During the past month or so, I’ve been playing a few games on Pinball Arcade on my Android tablet, mainly the free pinball table that the app comes with, Tales of the Arabian Nights. I usually don’t bother with pinball simulations, but seeing as at least one of the tables on this app is one I would almost certainly never get to play in real life (that being Goin’ Nuts, a Gottlieb table from 1983, of which only 10 engineering samples exist as the new management felt widebody tables were too expensive to mass produce), this may well become one of the few apps I wind up paying for at some point.
Interestingly, until I played it in Pinball Arcade, I had completely forgotten just how good of a table Tales of the Arabian Nights was. The settings they give you for TOTAN are: 3 balls per game, extra ball lit after 4 jewels (I’m not sure if this is operator adjustable on a real machine), extra ball for scoring 8M points. So that’s at least two extra balls one can earn on a 3 ball game.
I also put up some decent scores on the free table for December, Victory (Gottlieb, 1987). I used to own this table in real life, though I never once put up a completely legitimate high score on it due to one of the spinners continuously malfunctioning.
Then came the night I purely by chance tuned into the Buffalo Pinball stream on Twitch when they were giving away Pinball Arcade passes. As it happens, I got drawn for the Season Four pass. The games from that season are: The Addams Family, Cyclone, Earthshaker, Jack*Bot, Party Zone, The Phantom of the Opera, Red & Ted’s Road Show, Safe Cracker, Starship Troopers, and Xenon. I’ve put up some rather high scores on a few of these as well; see pictures at the end of the post.
Finally, this month (January) the free table of the month is High Speed (Williams, 1986). I remember this one from my middle school years hanging out at the bowling alley after school. It was the rightmost of three machines in a row in the corner of the arcade, the other two being Road Kings (Williams, 1986) in the center and Secret Service (Data East, 1987) on the left. I spent more time on Secret Service, since the replay score was stuck at 400,000 (pathetically low). Even back then, I noticed the unmistakeable similarities between the playfield designs of Secret Service and High Speed, and as it turns out I was not the only one. (To be fair, the rules are different enough that the games play completely differently despite this.)