(Topic ID: 193650)

Which EM multiplayers need a second player?


By NicoVolta

1 year ago



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  • 27 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by fireball2
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#1 1 year ago

I'm really fond of EM multiplayers, particularly 2-players. They are the most social of all pinball machines because each player only gets to play one ball while the other watches... and it's usually a short wait! Quite unlike the poor chap waiting for his turn on LOTR!

We already have a good thread on Pinside about the "Best EM Multiplayers". BUT - which ones hold up fairly well by themselves, and which ones desperately need a second player?

Of the ones I've played (or own), I recall these are pretty much as fun to play in solo mode as with others:

Aztec
Bally Hoo
Cleopatra
Fireball
Freedom prototype
Hokus Pokus
Hot Tip
Joker Poker
Old Chicago
Out Of Sight/Far Out
Sinbad
Skyrocket
Rancho

....but these weren't so hot playing alone. Multiplayer or bust!

8-Ball
Crescendo/Groovy
Darling/Jubilee
Flying Turns
Jolly Roger
Nags (edit: oops! not a multiplayer!)
Olympic Hockey
Pit Stop
Score-Board
Solids N' Stripes
Snow Derby/Snow Queen
Surf Side

Any others come to mind? I suspect some of the multiplayer ratings on IPDB/Pinside are probably too low because they were only rated in solo-mode.

#2 1 year ago

Surf Champ is great fun when playing alone, but competition definitely makes it more fun, especially with the 2x bonus freebie on ball three that gives stragglers a chance to catch up.

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#3 1 year ago

A bad game is a bad game and won't be made any better by adding players to it.

The main problem with multiplayers is the lack, on most of them, of carryover on what was accomplished on the previous ball. You're basically just playing 3 or 5 single ball games. That isn't the rule, but it is certainly the majority. Even Surf Champ, which I really like, is that way.

#4 1 year ago

Games better with more than one player playing
are the games where one can steal locked balls or Kick Out Hole bonus build up,
by the opposition.

#5 1 year ago

Any pinball is better when other people are playing too! Especially EM's due to reasonable ball length- as stated- when someone kills it on their turn, its only a few minutes!

#6 1 year ago

I've had Dancing Lady for a couple months. Finally got it tuned up pretty good and I'm finding it surprisingly fun as a single player. More so than the 2 single players I currently have. Of course it's fun for multi-player as well.

#7 1 year ago

Who plays one player on a multi-player? You have to excercise the reels! If playing alone I always put 2-4 players up. Then I take the low scorer after the third ball, and now that players me, the underdog! Fighting for the big comeback!

*Snow Derby/Queen is a blast imo with one or two player. Getting on a roll with those spinners and 2" flippers isn't easy. Very satisfying when you get there.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinslot:

Surf Champ is great fun when playing alone, but competition definitely makes it more fun, especially with the 2x bonus freebie on ball three that gives stragglers a chance to catch up.

On 3 ball? On 5 ball it's the fifth ball that starts with 2x bonus, and can get into 3x bonus, but balls 1-4 can also get 2x bonus, just not given.
My all time fave! Great game.

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from EMsInKC:

A bad game is a bad game and won't be made any better by adding players to it.

It depends upon who is doing the rating and under what circumstances. For example Solids N' Stripes is a lousy single-player (a "bad game"?), but is an absolute blast as a 2-player due to the built-in competition rules and features.

Same for Surf Side. Incredibly fun game but without that second player the back-and-forth bonus buildup (and theft) factor is gone... blech.

Quoted from EMsInKC:

The main problem with multiplayers is the lack, on most of them, of carryover on what was accomplished on the previous ball. You're basically just playing 3 or 5 single ball games. That isn't the rule, but it is certainly the majority. Even Surf Champ, which I really like, is that way.

The importance of carryover features is often overstated in terms of the overall fun-factor. Sure, it is vital for games like Jacks Open where the point is to progress through the hands. But on many (particularly Gottlieb) games it serves mostly as a simple memory feature on the way to earning specials. Which, in a home or tournament environment, isn't that big of a deal unless one primarily plays pinball to hear the knocker... otherwise it is also basically a 3 or 5 single ball game.

Actually, that might make a good new thread... best EM carryover games & features? Now you've got me wondering...

Quoted from rufessor:

Any pinball is better when other people are playing too! Especially EM's due to reasonable ball length- as stated- when someone kills it on their turn, its only a few minutes!

Yep every multiplayer improves when at least two people are on it... but some moreso than others!

Quoted from presqueisle:

Snow Derby/Queen is a blast imo with one or two player. Getting on a roll with those spinners and 2" flippers isn't easy. Very satisfying when you get there.

It's a tougher game than it seems, that's for sure! I haven't been enjoying it nearly as much as a 1-player though. As a racing theme I get a lot more fun out of it when playing someone else... watching those pops, kickouts, and laps progressively award more points throughout the game until the grand finale final lap.

#10 1 year ago

I'm pretty sure a 2 player carry over thread already exists here. It just might not have been phrased as best-of.

#11 1 year ago

I love my Jet Spin - playing alone, I go for specials, but head-to-head it's a great competitive high score game.

#12 1 year ago

I think that special consideration should be given here to multiplayer games that don't have carryover here. Games like Pit Stop were obviously designed as two player games.

Quoted from EMsInKC:

A bad game is a bad game and won't be made any better by adding players to it.

Having multiple players can change the dynamic of a game completely. Just having more people gathered around watching and reacting can change stuff. A lot of more luck based games can be improved especially.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I think that special consideration should be given here to multiplayer games that don't have carryover here. Games like Pit Stop were obviously designed as two player games.

Well shoot... looks like all of the games in my "ok as single player" list don't have carryover features... whereas a lot of the ones in the "multiplayer or bust" list do.

You may have just hit the nail on the head, pardner.

#14 1 year ago

I disagree with Pit Stop. Many a single player has had fun playing this game and still do.

And not really sure how Nags works as a multiplayer.

But definitely Surf Side and Fashion Show.

Multiplayers that work well as single players in my collection beside Pit Stop include-

Lady Luck
Magic Clock
Serenade
El Toro
A Go Go
Eager Beaver

But they are better with more than one player.

"It is more fun to compete, invite competition".

#15 1 year ago

I spent a good amount of time restoring and playing A-Go-Go before bringing it to TPF. I guess it's good enough as a 1-player... but you miss out on that build/steal bonus opportunity throughout the game. Also more fun when others are hanging on every spin of the wheel.

#16 1 year ago

That's for sure. The 1900 bonus made the game a little lopsided so I did what I thought was best and limited max bonus to 1000 pts, and it made a world of difference.

#17 1 year ago

Not a bad idea. I remember on 4-players whoever nailed that 1900 would never be caught up with again.

#18 1 year ago

Exactly. Now it is a much more competitive game. Although it required grinding a couple teeth off the bonus stepper gear. But since I have a few spares, it didn't bother me that much.

#19 1 year ago

My Williams 1968 Lady Luck (Black Jack "21" game) fits perfectly as a solo mode two player. I can't get enough of playing against the dealers hand in the backbox. Even though i am playing only one player....playing against an imaginary dealer is like playing with another person....even though you only playing one player.

Pins Lady Luck 156 (resized).jpg

Garage Lady Luck head view P8280016 (resized).JPG

Dec 14th 2004 051 (resized).jpg

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Games better with more than one player playing
are the games where one can steal locked balls

That's what I have heard about Star Jet after having pinball gatherings.
Not so good playing single, but a great player while playing 2 players..

#21 1 year ago

Lady Luck's an all around solid game that has gone from a lucky craigslist find a year or so ago to an iconic never leaving keeper in the heart of my living room game room.

3 weeks later
#22 1 year ago

One that's caught my attention recently that you really don't need a second player is Williams Piccadilly from 1956 as it is basically two complete single player games in one. Where each player's game progresses from ball to ball with an attainable special after making it thru. Pure genius!

I bet it would be a good two player as well.

http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=1782

#23 1 year ago

the 2 that come to mind are capersville where you can steal the other players locked balls. the second would be gottlieb super score where the next player can also steal the built up bonus.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from illawarra92:

the 2 that come to mind are capersville where you can steal the other players locked balls. the second would be gottlieb super score where the next player can also steal the built up bonus.

Pretty common with Bally multiball games to steal locks. And most older Gottlieb multiplayers have no reset between balls.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from o-din:

not really sure how Nags works as a multiplayer.

D'oh! Made the correction. I played a bunch of those multiplayer ball-rolling horse derby games at Todd's place in Seattle and got it mixed up.

Shame it isn't a multiplayer. That would have made it a real screamer.

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinslot:

especially with the 2x bonus freebie on ball three that gives stragglers a chance to catch up.

Gottlieb did that with quite a few EMs, if I recall correctly. Cleopatra does it, and Big/Hot Shot does it as well. I always liked it. Since it makes the first 2 (or 4) balls strategic, but then the last ball is just a free-for-all hit everything fest.

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

Games better with more than one player playing
are the games where one can steal locked balls or Kick Out Hole bonus build up,
by the opposition.

Oh Boy! Getting that 100 bumper lit and then draining, leaving it for your opponent... Exquisite agony.

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