(Topic ID: 123359)

Whats your favorite four player em game


By gatordad

4 years ago



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  • 45 posts
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  • Latest reply 4 years ago by VGC1612
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#1 4 years ago

I am starting to consider a little diversity in my collection, and was wondering what are some of your top choices for a 4 player em title.

So far I like

300
joker poker

both of which I enjoyed for different reasons.

What are some other good ones?

#3 4 years ago

Surf Champ

Brian

#4 4 years ago

Fireball!

#5 4 years ago

If you like to spend a lot of money! Otherwise the solid state version is an affordable alternative with better rules as a multi player.

o-din approves this one too! But can also be pricy.

Williams Grand Prix and Bally Air Aces are also strong contenders that have a lot of action and fit in my collection well. Both very affordable.

#6 4 years ago

fireball, super soccer fun

#7 4 years ago

Joker Poker
Vulcan
Fast Draw
Jack in the Box
EDIT: add Royal Flush

to name a few....

#8 4 years ago

Gottlieb's 'Jet Spin' and Williams' 'Shangri-La' are my personal favorites.

'Fast Draw' from Gottlieb and 'Oh Boy' from Williams are both also great games.

#9 4 years ago

I'm sorry... Oh Boy is a 'two' player game.

#10 4 years ago

Fireball because it was the first pin I ever owned and got it when I was 14 in the late 70's. Also tons of Gottliebs including Surf Champ, Target Alpha, Jungle Queen, Far out etc.

#11 4 years ago

Surf Champ is just B_E_A_U_T_I_F_U_L_L
Super fun and has that ONE MORE GAME feel.

#12 4 years ago

Wizard! and Pat Hand.

Completely different layout and cost me a ton of money when they where on location.

Love to have them at home now, still a blast to play, nice to get my money back out of the cash box.

Still... two sometimes frustrating games (in the right way), keepers (for now )

Didn't grow up with Gottlieb games, here it was all Williams and Bally, favourite Gottlieb?

Gigi, also sitting in my garage, all the right brands with the best titles (IMO!)

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballprowess:

Williams' 'Shangri-La'

#14 4 years ago

Dealer's Choice
Fast Draw
Surf Champ
Amigo

#16 4 years ago

Unless you're competing, multi player games suck because every ball is the first ball.that aside,I really like

Royal Flush
Surf Champ
Mars Trek
and Recel Lady Luck.

Ted

#17 4 years ago

Surf Champ fer sure

#18 4 years ago

I had a Monaco for years. It was always my go to game even though it was a multi-player. I'd play it a lot by myself. Swinging target, building bonus and killer spinner shot..

#19 4 years ago

Jack in the Box for Gottlieb. Aztec for Williams.

#20 4 years ago
Quoted from FirePower:

Dealer's Choice
Fast Draw
Surf Champ
Amigo

Aaaah, there's my other four-player for Williams... 'Dealer's Choice'... and a seventies game no less!

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballprowess:

Aaaah, there's my other four-player for Williams... 'Dealer's Choice'... and a seventies game no less!

Glen, there we go again! I've had two "Dealer's Choice" and one "Lucky Ace". All gone now, but they're great players.

Yeah, "Joker Poker" if you can find an EM version of it. The "SS" is probably a better player though.
"Jack in the Box" is a good one for sure. Williams "Space Mission" is fun as well. "Aztec", yup. Gotta mention Bally "Bow and Arrow" too. Had one, sold it, kind of regret it.

#22 4 years ago

Game that I own: 1961 Gottlieb Oklahoma - rare game, admittedly, but it's got slingshots, cannons, 2 roto targets, lots of pops. Not as flashy and noisy as the multi bell games of later years, but challenging and fun, nonetheless.

Games that I played: Definitely a thumb's up for Surf Champ - I deliberated on one and snooze, you looze. Great game and I love surfer themes.

Royal Flush - Great game, especially if you know of the 2 player Card Whiz. If I didn't already have the single player cousin, Jacks Open, I'd be in on this one.

#23 4 years ago

Target Alpha or versions of: (Gold Strike, Lucky Strike, Canada Dry, El Dorado, Solar City). Classic layout.
targetalphalarge.jpg

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from novaguy:

multi player games suck because every ball is the first ball.

This may be true on most, but not all. There are two player games out there including my Williams Pit Stop that do not reset after each ball. Williams was trying to make multi player games more interesting.

#25 4 years ago

Gold Rush

#26 4 years ago

Love my Strato Flite

WICKED fast for an EM

#27 4 years ago

Target Alpha is great but for multiplayer games Jack in the Box is the best. The wildly unpredictable game play with those sick pop bumpers makes for some great 4-player matches.

#28 4 years ago

Only way I could narrow this down, choose one of each from the big 3 then pick my favorite of the 3.

Bally - Wizard - Great art, fun game

Gottlieb - Royal Flush - Terrific gameplay, excellent game to play with others

Williams - Grand Prix - Dual spinners and fast play

Winner - Royal Flush

#29 4 years ago

ho could you NOT love this? IMG_0672.jpg

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

Glen, there we go again! I've had two "Dealer's Choice" and one "Lucky Ace". All gone now, but they're great players.
Yeah, "Joker Poker" if you can find an EM version of it. The "SS" is probably a better player though.
"Jack in the Box" is a good one for sure. Williams "Space Mission" is fun as well. "Aztec", yup. Gotta mention Bally "Bow and Arrow" too. Had one, sold it, kind of regret it.

Well, if you've had 'two' Dealer's Choices... and got rid of 'both' of them... you're a better man than I.

#31 4 years ago

I'd love to, but I can't keep 'em all. I've probably dealt at least 80 games or so over the years.

#32 4 years ago

I just can't seem to let any of my games go. But then, they were all targeted ahead of time. I've never bought one because it was cheap, happened to be at a yard sale... or whatever the case may be.

#33 4 years ago
Quoted from novaguy:

Unless you're competing, multi player games suck because every ball is the first ball.

Once, I asked a friend what he thought of a certain multi-player EM game. His smirking reply was, "It's more fun to compete!" which told me what I needed to know. Ha. But, I'm going to reprint below from another thread a long thing I wrote about that, just because why not and also it took me a while to compose it. Here it is, freshly re-edited in places for clarity:

Quoted from I_P_D_B:

People often say that multiplayer EMs had no ability to retain the playfield settings from player to player and that the games just reset everything after every ball. While I can think of examples where that is exactly true, I am going to be the annoying guy who plays with semantics and say that quite a few multiplayer EMs actually DID retain the playfield settings from player to player, and these settings did NOT just reset after every ball. Quite a few multiplayer EMs are like this.

What I think people mean to say is that these games did not allow each player to accumulate features that were not also available to the other players to collect. That these games did not allow for private progression for each player but had features for shared progression. That it is the solid state games which retain "for each player", not "from player to player".

Here's what I mean:

Certain EM features let the next player's ball start out with whatever the previous player left for him/her. Games like Williams 4-player Whoopee and Gottlieb's 2-player Sunset have 5 steel balls in the center looping feature that do not reset for each player. What one player does with that feature is there for the next player to deal with. Gottlieb's 2-player Wild Wild West (and maybe also Lariat) have the unique vari-targets that stay "pushed" until collected by either player. Games that have roto-targets may not spin them at the start of a player's ball so whatever target value (and target bonus multiplier, don't forget) that the last player left exposed is what the next player gets. If the targets do spin at the start of each ball, this still means the playfield is not identical for each ball. Gottlieb's 2-player Seven Seas, the 2-player Mayfair, and Bally 2-player Twin Win each have two bonus ladders available to either player that stay until collected by either player. You don't start over like at 1st ball. Community features, shall we say?

So, this is why I say that these playfield settings do indeed retain "from player to player". These carry-over features do not reset after every ball. Quite a few multiplayer EM games are like that. You can probably think of more. In this way, people who press off 2nd, 3rd, and 4th player are not exactly playing individual 1-player games simultaneously on the same machine with no feature progression. I'm just seeking to counter that specific perception if you are not an EM player.

If you have never played a multi-player EM game with these carry-over features, except all by yourself, then you may not fully appreciate the built-in challenges they present in terms of competition game play. Unlike what my friend meant, it's more fun to compete but in an enhanced way because you can collect on another player's hard work and vice versa.

Yet, even without competition play, you enjoy feature progression. Even if you play all by yourself as just the 1st Player, the fact that these features carry over and do not reset means that you are able to build on what you achieved on previous balls, just like the standard 1-player machines.

In addition to the 1968 2-player "Pit Stop" game mentioned earlier, other Williams games like 1966 "8 Ball" and 1971 "Strikes and Spares", both 2-players, also carry over at least one feature from ball to ball.

Hmm.. interesting, I just noticed that eight of the ten games that I mentioned are pre-1970s. I've mentioned Gottlieb, Williams, and Bally. Could it be that the 70's games put an end to this ball-to-ball carry-over through some type of standardization... such as... I just thought of this... that ubiquitous outhole bonus ladder that was seldom used prior to 1970 but had a resurgence that never subsided starting with Gottlieb's 1970's 2-player Snow Derby and 4-player Snow Queen? You'll notice how the multi-player games that followed seemed to jump on having that outhole bonus ladder feature. The pre-70's games I mentioned here do not have outhole bonus ladders. Even the three games I mentioned that did have bonus ladders did not collect them at the outhole. Did the outhole bonus ladder kill EM multi-player carry-over? Hmm... I may be onto something here.

Could it also be because these 70's outhole bonus ladder games are more well known, are more of them, and are what many of today's EM players are used to seeing, is what keeps the thought alive that (all) multi-player EM games always reset for each ball? It's true that many people think that. Maybe that's what is going on. Maybe readers can think of examples from the 70's that carry-over.

See, this is why I gotta stay away from the forums. I cannot write one or two lines and shut up! What brought me here today is that someone asked me to talk about a certain multi-player EM that few people know about that I think is great fun and I was looking for the proper thread to talk about it, but look what I posted instead! He's not going to like that I didn't talk about that game!

Jay

#34 4 years ago

>...outhole bonus ladder that was seldom used prior to 1970 but had a resurgence that never subsided starting with Gottlieb's 1970's 2-player Snow Derby and 4-player Snow Queen?

In my view, the end-of-ball bonus "as we now know it" began with Snow Queen/Derby. The prior implementations weren't as motivating for the player (and hence earnings). The impact on isolating one player's accomplishments from the other players was probably not a conscious decision (IMHO) but more like a change in the priorities for use of the limited number of coils. Drop targets really came on strong, displacing roto targets and most continuous-loop stepper units controlling a variable value. An interesting complication for Jay's idea can be seen in the continuous-loop stepper that controls the "target bonus" in Williams Swinger/Fun Fest. The variable value is displayed in the arc of lights in the lower playfield:
http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=972&picno=9714
But the outhole bonus is the target bonus rather than the "ladder bonus" built up during play. Also, the loop steps ahead often enough that leaving a higher value for the next player is not a big deal.

As for Bally, they often provided carry-over in the form of trapped balls for multi-ball play. One player can trap a ball, drain the replacement ball, and thus set up the next player to initiate mutli-ball. As far as I know, Nip-It does this. It has an end-of-ball ladder bonus. I don't have the schematic readily available to check the details.

We should also mention that designers did occasionally try to provide isolated carry-overs for each player. Most often, this was done with additional score reels, as in Bally Wiggler:
http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2777&picno=21172
...but it could be done with separate steppers for each player, as in Gottlieb Scuba:
http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2077&picno=51095
So the blanket statement that EM multi-players have no intentional carry-over has exceptions. This could be interpreted to indicate that game designers preferred not to give players a way to steal scoring opportunities from other players in a multi-player game. If so, then the many examples Jay cites would be considered a necessary flaw. I think I've heard enough Wayne Neyens talks (and asked him detailed follow-up questions) to know that he, at least, would not view it in such simplistic terms. If anything, designers would like to have incentives for multi-player play.

Designers would be wary of setting up any "community" carry-over features in such a way that the players cooperate to win more free games than they could playing 1-player games. Police Force is one example of that behavior. But allowing one player to collect from the hard work of another might be accepted as valid for friendly (i.e., non-tournament) competition.
.................David Marston

#35 4 years ago

Hi David,

No specific goal behind these things I next write. I like to brainstorm out-loud.

Gary Flower also suggested "coil count" as a governor in this evolution when he called me this morning but I'm not quite seeing how that could be solely responsible. He suggested I ask Greg Kmiec. I wish I could ask Ed Krynksi who designed Snow Derby/Queen what was it that put him on to the bonus ladder thing.

I know correlation is not causation and the outhole bonus ladder may be just another consequence of the same driver(s) that I imagine. I gotta notice the multi-player carry-over seems to show up more in the pre-70 games. Even if we agree that the increase in deployment of the outhole bonus ladder after Snow Derby/Queen was permissible under a coil count governor, did its popularity with players have an ultimate final cost to the player, unwittingly? Did players love Snow Derby/Queen (and games that immediately followed also with a ladder) and begin to want to earn their own scores all by themselves? Was it the exciting score boost at the end of each ball, just for them, that they loved? Was this response from the player evidenced by increased cashbox profits from these games which had this outhole ladder feature, which drove designers to make more games having it, thus putting in the designer's mind a focus on individual achievement and an exciting bonus payoff, and focusing less on shared progression, thus representing a change of theology in their playfield designing? In this way, did the players themselves drive shared progression off of the playfield, turning many multi-player EMs into the "boring" games we now hear about because they reset after every ball? Were players themselves the driver that made these (1970's) multi-player games boring to them now?

That's really as far as I intended to go with that stream of thought of the moment, but now I am brain-storming some more: Did players begin to turn into individual-players and not community-players? Was a tide turning as far back as 1970? If so, solid state games aren't helping it. I could argue that most solid state games, whether 2-player or 4-player, with their memory-and-recall are nothing more than 1-player games with simultaneous play, the players are interleaved ball by ball, insulated from each other (except, for example, Bugs Bunny Birthday Ball, where players' scores can be swapped). You can't say that about the player-to-player carry-over of older EMs. Ok, I see I am heading into dark territory here pitting EM against Solid State and I might start a range war. Stopping.

Gordon Hasse wrote me this morning to say "Every Gottlieb multi-player from their first (SUPER JUMBO, October 1954) through FLAG-SHIP (January 1957) had a build-up bonus (or bonuses) that could be collected via a gobble hole, target or rollover at any point in its progression by any player. Later Gottlieb multi-players, beginning with MAJESTIC (February 1957) incorporated the popular roto-target feature." Notice that Gordon wrote, "by any player". Gordon says that Wayne Neyens insists that the multi-player saved the day for pinball. Since Wayne had to have meant the 1950's, he'd be talking about a period of time when multi-player Gottliebs were steeped in shared progression. Maybe I will ask him if he recalls just what about the multi-player experience back then kept the cashbox full, beyond what I can guess for myself.

#36 4 years ago

OK Jay, I'll join you in some rampant speculation. I haven't heard anything about the conscious attempt to encourage community scoring that Gordon refers to, but he may well have probed this area more deeply than I have. The notion of deliberately shooting for a gobble hole brings along another whole model of player motives.

Snow Derby was the first pinball I operated in revenue service (at a "street location" BTW). My impression at the time was that the primary cause of excitement was the scoring boost after draining. This effect also continued with the long-flipper games and their 10x inflated scores. For example, you drain on the last (5th) ball on Jack in the Box at 69,210 and then your end-of-ball bonus (non-ladder in this game) gets you past the 77,000 replay threshold. So you managed to pull out a win after draining the last ball. I don't recall any talk, whether directly from players or indirectly via other ops or distrib sales reps, about players wanting to earn their own scores. Keep in mind that the carry-over features could often be seen as one player stealing the work of another. In Fireball for example, Player 1 can do all the work of trapping 2 balls, then drain before starting multi-ball. Then Player 2 comes along and easily starts multi-ball without doing all the work of setting it up.

For Snow Queen/Derby, we must also bear in mind that it has very low scoring on the playfield; perhaps the smallest span of values (50, literally) of any pinball game in which the scoring system supports 4 significant figures. Further, it has playfield devices that light (excuse me, "lite") for higher value based on the ball-in-play rather than the player hitting at target to lite it. We know* that Gottlieb had a deliberate design guideline, for multi-player games only, of lighting up devices without a skill component. By contrast, single-player games would allow skill-based enhancement of the values of some devices, because these games with ball-to-ball feature build-up were the real skill showcases. The multi-player games were viewed as being more sociable. (*Source: answers to my question about this topic by Alvin Gottlieb and Wayne Neyens at Pinball Expo a couple years ago.)

The end-of-ball bonus in Snow Queen/Derby definitely impacted Krynski and Neyens through the feedback loop of higher revenues. I don't think they had a theology of community scoring, just sociability as described above. (It's still "more fun to compete" rather than "more fun to cooperate" and if cooperating were in the theology, why not just have a party of five play one ball each on a single-player game?) We're getting into territory where the earning of extra balls (same player shoots again) would also need to be factored in. We moved from the "boring" situation where that 100 point pop bumper will lite automatically on the 5th ball (e.g., Airport) for every player to an exciting situation where a player can hit enough targets in a single ball to earn an extra ball (e.g., Vulcan/Fire Queen).

To tie in some earlier posts in this thread: certainly Target Alpha/Solar City suffers the "boring" label relative to the single-player variant, El Dorado. If you've played both, you're probably going to prefer the game where you have multiple balls to get all 15 targets and get big payoffs for doing so. If you had never seen El Dorado (or its AAB siblings), you might think Target Alpha is sufficiently exciting.

For the record, I operated all the games I have mentioned in this thread so far. I have no recollection of any group of players deliberately playing in multi-player mode for purposes of community scoring.
.................David Marston

#37 4 years ago
Quoted from dmarston:

I have no recollection of any group of players deliberately playing in multi-player mode for purposes of community scoring.

Let me make sure I do not diverge here. I've been saying "community features" but you've just introduced the phrase "community scoring". Do we agree that we are NOT referring to any cooperation between players to "beat" the machine (earn awards, replays, etc.) through these carry-over features? Do we agree that "community scoring" does not imply that? If we adopt that phrase in our thinking moving forward, we may find that an unwanted inference will pop up in the minds of others causing us to have to explain it out of them.

I suppose I cannot see players jumping with anticipation to play a game *primarily* because of community features, but I could see it in an indirect way when players return to a game to play it again and again. Wayne said multi-player games saved the day, which means they were played again and again, and per Gordon the multi-player Gottliebs from 1954 to 1957 had community features. It must have been an acceptable part of competition play for which players anticipated when they stepped up to a game to compete.

I don't necessarily want to say that even designers back then had a theology of community features but that maybe they only stayed with what made the money. Nor do I want to say that such a design theology ever existed right up to before Snow Queen/Derby. I'm only theorizing that a "feedback loop of higher revenues", starting with the outhole bonus ladder games Snow Queen/Derby, may have helped create a theology moving forward that de-emphasized and ultimately excluded community features. I should clarify that by saying "theology" I am not insisting it was a documented practice but likely a general understanding in a designer's mind of what's been working based on the feedback loop. But, okay, perhaps it became any number of "deliberate design guidelines" as you put it. Such guidelines fit into this discussion and now I know at least one existed at Gottlieb for multi-player games. Did Alvin or Wayne elaborate on why that guideline came about, and when?

So, your experience with the revenue feedback loop *began* with Snow Queen/Derby?

Always great input from you, David.

#38 4 years ago

Gottlieb Target Alpha & Jet Spin
Bally Night Rider
Williams Grand Prix
Chicago Coin Casino

#39 4 years ago

I'm kinda enjoying a Golden Arrow wedge head that's recently been revived from crickets . . .

It's been a long time since there's been a EM in tha house . . .

. . . I'm surprised how entertaining they are ( again ).

#40 4 years ago

Jay>Do we agree that we are NOT referring to any cooperation between players to "beat" the machine (earn awards, replays, etc.) through these carry-over features?

I'm not yet prepared to agree to that. I can think of instances where players would cooperate to figure out what the match number would be, so other conspiracies seem plausible. This is from the player's point of view, of course. The extent to which *designers* considered community features a good thing is what we are (mainly) discussing.

Jay>But, okay, perhaps it became any number of "deliberate design guidelines" as you put it. Such guidelines fit into this discussion and now I know at least one existed at Gottlieb for multi-player games. Did Alvin or Wayne elaborate on why that guideline came about, and when?

We didn't get into exactly when, but one could deduce it by finding control-bank relays actuated by the ball-in-play that enhance the values of some targets. As for why, the sociability aspect I mentioned was brought up as a factor. We didn't have time to go deeper, and it was a distant memory for them.
.................David Marston

#41 4 years ago

David> I'm not yet prepared to agree to that. I can think of instances where players would cooperate to figure out what the match number would be, so other conspiracies seem plausible.

Other (player) conspiracies seem plausible for... what? Towards a post-1970 decline and demise of community features? Or something else you had in mind?

Jay

#42 4 years ago
Quoted from I_P_D_B:

Once, I asked a friend what he thought of a certain multi-player EM game. His smirking reply was, "It's more fun to compete!" which told me what I needed to know. Ha. But, I'm going to reprint below from another thread a long thing I wrote about that, just because why not and also it took me a while to compose it. Here it is, freshly re-edited in places for clarity:

In addition to the 1968 2-player "Pit Stop" game mentioned earlier, other Williams games like 1966 "8 Ball" and 1971 "Strikes and Spares", both 2-players, also carry over at least one feature from ball to ball.
Hmm.. interesting, I just noticed that eight of the ten games that I mentioned are pre-1970s. I've mentioned Gottlieb, Williams, and Bally. Could it be that the 70's games put an end to this ball-to-ball carry-over through some type of standardization... such as... I just thought of this... that ubiquitous outhole bonus ladder that was seldom used prior to 1970 but had a resurgence that never subsided starting with Gottlieb's 1970's 2-player Snow Derby and 4-player Snow Queen? You'll notice how the multi-player games that followed seemed to jump on having that outhole bonus ladder feature. The pre-70's games I mentioned here do not have outhole bonus ladders. Even the three games I mentioned that did have bonus ladders did not collect them at the outhole. Did the outhole bonus ladder kill EM multi-player carry-over? Hmm... I may be onto something here.
Could it also be because these 70's outhole bonus ladder games are more well known, are more of them, and are what many of today's EM players are used to seeing, is what keeps the thought alive that (all) multi-player EM games always reset for each ball? It's true that many people think that. Maybe that's what is going on. Maybe readers can think of examples from the 70's that carry-over.
See, this is why I gotta stay away from the forums. I cannot write one or two lines and shut up! What brought me here today is that someone asked me to talk about a certain multi-player EM that few people know about that I think is great fun and I was looking for the proper thread to talk about it, but look what I posted instead! He's not going to like that I didn't talk about that game!
Jay

I'm glad I now know that.thanks Jay.(ps,keep on writing)

#43 4 years ago

Fireball and 4 MIllion BC. Gotta love multi-ball and zipper flippers.

#44 4 years ago

Target Alpha!

#45 4 years ago

Dragon,BAO!

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