Theme Rounds for a Casual Match Play Event

A few friends and I did a casual tournament on MatchPlay while at Pinburgh this year. We did it so that Player 1 got to pick the game. At first, I said each round had to be a specific type of machine (EM, SS, DMD), but after a few rounds someone suggested that it should be a theme.

We did a few rounds, like “Animals”, “Sports”, “Space”, etc.

In a casual event, and at show which has a large variety of machines, we found this to be a lot of fun.

Some others I’ve thought of after a quick brainstorm:
Based on a Movie

With that many machines at your disposal, what other “themes” could be fun?


With the games there, you could do animal subsets, e.g. mammals, reptiles, predators, etc.

Could do “get wet” with sea and beach theme, e.g. Fathom, Surf n Safari, etc.

Geography, too, is possible.


Some ideas:

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In the league I run over the past years I’ve tried to theme the game choices as well, but some of them are a stretch. They have included:

Addams, Scared Stiff, Ghostbusters, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Twilight Zone

Iron Man, Avengers, X-Men, Wizard of Oz :joy:,Batman: The Dark Knight

Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Total Nuclear Annihilation, Attack from Mars

World Cup Soccer, No Good Gophers, Fish Tales, Getaway, Tron

Kiss, AcDc, Aerosmith, Party Zone, Monster Bash

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There are probably many more for each of the following categories. I’m operating from fatigue and not a super robust knowledge of games

Mundane municipal life
Road Show, Night Rider, Diner, Taxi, Crosstown, etc.

Bugs Bunny Birthday Bash, The Flintstones, The Simpsons (Both), Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Jetsons (if you can find it), TMNT, etc.

Funhouse, Comet, Hurricane, RollerCoaster Tycoon, etc.

Video Games
Super Mario Bros, Pac Man, Space Invaders, Spy Hunter, Q-Bert’s Quest, Etc.

Mata Hari, Goldeneye, Spy Hunter (those last two fit in other groups, too, but I bet there are more examples which I am not remembering).

This is a fun idea! There are a lot more possible groups and more in these categories.

Add Street Fighter to the mix and you have the I-would-like-to-throw-a-tournament-but-i-would-like-to-make-sure-the-players-enjoy-the-games-they-are-playing-as-little-as-possibe lineup.

I like it. Oh, the pain, the pain. How can we make this happen?


Ha! Except for the Q-Bert pin. Love that game.