School me on The Simpsons Pinball Party

Hey all, I picked up a Simpsons Pinball Party today. I’m curious to know any tips, suggestions, etc., in regards to the game. I checked out this Wiki page for it ( and it outlines the “Super Duper Mega Extreme Wizard Mode” pretty well (best wizard mode name ever, by the way). I also watched Bowen’s PAPA tutorial video last week. However, I’m curious to know of any other details, such as stacking and progression options. For instance, asides from stacking your TV modes into a multiball, is it possible to work towards other modes or general goals while in a multiball? I’m just curious as to what types of things I should be paying attention to while I’m playing asides from the main shot goals for whatever modes and multiballs I am in. Also, are there any other cool things to know of? Maybe fun little secrets, just fun things to do (not necessarily high scoring opportunities), or easter eggs?

1 Like

Congrats on the purchase, Austin. I think you’ll really like that game, it suits you well.

Basically everything is stackable in TSPP, in pretty much any order you want. You can start multiple modes together (and doing so is the path to potentially huge victory lap points), you can stack most of the multiballs, add hurryups or Daredevils or D’oh Frenzy at any time, pretty much do anything you want. Get creative with it, because there are probably features in that game that no one has ever seen before, so you might be the first to discover. :smiley: And whatever you do, never ever let the timer run out! :wink:

Have a blast!


It took me a solid month of watching the Bowen video, reading the rule sheet over and over, and then playing the game for hours to really feel I had a thorough understanding of the rules and modes, so it’s hard to offer quick tips. That said, keeping the timer going (as joe says above) is probably the thing you really want to focus on, besides not draining of course. When I still owned one, starting I&S and couch multiballs and progressing toward Invasion and SMS were my general goals so during multiball I was almost always working toward adding more Otto doublers and starting additional TV modes. With extra balls on I would try and play Moe’s first since ramps progress toward the EB, without extra balls I would start Krusty first since orbit shots relight the TV.

Thanks for the feedback, guys! So I think what I am going to have to do is just take it slow and play single modes out here and there just to get a feel for how the modes operate, along with reading the rulesheet. I watched Bowen’s video again and when he says he’s got all seven TV modes running, I can’t even really tell what is going on or what shots are asides from the standard multiball jackpots. I should probably get a feel for most of the standard modes first before I start worrying about stacking everything together (but I’ll get there, heh heh). :wink:

What I did gather through watching the video again, and going by your advice, is that all modes rely on the same timer. I believe that whenever you start another TV mode the timer is replenished, which is why it’s critical to continue starting new TV modes or light and hit the Otto shot to add more time. Am I about correct there? That would explain the importance of keeping the timer up.

Can’t wait to get home to put a few games on it before crashing. :smile:

*Edit - Actually, I have a couple of more questions.

  1. Generally speaking, should it be relatively easy to backhand the right ramp? I saw it done multiple times in the PAPA video. It’s easy on my machine, but I’d like to know if I should get used to that or veer away from it (i.e., in case it’s not normal on other machines).
  2. The flippers on my game are sitting pretty high when engaged, but I noticed in the PAPA video it was the same way (that explains the easy right ramp backhands). Is this typically how these came? I’ve thought about adjusting them but now that I think about it, the garage would probably be tough to hit if I lowered the angle of the flippers. I get a decent amount of garage-to-orbit bricks as-is, like in the video.

Everything that uses a timer uses the same timer, and when you start a new timed thing, the timer resets back to its starting value (unless the timer is actually higher than the starting value, via the “Add Time” target in the pops, or a garage award). Timed things include TV modes, shots doubled by Otto, Doh Frenzy, and Treehouse modes – I may be forgetting a couple things, but those are the main ones. (Comic Book Guy hurryups are not timed things for this purpose, since they use points, not time, as their timer.) Also notable: when you complete a TV mode, that mode keeps going, but it’s now in “Victory Laps” phase instead of the normal mode rules… and the more concurrent Victory Laps modes you have going, the bigger the value, in a better-than-linear way.

Here’s one of the many, many secrets of the game: comboing the left orbit -> Add Time target (not easy! kinda like a Triple Hitchhiker pickup on TZ) adds 10 seconds to the timer. (But usually you’re better off collecting Otto or starting a new TV mode to reset the timer, because stacking.)

@keefer’s rules are awesome. :smile:

It’s reasonably easy on mine – not a total gimme, but easy enough.


I just got my TSPP back Saturday, was temp trading for LOTR for a few months. I really liked LOTR and perhaps would like one for a while longer, but turning on TSPP satisfied me more than I expected. I find it more fun, easier to get into, and generally peppier than LOTR, but it’s just a different style of playing. Congrats on the pickup.

1 Like

One thing I’ve found with TSPP is that it’s hard to see what shots you should be making in each mode. The callouts on the other hand are excellent. When I play TSPP I always listen to what the game is telling me to do.


Thanks for the feedback guys, I really appreciate it! I can already tell the game is going to take some time to get used to. The callouts are definitely important and key to understanding what’s happening, I’m figuring that out pretty quick.

Keeping track of modes is not difficult, since several of the modes are straight-away:

  • Krusty: all spinner (usually 4x or 5x, depends on # of spins)
  • Duffman: all right ramp (5x)
  • Willie’s: bully targets, then Otto (3x)
  • Monorail: monorail drop, then any shot (3x, must use different shot each time)

The other three are a little more keep-tracky, but a lot of what you’re already doing (spinner, Garage) takes care of them.

  • Wiggum: any of right 3 shots (Otto / Right Ramp / Spinner), then any of next 2 to left (Garage / Apu), then left loop. I use Spinner then Garage, since you’re already doing that anyway.
  • Homer’s: Bumpers, Right Ramp, Garage, Lock. After spinner, make a right ramp before going back to garage.
  • Bart’s: Otto, Apu, Left Ramp, TV. This is the most difficult mode because of the left ramp.

When in multiball, I don’t concentrate much on finishing modes unless I know there are only 1 or 2 left (the progress is on the TV). I’m also not worried about the timer in multiball, since lots of things advance, stop, or reset it. And most of the time I’m not in multiball, the priority is starting a multiball, not finishing modes.



Ah, great advice. So it sounds like if you just focus on multiball primarily, a lot of the other things will just come along with that, especially if you are doing a lot of spinner -> garage.

It’s been one year since my last (and best) run on the TSPP at the bowling alley. Still miss it a whole lot.


Does anyone know what sort of settings options I need to enable to put the game into tournament/competition mode? I have “Competition Mode” set to “YES” in the settings, but I’m still getting random garage mystery awards. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have put a Whitestar-based game into tournament/competition mode before, so I’m not sure if there’s something else I need to enable as opposed to what I’m used to doing on SAM-based games.

Assuming you’re on 5.0 software, try setting Enable Player Competition to yes. That’s the one where you have to hold in a flipper button first, but it may help.

Always cool to enable team scoring too on a Whitestar as it actually works on those games. Place side bets when you have league over.

I’ve had a few bummer Alien Invasions where two balls ended up stuck in the I&S saucer. Since there’s no way for the game to kick them out, I just had to wait for AI to time out and resume normal play. I’ve heard that there is a feature where you can press the start button to clear the locks for that situation but I’d be afraid to try that during a game without confirmation. Can anyone confirm?

1 Like

Confirmed. Pretty sure it requires the latest, or at least pretty late ROMs.

Agreed that it’s scary, but give it a shot. If you press Start quickly, nothing bad should happen no matter what*.

*Except on Data East or Gottlieb or probably a whole lot of other machines, but not this one.

1 Like

One note to add: hurry-ups use a typically score value countdown timer, and not the TV timer.

It’s funny you mention that, this exact same scenario happened to me yesterday morning. Two balls landed in the Itchy & Scratchy hole during Alien Invasion and the drops popped back up blocking both in. The game wouldn’t kick them back out, so I opened the coin door (ball save on coin door active) and the mode ended immediately. Music changed from the AI theme to the normal gameplay tune, and when I closed the game back up the game kicked all the balls out and let them drain as if AI was ending. It was kind of a bummer because the game has been eating me up so far (the drains are a lot tougher than I expected) and so it was nice to finally get to AI again. Oh well, there will be plenty of other times.

As far as the start button thing, when you start Alien Invasion it does mention something about the start button. It scrolled away too quickly for me to catch what it says. As long as you have “Game Restart” disabled in your settings, you don’t need to fear when you press the start button.

This happened to me during my PAPA 18 qualifying game on Simpso, Game 5 of a successful five-game run. Like you say, it’s scary to invoke the start button here, because of what usually happens. I burned off about half the Invasion timer trying to get an official to notice what I wanted to do and that it wouldn’t be illegal, and to have the score available in case something went wrong.

Then, it worked fine. Hooray!

1 Like

All right, it looks like I was mistaken. Competition Mode is working as expected. It is feeding me mystery awards in the same order every time.

Thanks for the confirmation. That’s definitely a risky situation to try it for the first time. Glad to know it actually works!