For me the interest in TNA is about the difficulty of the tasks, not a nuanced rule structure. I feel like the shots and returns lead to a wide variety of fast flipper decisions. And the tasks are clear and understandable at all times.
In competition I have seen players with 2 reactors beat other players with 4 reactors, by focusing on lower-valued jackpots instead of reactors.
I like TNA for the same reason I like Flash Gordon. Simple rules but it’s unforgiving and hard as fuck. But when you have a good ball, you feel awesome. My heart races when I have a huge bonus collect ready on FG, same when I have a big collect on a reactor ready.
I’m in the “don’t get the appeal” camp. I have no problem with simple games, own several. But I find TNA too monotonous in what it wants you to shoot at any given time. I also don’t find the geometry very interesting, especially with ~half the playfield taken up by the reactor area that’s more-or-less inaccessible much of the time.
Props where they’re due: great light shows and soundtrack.
I’m not a fan of Spooky games mainly because they refuse to expand to meet demand. They take pride in being a boutique builder. Good for them, not good for the hobby overall. For the price of a TNA, I can get a IMDN pro delivered for significantly less that is a lot more fun. And I won’t have to wait months before it’s built. The choice is easy.
TNA is fun enough, but way too expensive for what you get. It plays and somewhat looks like an older game (where the ramps at?). I will say that their overall quality has definitely improved since AMH. If they did ramp up production, I would like their chances of doing it successfully. For now, it’s an expensive niche game. Don’t make it your only home game or you will tire of it quickly.
I surely don’t bore of mine. He’s going for reactor 9 is awesome but it’s not the only part of the game. Playing in the core before you get a reactor online to max out the reactor value is part of the risk/reward. Then once it’s maxed should I just cash out and move on to next reactor which is worth more or use my multiball and multiply the value of this one maxed. There are times I am for sure not going into multiball. Smashing the grid targets to bring one online? For sure. Bringing a reactor cortical? It’s hard to hit the correct orbit in multiball and keep the ball up there. I’d rather do that in single ball play.
People complain about always going for multiball but how is that different than any stern these days? Maiden has what 6 different multiballs?
This game is a blast with friends especially. It brings pinball back to a group activity. I love playing maiden but it’s not fun with 3 other friends. You have at least 10-20 minutes of downtime between balls. People get distracted and lose interest. People don’t wander when playing TNA
I really like Iron Maiden by myself, but yeah, I can’t play it with other players.
TNA is an interesting beast. Early on you focus on reactors most times you play, but when you really start caring about score, your approach totally changes. Either way you approach it though, it’s a rush. Chasing reactors, chasing score, it’s a blast. I have a larger collection, so it fits in great for my lineup. I would possibly be wary of it as an only pin, but for now, it’s all my kids are playing (they love co-op mode). For me, it’s a perfect change of pace to the other games I have though. Simple, fast, and always tense in a fun way.
TNA manages to create a sort of intensity that I find appealing. It’s fast and unforgiving which I like. The light show and sound are top notch. I do feel like the rules are a bit lacking in depth. It’s a solid B maybe B+ game. Out of solid state games, I’d rather play Centaur, Fathom or Flash Gordon usually though. I only have about 15 plays on it though. Perhaps it will grow on me.
I’m not a fan of Spooky games mainly because they refuse to expand to meet demand. They take pride in being a boutique builder
And that’s a very very wise decision by Charlie.
They’ve sold 450 TnA. That’s awesome for their small company.
However, if they were geared up like Stern, with all the overheads associated with it, 450 sales would sink the company. Huge failure!
One common misconception about business is “the more things you make, the more money you make”. This often isn’t the case. More production means a lot more staff, more staff to manage the staff, huge building, huge rent, huge inventory … etc etc.
As an example, I owned a “boutique” furniture store. It went so well, I thought if I had more stores, I’d have more dough! So eventually I had 4 stores. Total turnover tripled … but so did everything else. I made more money (profit) with only one store, and my life/stress was 1/4 of running 4 stores.
As far as Cayles question - TnA is really no different to a 77-85 SS machine, you want to keep doing “the thing” over and over again - but add in great music and a pumping sound system and you have a pretty cool game.
They’re selling almost exclusively to home buyers. Their game is roughly $1K more than a Stern pro and has significantly less features. If the economy tanks, they will sink. Luxury items are the first things to stop selling when the economy tanks. If they ramped up production, they could bring their prices down and sell more games to operators, which would dampen the blow if the economy goes south.
JJP prices are also high, but at least you get more for the extra money. Spooky games have less and cost more. Good for them as long as the economy keeps rolling. Them staying small and charging more is a slap in the face to the hobby IMO.