Central Park

Pinside rating

This game received 27 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.546 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #152 in the Pinside EM Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.433

Artwork: 8.152

Sounds/Music: 1.972

Other Aspects: 7.428

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has rated this game.


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Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.

Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.

Found 17 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 17 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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7 months ago
This is the game I love to hate. It's so freaking hard and that Paul drains on me all the time but I keep wanting to play it and see if I can do better. So I guess it's great for the wrong reasons
1 year ago
I am not fond of symmetrical games as a rule, but this one manages to get some extra mileage in part because of the 1-10 advance-value schtick. It's a throwback, or maybe a late version of, the non-Italian layouts with short flippers and house-ball-happy outlanes, but instead of just rewarding UTAD there's a balance between making the skill shot to light the green or yellow bumpers (or both if you magically get the ball back up there, which is hard) and taking your points in bigger droves by hitting the lit standups in the lower playfield. Yes, nudging is a necessity, but the flipper pattern you have to employ is quite different from a modern game and you can get very good scores with some practice if you practice the tap-over pass-to-post necessary to get controlled shots, in lieu of being able to do catches most of the time. It's sort of hypnotic when you get it going.

That said, I prefer the add-a-ball version, Hurdy Gurdy, which for a home use machine has more rewards by being able to extend the game indefinitely (a replay on a free play machine isn't as much fun as it used to be in the arcade). For that reason it gets a slightly lower rating than Hurdy Gurdy.
2 years ago
Listen very carefully..You must nudge. Forget trying to tame this beast with flippers. Without nudging this is basically a pachinko machine. Nudge well and prosper.
2 years ago
Central Park is a classic wedgehead from Gottlieb. It looks, sounds, plays and feels like a pinball game from the 1960's should.

The Pros:
A great layout with a flipper layout that looks deadly, but once you get used to it, makes all of your nudging a skillful part of your pinball game. Great skill shots from the top mean that you have to do less work than you should in just a few shots. Good action and points in the pops are where this game is at. Learning how to REALLY nudge makes this game sing. If done well a ball will rarely go down the middle lanes between the flippers and many balls can be saved from the sides with judicious manipulation of the table. Believe it or not, this game is very safe once you know how to work it. Monkeys ringing bells are way sweet!

The Cons:
The center targets are VERY dangerous. Even at a high value of 50 pts or a special, I stay away from them. This is too bad, because they are front and center... but it is what it is and there is more to do on this game than straight up and down shots.

The Takeaway:
A game that is best described as hard to difficult by most players. However, if you really learn how to nudge this table, it will shine and all of the sudden you will find those nudging skills transferring to your more modern game skillset with the quickness. Play on, experiment with this table and learn from a game like this simply because it will force you to play differently and in the long run, play better!

So, ya wanna play with my monkey?
3 years ago
This game needs to be modded for home use: make the Special also reward 50 points. If not, you're just racking up free games when it doesn't matter, and not getting points for all of your hard work.
Central Park is all about the upper playfield. Far more points to be had at the lit bumpers than making the risky standup targets.
Still lots of fun, and who doesn't love that dang monkey?
4 years ago
this is another of those old games where they where trying to find the right idea on how to make it interesting, unfortunately this one fails miserably to make it interesting. the play field is quite buig but the flippers are ever so tiny and you have like 4 slots other then between the flippers for the fall to go down the drain so it makes it very hard to keep the ball in play.

There's no music at all just the basic old pinball sounds and the bell that rings every time you hit 100 points. That bell gets old fast. it's an odd layout to. Not really bad just not very good. If the flippers where normal size it might be a bit better.

Also the graphics are kind of creepy to me, I mean I know it's from really far back but the people just creep me out for some reason. but thats not a factor in why I dislike this machine. Mainly the flippers are to bloody tiny!
4 years ago
A classic Gottlieb wedge head. Kind of a typical generic theme but the play and rules are what make the game work. The rules of the game are simple (hit upper targets 1-5 or 6-10 to advance point value for center targets) but mastering and getting the point value up for the center targets is the challenge. If that wasn't enough, the center targets carry a high risk/reward factor. Sure you can try to keep the ball in the upper playfield and slowly score points but the money shots are the center targets (up to special per hit). A challenging game with that "just one more" factor.
4 years ago
Central Park has a certain charm to it... it's just entertaining old school pinball. Something about this machine just makes me happy, which is strange, because this is an incredibly difficult table to play if you aren't very good at table bumping. What's great about Central Park is that when you get on a roll, you can earn yourself quite a number of extra balls. On my highest scoring game on this table, I believe I got something like five extra balls on top of the five you get when you first start the game. No, this isn't a deep game, but if you're looking for some basic (albeit difficult) pinball, this is a great option.
4 years ago
I prefer 3" flipper EMs from the 70s, but I gotta say, this one delivers. If set up properly, can be a fast and fun game for this era-one of the best.
5 years ago
It is interesting to play due to the odd nature of design. But it becomes frustrating when you are stuck depending on luck whether or not you will get to hit the ball more than once per ball before it ends up in the outlanes... Maybe its because I am not a nudger (I respect the machines, and I rather not risk breaking anything) so much of this game is left with luck for me. I suppose if you are a great nudger, you would have no problem.

The bell every 100 points can get annoying after a while.
5 years ago
This table is always in the Top 10 of ipdb and I never understood its appeal. There isn't anything special except the bell of the monkey. Do you really like these double outlanes and the huge center gap? OK, there's kind of a post just in the middle that might give you one more chance. There are only 2 reasonable shots to be made from the flippers. The rest and best shots are shooting somewhere left or right of the center island and praying that it will remain up for some seconds. Nudging to increase bumper action needs to be done with care. Without them your game is lost. Depending on the setup you might get a truck load of EBs which will give you the opportunity to get even more of them. Overall I have to admit that playing Central Park isn't pure luck only but also a sort of skill.
6 years ago
A fun but tough and challenging pin. Require accurate shots and good nudging skills.
6 years ago
I love playing this game on our virtual machine. It is a different layout than traditional modern machines but I like it and it's uniquness. I come back to it alot out of the 100's of games I can play on the virtual cabinet.
6 years ago
Good old EM game. Very unique strategy and scoring. Increase bonuses and keep adding balls for what seems like forever. Quite a challenge, with wide flippers and several outlanes.
6 years ago
This game is a pain in the butt but after many games you will become more efficient. This game is a nudgers paradise. This game has to be set up right for it to play correctly or you will have a miserable time. This is not the game you play 5 games on and then walk away in disgust. This is a game that you play 25-50 games on before you make a decision. This game is one of the most difficult games that Gottlieb designed. Because of this you will find Central Park playfields in good shape most of the time with low play counts.

There is not much of a skill shot. The skill shot is easy to get and it splits into two roll overs. they spot the targets 2 and 4 or 7 and 9 on the right side. The 10 targets 1-10 are in an arch and must be all hit to advance the bonus. There is a green side and a yellow side. The stationary green and yellow targets advance in value as you clear a side of targets (1-5 and 6-10) The gap between the flippers is the size of the Grand Canyon with two rollovers with rubber posts to bump and nudge the ball back tot he flippers. I used to hate this game. Now it has grown on me and challenges me every night that I play it. The theme is gorgeous and the game is gorgeous. There is a monkey animation that rings the bell for every 100 points scored.
6 years ago
I hated this machine when I was a kid and it was on location. It was real bore. I blamed the machine, and I should have blamed the operator for not setting it up correctly and keeping the rubbers fresh.

When Central Park is set up on liberal settings to tame the outlanes a bit, and when it is waxed with fresh rubbers, this game is one of the best. You can do amazing things with those bottom posts between the flippers with a bit of nudging, and once you learn to shoot to avoid the massive center targets, the game really comes to life.

Best of all, once you light the specials, it turns into a real turkey shoot, and you can rack up games faster than almost any other wedgehead. The other nice thing is that so many games of this era depend on luck--either you get that top rollover or you don't, and if you don't you're pretty much screwed. Not with Central Park, with Central Park everything you need is right there and available on every ball.

This is one people keep coming back to for one more game. If I had to pick one machine to have down in the basement, Central Park would be high on the list.
7 years ago
One of my favorite E.M. games ever. Definitely worth playing if you find it.
There are 17 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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