(Topic ID: 182505)

Why is AFM so good?


By rai

2 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by VolunteerPin
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#1 2 years ago

I'm truly curious, have read a lot of posts regarding how AFM is very good. With the potential announcement of AFM remake I wanted to get a handle on why it's worth potential $8k (hope that the remake would be lower price of course).

I was curious as some people say they prefer AFM over MM (why)? I have not played a ton of either pin. I mean I have played both at times but not to the extent of owning them so that I can really say I have got beyond the novice stage.

I was curious why/how AFM would be better than Met pro or IM ( as both ) seem to have fairly simple 2 ramps, 2 orbits with various unique features. I realize there are literally a lot of similar layouts (not saying same) but similar 2 ramp 2 flipper games (IM, MM, Met, AFM etc..)

I was curious why people would say AFM is better than a more complex pin like TAF or LOTR ( or other examples) where TAF has Extra flippers, magnets, toys and LOTR has more deep rules (?) three ramps, magnet etc..

Finally if AFM is a $8K pin (?) can it stand up to a 21 year newer pin like DI for example? I know DI is just a new kid and doesn't have the cred of say the other pins I listed but as the cost (?) may be close how would a simple pin like AFM relate to a complex pin with 21st century technology?

Is it just nostalgia or does AFM 21 years old (along with various B/W pins) mark the high point of pinball?

#2 2 years ago

As far as a comparison with MM - Its mostly personal preference based on theme. I really like both games and currently own an AFM. Im just not huge into medieval themes and knights, castles, goblins, etc - just not my scene. If both games were the same price (and at this point they pretty much are) I would always go AFM. Nothing wrong with MM - just personal preference and im sure youll see that similar point made by others.

As far as it holding up to brand new games? Well no - its not as complex, fast, deep, as say, Metallica but now we get into not only the conversation about theme but about nostalgia and collectability. Metallica is an incredible game - one of Sterns top 3 in my opinion but I got rid of my Met Premium for an AFM - why? nostalgia and theme. My Met Premium was tricked out with lighting mods that lit up the whole house, incredible! But at the end of the day it just didn't strike that magic chord for me long term. If I had unlimited funds and room, id have kept it and got AFM but like a lot of us, I am a collector on a seriously tight budget. The fact I have any machines at all is a small miracle!

Extra gadgets and gizmos DONT necessarily make a game better or more fun. I love TZ and TAF for all their added "stuff" and quirky features but they play night and day different than a fast, flowy, well designed tight package with a timeless awesome theme like AFM.

If you want to compare the amount of gadgets, toys, ramps, flippers, etc to price, why is Baywatch not $7000? That has to be one of the most jam-packed games ever made!

pinball price is a very nebulous thing and NOT in any way tied to age, amount of toys packed on the playfield, quantity of ramps, lighting technology, etc. Like any collectible, price - or "value" comes down to nostalgia, rareness, condition (regardless of age) and any given individuals desire to part with their money to achieve the feeling they know they will get by having a specific game in their possession.

#3 2 years ago

Agree with you on gizmos don't mean it's going to be great, my XMLE had moving ramp, spinning magnet, 3 flippers, NC etc.. I far prefer TWD or Met pro (simple) clean by contrast.

I owned STTNG and TOTAN etc,, and know complex vs simple CFTBL. Both have their merits, none better than the other because of the amount of toys. Good point with Bay Watch btw.

Is nostalgia, the main reason AFM would be preferred over IM or or ACDC or SM (type) flow type games?

#4 2 years ago

I have AFM,and 12 more pins?attack for some reason is the one I play most,have a well done art and code,good lights movement and a perfect play flow,nice animations for its time.Never had the opportunity to play MM,so I don't know what is better,but for sure AFM is an amazing piece of art.

19
#5 2 years ago

1. Simple but immensely replayable software. It's simply genius how everything works together. This game never gets old.

2. Simple but immensely replayable playfield. It just rules. Smooth, great flow, every shot is satisfying and usually sets up another shot. Plenty to do with either flipper.

3. Awesome art, theme, and humor (it's actually funny unlike MM).

4. It's created an instant litmus test to separate good pinball players from bad ones. If they say "I hate that game it's just shooting up the middle" they are bad players.

5. Awesome sound, dots, voice work.

It's the most replayable game, ever, and no matter how well you do you you always think you can do better the next time. You want to hit start even after hanging 50 billion on it, unlike so many other games were long games are brutal chores that leave you never wanting to play it again.

It's the best game ever made and that's not going to change anytime soon.

#6 2 years ago

It's fun, plain and simple.

Don't expect the remake to be less than 8k though... even though the play field isn't jam-packed, it still costs a lot in upstart costs to get plastics set up, play field recreated, etc

#7 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Agree with you on gizmos don't mean it's going to be great, my XMLE had moving ramp, spinning magnet, 3 flippers, NC etc.. I far prefer TWD or Met pro (simple) clean by contrast.
I owned STTNG and TOTAN etc,, and know complex vs simple CFTBL. Both have their merits, none better than the other because of the amount of toys. Good point with Bay Watch btw.
Is nostalgia, the main reason AFM would be preferred over IM or or ACDC or SM (type) flow type games?

AFM is often preferred by better players because the shots are tighter and the code is not as linear as MM. Since it's so open a properly setup AFM can be extremely brutal and fast. The callouts are goofy and fun and the theme just comes together really well on it.

#8 2 years ago

AFM has that pinball magic that you can't describe, you just feel it.

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

You want to hit start even after hanging 50 billion on it

I've never had this problem.

#10 2 years ago
Quoted from jgentry:

I've never had this problem.

Which problem, getting 50 billion on AFM or never wanting to play POTC again after an hour-long game?

#11 2 years ago

Easy on POTC big boy

#13 2 years ago

Writing and frenetic gameplay, which is the same reason MM is popular. There's always something immediate to shoot at, and when you do shoot it it does something funny. The sense of immediate reward is tremendous, and goes nicely with the overall clear arc to the end goal, which is illustrated in no uncertain terms right there on the playfield.

#15 2 years ago

I'm not technically looking but in the back of my mind I'm always planning my next purchase.

#16 2 years ago

AFM's Strobe Multiball is also cool as heck in a dark room.

#17 2 years ago

The ball returns to the flipper quickly and it rewards combo play and the rules allow more than one high score strategy.

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I was curious as some people say they prefer AFM over MM (why)?

I would say they like the theme better. Very similar games.

It also earns very well so I assume that helps keeps the price high too.

#19 2 years ago

It is fun to play

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I would say they like the theme better. Very similar games.
It also earns very well so I assume that helps keeps the price high too.

I prefer the theme in a big way, and also, the rules are much better.

MM actually suffers from the misplaced complaint people often issue at AFM - it really IS just about shooting up the middle. The software doesn't really reward going for all of the shots or trying to "beat" the game and get the wizard mode. It really is all about the castle. Multiball is just another tool to get more castle shots in. The trolls just get in the way, unlike the AFM "gimmick" of moving aliens which is much cooler and a much more attractive target. When I get trolls on MM, I usually just time them out when I'm trying to win.

I understand why people like MM but I've always felt AFM was a much better game, and when MM was going for $7,000 and AFM was going for half that, I always wondered when people were going to figure out how good AFM was. Didn't take too long, really.

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Which problem, getting 50 billion on AFM or never wanting to play POTC again after an hour-long game?

I've never had that problem, either.

#22 2 years ago

Is and was always a good earner. Had seven on route at the same time, now down to four. Could be at the same place for more than eight years without any complaints, RFM was dead after three months cashbox wise. Best machine ever built.

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from wellarmed:

Is and was always a good earner. Had seven on route at the same time, now down to four. Could be at the same place for more than eight years without any complaints, RFM was dead after three months cashbox wise. Best machine ever built.

You got any (good boozy) locations in Berlin I should know about? Will be there for a week this Summer.

#24 2 years ago

We could have some drinks together Levi!
Just PM me when you're in town.
And playing some pinball of course.

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Which problem, getting 50 billion on AFM or never wanting to play POTC again after an hour-long game?

The 50 billion, I think my best is around 29b and I haven't sniffed that in a while. I hear you on some of the longer playing games like POTC. Cool game but I think I made it to the first wizard mode on my first ever play on it. Multiplayer on games like those are about as fun as getting kicked in the nuts. They can be really good in a home environment for people that like longer games though.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

As far as a comparison with MM - Its mostly personal preference based on theme. I really like both games and currently own an AFM. Im just not huge into medieval themes and knights, castles, goblins, etc - just not my scene. If both games were the same price (and at this point they pretty much are) I would always go AFM. Nothing wrong with MM - just personal preference and im sure youll see that similar point made by others.
As far as it holding up to brand new games? Well no - its not as complex, fast, deep, as say, Metallica but now we get into not only the conversation about theme but about nostalgia and collectability. Metallica is an incredible game - one of Sterns top 3 in my opinion but I got rid of my Met Premium for an AFM - why? nostalgia and theme. My Met Premium was tricked out with lighting mods that lit up the whole house, incredible! But at the end of the day it just didn't strike that magic chord for me long term. If I had unlimited funds and room, id have kept it and got AFM but like a lot of us, I am a collector on a seriously tight budget. The fact I have any machines at all is a small miracle!
Extra gadgets and gizmos DONT necessarily make a game better or more fun. I love TZ and TAF for all their added "stuff" and quirky features but they play night and day different than a fast, flowy, well designed tight package with a timeless awesome theme like AFM.
If you want to compare the amount of gadgets, toys, ramps, flippers, etc to price, why is Baywatch not $7000? That has to be one of the most jam-packed games ever made!
pinball price is a very nebulous thing and NOT in any way tied to age, amount of toys packed on the playfield, quantity of ramps, lighting technology, etc. Like any collectible, price - or "value" comes down to nostalgia, rareness, condition (regardless of age) and any given individuals desire to part with their money to achieve the feeling they know they will get by having a specific game in their possession.

Good points! Theme is one of the most important qualities IMO alongside gameplay especially for collectors. Baywatch point is a perfect example as everyone says how good of a game BW is but theme is outdated now so worth much less than #AFM.

To me, when one speaks of theme, it further relates to how well the theme is integrated into all aspects of the game: art, gameplay, lightshow, music, sounds, callouts etc. and how consistently this all comes together with each element supporting others (a very difficult thing to pull off). You will find that that 'A' class games always nail this. Whatever criticisms one can level at #MM for example, all elements come together perfectly in MM - everything goes with everything else. Same for AFM.

Another aspect to me is how cool a theme is. Go back since the beginning of themed pinball and there has always been an effort to make it cool. When bowling and pool was cool then the pins reflected that. When space and science fiction was cool then pins reflected that time as well etc. IMO, an exception to cool is the recent #DI which will go down in history as the most uncool art, and most quickly dated art package ever on a pin (cell phones are not cool and technology goes out of style very quickly even faster than Baywatch - for me personally a phone reminds me of work and I will never have that game in my collection just because of the side art). At the extreme opposite end, the main point here is that AFM hits theme out of the park - there is nothing cooler than an alien invasion. What would you prefer for a theme, guy holding a cellphone into the air or alien invasion?

In summary, AFM is a spectacular example of how a very cool theme is cohesively implemented across every aspect of the game.

#27 2 years ago

Completing a '5 Way Combo' & hitting a 'Super Jackpot' are both challenging tasks to enter Wizard Mode.
Best 'Extra Ball' dmd animation ever?
Sounds are awesome

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from xsonics2k2:

Best 'Extra Ball' dmd animation ever?

For sure. Until I saw the B66 one. TWD is solid too.

#29 2 years ago

If there's a perfect pinball machine, it's Attack From Mars. It's probably my #2 favorite game after Twilight Zone, but I recognize that AFM is objectively better.

There's a beautiful simplicity to it. The shots are all fair, but challenging. The game's progression is very simple, but there are options on how to approach it (do I focus on getting to Total Annihilation first?, do I wait for MB until 3rd attack wave or 4th? 5th?, when do I collect my Stroke of Luck shots?, and so on). The sound, music, and art are all best in the business.

For competition, few games offer such great balance. AFM is challenging, but never cheap. It can be brutally hard, but control is always yours.

Between AFM and MM, I very much prefer AFM. I like the Martians more than the Trolls (I kind of hate the Trolls), and I think the scaled back nature of AFM is just more enjoyable to shoot.

I can't really find flaws when I examine AFM. It's just rock solid.

#30 2 years ago

I have most the top b/w pins now imo and i still enjoy afm the most overall. Its the fastest pin ive owned and flows amazing. Has a deep enough ruleset (if set up correctly) to stay in a home collection for sometime . Ive put over 1000 plays on it in past 6 months and have yet to beat mars or rule the universe.. rai if you want to come by and play afm, mm, mb please stop by ....you wont be disappointed .

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Rum-Z:

AFM's Strobe Multiball is also cool as heck in a dark room.

Especially with the blackout mod
....makes it crazy

#32 2 years ago

I wonder if we will see colorized animations on this one too? That would be cool.

#33 2 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

I wonder if we will see colorized animations on this one too? That would be cool.

AFM has a Color DMD.

Edit: Oh, you meant on the remake. Yeah, I hope so.

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

I wonder if we will see colorized animations on this one too? That would be cool.

Im sure it will be upgraded....

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Finally if AFM is a $8K pin (?) can it stand up to a 21 year newer pin like DI for example?

based on my play already, I would say there is no way that AFMr can even sniff the farts of DI

For the price is it not even close.

AFM is a fun an well liked game for all the reasons people have stated:
Theme, funny, fun to shoot, easy for noobs to have a goal, challenging enough for pros to have multiple goals, classic feel, simple but effective all around.

An important fact about AFM that has made it popular IMO is that it is very easy to keep running do to the simple nature of the game. This meant it spent more time working on route and also meant it spent more time getting played and engrained as 90s nostalgia.

It needs to be sub 6500 before it can even come close to the cost/benefit of an 8k DI with the advanced technology and just sheer new level that good new games are raising the bar to.

#36 2 years ago

The Rules.

Risk/Reward and thoughtful programming by one of the best pinball players to ever walk the earth. It is one of the only games I don't own that I'd seriously spring for. It just hasn't happened yet!

How many "fan-box" (long orbit/ramp shots with targets in a boxlike layout on the sides and the top of the pf) layouts have you seen that were ok, or even good, but never great? This is the standard that those games are held up to. The only games to challenge AFM that layout and form (to me) are WPT and AC/DC.

Enjoy!

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from Caucasian2Step:

The only games to challenge AFM that layout and form (to me) are WPT and AC/DC.

I agree with you there, man.

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from Richthofen:

The ball returns to the flipper quickly and it rewards combo play and the rules allow more than one high score strategy.

Metallica pro and IM seem to be like that although the rules for IM are not very deep.

#39 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

based on my play already, I would say there is no way that AFMr can even sniff the farts of DI
For the price is it not even close.
AFM is a fun an well liked game for all the reasons people have stated:
Theme, funny, fun to shoot, easy for noobs to have a goal, challenging enough for pros to have multiple goals, classic feel, simple but effective all around.
An important fact about AFM that has made it popular IMO is that it is very easy to keep running do to the simple nature of the game. This meant it spent more time working on route and also meant it spent more time getting played and engrained as 90s nostalgia.
It needs to be sub 6500 before it can even come close to the cost/benefit of an 8k DI with the advanced technology and just sheer new level that good new games are raising the bar to.

You just contradicted yourself though . You stated how awesome AFM is from an operator standpoint meaning that long term it is likely going to make the most money but then you expect it to cost $1500-$2500 less then DI which almost certainly will have more repairs and down time. From what I have read you are putting most of these on route so if they are both 8K shouldn't AFM be the easy winner?

#40 2 years ago

In addition to the factors mentioned above, the wizard mode is difficult to reach but not impossible. The wizard mode is also difficult to beat but not impossible. As a better player, this level of difficulty combined with the fast flow, multidirectional rule set and humor makes it one of the most addictive games out there. I have never been more satisfied in beating a wizard mode than when I beat the one on afm for the first time.

#41 2 years ago

Fun pin. Everything about it is good in my opinion not amazing but good nonetheless. Super overpriced though

#42 2 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

If there's a perfect pinball machine, it's Attack From Mars. It's probably my #2 favorite game after Twilight Zone, but I recognize that AFM is objectively better.
There's a beautiful simplicity to it. The shots are all fair, but challenging. The game's progression is very simple, but there are options on how to approach it (do I focus on getting to Total Annihilation first?, do I wait for MB until 3rd attack wave or 4th? 5th?, when do I collect my Stroke of Luck shots?, and so on). The sound, music, and art are all best in the business.
For competition, few games offer such great balance. AFM is challenging, but never cheap. It can be brutally hard, but control is always yours.
Between AFM and MM, I very much prefer AFM. I like the Martians more than the Trolls (I kind of hate the Trolls), and I think the scaled back nature of AFM is just more enjoyable to shoot.
I can't really find flaws when I examine AFM. It's just rock solid.

As I said my play of AFM is very much like a novice so I know to hit ramps and make some modes but have not played enough to put it all together.

To me (when I was looking to buy SM) at a Pinsiders house he had both AFM and SM and to me they played *the same* (I mean both were fun) I couldn't see the price difference $5k v $8K

IOW I was always puzzled why AFM was costing so much more than IM, SM etc..

#43 2 years ago

There were less AFM made then MM. I enjoy both very much, but I always seem to play better with AFM.

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from jgentry:

You just contradicted yourself though . You stated how awesome AFM is from an operator standpoint meaning that long term it is likely going to make the most money but then you expect it to cost $1500-$2500 less then DI which almost certainly will have more repairs and down time. From what I have read you are putting most of these on route so if they are both 8K shouldn't AFM be the easy winner?

nope AFM cant even come close to games like TAF on route. Heck TWD does as good as AFM most months.

I expect DI will far surpass AFM on route earnings. My point on AFM was that it is a simple game which rare breakdowns. This meant that even your non-attentive route OP could keep it running. Running games are the ones we all played when younger. The games we played are the ones we have nostaligia for.

From what I have seen with TH, I expect DI to be a route monster and relatively stable over time. DI still costs alot for thinking to put on route but you can be positive I would have bought it over AFM if they were the same pricepoint. We have an original AFM but it was under 6500 all done and rebuilt.

#45 2 years ago

I have both an MM and AFM. For me I actually play my MM more but it was one of the first games I every owned so I have a lot more history with it. I do find them both very enjoyable to play and with the price points now I would choose a AFM. I actually like the humor in MM. My kids enjoy MM way more than AFM as well. They think the castle is awesome and they like the trolls. If I had a choice at just one I would choose MM but I think AFM is a great game and mine will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

Anyways you were really wanting to know about AFM. Great game, great rules and very fun to play. As others have said above it does keep you coming back for more. Good luck in your decision.

#46 2 years ago

Man I wish I could run into the HUO AFM for $1800 Like I did about 5 years ago. Sold it for $10000 and bought a CC.

#47 2 years ago

I love AFM because I like "kicking those martain's butts to the moon."

The call outs from this game are the best!

#48 2 years ago

It's a lot of fun to play. Great theme, callouts, music, sound. The first time I played this the machine wasn't working right and it was in a loud barcade in Chicago. I completely didn't get what the hype was all about. Then I got to play it in a quieter location with everything working correctly. I must have played 20 games and could have played more. Hopefully someday I can get one myself!

#49 2 years ago

What you want to hear: "great theme" -- which is true, it has *great* theme integration. The game puts a smile on my face every time.

What you may forget to consider, but it's true:

-- Name another pin that is 'safer' to play (in terms of layout). You can't. The only consistent danger on this pin is making a great center shot... (doh)

You don't need to know the rules to have fun playing AFM -- all shots are beneficial -- you can flail away without ever looking up at the upper playfield -- most shots return the ball safely to the flippers...

AFM is the *safest* fan layout of all time. There's nothing at all wrong with liking safe or easy. Just be honest about it, next time you are bashing a game for being "too easy"... remember your love of AFM... It is partially due to how relaxing it is to play an easy game.
-mof

#50 2 years ago

AFM is like Iron Man. It is simple but it is not EASY to beat. It is fun, a lot of fun.

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