GoT Pro/Premium vs POTC for the home

I am looking to purchase either a GOT Pro, GOT Premium, or a POTC. I’ve only played a few games on the Pro and a handful of games on POTC. I liked them both, and they both offered very different gameplay. I have not had a chance to play a Premium/LE on GOT yet, though.

First and foremost, I am looking for a game that my wife will enjoy. I had a TRON, but ended up selling it largely because my wife hated it. She loved the music and the theme (and she knows it’s one of my favorite movies), but the game was far too brutal for her <this is also why I’m not considering a TWD>. She isn’t a points chaser, so a game that plays a bit longer would be more her style. I know I can set the games up with lower slope, longer ball saves, easier EB, tighter outlanes, etc. That will help, but I’d prefer to try and keep modifications to a minimum (closing the outlanes is about the only thing I’d like to do).

I also owned a ST Premium for a little while. One thing I didn’t love about Star Trek is that while you could complete missions in any order you wanted, it still felt like chopping wood. I didn’t feel like I ever got much going until I finished my 3rd or 5th mission. It was fun for the first chunk of games, but once I hit that 100+ plays, I started to feel the fatigue. Also, I’m not sure my wife ever managed to make the Away Team shot once, ha.

So that said, my thoughts on the games…

GOT Pro plays great and fast. I love that there are a LOT of strategic decisions to be made. For a player, this offers a lot of unique approaches to the overall game. However, I’ve not played enough games on it to know how it feels after 50 or 100 or 200 plays. Does it feel routine? Does the software encourage you to play as different houses, or is there one way to score big on that game? I don’t watch the show or read the books, so theme here has no weight in this fight.

POTC is just an all around family game. The geometry doesn’t scream fan layout, and the ship toy is awesome. I love the Monkey shot and the chest. Tortuga is also really a neat shot. And while Four Winds and Gauntlet of Pirates are super tough, my biggest concern with this game is that it is significantly more shallow than GOT. It’s also not a very organic game - I don’t have a super tight grasp on the rules, but I seem to remember reading that you can’t really carry or stack things. I’ve put more games on this versus GOT, but I don’t think I’ve played enough to say I like it more than GOT. As with GOT, the theme here means nothing to me. I like the movies, but I’m not some superfan.

The odd man out here is the Premium. The geometry is very similar. The biggest difference is, of course, the upper playfield. I have not had a chance to play a Premium/LE yet, so I don’t have a ton to say. It’s a cool looking feature and it definitely adds an entirely different dynamic to the play, but I have no idea how it feels. It’s a very divided issue (Pro vs Premium). A lot of people say they prefer the Pro, but I don’t know why. Flow? If that’s the case, I’m not concerned. Flow isn’t something I put a ton of weight on. LOTR is one of my favorite games, and that isn’t one I see as having “amazing flow” (in fact, I see that described as clunky more often than not). The upper playfield may tend to slow the game down a hair, and that’s not the worst thing in the world for me.

I’m hoping those of you who have played enough of all three games may be able to provide some insight that I’m missing or an angle I haven’t considered. Thanks everyone!

PS - I hope this is the right subforum for this topic.

These are all observations from a location player, I’ve never owned these machines so take all this with a few grains of salt.

The real problem with premium GoT is visibility. The upper playfield covers the left orbit and center ramp, so if your shot goes halfway up and dies, you won’t know until it’s already speeding back at you. The pop bumper area is also kind of a mess. The iron throne looks cool, but it blocks the inlanes so you can’t see which one is lit or where the ball is going. I’ve also heard about issues with the vertical kicker into the upper playfield. Aside from that, the upper playfield is pretty boring to me and doesn’t really add anything. Definite flow killer.

I enjoy POTC. More of a family friendly theme if that’s a consideration. It’s got simpler rules (especially in comparison to GoT) but the multiballs are fun and you can stack them for good points. The geometry around the outlane area is a little weird, but makes for some good nudging practice. Shot variety isn’t great, as there aren’t exactly modes which ask you to shoot different things. GoT does a good job of making you hit every shot, and the combo multipliers make hitting shots in succession really satisfying. Pirates has better theme integration if you enjoy the movie, and the ship toy is awesome. I also really like the dots.

I would probably get GoT Pro just because it’s deep enough that there’s always something new to try even if you’ve played it many times. The modes are different enough to be unique and enjoyable, and the starting house choice is a nice touch to change it up. The rules really reward cerebral play and crisp execution. Unfortunately for novice players this can mean playing for a long time without getting a very good score, which can feel defeating and unfair. The game plays extremely long, but it never really feels like a grind (to be fair I’m not that good though so I don’t really know). I just don’t think I’d have as much fun the 300th play of Pirates vs the 300th play of GoT.

I own POTC and GOT LE. I have played GOT pro.
POTC is more for the casual player - there is more to watch with ships, compass and chest to shoot for. I find Pirates very difficult to reach four winds, especially the Davey Jones completion. A novice might get frustrated if reaching the wizard modes is their goal. For just fun play though, POTC is a winner over GoT for casual players.

GoT I describe as a deeper, advanced player game. The modes are easy to understand (after 10 - 20 games or so), but difficult to master. Stacking houses to play together, or when to wait for starting until multiball, keeps it interesting, including the 6 ways to start the game. Its a bright LED show, blinding at times and perhaps that’s a turnoff. The callouts and dots are more interesting than POTC, but if you don’t watch GoT - these may be annoying more than entertaining??.

Prem v. pro is an interesting debate. I thought the upper PF would kill flow, but it didn’t for me and its rather important part of the gameplay, without having to live up there. The flow argument of the pro? I get that, but the upper PF has a fun factor of the dragon , simple targets, full size flippers (and ability to trap), and the big value it afford - capture a castle during a mode (and now with the 1.23+ versions, adds to mode timer).

For casual, family? POTC varied shots, mostly obvious, rules/strategy knowledge is not a big deal. More toys, entertaining call-outs and music in a Pirates for fans of Disney ride or movies or theme. Perhaps save $1k-2k?

GoT has more visible/obvious shots, if that makes sense. Some POTC shots seem difficult to hit or repeat for casual players. I’ve seen lots of frustration trying to repeat shots to the chest or compass - to the point of taking the fun out.

GoT shots are all makable - its obviously “hit the flashing arrows” compared to POTC - but with a lot more choice and thought into how and when to light those arrows via which houses to qualify/play/complete.

I didn’t get POTC at first, but once I understood the strategy, I began to like it more. Then I reached a point where I played every game the same way. It can be a game with long ball times for experienced players, but really short ball times for inexperienced players. If you flail around on that game, you’re just hitting standups and draining. I think in terms of toys and stuff on the playfield, it’s more rewarding, but you do often get the “what am I supposed to shoot for?” feeling.

I like GOT Pro over Premium/LE. The only thing the Premium/LE has is the upper playfield, and it’s just not that compelling. It blocks view, less complete orbit shots, right ramp rejects often, ball falls out of the throne. Maybe it’s better for the first few plays, but I actually backed out of a Premium after playing the LE and went to a Pro.

I think for newbies, GOT might be less rewarding at first. Standard layout. Nothing really cool except for the dragon. But the code is pretty interesting, and is both broad and deep (where POTC might just be singularly deep).

I feel the same way you do about Star Trek. Modes are like chopping wood, just different shots lighting up. GOT does not feel that way to me - each mode is a different experience, and can be worth vastly different amounts of points. If you play as Greyjoy, then you are probably choosing which modes to start based on the abilities they will grant you - which is pretty cool.

TL;DR POTC is a more rewarding experience at first (visually and exploratorially), grows a little as you understand the rules, and then becomes a long narrow road. GOT is less rewarding at first, has a more forgiving layout, and has longer legs in terms of broad (and specific) strategy.

Not sure I would call GOT deep but it is way more fun that POTC :wink:

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PotC is a fun game with a good shot variety, unique quirks, and a fun ruleset (assuming you’re not just playing for score). As a score-chasing game, PotC is about getting Heart/Tortuga/Ship multiball stacks on your Max Jackpot ball and cashing out 2M jackpots until you drain and can be a grinder. Playing for the wizard modes opens up the full stretch of the rules and gives a more diverse experience to the game. I’ve mostly seen the settings where the slings are weak and the game is floaty, which is unlike most other Sterns I’ve played and makes the game more forgiving once you’re adjusted to it. For the novice player, there’s also not too many notes and things to get overwhelmed by, but enough to have a lot of fun. Going for ships and getting the Pirate Jig victory laps, trying to start Heart, and learning the Jack shot are a few things novices can enjoy for sure!

GoT Pro and Premium are two different beasts and its really awesome to see. Starting with the Pro, the game is a fast, flowy game that feels like you’re playing pinball on fast forward. The Pro has a pretty deep ruleset, which I would call slightly less than Star Trek in complexity but deeper in strategy. Each of the houses has their own style of play to match them, and for rules lovers the game has enough strategy where finding your favorites is exciting. Each house is viable on its own with some stronger than others (Martell, Tyrell, Greyjoy, and Barratheon being the “Big 4”). I’m probably on game 100-150 and I’m still feeling drawn in to bash down high scores on location, refine strategies, and finally reach/finish Iron Throne so the game won’t feel stale after a while. The one caveat is GoT isn’t exactly beginner-friendly, but given some time and some talk you can help out.

If you’re splurging for a strategic super-heavyweight, GoT Premium is the better choice. The upper playfield is integrated quite well in the gameplay, adding a much deeper mode dynamic at the cost of pacing and flow. Of course, this means there’s a whole new set of things you have to watch out for, from additional rule sets to quirks with the elevator scoop. Since you’ve played the Pro, the Premium has a few changes, notably moving the mystery/EB/Wall start from the Dragon to the Right Orbit and the Wall advances to the Dragon shot instead of toplanes. Using the upper playfield wisely can lead to huge payouts in modes (100M Lannister shot on a 2x multiplier!) and makes the bonus a huge part of the game (1B is possible on upper playfield bonus alone). The added depth makes the game take even longer to go stale, but trades it off by adding more complexity that a novice might feel overwhelmed by. If you can explain the Pro to your wife, I’d say it could be a fun thing to explore together!

TL;DR - Pirates is the best novice-friendly game and can be set up to feel super floaty and fun, but can be fatiguing eventually. GoT Pro is fast and deep, but not overwhelmingly deep. GoT Premium is a strategy gem and is a “slightly slower but also really fun” alternative to the Pro, but can be a bit much to learn at first.

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First off, thank you guys so much for your well detailed thoughts and opinions on this. Really helps give me some perspective. It sounds like I’ll be able to get some time on a Premium/LE this coming Friday, so that’s really going to help me make my decision.

My takeaway from all of your posts!

POTC may be off the table. I think the game itself is great fun, but after watching a bunch of YouTube videos, reading comments, and reminiscing about my time on the game, it definitely comes off as being a game that will turn into routine experience after a while. That’s one of the reasons I dumped Star Trek.

As for Pro vs Premium, I’m leaning towards the Premium based off of video and write-ups alone. The art package is incredible, so that’s a huge plus as well. I’m going to wait until I’ve played it on Friday before I send my money off, and I’m going to try and approach it from an unbiased state of mind (ha). While I agree that Pro is more visible, the extra rules and upper playfield integration (while maybe not amazing yet) have me intrigued. Also, my wife will super dig that additional playfield.

Thank you guys again for weighing in on this! Looking forward to making my final decision!

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GoT is probably the way to go. It has a lot of nuances, strategy variations and scoring opportunities for experienced players, but it also has relatively easy shots and it’s simple for casual players to accidentally blow the game up without knowing what they are doing. I don’t have enough experience on Pirates, but I do know that flailing won’t get you very far in it.

I’ve owned POTC previously, and currently own a GOT premium. Since it is important to you that you pick a pin that you wife will enjoy, I can tell you that POTC remains one of my wife’s favorite pins that I’ve ever owned (behind IM of all things), and it was almost 5 years ago that I sold POTC.

Like you said, POTC is just an all around family pin. My kids loved it too. The ship is a pretty cool interactive toy that anyone can appreciate and have fun bashing. It’s also a nice looking pin.

My wife liked GOT at first but became a bit frustrated with it quickly. She doesn’t play very often anyway.

I like my GOT Premium, but I don’t love it. Rules are actually pretty good and interesting, and are actually more impressive than the very standard layout. I’m disappointed that the premium doesn’t shoot better than it does (the notorious issue with the left orbit shot plays a large role in that…hopefully Stern releases their fix soon). The mini PF is better than most, and I like the fact that it has regular size flippers, but I don’t really find the mini PF to be all that fun or satisfying.

If I were choosing only for myself, I would give the nod to GOT, but not by a very large margin. Taking wife/family into account, I would start leaning more towards POTC.

And FWIW, I completely agree with you about Star Trek and the feeling of chopping wood.

Good luck!