Mis-spending my youth part II

While video games are all well and good, and some of them are very good indeed, I actually get more fun out of playing the silver ball. There’s a bit of an analog component there that rewards skill to a higher level than a lot of video games. So here are my favourites.

Class of 1812
This is a fairly simple game without too many rules too remember and cast of chickens clucking the 1812 Overture while playing the easily lit multiball. It spend a fair bit of time in the corner of the cheap bistro of the Mildura Workingman’s Club and so we would go in for lunch and a beer or two while blasting through a few round of this table. I think this has a place in my heart more for it’s location and memories rather than its; outright qualities as pinball.

Jungle Princess
My good friend Karl actually owned this one. We would play it far too much and although it was a very simplistic game it never really got old. From 1977 it was probably light on for features even then, but that just made it easier for the home enthusiast to maintain. The sounds were generated by 2 glockespiel notes that a magnetic coil would throw a metal rod at. Drew used to cheat by essentially disabling the tilt function. I’m calling you out here mate. Those records of yours remain suspect even to this day.

Car Hop
Another one that sat in the Workers’ club at times and in hindsight it was junk. I did spend a lot of time playing it though and got to be pretty good at it. From memory it was loop/spinner, loop/spinner, loop/spinner, bullseye. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Star Trek TNG
Big, complicated, lots to do and some pretty cool features like the cannons on top of the slingshots. The licence was great too as you had all the actors doing their lines. I am a trek nerd and pinball nerd so it combined two of my life’s passions. I would have bought one (pre-children) if I hadn’t seen how hard it was to maintain in good working order. So many tricksy little things meant it wouldn’t take much to have a single feature out of play for a while. When it was working properly it was a joy to play and I will still seek one out whenever I can.

The Addams Family
This is probably on a lot of lists like this and rightly so. It sold a lot of machines as it was staggeringly popular in the mid nineties. I’m not sure I will ever tire of this one. So much to do and very easy to set up the various games within the game. A game made of win and awesome.
Addams Family

7 Responses to “Mis-spending my youth part II”

  1. AndyP says:

    I’m not a pinballer, but even I remember liking the Addams Family game.

  2. Desci says:

    Fishtales was my fave. And later, the Southpark game was ok, but you could play it for hours on $2, so it was quantity over quality.

  3. Drew says:

    Twilight Zone was it for me. This pinny effing rocked. During my first stint in England in 93, they had this at the pub I worked at. I don’t know how it had been done but the tilt function left a lot to be desired. You could yank it around the pool table before it would even say ‘careful’.

    There were a couple of French guys who used to come in, Marcus and Phillipe. They showed me the trick that when the ball went down the left chute and you were about to lose it, you’d depress the left flipper with your left hand and with your right, reach down and lift the machine up, thus bringing the ball back into play.

    And now that I’ve just read your post more thoroughly, I guess I’ve pretty much shoved my foot in that one. Though I maintain anyone else could have attempted to beat my scores with the machine in the same condition.

    I also remember playing a Terminator pinball at a Youth Hostel in NY. I got awfully bored with it and remember going into the common room and making a general announcement that I’d racked up 11 credits but wanted to go to bed now.

  4. Bruce says:

    Did Twilight Zone have that crazy ceramic ball? And the cool gumball machine. It did have some moments but I never really mastered what needed to be done. I got too busy chasing cool things instead of knuckling down for scores.

    Fishtales was OK and there were plenty of them around but I found the centre of the board was dominated too much by the boat with its’ small loops.

  5. Drew says:

    Yep, TZ had the weird “powerball” and the gumball machine. So under certain circs, multi-ball could get quite frantic when it spat them all out.

    I loved the extra flipper high on the right hand side that allowed you to “shoot the camera”.

    I played fishtales a few times, the fish & chip shop I used to frequent had it there, rather appropriately but I never warmed to it.

  6. Karl says:

    May I add that Williams ‘White Water’ was a personal fave and ate a lot of my cash at Rage (is that what Roper called it?). Big Foot at the top deciding where your ball was going to go, and the machine screaming “White Water! Head fur the blinkin’ lights!” insanely during multiball.

    Jungle Princess is still in working order. Drew still holds the top score of 370,000. Nearest is me at 330,000. I’ve lost the head off one of my monkeys though – time to contact Mr Pinball for a replacement!


  7. Adam 1.0 says:

    How have I missed out on this for so long? Any love for Lethal Weapon 3, that was/is my all time favourite. The angle where you had to fire the gun AND play the flippers at the same time was off the charts.

    Then there was the dialogue (“what Leo wants, Leo getz”, “You have no authority!” “Load it.. HOLD THE GUN AND FIRE!”) and the choice of music (ZZ Top, C&C Music Factory, the Soundtrack).

    Oh and the KASE Armoured Van multiball.

    God, I want it now. I was going to buy one at an auction but my ceiling price was $800 and it went for $1500 *sob*