What are some good 'training' EM games?


#21

I learned how to play pinball on EM games. I will recommend a couple of titles for specific reasons. I list these in no specific order:

Gulfstream- This game is a hybrid Add-A-Ball/Replay model (Williams made several titles this way in the 70s). It features 3: Flippers and Inlanes (Italian Bottom). The inlanes light for an Add-A-Ball, so you can practice the Alley Pass to score this rollover. This is the game that I learned how to do an Alley Pass on. The top rollovers are great for nudging skills and the Tic-Tac-Toe feature is fun.

Flying Carpet- This game lacks inlanes, but the bottom is great for nudging. This is a tough game and I hated playing it when I was a beginner, but grew to appreciate it when my pinball skills got better. There is a fun shot off the upper “Special When Lit” rollover rubber ring that banks into the Pop Bumper area.

Sky Jump- Yes, I agree with the other posters above who endorse this game. I love the shot from the flippers through the “6” rollover. A lot of rollovers and nudging. 3" flippers and an Italian Bottom. Good Choice.

Gottlieb King Pin- Some people hate the huge side drains, but this is a volatile game. Great target shooting choice but lacks the nudging benefits of my other recommendations. This game has 3: Flippers and an Italian Bottom.

I think I will stop here. I can list several more if you want me to.


#22

If you play Target Alpha, it has a layout you’ll see a lot in pinball (Solar City, Canada Dry, El Dorado). No spinners, but good target practice with long and short shots, plus some nudging for lanes…


#23

Nudging.


#24

In theory, yes, nudging
In practice, tilts are way too tight on EMs :wink: the more important skill IMO in tournaments is making sure every single time the ball makes contact with your flipper, you’re doing something deliberate with it, because you might not get that many opportunities! Shatz bail, drop catches, dead passes, even reflex shots with a purpose come to mind.


#25

Nudging

In theory, yes, nudging
In practice, tilts are way too tight on EMs :wink:

…very lightly nudging. :wink:


#26

Disagree, but the details of why belong in another thread.


#27

Aztec, Old Chicago, Fire Queen/Vulcan, Spanish Eyes, Grand Prix, Mars Trek, OXO, El Dorado, Card Whiz/Royal Flush… the list goes on.


#28

Klondike has a roto-target and is pretty deep for an EM.

Learning to play with two inch flippers will improve your overall flipper skills. As will playing with lightning flippers.


#29

I think the useful skills are mostly the same, but for whatever reason, the tendency is to assume that they won’t translate.

At Pinburgh, I’ve played with many, many people who are comfortable playing controlled pinball on modern games, but when they step up to an EM, it becomes “see ball, hit ball”. (I’m sure I’ve done it myself on games I’m not familiar with).

Maybe the biggest thing is recovery skills. Nearly every successful shot on an EM will put you into an out of control situation, whereas a modern machine will generally only put the ball out of control when you miss.


#30

Learning to play with two inch flippers will improve your overall flipper skills. As will playing with lightning flippers.

I have a Medusa with 2-inch upper zipper flippers and a Flash Gordon with a single upper 2 inch flipper. Would this suffice?


#31

Maybe the biggest thing is recovery skills. Nearly every successful shot on an EM will put you into an out of control situation, whereas a modern machine will generally only put the ball out of control when you miss.

So with nudging being a risky move, that leaves ‘ball energy eating’ flipper skiils such as drop/live catches to try to slow/trap the ball and regain control. Seems like being able to pull a quick tap pass on a moving ball that isn’t going to stop at the end of a raised flipper is a big one too, since it’s not as easy to actually trap the ball.

One thing I’ve never done myself but see people do all the time is slap/bang the side of the cabinet. I guess this is to move a ball off a siderail? I generally use ‘vertical’ nudges with EMs to give the ball a bit of bounce off a post rubber to try to have it move further/over to a different lane. Would cabinet slaps be a better technique? Honestly the few times I’ve tried them I didn’t see much in the way of results.


#32

I think it’s very difficult to do cabinet slaps on a ball as it hits the wooden outlane wall. Very few times have I been able to bring that back into play. There are a lot more situations where a ball is following the contour of something higher up on the playfield, and you’re risking a STDM drain or the ball hitting the top of the slingshot if you don’t do anything. This is much easier to do because you have a full second or so when the ball is in contact with something you can use to impart force. (As opposed to ball moving horizontally into the outlane side wall, where you have to time you slap perfectly. I’ve seen great players slap repeatedly, I assume because there is a better chance of timing one of them correctly).

The slapping technique is perfectly valid in lots of modern games too, especially where an orbit shot will come around and hit the middle or top of the sling. Slap the ball off the orbit rail and further out from the sling so you can live catch (or fling it away). Shots returning from the chest in POTC might be the best example I can think of…unaffected, they always seem to bounce dangerously off the top of the sling on every copy of the game I’ve played.

Some EM examples I can think of are the right chute on El Dorado, and the side rollover lanes on Kismet.


#33

Cabinet slaps might be a good way to change the path of the ball while it is rainbowing back and forth above the rollover lanes at the top, particularly on something like Playboy.


#34

Lower flippers would be best, but I’m not sure I’d make that the primary consideration when buying an EM. Getting a desirable title is good shape can be tough. Take what you can get.

Playing with different flippers (size, shape, whatever) is always good. I had my Drac (lightning flippers) for years before I could reliably post pass on it. Felt good to accomplish that skill. Never practiced post passes specifically, just happened.

Two inch flippers are so small they force you to adjust. When you play an EM with 2" flippers for an hour or so, then play a modern game, the flippers feel huge on the modern game. Your brain has to adjust again. All that adjusting leads to better flipper skill overall.


#35

Huge proponent of having at least one EM game in a collection. Your best bet in order to get really good feel for them is to go to Replay FX, lesser extent the PHOF there is a huge selection of EM’s with many different flipper and playfield designs. After going there you have a greater appreciation for the types of EM’s that are out there and ones you would want to add to your collection. My favorites are Atlantis/C37, Surf Champ, Quick Draw and a number of others that were already mentioned.


#36

Huge proponent of having at least one EM game in a collection. Your best bet in order to get really good feel for them is to go to Replay FX, lesser extent the PHOF there is a huge selection of EM’s with many different flipper and playfield designs. After going there you have a greater appreciation for the types of EM’s that are out there and ones you would want to add to your collection. My favorites are Atlantis/C37, Surf Champ, Quick Draw and a number of others that were already mentioned.

Hey Deryk, thanks for responding. Yeah, I’m totally sold on having one, nice change of pace too and I even enjoy working on them. You now how fun it is to futz around with those nitpitcky leaf switches in Black Knight? Now imagine a whole machine of them… :dizzy_face:

I enjoyed Volley at YegPin this year and did pretty well on it also. I guess it’s probably not your favorite after the last Alberta Challenge Cup playoff match… :smirk:

You should know I taught Dan everything he knows about that game “first rollover a color at the top, then hit the matching drop targets”. :grinning:


#37

Just a little update, I finally picked up an Argosy last week locally. Game needs some love to get working properly, been stored in a basement unused for 10-15 years so I haven’t actually played it yet.

Thanks again for all the suggestions and advice.


#38

Woohoo! Get that spinner dialed in, and then rip that lit spinner. Soooo satisfying.


#39

That’s my dream EM machine.


#40

Capt Card.

Shots all over the playfield, add a ball and drops re-set unlike High Hand.

A real players game that can be brutal at times.