Pin Recommendation - Best of All Worlds


Junk Yard isn’t that easy for casual players, I’d say. Fast and furious… Fish Tales would be a better choice I think (although the missed shots to the boat with their instant center drains could be a downer).

I’m still enjoying Pirates of the Caribbean. Gauntlet is hard enough to reach that I’m still interested after many games, but there is a lot going on for less-skilled players too. Not sure whether that won’t be outside your price range though.

Another one that’s nice for casual players is South Park (but experienced players usually hate it).

Getaway also strikes me as a good suggestion. Not too hard to have fun as a beginner, but challenging for experienced players after many games. Rule set is a bit shallow though.


I think WCS is the game that fits your wants the best.

  • Its a very approachable and easy to “get” game for new and casual players. It has good feedback and callouts. WCS always seems to be a game that new players enjoy a lot.

  • Its one of the best games for hardcore player practice (imo), and won’t get old.

  • Its affordable.


I’ll pitch a bit of a strange one… Data East’s Jurassic Park (caveat: put in the ChadH code; I’ll explain that in a bit).

Basically an Addams Family rip-off, but easy to find sub-$3k. It’s got several multiball modes (Tri-Ball, Raptor 2-ball, and Chaos 6-ball). It has one ramp (with a diverter so it can feed back to either the left or right flipper). It has a DMD. It has three flippers and has shots that require using the upper one. Theme is exceedingly family friendly. It has a lot of modes for the era, and you don’t see them in the same order so it mixes things up. Can have short ball times but is not an overly brutal pin.

You definitely want the ChadH code, however. It takes away the “free” Tri-Ball reward on ball 3, removes a bunch of bugs, makes it so you don’t always have to start with Stampede mode, balances the Mr. DNA choices, and balances out the scoring on the modes.

When I have guests over, Jurassic Park is a big draw. It is easily the biggest draw for those that do not regularly play pinball. Kids like the T-Rex eating the ball and the captive ball to “hatch” baby dinosaurs. Better players appreciate that you have to hit scoops to advance modes and ball control skills are needed to last very long. It has a lot of shots. And, thanks to ChadH code, rather than being a casual mess in software you have a balanced game that isn’t overly easy.


A lot of people got started on Bride of Pinbot. Easy enough to just spam the ramp to get MB. Once you get better you start collecting the ring values, or bumping the lane values or going for the backdoor billion shot through the center ramp shot.

Once it is mastered you can bump it to 2.0 and get a whole new game out of it.


For some reason casual players tend to love BSD at my place. The mist ball is a big reason I think. I don’t understand it because I usually have my BSD setup hard. I have Shadow too and people tend to prefer BSD. Maybe my friends are all masochists?

Does your wife like pinball? If not, don’t buy a pinball machine that she might like. I did that and my wife could still care less about pinball. :frowning:


My 3 year old daugher LOVES BSD. It’s always the game she runs over to play whenever we go in the basement.

I have no idea what that means as a data point . . . and most likely says more about my parenting skills (or lack thereof) as her father compared the qualities of the game itself? :slight_smile:


Fair point. My wife does “like” pinball, but I think mostly just because I do. I’m kind of just using her as an example of a casual player. We have parties from time to time and I’d love for people to actually be interested in playing the games, rather than just saying… “oh pinball. cool…”

Maybe I’ll just use your, and @pinwizj’s data points to justify the fact that I just want a BSD. Thanks for that :slight_smile:


I think just about everyone that comes to my place that isn’t already into pinball thinks, “oh… pinball… cool…” no matter what i have in my garage. Get BSD if thats what you want :slight_smile:


Could you please elaborate, what makes this great for practice?


After having a party once where most of the guests said “oh pinball. cool…” and seemed too intimidated to play, I put $10 bounties on a bunch of the games and put a target score on the backbox. First player to get the target score got to keep the $10. It cost me $60 but worked way better than I could have imagined. Now when friends that aren’t involved in the pinball scene come over, I don’t even have to encourage them. I’ve even caught some of them convincing others to give it a try.


I find all the gasping in BSD really annoying, and I don’t like the art much. Watching the movie just made it worse. It’s a bit hard to play, I didn’t like it as a beginner either. But mist multiball is pretty cool and automatically qualified on ball 3…

I will apologize for not knowing prices - I don’t buy or sell and the price guide website wasn’t working just now.

The machines at my house that our non-pinball friends like to play are Tales of the Arabian Nights (which does have a multiball but it’s not a very deep game), Lord of the Rings, and Attack from Mars. Not sure if any of them are even close to your price range, though - they’re pretty popular.

LOTR is a really great training pinball machine, by the way - it gets you thinking about how to qualify the different multiballs, and you have reasons to try to learn to make all the shots.

Fish Tales and WCS might be good. Congo?

Shadow is a little bit of a steep learning curve, shot-wise - I hated the game until I decided to not try for the skill shot; missing those leads to really short ball times.

Star Trek TNG? Whodunnit?

Wizard is a pretty attractive game, though it doesn’t have a multiball.

Jackbot is fun and playable at multiple levels, and not as sexist as Bride of Pinbot. Bride also has some difficult shots; it’s not super accessible to beginners. Jackbot has been in our pinball league clubhouse for over a year and it’s still earning well.


X-Men has been popular with newbies in my house. The multiball from Wolverine is easy to start, and the hero modes (“just try to make the same shot as many times in a row as you can”) are easy to explain. It’s a bit hard, though, especially when you have the outlanes wide open.


Any of the Oursler/Python rollercoaster tables are FUN! And for some reason Bad Cats is a big hit with the ladies. I always find this interesting with Bad Cats as the layout is very similar to BSD. The rules… not so hot, but if this game isn’t really for you… so what. All of those games are well within your price range.

Best of luck!


Rumor has it that JM isn’t accepting quarters at the moment.


Group thoughts on TSPP?? I know that’s probably a little higher priced, but I feel like it could have pretty high appeal in the other two categories. I think casuals would love it based on theme alone, but how is it to play for a beginner? The multiballs aren’t super accessible and there’s only the one ramp. But I’ve also heard that it’s a super deep/challenging rule set that I’ve barely played through, so it seems it might keep my interest for quite some time. Plus it’s got the reverse flippers MB. I mean, who doesn’t love that?


Technically TSPP has two ramps, though the Treehouse ramp feels just like a shot to a VUK.

It’s a great game. Beginners should be able to get an I&S multiball going, with tons of great callouts and animations along the way to entertain them. And even the most advanced player will take a long time to see everything the game can do.

I’m guessing price will be north of your indicated limit.


Yeah, but price is just a matter of justifying spending that much on a toy… And I can always work on justifying based on the fact that you can pretty much always resell a pin for what you paid +/- a few hundred.


TSPP is one of my favorite games of all time and the only game I ever (slightly) regret having sold. It is EXCEEDINGLY complicated however and that comes with some pros and cons. I think the theme will have tons of appeal for beginners and casual players, and so it probably meets your needs there, but one can feel as though they’ve barely touched much of its depth, even after playing for 30 minutes. So depending on what sort of player you are you may find it frustrating. For me, it got to a point where I just wasn’t playing it much because even if I finished 4 or 5 of the modes, played all the mini wizard modes and collected nearly 20 Cletus kids, I hadn’t actually made any real progress and would leave feeling more bummed than excited about a great game.


My experience with TSPP is that casual players hate it once they play it. The theme is great, but you cannot really score points by accident and people end up getting frustrated with 1M points.

The Borg bash fests have this worked out perfectly. Bash the toy, start a multiball. That is the key to thrilling casual players.

However, at my house casual players are drawn to games like stars. Of course so are hardcore players. Maybe stars is just that good.

Honestly I think the answer of the future will be P3. I think WOZ with pindemption does this to some degree as well. Timed games for casual players are great, I wish pindemption had multiball.

I thought things like supergame could have done this, but I don’t see anyone every playing supergame on dredd. Maybe it is too obscure.


Three if you count the mini ramp behind the garage door.

I’ve always felt that TSPP has near perfect software. Best software package ever. That said, it does have long ball times. Better for a larger collection IMO.