targets and some crappy targets and add some chime sounds and you have a winner.

Show me a DMD Game without view obstructing ramps constantly returning the ball to the flipper in-lanes, only to have to shoot for some other ramp. Sorry, not into the mindless 15-20 minute back-and-forth volleys the DMD Games draw you into. To me, it's not about the sound and lite show and LED's.

Quoted from CaptainNeo:

EM's only existed because technology didnt exist to do better.

If you think today's pinball is doing better with the same playfield dimensions than the EM 5-minute-per-game challenge that kept 3 major manufacturers busy for decades years ago, well, you're not thinking straight. IMO, all today's technology is doing is adding bling via liting and sound-voice, etc, to much of yesterday's technology.

#225 4 years ago

It's all about the dedication to original layouts and meticulous artwork.

#226 4 years ago

and what about all the advancements we see on modern games thanks to EM technology. Like the disappearing Pop bumper as seen on CV. that idea is from an EM. Spinning lamp on TOTAN, also done on 2 different EM's.

#227 4 years ago
Quoted from Boatcat:

Show me a DMD Game...

Your quotes are citing the wrong people. Markmon is the author of those gems.

#228 4 years ago

I was wondering where my quote came from. Because I don't remember ever saying that, nor is it something that I would say.

#229 4 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I was wondering where my quote came from.

It's a quirk (bug, whatever) of the forum software. If you highlight within a quote, then "Quote selected text", it cites the new post's author, not the original author of the quote.

Quoted from herg:

Show me a DMD

#230 4 years ago

either you get it or you don't. simple as that.

#231 4 years ago

I've grown up with pinball machines in the house since I was 10. Then got a job at 15 years old working for a home-sales-only pinball dealer in 1978, and worked there until 2008. We sold and serviced EM pinballs and eventually sold new games also. I believe pinballs are kinda like cars, I used to drive a 1967 Mustang, early 70's 442's etc. Later in life, after station wagons, minivans, sedans, etc. I got the itch and bought several cars just like I used to own. Around the same time, I also picked up a newer Cobra Mustang for my wife. Well, although the older classic muscle cars brought back some memories, the Cobra blew me away and was a lot more fun. It wasn't the same eye candy, but I could get right in, start it up, crank up the stereo or AC and go anywhere without worries. The wife liked it with no gas fumes, musty smells, or hesitations. I preferred less maintenance, more comfort, better theft security and more horsepower.
I'd like to think I've matured through pinballs also. I grew up with a Captain Fantastic, Fireball, Old Chicago, Lady Luck and other pinballs in the basement, along with several other shooting games, ball bowler, EM pitch and bats, etc. Now years later, I get bored quickly with these games and really enjoy my Star Trek NG, WhoDunnit, TZ, and several system 11's pins.
I give all this background information because I think the big draw for EM's are the price. There are a lot of EM's floating around and the prices are usually minimal compared to most of the newer pins. It is easy for a newbie to build up a big collection quickly and cheaply. Don't take it the wrong way, I'm not an EM hater. I understand and appreciate that some EM's are quite valuable as well as some newer games are lame and have little value, just like cars. I still fix both types everyday, enjoying the challenges along the way and meeting many wonderful pinball loving people. Me personally, I'd rather have 1 great solid-state pinball than 10 good EM games, but to each their own. I appreciate them all.

#232 4 years ago

First EM I ever played was in 2005. I'm 35. I grew up playing High Speed, Comet and Cyclone. I DIDN'T grow up with them, and I would own a lot more of them if I had unlimited space. I feel it's more about respecting the technology of the times; contained in EM coin-ops (not just pins).

The EM games that were created, were just as complex as any mathematical or scientific device of the same times.

How many manual "relays" and "counters" were used on Appolo 11? Aside from Appolo's Guidance Computer (AGC), 99% of everything man created to land on the moon was no more complex than the tech contained in an EM pinball machine; it was simply magnified for that particular application.

At one point I did not even understand how an EM worked. Once I did have a basic understanding of the complexity of it, I realized that the guys that designed those games could have worked for Ford, GE, IBM, or even the US government, designing our future. They are essentially manual calculators/computers.

I know this is not a perfect comparison but what else can you buy right now (vintage and fully working) and place in your home from the 1950-1970's that is just as entertaining to a pinball enthusiast?

If you do not know how an EM works, you may never have the respect for them, and that part of Americana could be lost, JUST that easily. I realize an EM can never be Monster Bash or TAF, but neither can EBD or Taxi (and those are two great SS games).

It is more about the TECH of "your time" than it is ever about the specifics of what the game can give you as a player. If you don't see them as fun, it's probably because your expectations are "out of time". The tech you are expecting to be presented to you as a player, just hadn't been developed yet. Once you play TAF or AFM, you are a spoiled pinball brat. kidding-kidding!

#233 4 years ago

Games of people's youth. They are just plain fun.

#234 4 years ago

I have only played one EM and it is the Super Flite I own. I got it in pretty rough condition and cleaned it up and fixed all the little mechanical issues on it to get it playing. I didn't think I would find it very enjoyable, but it was free, so I figured no loss if it wasn't much fun. As it turned out I love it. The sounds of the chimes and coils and relays are pleasing to me in a much different way than SS machine sounds. They are more visceral and industrial. Gameplay is simple, yes, but sometimes I find that a nice break from a complex rule set. Another attraction for me is, being a maintenance tech by trade, working on them is extremely entertaining. The fact that somebody could design a machine to do what it does through such a complex setup of switches, steppers, relays and hundreds of feet of wiring is awe-inspiring to me. And when I trace out a problem in that maze and fix it, it is a rush for me.
So, that's why I am a fan of EM's.

#235 4 years ago
Quoted from DRDAVE:

Reasons #11 & #12:
11: Can play your own music while playing without the "Chinese Opera Effect" as any music you play goes well with CHIMES.

Absolutely
One of the first things I did to my arcade area was put in a surround sound system and made a "pinball rock" playlist of EM era songs ... completes my journey back in time to an arcade called Funway Freeway where I spent many hours in the 70's.

That being said, yesterday I brought home my first non-EM, an AC/DC Premium. Prior to owning it I had only played on location and the sounds were muddied by all the other ambient noise so I couldn't appreciate it. Last night it was the only thing playing and sounded awesome but my wife commented that while it was cool sounding she preferred I keep the pin sound low and the stereo up high for the variety.

#236 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

You're kidding, right? There's not even any software.

You are way wrong! Whoever hits the one dingy thing and makes it ding the loudest then wins some points and also activates the other dingy thing then hit a pop bumper 10 times to light the last dingy thing. Ding that and you roll the score over! From there just continue dinging! Then a secret drop target emerges, drop it for more dinging and be the grand Champion!

#237 4 years ago
Quoted from jrivelli:

You are way wrong! Whoever hits the one dingy thing and makes it ding the loudest then wins some points and also activates the other dingy thing then hit a pop bumper 10 times to light the last dingy thing. Ding that and you roll the score over! From there just continue dinging! Then a secret drop target emerges, drop it for more dinging and be the grand Champion!

This little dingy went to market...
This little dingy went home...
This little dingy had roast beef...
And this little dingy had none...
And this little dingy went weeeee-weeeee-weeeee, all the way home!

(To the sooper-dooper-pooper-scooper-jackpot-dingy, of course.)

#238 4 years ago

I'm a video arcade game collector, but pinball games end up coming my way from time to time. I've never been interested in owning an EM game, because I grew up watching my uncle (a computer whiz from the punch-card days) try to keep his EM pins and bowling machine running. From a child's simple perspective, it was easy to conclude EM games were far harder to maintain, solid state games were far more reliable.

I do enjoy the games that straddle the line between EM and SS, especially "Mata Hari" - it's a SS but has an EM-type layout and uses chimes instead of electronic sounds. It's the only pin I've regretted selling. I bought a "Hearts Spades" project pin and hope to get it working again so I can once again enjoy some of the sounds of an old pinball without the same efforts required to keep it going.

#239 4 years ago

I have some of the same reasons listed so far and some others.

EMs look good, even when turned off.

They sound good. Plus, you can turn on some rock and roll while playing pinball and the music and the game don't compete with each other.

They're affordable. High amount of fun per dollar spent, so great value.

That goes for repair and maintenance, too. Whatever is wrong with an EM usually doesn't require expensive parts to fix.

They're much easier to move. I can move EMs in and out of my basement by myself.
Not so with DMDs. (unless I buy an Escalera someday)

To me, they're just fun. Pinball is pinball. The same flipper skills are used as well as nudging and anticipation of where the ball will go. Properly shopped/refurbished, they are not slow. Or they don't have to be, if you pitch them right and wax them.

I've played SS & DMD games that were slow with weak flippers. Old games need some love to play well again, whether they are EM or SS.
Tired, neglected pin games ARE no fun. I'm looking at you, Cedar Point arcade.

#240 4 years ago
Quoted from davewtf:

either you get it or you don't. simple as that.

Nonsense! I used to think they were boring and uninteresting too. I was a DMD guy. Then I learned to appreciate them, mostly from seeing one that was really restored and playing sweet. That opened my eyes, and once I started down that path I totally dig them. I still love my DMD games too. They're different vibes, but still pinball.

I totally believe people can be shown how they're fun, they just need to have an open mind, and someone who can show them how to play a nicely set up game. It's easy to get addicted when you realize that they're damn hard and you want "just one more game" to try and get a better score or reach the goal.

Simple ≠ easy.

#241 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Simple ≠ easy.

true dat...

one thing is for sure... i NEVER complain about "long ball times"... and i certainly didn't complain about them when i was pumping change into machines...

"keep the ball in play"... for those of us who were teethed on 2" em pinball, that was the most important thing... it's why "we" tend to have pretty good ball/machine control skills (and even with those skills, i still pretty much suck)... otherwise, your dimes went awfully fast...

#242 4 years ago

Noonesense!

#243 4 years ago

should I do a poll on how many of us were DMD only guys, and slowly went the way of early SS and EM? and what ages. I have a feeling those of us that started out DMD are around similar ages. True EM guys are ones who played them as a kid and bring back fond memories. Usually have minimal like for DMD's at all.

#244 4 years ago

I started with EM in '75 then, being a techie nerd, welcomed the SS era. I continued through DMD, but now find myself playing mostly early SS. I have one EM in my collection that's still sitting on it's back waiting for a backglass, but I'm already starting to feel the pull.

#245 4 years ago

I am 60 and was raised on EMs. Since joining the hobby in 1991,my opinion remains that EMs are too simple and without the smiles and exhilaration of modern games. I don't know half of the rules for my B/W games, so depth isn't the issue. I just like trying to keep a higher speed ball in play on a more complex,communicating playfield. I went to Expo and then PHOF in October and just played EMs and 21st C. games (to see what Pinsiders were talking about.) Came away appreciating some newer Sterns but still not the old games. I get the same feeling when I go to our local Model T museum --cool for their day, but amen for the modern cars' performance and features. At least the EMs had cool paint jobs.

#246 4 years ago

2 plays for a quarter 5 balls per game

#247 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Every EM is the same stupid game. Put 3 pop bumpers in the center on the flattest possible surface with a bunch of misc targets and some crappy targets and add some chime sounds and you have a winner. Need another game? Change the artwork a little and call it a totally *different* game. I imagine EM's might work well to gut out for a virtual pinball cabinet. Or maybe you could lay some padding on them and use them for a bed. Who knows.
Of course you get people that claim that they require the ultimate skill etc. I guess people need to convince themselves that there is some reason to like them. EM's only existed because technology didnt exist to do better.

For someone who has 33 games, you really don't appreciate proper pinball.

#249 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Every EM is the same stupid game.

Hardly.
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#250 4 years ago

Five pages now and noone has mentioned boobs?
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