(Topic ID: 297642)

Why Do American Pinball Games Feel...Bad...To Me?

By arcyallen

78 days ago


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Topic Stats

  • 22 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 77 days ago by luckymoey
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#1 78 days ago

I play every pin I can put my hands on. Every manufacturer seems to have their own "feel". Can someone tell me why I might think American feels bad/cheap to me? I understand this is 100% my opinion. Lots of people more knowledgeable than me love them, and this post is not trying to crap on them. It's just every time I play Oktoberfest and Hot Wheels (I don't remember how Houdini felt), the moment I hit the flippers I thought "Yuck, this seems bad." Is it the sound the flippers make? Parts/materials different from a more common Stern? I know my MBr felt this way when I first started playing it, and then realized it was because the ball hits the metal apron on a right outlane drain. That clanging sound was 100% normal but drove me nuts for awhile.

#2 78 days ago

It’s the flippers. They are way underpowered stock. Same for JJP. And even when they are bumped up in power, they aren’t as snappy as sterns. Also they designed their games to sit very flat and floaty so they don’t play very fast.

#3 78 days ago

I have An Oktoberfest and Hot Wheels and I would definitely say they feel different, not really in a negative way tho. For me they are a bit bouncier and maybe slightly clunky compared to my other pins. The flippers do seem extra loud as well….but other than those nuances it feels like pinball to me.

#4 78 days ago

Most AP games the flippers have been very not-snappy. Also their first two games had issues if you set them up too steep, so they'd play floaty too. But I recently played a different hot wheels on location which felt much better. Wish I knew what the difference was

#5 78 days ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Most AP games the flippers have been very not-snappy. Also their first two games had issues if you set them up too steep, so they'd play floaty too. But I recently played a different hot wheels on location which felt much better. Wish I knew what the difference was

The flipper power I bet. The one near me was awful to play the first week. Was much much better after the OP upped the power a few notches.

#6 78 days ago

When I bought my Hot Wheels (NIB) I had to turn down the flipper strength as it was way too powerful at the default setting. I was getting crazy amount of air balls even with the machine leveled properly. Maybe some operators are turning it down too much. Out of the box the flippers are too snappy for Hot Wheels layout if the pitch is at or near factory recommendations.

#7 78 days ago

If you’re putting it at the recommended incline, it’s like a table. Haha. This one was steep so the flippers needed adjusted to be able to make all the shots.

I still don’t understand why the designed their games to have all the legs all the way in. So weird.

#8 78 days ago

On hot wheels they feel great actually closest to a stern now JJP flippers feel way floaty and underpowered

#9 78 days ago

So when you bump up the power on the flippers does this take away from strength with a longer game ? Is there any downfall to upping the strength?

#10 78 days ago

Rick and Morty uses P3-ROC like Hot Wheels and I don't really notice any huge difference between it and my WPC games.

#11 78 days ago

I’ve always felt the flippers on Houdini were WAY powerful. But I did increase the coil power a bit. I’ve had long stretches of long games and never noticed an issue, so I think it’s fine to do.

Houdini’s stock settings, especially at first release did not really do the game justice. If you’re playing these on location it’s not a great comparison since you have no idea what the settings are.

#12 78 days ago

I hated Houdini flippers. I played Hot Wheels and thought the flippers were a big improvement and thought the game shot pretty well overall.

#13 77 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

I hated Houdini flippers. I played Hot Wheels and thought the flippers were a big improvement and thought the game shot pretty well overall.

After installed the spooky Power distribution Board the coils on Houdini are 95% perfect.

Rest 5% hoping for an Upgrade and some Changes Pulsetiming and hold behavior

#14 77 days ago
Quoted from Briks-707:

When I bought my Hot Wheels (NIB) I had to turn down the flipper strength as it was way too powerful at the default setting. I was getting crazy amount of air balls even with the machine leveled properly. Maybe some operators are turning it down too much. Out of the box the flippers are too snappy for Hot Wheels layout if the pitch is at or near factory recommendations.

I recommend putting the flipper strength back to stock and use better foam backing for the car and RPM standup targets instead. The gray pads API has on the targets is way too soft. Stiffer foam makes a world of difference and stops air balls completely without giving up flipper strength. IIRC, this is what I used:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Frost-King-3-4-in-x-7-16-in-x-10-ft-Black-High-Density-Rubber-Foam-Weatherstrip-Tape-R734H/100047977

#15 77 days ago
Quoted from Flipstream:

I recommend putting the flipper strength back to stock and use better foam backing for the car and RPM standup targets instead. The gray pads API has on the targets is way too soft. Stiffer foam makes a world of difference and stops air balls completely without giving up flipper strength. IIRC, this is what I used:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Frost-King-3-4-in-x-7-16-in-x-10-ft-Black-High-Density-Rubber-Foam-Weatherstrip-Tape-R734H/100047977

I have the new foam backing installed and it barely cut down on the amount of air balls on this machine, it’s like playing tennis. I’ve adjusted my machine countless times....the only way it shoots decent is to have it around 6.3-6.5 pitch with flipper strength dialed back to 23 instead of the default 25.

#16 77 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

I hated Houdini flippers. I played Hot Wheels and thought the flippers were a big improvement and thought the game shot pretty well overall.

Same thing I’ve owned both and never got Houdini’s flippers set to my satisfaction. I had the updated power supply and all the adjustments done and I wanted to love the pin but couldn’t handle the right flipper as no matter what I did it never felt right. Hotwheels was better but still had times during multiballs of less flipper strength. Wonder how the new one will be when it comes out. I like their themes and layouts so hopefully it all comes together with the next release.

#17 77 days ago

“American Pinball Game Feel...Bad...To Me”

But pinball been beddy gud to me.

#18 77 days ago

You know what I think it is, the lockdown bar and side rails. I remember playing my first AP game Houdini at a festival. I didn't like the feel either. It was because of the rough powdercoat texture on the metal. I thought it felt really cheap and mechanical for a game. Like sandpaper. I have grown to like it now. I don't think anyone else does this with their games? Not sure if HotWheels had it too?

#19 77 days ago

The standard stern powder coat is rough. I don’t have any issues with the AP powder coat.

#20 77 days ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Rick and Morty uses P3-ROC like Hot Wheels and I don't really notice any huge difference between it and my WPC games.

Agreed, Hot Wheels feels like WPC games to me...If too floaty, just crank the incline up; they recommend Hot Wheels at 6, crank it to 6.5+ and the game screams.

#21 77 days ago

AP games have somewhat of their own feel ... nothing new. I think they play fine, and you can easily adjust all of the coils if there is a power concern.

Every time I play my Houdini, it makes me want to get an Oktoberfest even more.

#22 77 days ago

The look and feel of AP games may not be to everyone’s taste, but they are certainly not cheap feeling. The playfield, cabinet and overall build quality is impressive IMO - even more so when compared to their far larger, more experienced competitors. And the flippers on my HW are plenty strong and snappy. Less than Stern but stronger then BW or JJP.

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