#10: Black Knight (PBL)
Somebody told me this list better have this table, so here goes:
While many tables have timers in various modes, Black Knight is all about timers. The drop targets, ramps, inlane rollovers, spinners and pretty much everything on the table is timed. I honestly should have expected such stuff from The King Of Flow (Steve Ritchie). The real thing that sets this table apart, though, is the split-level playfield, with ramps leading to and from the upper level to the bottom level. Lighting certain things on the bottom will activate bonuses on the top and vice versa, meaning that being good at ramp shots is a must so you can reach all the targets. It also featured a player controlled magna save, where you could push a button to activate a magnet that would grab the ball and prevent it from draining down the outlanes. Finally, it also had the bonus ball. In multiplayer, this allowed the higher scoring player about 30 extra seconds of free play. Steve Ritchie even lent his talents as the voice of the Black Knight himself!
#9: Whitewater (PBL)
A Williams table that never received the recognition it deserved. White Water tasked you with navigating down river rapids to Wet Willies river ranch by completing flashing shots that represented different hazards. There was Boomerang Bend, Boulder Garden, Insanity Falls, No Way Out (which functioned as the ball lock), Disaster Drop, and Bigfoot Bluff (which featured a whirlpool that sucked the ball down below the playfield). Along your way down the river, you bash bumpers that looked like boulders in the river, explore an abandoned gold mine, and even sneak into Bigfoots cave to take his picture!
The ramps on this table were very interesting, making the ball fly up and down waterfalls, plus the vacation planner gave you an interesting and very difficult chance to earn a massive jackpot that made the machine literally go insane, flashing everything on screen erratically, flailing the flippers on its own and rapidly saying parts of its speech clips quickly and in no order.
#8: Whirlwind (PBL)
Whirlwind was inspired partially by the EM machine Fireball, although it may not exactly show much. Anyways, in this table you become engulfed in a storm chasers fantasy, moving around and shooting certain spot targets representing compass directions to find a storm. Once the storm starts, three discs in the playfield start spinning to make your ball go unexpected places and wind is blown in your face by a special fan mounted on the machine. Your ultimate goal is to hide in the cellar until the storm passes, then activate multiball and earn jackpots by shooting the skyway ramp. Then there is also the secondary goal of collecting all the super cellar awards and lighting up the whole compass. This table had some memorable moments, and was the only time a weather disaster was fun rather than destructive.
Designed by Dennis Nordman, this table has lots of fun features that make it stand out, including custom speech clips from Elvira, the sexy vamp straight out of Transylvania. It also featured a bony beast with lighted eyes, a coffin that captured balls, a crate with vicious creatures to be released, and an interactive backglass. The goal is to play all the Tales Of Terror modes and then activate Scared Stiff mode and raise the Stiff-O-Meter to level 9 by shooting the right targets. This activated Monster Mutiball and lit all the jackpots. The table has some speech clips lifted from other popular tables, and the dialogue is entertaining. Other notable features included specially-designed Skelton Flippers and a Boogie Man Boogie mode. Interestingly, the Boogie Man Boogie mode was designed to make two boogie men dance during it, but the figurines were never made since the designers feared they would break too easily. The programming for the dancing still exists though, so many collectors have put in their own figurines to activate this feature!
Designed by the mind behind Attack From Mars, this table is very alike in several ways, including the number and placement of important shots, the method for skill shot and multiplier raising, and the main feature in the middle.
The middle of the playfield features a fully animated castle with a lowerable drawbridge and opening gate that shakes and collapses once you storm inside. There are also joust competitions, catapults to fire, peasant revolts, damsels to rescue and two trolls that rise from below the playfield in front of the castle. With assists from Merlins Magic and several multiball madness modes and you get a pinball fit for a King. There is even a video mode where you save citizens from being attacked by crows!
This table was from Stern, and is well-designed and eye catching. It has a distinctive chrome trim, a licensed rock-and-roll soundtrack, and even a rumble feature that simulates the shaking of a real Harley motor. It also has a hand-molded stoplight, three multiball modes, a video mode played on the dot matrix, and even a scale model of a Harley Davidson Fat Boy that does a wheelie to reveal a ball-lock underneath it. The ultimate goal is to travel to all the different cities in the Harley Davidson Cross-Country Tour (which is a real thing that biker groups do), collecting each city’s unique patch and end in Milwaukee to start Milwaukee multiball. Most targets advance you 1 mile at a time towards the next city on the tour, but there are shortcuts and fast lanes to increase the distance. There is also a one-of-a-kind player-controlled up-post that can prevent a ball from draining down the center. Other games have had up-posts but this table is the only one to let the player choose when to make it pop up. This table also features a buy-in system that can let you continue for more credits after losing all your balls!
This table is a lot narrower than a standard one. That has lead some to believe that it is boring. In truth, it is actually quite thrilling. The narrow design allows for faster gameplay and the timer-based structure keeps competitive play going strong. This table puts you in the role of a bank robber looking to collect a stash. That means disabling alarms, breaking into the bank, evading guards, hacking into a computer, making a getaway, and generally all the stuff a classic movie robber would do. The goal is to break into the bank through either the basement, main lobby or roof, then the action moves to the interactive backglass, where you literally play a board game, taking turns with a guard rolling a digital dice to stay ahead of the guard chasing you and get to the center, where you can collect the vault stash. If the guard catches you, you can either pay him off with your points, or give him doughnuts to distract him if you managed to collect some. If you hit the center successfully, you earn a magic token. The Magic Tokens are the table-unique feature, they are deposited from a slot below the dot-matrix and roll down the table glass towards the player. There are 26 different magic tokens to collect, and you can even use them to play the special Assault On The Vault mode, which is a unique mode that was often used as a tie-breaker in many tournaments.
Bar fights are not a great thing, but this table uses legalized ones as the central theme. You play as The Kid who wants to become Pub Champion in this exciting, diverse table. The center has a heavy bag which rotates to reveal a boxer with moving fists when you start a fight. Body blow punches and ramps that let you whack your opponent in the face with the ball make the fights exciting. There are also 13+ different jackpots to collect, three video modes (Card Luck, Poker Night and Blackjack), and unique door prizes. Other unique features include a jump rope where you make the ball hop over a rotating bar with a button-controlled switch, and a speed bag where you control two plastic fists to whack the target with the pinball. There over 10 international opponents to face on your way to becoming Pub Champion, and along the way, you can try to activate Multibrawl (multiball mode) or Bar Fly Fisticuffs, where you fight opponents one after another in a row, with no breaks in between!
This table combines the excitement of watching a Universal monster movie with the fun of a drive-in movie date! It has a couple of licensed songs from the 70s (like Rock Around The Clock), scenes re-created from the movie, and several fun modes, such as Move Your Car and Snack Attack. The goal is to collect the letters to spell F-I-L-M then start the movie and rescue the girl from the creature to collect a jackpot. Along the way, you visit the Snack Bar for food (that gives you point bonuses), get a kiss from your date (which lights extra ball), raise the multipliers (which collects tickets), and even punch out a peeping Tom in the video mode (which can give you a huge score boost). The jet bumpers are placed strategically well, the ramps are fun to shoot, and even a whirlpool for the ball to spin around in during multiball to raise the jackpot!
#1: Black Hole (PBL)
This gottlieb machine is famous for being the first accepted table that cost 50-cents to play, which quickly made it the highest-earning pinball table in history, even topping video cabinets in many locations and breaking earning records everywhere. The table is very unique because it has a lower-surface reversed playing field for the ball visible through a window in the upper level. It also has 5 flippers, sequencing drop targets to increase the lower-field scoring value, and a re-entry tube that transports the ball back to the upper playfield for continuing play. With it’s infinite tunnel backglass lights, unique features and addictive gameplay, this table is considered a classic that was ahead of the time.
There you have it. I will definetely make another pinball list if I remember 10 more fun tables, but for now, I will bid you good-day.
List by LostSoul (01/28/2019)
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