Bingos and EMs - Gameplay and Feature Favorites

Hey everyone - some of you might know me as the voice on the For Amusement Only EM and Bingo Pinball Podcast, otherwise, just know that I love older games (most especially the bingos).

Gameplay, artwork, features - older games are generally amazing. Especially those older than 1970 (before bonus units and multi-players became the norm).

I’m curious - does anyone here enjoy the older games?

What features are your favorites? I am a drop target kinda guy, but I enjoy rotos and vari-targets.

Has anyone played a bingo? I think these are some of the deepest and most challenging games produced.

Any strategies for coin play on the multi-coin games? I usually try to put together a hit using as few coins as possible - ignoring extra balls, etc. Doesn’t make it any easier to win, though… :slight_smile:

What’s the general feeling on bingos? Has anyone listened or seen one recently and thought they might give it a try? How did it go?

Lastly - flipperless games. Any favorites out there? I’m currently in love with United’s Manhattan, but there are many flipperless games that are incredibly challenging and seem like a lot of fun (given the chance).

Thanks all - hope to start a fun conversation!

Oh, I love EMs, and pre-1980 tables in general (or really any “one level” table, like Embryon). There’s a kind of abstract simplicity that makes the strategy and gameplay on a really good one totally addicting, and I had an absolute blast at the Northwest Pinball Show working my way up and down the rows and rows of wedgeheads and EMs. Sadly, I’ve never played a flipperless or bingo game, but I’d really love to at some point (anyone in the Seattle area have any?).

I’ll always be a fan of a good spinner. Getting the spinner on the “Fonz” version of 8 Ball lit, and then nailing it over and over again, is so amazingly satisfying. Drop targets are cool but not when there’s like, fifty of them in a row like teeth. I like when they’re scattered around the playfield - I can’t remember which one it was, but there was an awesome poker-themed machine at NWPS that I got stuck playing for like thirty minutes. Each row of drops was a number of cards of a certain type, and you had to make different combos. It was super fun.

I think what makes early games fun is the physical feel, too. It really is just you and the ball.

1 Like

Unfortunately, I’m all the way across the US, or I’d be happy to have you over to try some out.

I know a few folks not on tilt forums in the pnw that might be willing to bring one to the next show. I’ll try to see if I can make that happen.

As far as flipperless, they are usually sequence-driven rulesets, which are almost always very challenging. These types of games really teach you to nudge well, though the woodrails have a different feel than the metal rail games when nudging.

Drop targets: huge rows of targets are a great challenge! Clearing the banks on Dimension/2001 is really difficult and you feel great when you get the hang of the upper slings.

El Dorado/Solar City/Target Alpha, etc etc etc with the large upper bank and close in bank are generally a fun way to chase a special.

And many of the poker and pool-themed games, too. Im not sure if you’re referring to a game like Royal Flush, where your hands are important, or something like Pop/Drop-A-Card where you have multiple small banks. Either way, all fun games.

I like a spinner well, but generally don’t get into them as much unless it is well integrated into the rules. There are so many spinners that just don’t spin well and stop the game cold unless you can hit the shot dozens of times in a row. Games like Snow Derby, where you are gaining laps by hitting the spinner are nice, and I do like the visual/audio animation. I’m really not a fan of teensy spinners like on modern games, but it’s nice that they are still there.

Agreed on the closeness with the ball. Love it!

1 Like

I googled around a bit and realized it was Joker Poker. It had that awesome “one more game” pull - one more game and this time I’ll nail that upper bank! Royal Flush was a blast too, though, I loved working my way through the hands.

A spinner that lights for lots of points is always exciting. I love lighting all the stars in Stars (a challenge in and of itself) and then going for the spinner and watching the points rack up.

edit: I think what I love about earlier pins, too, is the “simple, but not easy” aspect. It can be a very pure challenge, like playing Sudoku or Othello.

1 Like

Oh, Joker Poker is a fantastic changeover machine (made in both EM and solid state). I haven’t played that game in too long!

Stars is fantastic, but not an EM - and the spinners are not really integrated - they don’t contribute to the goal - if you see what I’m saying. Actually it’s a great example of what I was speaking about in the first post.

In Stars, the spinners are practically worthless unless you light all the star standups, which requires good action from the pop.

In an EM, where are your favorite spinners? Most people will say Grand Prix, but I am not a fan - these do contribute to the overall goal - but in this case it is ‘increase your collectable bonus’ which can be done over and over again. There is nothing inherently special about those spinners, if you see what I’m saying. They do make a satisfying noise, though!

This is primarily why I am not a fan of games where bonus is key - you spend all game chasing the highest bonus payout instead of playing for the points on the table.

I do appreciate and enjoy them, though - just not as much as some other great games. It’s like a game where you can only collect your special when you drain: you just feel a bit cheated by taking it. :slight_smile:

I know I’m weird about this (among other things), ha-ha!

Here’s a real weird thing I’m a big fan of - the gobble hole. Any other fans of this?

Few things more satisfying than keeping the ball out of the hole all game until you light the gobble for a ton of replays or bunches of points, and land it in there while lit.

I’m ready for the return of the gobble hole. Bring real danger back to pinball. :wink:

1 Like

Gobble holes are super fun, I love the sense of danger when they’re unlit and sacrifice when they’re worth something.

1 Like