Banned games

The only person who can “ban” games from your tournaments is you. There is no overarching organization that gets to include or exclude games from your event.

The PAPA Game Notes page offers suggestions on games to avoid using, along with reasons why (plus lots of humorous comments)… you can accept these suggestions, or not, as you wish.


Thanks Joe. I understand I have the luxury to ban any game from a tournament lineup, I just thought there was a list somewhere that showed games that our highly recommended to be excluded due to balancing issues.

For example, I thought I read somewhere that Rollergames isn’t a good tournament game, yet there is nothing on the PAPA list for that game. I don’t know enough about the game to make a decision one way or the other. My issue comes with creating banks for finals, I wouldn’t want to include a game that probably shouldn’t be included in the finals.

Post your list of potential games and I bet you’ll get some quick feedback on any that aren’t suitable, or adjustments they may benefit from.


Not so much “banned” … but think of games you never see in tournaments, there are always reasons for that. Some, like NGG are extremely buggy, others like Police Force are difficult to make competitive without butchering the playfield.

That list does point out the worst offenders, with some humor sprinkled throughout, as Joe mentioned (just saw his comment). Definitely a good read.

As someone who attends your tournaments, I would be OK with an All-Rollergames Finals format, assuming the music is cranked up to 11.

I think that this is the most pragmatic suggestion. There will probably be some disagreements, but at the end of the day you try to strike the balance between ultra-super-serious competition and a fun, entertaining format that might end up with an oddball game or two like Rollergames or Caribbean Cruise. You’re also limited of course by what’s available at the given location or venue.

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Perhaps you were thinking of this thread: Blacklisted Games - please share

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With just over a year of competitive pinball under my belt, I don’t have the experience or knowledge as to what games you may never see in a tournament. Pinball in Delaware is pretty much non-existent with the exception of a few hobbyists/collectors who open their doors to tournament players. So any time I travel out of Delaware to play pinball, I’m usually always playing numerous machines for the first time. Games like Addams Family and Twilight Zone, I have played a total of 4-5 times. I’m lost on those games.

Anyways, an upcoming tournament that I am running just picked up a Rollergames and I thought I read on a thread that the game is very unbalanced, or random. If that is in fact the case, I would hate to have it in the finals and the outcome of the tournament is determined by sheer luck versus skill. For example, a couple of weeks ago I hosted a tournament at my house and I have a Caribbean Cruise cocktail pin. That pin is perfectly fine to use in qualifying IMHO, but it should definitely not be used in the finals as the multi-ball is 100% random.

That’s the thread! Thanks!

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I guess there is a few games that strictly speaking are not eligible for competition usage per the IFPAPA rules. As it comes in under players being rewarded not per their own merit. Gilligan’s Island and Bugs Bunny gives points to opponents. Premier games catch-up feature.

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Is Gottlieb Vegas one of those catch up games? I ask because that game is in the lineup as well and I know nothing about it.

Dunno about Vegas. But as far as I know it has a randomly starting timed thing which is just break the bank monster payout.


I know that they use Vegas in Pinburgh. I know this because I won my match by shooting stupid numbers of left loops.

There are certain games that have known bugs or features that make them unsuitable for tournament play. There are also games that are just unbalanced, scoring-wise, or easily exploitable for very high level players. Finally, there are games that are just turds that no one enjoys playing.

It’s worth considering what your tournament vibe is; if it’s not a high-level major tournament, I’d keep games in the second and third categories in. For example, tonight I’m running our weekly tournament at a public location with 8 games (so, I don’t have the keys, I don’t choose the games). In order to keep things running, I need to use all of them. That means I’ll include Demo Man even though players can choose the Quick Freeze claw award every time, and I’ll include Cyclone, even though I’m sure everyone would prefer to just not. If you’re running a major tournament, or if you have the luxury of curating your line-up from a larger collection, steer away from the games with issues noted in these threads and the PAPA Game Notes.


I had the “privilege” of playing Vegas the past two Pinburghs. Other than being a left loop all day game, I think the jackpot can be had from a random mystery award and give totally outsized amounts of points. But you’re not shooting for the mystery anyway, because it gets in the way of shooting the left loop all day.

I actually lit the mystery on ball 2 and shot at it, and drained as a result. Ball 3 I returned to loops. You know what makes this even more fun? The Premier flippers that ensure you can catch every ball coming out of the loop, but still have enough time to setup for another shot at it before it times out.

tl;dr: This game sucks.

Blabbing about Vegas, and the game I was thinking about was infact Monte Carlo. With the cute 10M random feature. Yummi.

Vegas does have a ‘catchup’/‘steal score’ feature iirc. as do many premier games… :frowning:

Getaway and T2 aren’t used often because they’re too buggy

I don’t think a game with a random MB (that’s lucrative) is good to use even in qualifying, unless you think it’s likely to happen pretty evenly to everyone over a game or two

You can always play one player games. Some have unbalanced random awards though. I think Lights, Camera, Action is one of them. Bugs Bunny does too, that ‘present’ at the end is wacky.

So I have a good assortment of games available to use in the tournament. Would you include Rollergames, Vegas, and CSI?