Let's talk about pinball


#1

I love pinball! From old EM tables, to the 90’s glory days of Bally Williams, and modern day stern LCD technical marvels. I want to hear what your favorite table of all time is? Do you like or hate the term and or song “pinball wizard”? We can also talk about pinball news and trip experiences here as well!

My favorite table right now is probably Game of Thrones, my local arcade has one so I have the opportunity to play it a lot, it’s an LE so it has the upper play field which is a lot of fun. The next time I make a trip out to the arcade I’ll make sure to take a picture of my high score, and the wall of pins that they have. Oh that’s a good idea too, if you want post your personal collection or local arcade lineups for discussion!


#2

I misread this thread as “Let’s talk about pitbull

All clear! Carry on! :upside_down:


#3

My favorite table will probably always be Theater of Magic. It’s excellent, and those sound effects are burned in my brain. Other favorites - Medieval Madness, Attack From Mars, Cirqus Voltaire.

I went on a Pinball Arcade binge a while back and played a ton of those Bally/Williams/Stern tables I used to play in arcades as a kid - they totally hold up, and while PBA has some issues, it does a pretty darn good job of emulating what a real table feels like. I’ve tried Zen Pinball but it never really clicked for me because the physics feel all weird and floaty.

Also the Demolition Man table will always be a guilty pleasure of mine because THE FLIPPER BUTTONS ARE GUN TRIGGERS, THAT’S SO RAD


#4

Hello, my people. I’m currently working on a book about Stern and how pinball has managed to stay alive after the arcades. Stayed at the pinball factory and at this point have spoken with nearly every pinball person under the sun. My favourite machines are Judge Dredd, Twilight Zone and Elvis.

AMA I guess?


#5

That sounds pretty cool, from what I understand all the people working at stern right now are real passionate people, they did everything they could to keep the business afloat. Is your book by any chance going to be covering anything like the Predator debacle, or John Popadiuk and Magic Girl?


#6

I actually have gotten big into pinball since February, when it magically occurred to me that I’m surrounded by places with pinball here in the Metro Detroit area. My favorite table is Medieval Madness (1997 and the 2015 reissue), my second favorite is The Getaway: High Speed II (Williams 1992), and my third favorite is Corvette (Bally 1994).

I’ve also been playing a lot of The Pinball Arcade (mostly the Steam version), but haven’t bought any tables/packs yet, because I’m hoping for a big sale sometime soon.


#7

Being at Stern was a real trip, and it’s generally great to see pinball picking up again.

I’m trying to stride towards something that’ll sit well with both pinball buffs and newcomers, and while I’d llllloooove to cover the Predator affair it may stray a little too inside baseball, even for pinball. But I have tried to visit that story before, and might revisit it when I’m done. It’s a pretty interesting one. I have also been working on a separate piece about the wild life of Python Anghelo.


#8

How do you guys feel about the Jersey Jack tables? I’ve tried Wizard of Oz and I really didn’t like the big LCD at all. Felt really unnecessary and hard to follow.

It’s a shame the Pinball 2000 system died with Bally Williams, I always thought that was neat.


#9

I actually really love WOZ, the design does something for me I guess, it just feels so special. But Hobbit is HOT GARBAGE, its way too open. I love the LCD screens they’re really cool, but I think Sterns got it better by making them compact. Curious about dialed in, the theme doesn’t do anything for me, but the layout looks real neat, it IS a Pat Lawlor table after all.


#10

With its pricepoint it might be hard to find in the wild, but Dialed In is actually a whole lot of fun. Wizard of Oz had too much going on at one time, and I think JJ’s started to scale back in that aspect.


#11

I’ve gotten back into pinball pretty heavy in the last couple years. Pittsburgh has an annual pinball and arcade event called ReplayFX that has been an amazing experience to attend.


#12

Dialed In looks a lot of fun, I’m hoping someplace in Detroit/Ann Arbor/Lansing orders one.


#13

Yeah, I hope I can find a Dialed In table at some point. I know it’s gotten a lot of buzz as Lawlor’s big return to pinball.


#14

As you’d expect it’s got great flow, and as tight as everything appears there aren’t any awkward shots. It still has… a lot going toy-wise, which I know Jack is a fan of.


#15

I’m an enormous pinball nerd myself, and am the commissioner of a pinball league that has somewhere around 80-90 players.

Re: Jersey Jack tables, I’ve only played WOZ/The Hobbit and I think they have excellent rules (the head programmer they have is the same guy who did LOTR and Simpsons Pinball Party at Stern, which were masterpieces of rule design) but the designs were remarkably kludgy. Also, a lot of the public WOZes near me are from around the earlier run of them, so they would frequently have flipper issues, lighting issues, etc, which was always a bummer. That said, when I got it playing and was able to stack a ton of modes ontop of each other, WOZ was an absolute pleasure.

There used to be a Dialed In near me, but they’ve already removed it! Bummer.

In terms of Stern, I’ve played all of their recent output (including Batman 66), and I dig most of it. Most Sterns take about a year for their code to get to an interesting place, which is frequently a sore spot for collectors and hardcore fans.

My favorite pins can vary - but I’ve been spending a TON of time on PBR Can Crusher lately (e.g. - slightly less offensive Woah Nellie! Big Juicy Melons). It’s kind of a fun game to shoot and it’s fun to try to get all of the upper lanes.


#16

I’ll always hold an appreciation for pinball, though I don’t play it that often nowadays. I used to play a Starship Troopers table on rainy days at camp as a kid. Good memories.


#17

Went to my local arcade last night, here’s my GoT score. Ill hit that half a bill one day.


#18

Great score!!

That is some interesting backplate artwork on that GoT table! I’ve only seen the three versions of artwork that are straight still images from the show. Otherwise, the playfield looks like the Premium version with the full mini-pinball table castle on the top-left, and the blue artwork on the playfield.

I do a terrible job of keeping track of my score. I really should just take a shot of my score every time I last more than a few minutes (I’m actually pretty terrible, but get lucky once in a while).


#19

Its definitely a custom, their pinball operator told me he HATED the regular backglass, so he had that one made instead. I’ll take a full pic of it next time, I forgot to do a full shot of the entire lineup.


#20

I bought ToM after a single test-play in PBA. Definitely worth the money! It has become my go-to, but none of my local spots have it. The music was the real seller, I think. I don’t care how repetitive it is, haha.