Banned games

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

While Vegas is a bit of a one-trick pony, I personally wouldn’t ban it. It does take skill to do the one thing, and I tend to agree with @cayle that there is value in including games that highlight a repeatable skill, despite the fact that it can causes games to run long. I wouldn’t want all my games like that, but throwing a Vegas or Theatre of Magic into a tournament, especially one that does not have a ton of top tier players, is fine in my opinion.

I feel the same way about CSI. The main exploit in this game is not going to be taken advantage of by most players, and while the game is a bit one-note (build bonus, shoot centrifuge multiball) it should be fine in most general tournaments.

Rollergames I find more questionable between the randomness of Sudden Death and some reasonably agressive lock stealing scenarios.

I would call Rollergames most problematic, Vegas middle, and CSI least.


I agree with gdd here. Even lock stealing you can make a case for player skill (although I don’t personally buy it), but Rollergame’s “go for the wall” is completely random and one of the biggest scoring opportunities in the game


No settings in rollergames to have the Williams letters reset player to player game to game? That’s what activates sudden death right?

Nope, @soren dug into the code: Rock, Rock, Rock, Sudden death

1 Like

I’m irrationally upset that my league won’t use Baby Pac-Man in finals.


If this were me I’d have no problems with CSI or Vegas. CSI plays fine in most situations and Vegas is just an exercise in executing “the shot” more than your opponent really.

Rollergames though, I would not. Too random and weird.


On Vegas you can disable the catch up with software, so it’s used. Left loops though, dang.

Mine has used it in finals. We should trade leagues.

1 Like

I actually like Vegas. If the flippers are set up to not allow the easy trap, looping is a lot tougher and there’s some decent risk/reward to build the loop value (up to 5M per) via the drops.

Would it be fair to say that a good tournament game, is a game which gives a high probability for better pinball play to win over worse pinball play, in a short amount of time?

An example. As much as I like T3, I can see some problems with using it in tournaments: The defining feature, the backglass RPG game, isn’t really pinball, in the sense that skill there doesn’t help you anything on other pins. And RPG is huge for score. And then there is the video mode which also isn’t pinballish, and mostly just luck. And call-outs like “Shoot here and here” are negative entertainment for tournament players. And on top of all this, as pointed out in “Director’s Guide”, some ramps are too easy, and it plays too long. While none of these issues are game-breakers, when combined they add up to a game that simply is tournament-unfriendly. Am I right?

This kind of info could be listified if the community wants that, but it seems to me it would be outside the realm of papa. Rather than banning any particular game, list the things that make particular games (not) suited for tournaments.

About the element of luck: It would be possible to measure the element of luck based only on results from tournaments. If there just are enough data with pin names, scores and players, we could derive an objective measure placing each pin on a range from better-players-almost-always-wins down to 50/50-chance-regardless-of-skill. Are there any game result databases available? If the data is there, the math is no problem. It would also be possible to put numbers on the relative advantage of playing late vs early, for each pin. Are we interested?

1 Like

Trying to decide whether the ‘better player’ won is fraught with all kinds of problems - not least determining who the better player is. There is almost zero chance of having a large enough sample of the same 2 players playing on the same game to make it statistically viable.

There was a graph posted with all of the scores from all of the games after Pinburgh (?) on here, although I can’t find it right now. The most interesting thing I found looking at that was the spread of scores. There were many games where the score was quite linear, suggesting that score was related to length of ball time - regardless of what you were shooting.
Others which started linear and then almost went exponential at a certain point. Scared Stiff was one of those that was linear up to a certain point and then the gradient of the graph rocketed. My take on it was that this was the point that players got to Scared Stiff.

I’m sure someone can remember the graph and repost a link.

2 Likes!/vizhome/PinballWorldChampionships/Welcome

Found it - @coreyhulse created and published it



Don’t forget someone makes a new chip for the Sudden Death issue on Rollergames if you are thinking it’s a keeper. Glad you’ve joined the Kick Butt club.

1 Like

I know that Super Mario Bros (another Premier) has a “catch-up” mystery award. How do people feel about plundering in Jersey Jack’s POTC?

i turned plundering off when i used this game in tournaments.

Check out JJP PotC: Does Plunder impact tournament viability/TGP? for a pretty robust discussion of how to make the game competition appropriate.

1 Like

I love the Game Notes on the PAPA site but it is woefully incomplete.

Maybe we could start a WIKI here and have @PAPA_Doug sign off on it and add it to the site.

Also, Lights, Camera, Action stinks for tournament play.


Why? We use it often.