Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle (Spooky Pinball, 2017)

Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle

Pinside rating

This game received 17 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.793 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #84 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.278

Artwork: 8.734

Sounds/Music: 7.956

Other Aspects: 7.523

Rating comments

There are 6 rating comments for this game.

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Rating history

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Found 6 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 6 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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6 days ago
Played three games on location. I should disclose that I'm not a huge AC fan, but I can appreciate the castle/haunted theme they're going for here on this machine. I probably should've studied the rules a bit more before playing because it wasn't really clear to me what I had to do get the ball up onto the upper playfield, what I was trying to do once I did get it up there, and how to properly progress through the 'castle'. The general idea of what to do is there, but this game doesn't hold your hand like some of the JJP games have possibly spoiled me with.

Music-themed pinball machines are normally something I steer away from, but I do like how this game appears to be more than just play thru AC's most well-known songs as modes. Here the music suits the theme/mood they're trying to capture.

I'm not sure I'm into the toys on this game. The little Frankenstein toy only goes up and down and appears to be nothing more than one of those goofy haired troll toys you buy in Walmart. It just looks tacked on. Other than that, what toys are on here? I like the fact that a Spooky game finally has some ramps, but I still get that feeling that I'm playing a game that's been developed on a tight budget. For my tastes, Spooky still has a lot of catching up to do in pinball innovation. There is no 'Danesi lock' innovation on this game. It just feels they're trying to capitalize on a theme to get excitement.

For me, some of the shots are just too tight for my tastes and I found myself hitting more static rubber posts than anything good. And the ramp off the upper playfield flipper is pretty steep to hit properly. I would've preferred an upper playfield loop that I can get going and going, over and over for big points. I like games with more flow.

The last machine I played that had shots this tight was Houdini. The shots on the left were the most difficult to hit on a regular basis. I found it difficult to get into a rhythm as I'm used to playing Williams machines that have much more flow. I tend to prefer games where I tend to get something for every flip no matter how bad the shot...even if the shot results in a bad ricochet down the middle.

I like the AC callouts, just wish his callouts were more specifically related to my gameplay rather than sounding so generic.
41 days ago
Put a few games in on this and it was a lot of fun. The upper Playfield has a lot of fun shots. The rules are good but could use some polishing which I am sure will happen with code updates. Great game!
59 days ago
If you like Alice Cooper then this might be the machine for you.
3 months ago
This is the best offering I have seen from Spooky so far. I like this layout better than AMH!

The Pros:
A solid layout and help from a world pinball champion to make their rules more balanced and tuned. The toys and plastic moldings on this game are better laid out and make for a fun environment. Better than the graveyard on BSD. For real. The PF shots are narrow, but never felt like they were un-makeable. The upper Pf may be the best I have seen since TSPP. The artwork, animations and music are meshed together with finesse and are polished to a fine collaboration. The amount of custom callouts that AC did for this game is just silly. AWESOME!

The Cons:
QC still seems to be the most inconsistent thing about Spooky's games. This is not to say that other manufacturers don't have these issues, they do. But Charlie and Co. seem to be caught in that intermediate rut. After seeing their factory, I am under the belief that things are only going to get better for them. After a number of plays, the ball got lost from the upper PF to the lower.

The Takeaway:
Spooky is getting much better. They still need to get their build quality down pat. But when they do... watch out! I am now going to have to become more familiar with Alice's catalog... Spooky keeps moving forward. YES! I will review this game once I get more miles on it.
8 months ago
I'm going to hold off on detailed commentary until I get in many more games in the future, and allow this game to go code final. Thus I will not rate the code or LCD integration whatsoever. In moderns, that's a big part of the experience.

I played it 3x at Golden State Pinball Festival, and watched people play for about an hour -- and my conclusions were:

If you match the venn diagram of:

1. Code explorer (versus a whitewood/physics player)
2. Alice Cooper fan
3. Modern Fan layout fan
4. People that like green with purple
5. You don't mind obfuscation (aka Creature) -- you don't get to watch any ball movement in the upper 1/3 of the playfield. It is all hidden.

Then this is the game is A++ for you. Since I am none of those things, this isn't the game for me. I am ranking it in my ratings in correlation with other Spooky titles... I would put RZ ahead of this title. I like the "Shell game", humor, and multiball action of RZ much better -- it is closer to a Black Hole/Centaur kind of feel which is more my style.

In short I learned this from playing ACNC (and other moderns):

1. Upper playfields are hard to design -- so why do we keep seeing them?
2. What happens when you brick a shot -- is really important to a game (this is why my favorite early 80's games have banks of targets, preferably drops on the lower PF) -- so that when you miss -- something random and hopefully fun still happens.
3. Don't ever put a post in the very middle of a playfield. It is the last thing in the world I want to shoot right in the middle -- other than a bash toy.
4. I miss banks of drop targets... why did the 70's/80's have to end?

Instant Pros on the take-away:

* Incredible code is coming (for code explorers) and people who like to "See what the programmer came up with" -- will love this pin.
* Gorgeous cab and BG (too bad you can't play those)
* Very beautiful sculptures (too bad you can't play those either)
* Flippers and inlanes are super smooth
* Spinner rip on left is really cool
* Alice Cooper callouts I think will be a positive and add well to the theme choreography.

What I did not see:
The guillotine in action... look forward to that.

What I did see:
Most people had about a 1.5 second ball time on the upper playfield (oh my...)
11 months ago
After owning this game for a month and putting it out at Horrorhouse Fest I have found myself more and more in love with this game. It's like Charlie combined Castle Grayskull with Fireball Island, and then added in Alice Cooper to make it a true shockfest of a table. But in all reality this game is by far the most feature packed game I've seen in 2018, and that is in comparison to some major releases from Stern and Jersey Jack! I love the ramps, the intricate plastics littered all over the place, the crazy corkscrew wireframe ramp, the frankenstein toy, the guillotine, and the list goes on and on. Sure I'm a bit biased overall since Spooky are friends and supporters of my kooky company, but dang, this very well may be the best game of 2018 and for sure the very best game Spooky has released to date!

Oh and for those wondering, it is not really a music themed game. It's more of a game with a music soundtrack buried within a score. The modes all trigger different things... sometimes songs by Alice Cooper, sometimes off the wall songs by I have no idea. It works and it works surprisingly well! Oh and they threw in "Brutal Planet"!! That was the haunted house I used to work at that I met Alice Cooper at. So friggin crazy. This will be a game I keep for many years (unless pinball ruins me and I have to unwillingly let go of it).
There are 6 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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