Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pinball: Play


A running list of games played since 31 October 2014

For what I've learned from playing these machines.... Jump to What's this all about?

Each machine's flyer recorded on this Pintrest board.



The list of machines & when are where first played:  

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean (2006 Stern) Played 31/10/14 at Mad Harry's Arcade, Bristol, UK
  2. Avatar (2010 Stern) (tutorial)- Played 12/11/14 at Molloy's Bar, Bristol, UK
  3. The Shadow (1994 Bally) (tutorial) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK  
  4. The Getaway: High Speed II (1992 Williams) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK 
  5. Spider-Man (2007 Stern) (tutorial) - Played 26/11/14  in Newport, UK  
  6. Ripley's Believe It or Not!® (2003 Stern) (tutorial) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK 
  7. The Simpsons Pinball Party (2003 Stern) (tutorial) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK  
  8. Revenge From Mars (1999 Bally/Midway) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK 
  9. The Machine: Bride of Pin·bot (1991 Williams) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK  
  10. Black Knight 2000 (1989, Williams) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK 
  11. Medusa (1981 Bally) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK  
  12. Black Rose (1992 Bally/Midway) - Played 26/11/14 in Newport, UK 
  13. Star Trek (2013 Stern) (tutorial) - Played 5/12/14 in Bristol, UK  
  14. Transformers™ LE (2011 Stern) (tutorial) - Played 5/12/14 in Bristol, UK 
  15. Attack from Mars (1995 Bally/Midway) (tutorial) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  16. Iron Man (2010 Stern) (tutorial) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  17. X-Men (2012 Stern) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  18. Cirqus Voltaire (1997 Bally/Midway) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  19. White Water (1993 Williams) (tutorial) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  20. Cactus Canyon (1998 Bally/Williams) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  21. Fire Mountain (1980 Zaccaria) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  22. Theatre of Magic (1995 Bally/Midway) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  23. The Lord of the Rings (2003 Stern) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  24. Twilight Zone (1993 Bally/Midway) (tutorial) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  25. Medieval Madness (1997 Williams) (tutorial) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  26. World Challenge Soccer (1994 Gottlieb) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  27. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991 Williams) (tutorial) Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  28. Hi-Deal (1975 Bally) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  29. Genesis (1986 Gottlieb) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  30. Spirit (1982 Gottlieb) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  31. Black Knight (1980 Williams) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  32. Pink Panther (1981 Gottlieb) - Played 7/12/14 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK 
  33. Full Throttle (2014 prototype Heighway Pinball) - Played 9/12/14 at Heighway Pinball, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  34. AC/DC Premium (2012 Stern) (tutorial) Played 30/12/14 at New Year Robot Bash, Broadstone, UK 
  35. Indiana Jones (1993 Williams) Played 30/12/14 at New Year Robot Bash, Broadstone, UK
  36. Johnny Mnemonic (1995 Williams) Played 30/12/14 at New Year Robot Bash, Broadstone, UK 
  37. Monster Bash (1998 Williams) (tutorial) Played 30/12/14 at New Year Robot Bash, Broadstone, UK 
  38. Road Show (1994 Williams) Played 30/12/14 at New Year Robot Bash, Broadstone, UK 
  39. Baywatch (1995 Sega) Played 30/12/14 at New Year Robot Bash, Broadstone, UK 
  40. Big Buck Hunter (2009 Stern) Played 30/12/14 at New Year Robot Bash, Broadstone, UK 
  41. Batman Dark Knight  (2008 Stern) (tutorial) Played 30/12/14 at New Year Robot Bash, Broadstone, UK  
  42. World Cup Soccer (1994 Bally/Midway) Played 16/1/15 at Pipeline Bar, London, UK 
  43. Indianapolis 500 (1995 Bally/Midway) Played 16/1/15 at Pipeline Bar, London, UK 
  44. Fish Tales (1992 Williams) Played 16/1/15 at Pipeline Bar, London, UK  
  45. 24 (2009 Stern) Played 18/1/15 at Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK  
  46. Indiana Jones (2008 Stern) Played 18/1/15 at Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK  
  47. Jack·Bot (1995 Williams) Played 18/1/15 at Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK 
  48. Whirlwind (1990 Williams) Played 27/1/15 at Pudsey, Leeds, UK
  49. NBA Fastbreak (1997 Willaims) Played 28/1/15 at Pudsey, Leeds, UK
  50. Disney TRON Legacy (2011 Stern) Played 21/2/15 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  51. Metallica Master of Puppets LE (2012 Stern) Played 21/2/15 at Special When Lit, Salisbury, UK  
  52. Playboy (2002 Stern) Played 6/3/15 at Heighway Pinball, Merthyr Tydfil, UK
  53. Austin Powers (2001 Stern) Played 8/3/15 at Pinball Madness, Weston-super-Mare, UK 
  54. Hurricane (1991 Williams) Played 8/3/15 at Pinball Madness, Weston-super-Mare, UK 
  55. Addams Family (1992 Bally) Played 8/3/15 at Pinball Madness, Weston-super-Mare, UK 
  56. Corvette (1994 Bally) Played 29/3/15 at Broadstone, UK  
  57. Dirty Harry (1995 Williams) Played 29/3/15 at Broadstone, UK   
  58. Wizard! (1974 Bally) Played 26/4/15 at Pinball Madness, Weston-super-Mare, UK 
  59. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1993 Williams) Played 26/4/15 at Pinball Madness, Weston-super-Mare, UK 
  60. Super Mario Bros. (1992 Gottlieb) Played 26/5/15 at The Lanes, Bristol  
  61. Doctor Who (1992 Bally) Played 31/5/15 at Pinball Madness, Weston-super-Mare, UK  
  62. Flintstones (1994 Williams) Played 6/6/15 at South Milton, Devon, UK
  63. Nitro Ground Shaker (1982 Bally) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  64. Mystic (1979 Bally) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  65. Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (1993 Data-East) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  66. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1993 Williams) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  67. Hot Tip (1977 Williams) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  68. Laser War (1987 Data-East) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  69. Police Force (1989 Williams) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  70. Atlantis (1989 Bally) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  71. Firepower (1980 Williams) Played 5/7/15 at Cwmbran.South Wales. UK
  72. Centaur (1981 Bally) Played 27/7/15 at Newport, UK
  73. The Walking Dead (2014 Stern) Played 27/7/15 at Newport, UK
  74. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1992 Bally) Played 9/8/15 at Pinball Madness, Weston-super-Mare, UK 
  75. Family Guy (2007 Stern) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  76. Fireball II (1981 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  77. Party Animal (1987 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  78. Space Invaders (1979 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  79. Jokerz! (1988 Williams) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  80. Scared Stiff (1996 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  81. Hit the Deck (1978 Gottlieb) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  82. Time Machine (1988 Data East) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  83. Magic City (1967 Williams) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  84. The Six Million Dollar Man (1978 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  85. Blackout (1980 Williams) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  86. Banzai Run (1988 Williams) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  87. Caveman (1982 Gottlieb) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  88. Harlem Globetrotters On Tour (1978 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  89. Mousin' Around! (1989 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  90. Operation: Thunder (1992 Gottlieb) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  91. Batman Forever (1995 Data East) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  92. The Simpsons (1990 Data East) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  93. Tales of the Arabian Nights (1996 Williams) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  94. Fantasy (1982 Bell Games) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  95. Playboy (1989 Data East) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  96. Dr. Dude And His Excellent Ray (1990 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  97. The Sopranos (2005 Stern) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  98. Dracula (1979 Stern) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  99. Pool Sharks (1990 Bally) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  100. The Wizard of Oz (2013 Jersey Jack Pinball) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  101. Diner (1990 Williams) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  102. Goldeneye (1996 Data East) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  103. Class of 1812 (1991 Gottlieb) Played 22/8/15 at UK Pinball Party, Merthyr Tydfil, UK 
  104. The Rolling Stones (2011 Stern) Played 8/11/15 at the Plough and Windmill, Bristol, UK

World Pinball Player Rankings
Jono Sandilands [ONO]
Current World Ranking: 4152nd
Current UK Ranking: 122nd
(as of Nov 11 2015)

What's this all about?
This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently proposing a project based around arcade games, specifically Pinball (see the assignment brief).
Part of my research and understanding is to play and my outcomes to this as follows:

  • Finding pinball machines to play (limited machines in public places)
  • Traveling to play as many different machines as possible
  • Meeting people who are enthusiastic about pinball
  • The aim is to learn as much as possible about how different games work & make new contacts - and to document this process.

So what have I learned?
1. Themes and machines
I was aware of some different themes but was not aware of the extent that the gameplay is designed specifically to each theme and machine via the features (see next point). In a way I had assumed that each game was very similar in terms of gameplay.

I had no idea that there was such a variety of different themes, and that some of these machines are desirable possessions. For example I have visited a few places where there have the same machines due to their popularity. Some machines have a legendary status due to just how good they are - games like the Twilight Zone, The Addams Family and Medieval Madness for example (these would be arguable due to personal preference - but see list of top rated machines)


2. Features
When I first started this project I did not understand that each pinball machine had it's own simple ruleset based around the different features and objectives in order to score more points and extend gameplay.

Each machine is different - mainly because there are different targets, 'toys', magnets and ramps which are based around the theme of that table - however there are similarities in objectives which I break down into the following:

I'm linking these to The Internet Pinball Machine Database Glossary
Some machines are incredibly deep and have many different modes (which can also be stacked) whereas some are very simple and straightforward.

3. Skill
"...it’s not random. You can make the game do what you want!"
Naively I did not appreciate the skill required - I thought you need to quickly flip the ball away and hope to hit a target to score points. It is more than just flipping (yeah ok, I knew there was more - but I've only just noticed how much). Being able to control the ball and aim for specific targets with different skills & timing is key to being able to play longer and score more points. This video by PAPA demonstrates some basic flipper skills nice and concisely.

Nudging the machine is something I am still getting to grips with - it's a huge part of the game. You can stop the ball from draining and help ease the ball towards the desired target. For anyone interested in this technique here is a bit of a longer video about nudging.

Thinking of this I played a machine in a record shop a few years back, during play the ball got stuck, but because I didn't realise you were allowed to nudge the machine - I was scared I'd get trouble! I just gave up and walked away. (ps Another option would be to wait for the ball finder mode) (pps Nudging too much or lifting activates the tilt - which immediately ends the current ball).

4. Community
Around most games there is likely to be a community surrounding it, pinball is no different. What I had not expected is how open and friendly it is and that new players are always welcome. Opposite from how difficult it is to find machines to play in public it is extremely easy to find machines in the homes of members of the pinball community. I had been a member of the UK's online pinball community, Pinball Info, for no longer than 10 minutes before I had an invitation to visit one of the other members to play their private collection of pinball machines.

From this has come discussions about different events, meet ups and competitions, and you are encouraged to go along to them because everyone wants to see more people playing. It seems once you have been to a few of these meets people get to know your face and will start talking like you've known each other for years, of course with the common interest of pinball. There is also invites from different people to visit their collections too so these types of connections continue to grow.

5. Maintenance
Some machines become quite rare due to how old they now are and mainly due to lack of maintenance especially for machines in public. They simply don't pull in enough money for some of the bars and old fashioned arcades to warrant the cost of repair. The machines I've played in Bristol are no exception to this, and anyone playing pinball for the first time on these machines would likely not spend their time and money on pinball again.

In private collections machines are immaculate, kept well, restored because the owner knows or has learned basic maintenance. Sometime parts are not readily available but some parts companies are starting to manufacture parts for older machines based on demand - owners are prepared to buy these from anywhere in the world.


Possible ideas for future documentation
Create a better system for recording the games I play - possibly a website with notes, links, photos, flyer etc. When playing someone's private machine they are usually quite forthcoming about sharing how to play - tips and tricks. I've tried to document these in my notes but there may be a better way to do this possibly via video or audio (if I want to go down that route)